Nestled in the heart of Rijeka, Croatia’s bustling port city, Hotel Bonavia stands as a beacon of tranquility amidst the urban energy. This article invites you to discover the allure of this distinguished establishment that seamlessly blends modernity with the rich cultural tapestry of downtown Rijeka.
A Modern Haven with a Historic Touch:
The hotel we are reviewing today is a contemporary gem that pays homage to Rijeka’s storied past. With its sleek, modern architecture seamlessly integrated into the historic cityscape, the hotel captures the essence of old-world charm while providing guests with all the conveniences of a modern urban retreat. Dating back to the 19th century, the building that houses Hotel Bonavia has undergone meticulous renovations to create a harmonious blend of history and sophistication.
Throughout the hotel, there are pictures of Rijeka (and Fiume, Fivme as it was called) from the last two centuries. As a native of Rijeka, I stood more than a moment next to some of these old photos. I moved from Rijeka a few years back, but no matter how many times you move, there will always be only one place you were born.
Step inside and you’ll be greeted by a sense of understated elegance. The accommodations, ranging from well-appointed rooms to spacious suites, boast stylish décor and modern amenities. Each room is designed with comfort in mind, offering a peaceful sanctuary for guests to relax after a day of exploring the vibrant streets of downtown Rijeka.
You notice this in small details. The doors from the bathroom are heavy and made out of real wood. Unlike other hotels in Croatia where there are light doors made to be as cheap as possible. Obviously, there are going to be some less attractive features, but you write it off as a 130-year-old hotel. Bonavia first started as a tavern around 1887 and “grown” into a hotel over the years.
Hotel Bonavia takes pride in its culinary offerings, providing a gastronomic journey that reflects the region’s diverse flavors. The hotel’s restaurant, Kamov, showcases a menu inspired by both local and international cuisines, offering a delightful selection of dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Guests can enjoy a sophisticated dining experience in the elegant ambiance of the restaurant or unwind with a drink at the hotel’s chic bar.
Speaking of bars, you can drink your morning coffee in two locations. On the ground floor, where you have breakfast (excellent and similar to other hotels in Opatija and Rijeka), you can sit for a cup of coffee in the restaurant or in the bar next to it (photo below.). The piano adds a special charm to the bar, and you can see the appeal.
Then, on the mezzanine level, there’s a second caffe – Dante Bar. I liked this one even more! It is located right above the reception, and you can access it with stairs and a lift. You can also invite someone for a meeting since the main entrance is from the side of the hotel. Sidenote: these same stairs (on the side of the hotel) have been to several events over the years. Both fashion and sports!
Unlike most coffee bars in Rijeka, smoking is forbidden, and you can also have a snack or a cake. I’ve read some complaints online that “beer is too expensive” and that “you don’t get water with coffee.” Well, I did get water with coffee, and I can confirm that beer is pricier than some pubs in Rijeka. But then again, you don’t go to Dante Bar expecting cheap beer. This is a classy place in a classy four-star hotel where you have a quick espresso before you hit the road or have an important business meeting, and you don’t count pennies on the invoice.
Wellness Retreat in the Heart of the City:
The wellness facilities add an extra layer of indulgence to the guest experience. Whether guests want to unwind in the sauna, invigorate themselves in the fitness center, or enjoy a soothing massage, the hotel’s wellness amenities provide a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown life.
Meetings and Events:
Hotel Bonavia is not just a haven for leisure travelers; it also caters to business and event needs. With its versatile meeting rooms and event spaces, the hotel is an excellent choice for conferences, seminars, and social gatherings. The professional staff ensures that every event is executed seamlessly, offering a blend of efficiency and hospitality.
Exploring Downtown Rijeka from Hotel Bonavia:
Prime location in downtown Rijeka makes it an ideal base for exploring the city’s vibrant attractions. Guests can take a leisurely stroll to the historic Korzo promenade, visit the Rijeka City Museum, or immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of the city’s cafes and shops. In February, when carnival festivities begin, the main procession passes mere meters from the hotel! Read more about Rijeka’s main carnival procession here.
Unfortunately, the perfect location comes with a price. There are only a handful of hotels in Rijeka, and Bonavia knows they have the best location. The price reflects it.
In the heart of downtown Rijeka, Hotel Bonavia stands as a modern sanctuary that invites guests to experience the perfect blend of history, culture, and contemporary comfort. From its refined accommodations and culinary excellence to its wellness facilities and event spaces, the hotel offers a complete package for both leisure and business travelers. For those seeking a tranquil oasis in the midst of Rijeka’s dynamic urban landscape. Without a doubt, it was a memorable stay in Croatia’s vibrant port city.