Where: Trogir, Croatia
When: August 2015
Hotel: Well, it was Villa Tudor…then became Hotel Monika
Why Trogir: Heading to the Croatian coast was always in the plan, and at first, I thought about us staying in Split. But after reading various blogs as well as talking to co-workers that had been there, Trogir sounded like Split’s little sister that was equally charming, but not as big and not as busy. It sounded like this would be the perfect place to make a base for a couple of days. We had to cancel our Dubrovnik part of the trip, which was supposed to round out our visit to Croatia, because John had a work trip (that was also later cancelled…but not until we were in Croatia so it was too late to amend our plans!) But, I was looking forward to a few days near the water!
The Trip: So it is this portion of the trip where we left our traffic woes behind (once we were on the island, that is – getting ON the island was a bit of a snarl), but this is also where the trip turned into what I later deemed a “high-end affair.” The drive, however, was great. It was really interesting to see how the landscape totally changed! It was like driving from the Northeast in the States to the Southwest…in a matter of hours!
I had spent a LOT of time trying to find the perfect hotel on booking.com. It had to have the usual staples – a rating of at least 8 out of 10, parking, and good location. Because we had Caesar, it also had to of course be pet friendly, but because of the heat, it had to have air conditioning. Not only did Villa Tudor say it had air conditioning, but I had emailed TWICE verifying that the room would have it. I got a yes each time. We showed up to the hotel, and it was perfect – it wasn’t on the tiny island of Trogir itself, but it was across a short bridge and had an amazing view. Even better? We had a huge patio that I was looking forward to enjoying. The one hitch? When we turned the air conditioning unit on (unlike in the States, AC is more of a luxury, so it’s not uncommon for hotels to not keep the air running, if they have air at all), and the unit was only blowing hot air. “Give it a minute,” the owner said. So, we turned it on high and took off to get lunch.
So, we eat our delicious lunch and make our way back to the room to check on Caesar and the AC…or the lack of AC. It was clearly not working, and so we were faced with an issue – do we stay and trust the owner that it could get fixed, or do we try to find somewhere else? A quick look at booking showed pretty much every place was full except for two places. We left a poor panting Caesar to check the two places out. The first one – which price-wise was similar to our first room – literally sold their last room just before we got there. So it was off to the second one – a 4-star hotel more than double our first room. (Croatia, as a whole, is fairly inexpensive, so there’s no reason to plan on spending a lot on a good room – except if the good room is missing air conditioning and the heat could give your dog a stroke.)
The front desk clerk was great – and even offered us a 10% last minute discount on an upgraded room, which was really nice. It was hard to turn down a cool room with a nice staff in the middle of everything. We booked the room and headed back to pack everything up and get Caesar to a cool room. It was a bit of hassle to repack everything, move the car and then unpack everything up again. But I love my dog, so it was definitely worth the additional cost and slight headache of moving everything.
By the time we got everything moved, it was early evening, so we took a walk around the island. Trogir (pronounced Tro-geer) isn’t very big, but it has windy streets that are easy to get lost in. The entire island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has 2,300 years of continuous urban tradition. 2,300!!! That is crazy!
We were getting hungry at this point, so we headed back to the hotel. The bonus of switching also meant that breakfast was now included and there was a restaurant on-site that was so good we had dinner there all three nights.
After dinner, we were full and tired – plus we had a BIG day ahead the next day! Remember when I said “high-end affair?” Well, I had really wanted to do some island hopping in Croatia, but hadn’t read many good things about the ferrys (mainly that they are slow and limited in destination), so I booked us a private speedboat for the day. It was WAY more than I would normally consider spending, but this was a vacation I had so been looking forward to, and I could think of nothing more fun than John and I having a day on the water, on our own schedule. Of course, this was BEFORE the room debacle, so what was an inexpensive trip to Croatia turned into a bit pricier than expected. (Thank goodness for our “fun fund account!”)
So, we settled up for the night and rested up for our big day!
Final impressions: I loved our three days in Trogir (and yes, while the fancy hotel was a bonus, I still would have enjoyed it!) I really like being able to stay in a place more than a night or two. The waiters and hostesses started to recognize Caesar, who was once again a little rockstar, and we were able to discover the island slowly, in between our all-day boating trip (next entry!) and a day trip to Split. I would recommend staying in this cute little town, because it is very central to a lot of the must-see sites and towns!