Place Hotel Bastion, Zadar

There is something instantly likeable about
cosmopolitan Zadar, a historic port long held by the Venetians. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it feels a lot like an Italian seaside town. Severely bombed during the Second World War, it is now an eclectic jumble of ancient and modern architectural styles. It is also home to the oldest university in Croatia, a thriving cafe culture and parlours serving some of the best ice cream outside Italy. The unashamedly flamboyant Hotel Bastion is brilliantly situated on the medieval city wall, right across from the Garden, an alfresco bar that is probably the most fashionable night stop in the city. Named Bastion after its original use as a fortress, protecting the city against foreign attack, parts of it date from the 13th century. There are 28 elegant bedrooms, many with exposed stone walls, a restaurant, Kastel, which serves Mediterranean food and has several sunny terraces overlooking the yacht-filled harbour, an aperitif bar, the Castello Health Club and the subterranean spa centre, which has saunas, a series of relaxation zones and treatments combining Eastern and Western techniques.


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