Carved into a cliff overlooking Croatia’s Riviera stands the Hotel Navis, a recent addition to the Adriatic shoreline.
Located in Opatija —nicknamed the Pearl of the Adriatic—Navis cuts a dramatic profile with an angular black-and-white façade and a minimalist aesthetic. The 40 rooms are small, but each boasts a massive view of the sea, with an entire wall made up of floor-to-ceiling windows offering an eyeful of open water.
The hotel offers its guests a unique indoor-outdoor pool, a deck filled with lounge chairs, and an on-site spa, saunas, and a steam room. While this corner of Croatia does not have beaches, per se, the property has a staircase that leads to a tiny rock-lined cove that gives access to the Adriatic for determined swimmers. (Those in the know wear swimming shoes to protect their feet from the rocks.)
The on-site restaurant boasts a menu filled with sophisticated takes on traditional Croatian fare including plenty of local seafood, and makes good use of everything that the Rovinj peninsula has to offer. Guests can also head into nearby Opatija, or the small towns and villages that surround it for local favorites like the Croatian contemporary Konoba Tramerka or the casual Pizzeria Moho.
While relatively unknown in the States, Opatija has a long history as a destination for fashionable travelers, including the elite of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Emperor Wilhelm of Germany to composers Gustav Mahler and Giovanni Puccini to authors James Joyce and Anton Chekhov. It was even rumored that after a memorable vacation, Isadora Duncan choreographed a dance inspired by the swaying movement of Opatija’s palm trees.
While the Soviet era did the city’s tourism industry no favors, much of the city’s charm has remained, including some now-refurbished historic hotels and the Lungomare, a seafront promenade that curls along the water connecting the towns of the Riviera.
Rooms start at €230 per night.