CROATIA, Makarska - Valamar Places Hotel 3*

07/07/2022

I would recommend the hotel to those who prefer fun to luxury and are not against new technologies, a new concept of hotel services

Address: Dalmacija [PlacesHotel] by Valamar, Kralja Petra Krešimira IV 41, Makarska, Croatia

Web: www.valamar.com/dalmacija-places-hotel

Do you want a 100 Euro discount to any hotel from the Valamar? Email me.

Makarska

Perhaps older generation who visited former Yugoslavia remember this iconic high-rise building in Makarska. I was said to have been young next to it in the camp, but I don't remember that, so it didn't happen :) The building was bought by the largest hotel chain in Croatia - Valamar - it was completely renovated and the hotel opened to tourists again in 2022. And in Valamar, they weren't afraid of that and immediately bet on a new concept - the so-called Flexi half board. Read below.

Almost every Czech knows where Makarska is. If not, it's another hour south below Split.  There is also an international airport in Split. Then you would still have to arrange transportation to Makarska.  When traveling to Croatia via Austria and Slovenia, refuel in Slovenia. In June, gasoline there was the cheapest. The most expensive was in Austria. Both in Slovenia and in Croatia, the price was the same at all pumps. At the same time, be careful if you are driving through Slovenia for a week, in the sense of, for example, Saturday-Saturday, a weekly highway stamp is not enough for you, you have to buy two, and thus it becomes quite expensive. What was really no good was that on the way there, the Croatians were checking passports at the borders, because they are not yet in Schengen, and there was quite a decent line. Definitely never drive on a Saturday, the traffic jams are the worst everywhere, including toll booths in Croatia. If you have the opportunity to borrow an ENC box from someone, definitely do it, you will save a lot of time, and it is also cheaper, by about 20%. You have a special lane reserved for passing through the toll gate, where you only brake slightly, the box is loaded and the barrier opens, there are definitely no queues like when you pay by cash or card. Or if you go to Croatia every year, it's worth the investment. ENC boxes are sold by two companies: HAC and ARZ. It is better to buy HAC, it is easier to top up credit there using the website or application or using top-up coupons that you can buy at toll booths or newsagents.

Makarska is a relatively well-known resort. You can enjoy a beautifully clear sea, pebble beaches and mountains all in one. It is located in central Dalmatia and is the starting point for hikes to the Biokovo Nature Park. The city is famous for its long promenade, which has many restaurants and shops. The entire touristic area is called the Makarska Riviera.

Dalmacija [PlacesHotel] by Valamar

[PLACES location]

In central Dalmatia, in the center of the Makarska Riviera, known for the most beautiful pebble beaches in Croatia, you will find your perfect vacation spot - Makarska. Taste the best homemade specialities, experience local traditions and enjoy your active or relaxing vacation on one of the most beautiful coasts of the Adriatic at the foot of the magnificent Biokovo mountain range.

The hotel is located right by the sea, just cross the promenade. If you stay on the higher floors (the hotel has 10), you have a beautiful view of both the sea and the mountains that rise above the coast. It is about 1.5 km to the center of the old town.

[PLACES]

DALMACIJA [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar is the second hotel in the latest brand [PLACES] collection, designed for modern travelers who expect more freedom from their vacation. Which means - break out of the stereotype. Why have breakfast from-to or go to lunch at noon when you're hungry later, or don't have lunch or dinner at all. Do it your way. Would you rather have 3 beers instead of lunch? Not a problem. Treat yourself to whatever you want.

[PLACESFLEXI] Flexi halfboard - new concept

And what is that? The room price includes breakfast + 25 Euro per person per day, and for this amount you can buy either lunch, dinner or drinks as you wish. What would you say was a winner for me :) It's a great idea if you're going on a trip and you're gone all day, it gives you a lot more flexibility and you won't lose your paid meal. Or you can order drinks all day, and every evening go to a different restaurant on the promenade and taste the local cuisine. If you do not spend the credit during the day, it is transferred to the next day. And if you don't hold back and spend more, you'll pay everything at check out.

Practically how it works is that when you check in, you get a stylish wristband that looks like a watch, and credit is loaded into it, credit is added every morning. The bracelet also serves as a room key and is waterproof. You don't have to wear it all, just one of the room, which will then also pay. Room credit is added to all persons. So if there are two of you in a room, you both have 50 Euro loaded for the day, but at the same time, when one pays, it is also deducted from the other. I recommend wearing the face not like a watch, but on the contrary, with the face down, if you don't want to dislocate your hand every time you pay (the face is attached to the terminal like a payment card).

Flexi halfboard in Places by Valamar, Hamiczech
Flexi halfboard in Places by Valamar, Hamiczech

Furthermore, it is more than convenient to have a smartphone. You download the app [PLACEAPP] from Valamar Hotels and Resorts (note that the My Valamar app is something else, it is used for booking hotels and for the loyalty program) and here you monitor the amount of your credit. It was a bit inconvenient that you get 25 Euros per day, but the prices in the restaurant and bars are in Kuna, so you have no idea how much it costs. This is probably because Croatia is supposed to switch to the Euro in 2023, so you still have to endure it this year. However, in the application you can see the balance in both Euro and Kuna.

The application is only available in Croatian and English. You click that you agree to the terms and conditions and then choose whether you have a reservation or are already staying at the hotel (you are after check-in). Mostly probably the second, because you don't know you're supposed to install an app until you get there. So you enter I am already checked-in, below you choose whether you are in the Places hotel in Dalmatia or on Hvar (there are currently two hotels of the Places brand from Valamar, the application is the same for both, about the second hotel in the next article). You enter the check-in and check-out date, room number, and your date of birth. I wanted to kill them here, because on iPhones the form is handy, but with Android you have to scroll through prehistoric times like I did for about an hour before I clicked through to my birth year. I don't understand why there is a table, why I can't simply write the date on the keyboard normally.

In the application you will also find a menu and a drink menu, including prices, sports activities, which DJ is playing, etc.

As for the dining room, it is open from morning to evening, I had a feeling that it is open all the time, and maybe it is, I did not check it late at night. Food works on the principle of self service. Breakfast is served until 11 o'clock. I really appreciate the breakfast, there was just about everything you could want, even champagne and oysters! Eggs in 100 ways, cheeses, sausages, fruits, vegetables, muesli, yogurts, various types of milk, incl. vegetable, selection of pastries. What could be improved is the preparation of omelets, because preparing omelets for the whole hotel in 1 pan is really not enough and you have to wait. Likewise, the juices were too diluted and the coffee machine was so difficult to operate. Just details, but they make up the whole, right? The dining room, like the whole hotel, is in the style of wood, metal and leather, a very nice modern combination.

After breakfast comes lunch and dinner or a snack, the menu is already the same, always, broth and tomato soup every day, I don't understand why the tomato soup isn't changed to a different one every day, why is it the same every day. The soup is freely available, there is no charge. Other meals are already deducted from the credit. You choose some food on the board (the menu is also in the app), order at the cash register, pay with a wristband, get a pendant and go to sit at the table. Once your food is ready, the tag will beep and flash and you will walk back to the counter where your food will be served. The menu is quite wide, you can certainly choose several days in a row - e.g. various pizzas, sandwiches, meats, salads, desserts, tuna tartare or vitello tonnato, bruschetta, sushi, fish, burgers, calamari, pasta and more. You can have lunch and then go to a local restaurant for dinner, or have a drink with lunch or instead of lunch - freedom of choice. I appreciate it.

As is customary with Valamar hotels, it also offers the Dining around service. This means that if you don't want to have dinner at the hotel, Valamar has contracted restaurants near the hotel where you can get a discount on your spending when you show the voucher. You will find out in the application how much is the discount and which restaurants this applies to.

[PLACES rooms]

The hotel has 10 floors, all rooms have a balcony, from all of them you have a side view of the sea, the most expensive ones also have a frontal view. Although it is written on the website that the cleaning of the room is done only at your request, if you order it a day in advance in the application, however, we did not order anything, and every day we had the bed made and the baskets taken out. You have to throw the towels on the floor for them to change. There are also large colorful beach towels and wicker bag in the room, if you forget your beach bag, this could be used. Bring your own cosmetics, there is only solid soap in the bathroom and there is no fridge in the rooms, only in the luxury suite, so unfortunately you won't be able to cool anything down. If you like more space, take a room for 2-3, the one just for two is really small, including a small bathroom. The beds are very comfortable.

The hotel offers 3 types of rooms:

1) Places room for 2

- 16-22 m², the room has a double bed, table, chair, open wardrobe, mirror

- air conditioning, TV, wifi

- bathroom with toilet, hair dryer, solid soap

- beach towels and wicker beach bag

- balcony with table and 2 chairs

2) Places room for 2-3

- 23-27 m², the same as above plus there is an extra couch

3) Places suite Cherry on top

- the most luxurious room, 42 m²

- the only one has a front and side view of the sea, a balcony on both sides of the room

- in addition to the couch, there is also a minibar (fridge), bar, nespresso, four-poster bed

- there is a bathtub in the bathroom

[PLACES pools and beach], sounds of [PLACES]

The hotel has two swimming pools, on a large sunny terrace, with plenty of luxurious sunbeds, rolling bags or four-poster beds, and umbrellas. There are several inflatable pillows floating in the pool that you can play with, and there is also a bar and a DJs desk - every day there is a DJ playing here and if there is a weekend event, they are also famous DJs. Just parties like in a club, only by the sea. And you don't need to buy a ticket, just book a room. It is advisable to like dance music when you go to this hotel, they do not play rock or any other genre. The terrace is high above the promenade, so you have a view of the sea from the pool.

A beautiful pebble beach in a pine grove is located right below the hotel, just cross the promenade. Although the beach is fenced, apparently it is not only for the hotel, no one controls it, which is a shame, there were also a lot of non-hotel guests on the beach, so it was quite crowded. It is one of the few beaches in the immediate vicinity that provides so much shade. If you want to just lie in the sun all day, there is also this option, only you will lie on the concrete pier. It is advisable to have water shoes because of the pebbles, gradual entry into the sea. Sunbeds on the beach are paid for, but you can also lie on a towel, the stones are small so it is quite comfortable. There is also a hotel bar on the beach. The bar is surrounded by beautiful wooden seating and there are also toilets. Unfortunately, the wifi did not work on the beach, which disappointed me, in other hotels of the Valamar network, the wifi on the beach always worked. And there are no showers either, or at least we didn't see any. However, these minor flaws can be forgiven when you are lying on the beach, breathing in the wonderful scent of pine trees and enjoying the clear turquoise sea.

[PLACES fun & activities]

On the monitors in the dining room, the exercise program for the given day and when which DJ is performing are running throughout the day. If you don't just want to relax on vacation, but also work out here, there is a fairly well-equipped fitness centre in the basement of the hotel, or a gym upstairs at the level of the pool, where are organized lessons, such as yoga, spinning, HIIT. Some lessons are also held directly in the pool. On the beach you can enjoy various water sports for a fee.

The hotel also has a game room, right next to the reception. This is a room with billiards, table football, 2 ping pong tables, and slot machines, also gaming consoles. Everything is already included in the price.

Other hotel amenities

You probably wouldn't want to walk to the 10th floor, there are 3 elevators in the hotel, 1 is outdoor panoramic with a view of the sea. Only for those who like heights :)

Parking - there are only a few parking spaces in front of the hotel, I recommend driving there, the barrier will lift by itself, unload all the luggage, and the driver will then take the car to the underground garages, when you leave the entrance to the hotel, immediately turn left and left, the garages are directly below hotel next to the promenade. You don't need a card here, the gates open by themselves. There is no elevator going up from the garages, there are stairs, no one told us. Parking is for free.

There is also a wellness center on the garage level, we did not try that.

Underground garages in Places by Valamar
Underground garages in Places by Valamar

Summary

I would recommend the hotel to the younger and middle generation who like fun,  dance music and parties, because DJs play by the pool or in the dining room every day, from morning to night, so you can't really talk about a quiet relaxing holiday. It is also convenient to be able to handle digital technologies a little thanks to the application. You might be a little confused on the first day because you probably haven't experienced the Flexi half board anywhere before, however, you'll get used to it quickly. The food was delicious, the beach and sea beautiful, stylish pools. Everything at your fingertips. Try it and see for yourself if this style of vacation suits you.

We also visited the second [PLACES] brand hotel from Valamar in the same spirit, only on the island of Hvar. Article coming soon.

This article was created in cooperation with the PR department of the VALAMAR hotel chain. Thank you.

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