Kult Plave Kamenice Article

Melegran used the epidemic to grow from a hipster to one of the best Istrian hotels

We found ourselves at The Melegran for the first time, in the exciting heart of old Rovinj, about two years ago. At the time, Melegran, a project founded by an Istrian woman from London and her husband, a London financier, was a cozy hipster hotel with small rooms, attractively defined interiors and luxurious bathrooms. Then Melegran began to develop. So it included several other old houses in the historical part of the most beautiful Istrian town.

A month ago, we slept in a room overlooking a two-and-a-half-meter-long private kitchen with the smells of old-fashioned home-cooked food, to spend last weekend in Melegran’s first step into serious, unconditional luxury. Namely, Melegran also took over the house at 18 Montalbano Street.

At the top of this house there is a duplex apartment which Melegran introduces to a new level of hotel competition. With this rather sensational apartment, Melegran is no longer one of the many small boutique hotels that play on retro decoration and a sense of belonging to the local community. With an apartment on Via Montalbano 18 decorated during the lockdown, Melegran enters the competition for the most beautiful hotel accommodation in all of Rovinj, a city with four five star hotels (okay, Adriatic technically has four stars but definitely deserves five.)

With the extension to the luxury hotel industry, Melegran has not lost its hipster charm. Namely, to get to the apartment at the top of the house on Montalbano Street you have to climb stairs almost as steep as climbing the main Mayan pyramid in Chichen Itza. a space that is superior in its inner feeling to Maistra’s most luxurious hotel rooms. So, Melegran’s prestigious apartment consists of a bedroom overlooking the center of old Rovinj, a small utility room overlooking the courtyards, two bathrooms and a penthouse, definitely the most beautiful space we have ever stayed in during our thirty years of constant visits to Rovinj.

The penthouse is divided into two parts; a loggia that functions as an outdoor living room and a conventional living room with a small kitchen, leading to the terrace. The terrace overlooks the sea and the island of St. Catherine, as well as the roofs and remains of the facades of nearby buildings. It is never hot on the terrace because the breeze is constantly blowing. The soundstage is provided by Rovinj seagulls, and a table with four chairs and an ottoman on which the sun never comes allows guests to choose their favorite position for stress detoxification and enjoying such an authentic ambience that the word idyllic here would sound kitschy. The living room itself is equipped with decent, casual but elegant furniture that creates the impression of extra relaxation; a cupboard with dry minibar elements (chocolates, chips, almonds, etc.) is actually unusually attractive although it could have been purchased at a flea market.

The lower floor of Melegran’s luxury edition is intended for sleeping and the upper floor for hanging out, having drinks, watching the sea, talking and relaxing in an environment superior to almost all Rovinj bars. Both bathrooms located on the lower floor are equipped with Cowshed cosmetics and an almost excessive amount of thick and very soft towels. We would be very happy if most domestic five-star hotels adopt the Melegran standard for towels.

Melegran, of course and unfortunately, is not sinless. The minibar, when it comes to drinks, is simply not good: it contains a few very weak Istrian brandies and liqueurs and not a single wine, which is absurd because in a large refrigerator on the second floor you can place at least four or five bottles. Second, Melegran became too serious a hotel for the reception to close at midnight. It is clear to us that working hours from 0 to 24 imply higher costs, but they are inevitable with a higher degree of ambition. The Melegran, in its current expanded and luxurious form, is one the few best Istrian hotels, which implies having all-day service and better room service. Regardless of these objections, Melegran is in its better rooms the most charming hotel in Rovinj along the Adriatic.