Wednesday, 02 September 2015 17:14

Luxury on the Island of Losinj, Croatia

Written by  Douglas Cooke
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Europe-Losinj
My first morning on the island of Losinj was a treat for the senses. As I jogged into the town of Mali Losinj, boats floating on placid harbor water filled my vision, the smell of jasmine, lavender and salt air was in my nose, and church bells clanged in the distance. I knew right away that this was a place I was going to thoroughly enjoy, and the next few days here didn’t disappoint.

Losinj is located in the northeastern corner of the Adriatic Sea, just 25 miles off the coast of Croatia. I reached Losinj by flying into Zagreb, taking a scenic drive to the coast, a ferry ride to the island of Cres and then another short drive to Losinj. Total travel time was about 4 hours from Zagreb. Losinj can also be reached by ferry from Venice 3 times a week during summer months, or by private plane.
Losinj has a very traditional Mediterranean feel. The climate is dry and the landscape is rocky with lots of pine trees and flowers. Here, the waters of the Adriatic are an amazing shade of aqua green and crystal clear. The two main towns of the island, Mali Losinj and Veli Losinj, are both built around harbors. Shops and restaurants line the harbors with an abundance of outdoor cafes and dining options.
Mali Losinj loosely translates to little town and Veli Losinj to big town, though in reality, the opposite is true. Mali Losinj is the center of activity on the island. Ferries come and go from its port and many yachts and cruises make port calls here. The harbor is U-shaped and very pedestrian friendly, as traffic is limited by the tolls required to enter the downtown area by car. Restaurants and outdoor cafes line the streets providing scenic waterfront dining and a bustling nightlife.
Veli Losinj is a smaller town located on a protected harbor. Some highlights of this quaint town include the Losinj Museum, which is in a tower and explains the history of the island, and also the Blue World which is a field station for the Adriatic Dolphin Project. Veli Losinj was first settled in 1280 AD and was involved heavily in ship building until the 1800s. In the late 1800s the healing qualities of the air and water here were discovered and many sanitariums and hospitals were built. This tradition of the healing arts is carried on to this day in the many hotels and spas on the island.

LOSINJ HOTELS AND VILLAS
JAX FAX was hosted by Panorama Travel and Losinj Hotels and Villas. I stayed at the newly renovated, 5* Hotel Bellevue. Located on a pristine cove just over the hill from Mali Losinj, the hotel features 185 rooms and 21 suites. Opposite the entrance to the hotel are glass walls and a hallway, offering views of the  waterfront beyond. The hotel is square shaped with a landscaped atrium in the middle, providing a quiet area to escape with a good book.
The first two floors of the hotel were pre-existing while the 3rd and 4th floors are newly built and larger.   
Rooms have all the amenities one would expect, including terraces or balconies and such extra touch amenities as a pillow menu. There are also one-bedroom Jr and Executive suites, two-bedroom Bellevue Suites and a 3-bedroom Presidential Suite with an extra large water view terrace and 2 outdoor jacuzzis.

THE SPA ZONE
The Spa Clinic consists of indoor and outdoor pools, a relaxation area and beautiful spa garden. Losinj’s crystal clear sea has healing benefits for the body. This is the why all of the pools in the Bellevue Hotel are filled with seawater. The indoor pool enables you to enjoy the sea all year round, while the outdoor pools are the perfect place for refreshing body and soul throughout the warm spring and summer.
The Spa zone is an ideal escape from reality. Here, experience dry and steam saunas, a Turkish bath with a Hammam table, showers of experience, and a vitality pool. Several separate relaxation rooms with comfortable beds and armchairs are ideal for enjoying a good book, a refreshing drink or a restorative sleep. In the outdoor spa garden, enjoy relaxing treatments, a warm whirlpool bath or even a sauna by the sea. The spa also features a special Diamond Treatment. This starts with a 30 minute rest on a specially built water table that surrounds you with colored lights, music and frequency. This is followed by a 30 minute massage and custom health consultation. Use of the Spa Zone, fitness center and indoor pool is open to all guests without a fee. Treatments are at additional charge.

A CULINARY EXPERIENCE
Enjoy Mediterranean style cuisine at Pin & Oli. They feature fresh fish, crabs and mussels from the crystal clear Adriatic Sea, olive oil, sheep’s cheese, lamb or Istrian beef as well as fruits and vegetables from organic local suppliers. They also grow their own fresh herbs used for seasoning, decorating, and preparing aromatic and refreshing deserts and cocktails.

ISLAND EXCURSIONS
Guests can use the hotel concierge to book a half-day or a full-day trip by motorboat or a sailing boat, a panoramic flight or get to know Losinj by foot, bike or Jeep adventure. Visit some of the nearby islands or national parks. JAX FAX took a day sailing trip to the Illovik - Island of Flowers. Another option is a boat excursion to the island of Susak, known for its sandy beaches.
Losinj Hotels and Villas has a total of 9 hotels and villas on Losinj which include luxury private villas, a wellness hotel, vitality hotel, family hotel and the newly opened Boutique Hotel Alhambra & Villa Augusta. For more information visit www.losinj-hotels.com
Panorama Travel has been in travel service business since 1995 and is a full service company, providing the best of personalized travel and travel related services to leisure and business travelers. They have an exclusive agreement with Losinj Hotels and can create custom packages for your clients. Call 800.204.7130 or visit www.panoramatravel.com

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