Novigrad, Croatia

Palazzo Rainis

Price per night from$144.02

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR136.33), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Epicures ahoy


Novigrad yacht spot

Villa Rainis was the 19th-century home of Venetian chemist Giovanni Rainis – today rebuilt as boutique hotel and spa Palazzo Rainis. This refined stay is a deftly dosed prescription for upscale R&R by the sea. All that’s good about its past has been conserved – stately proportions, ornate balconies, towering pines in the grounds that were built around. Its balconied rooms, most with sea views, are a soothing tonic; its destination restaurant, a triumph of Istrian cuisine you should take twice daily. A location close to town, on a coastline of feted Istrian beaches, means Villa Rainis and its Novigrad setting have great chemistry, too.

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Photos Palazzo Rainis facilities

Need to know


16, including four suites.


11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.


Double rooms from £133.39 (€154), including tax at 13 per cent.

More details

Rates include buffet breakfast with hot dishes cooked to order.


May we alert your attention to room service hours: coffee and pastries on your balcony accompanied by a gentle sea breeze is the simplest of breakfast upgrades.

At the hotel

Pool, spa, gym. In rooms: free WiFi, satellite HD TV, minibar, free tea, coffee and free bottled water, local botanical bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Superior suites offer excellent value with generous living space and broad balconies. Although interiors are equally calm and contemporary across all buildings, the allure of staying in the main villa is hard to resist: first-floor suites have stately proportions and elegant arched windows framing sea views, but it’s the top-floor Premium Suite that has stolen our hearts – a tucked-away charmer with serene sea views from its balcony under the eaves.


In front of the hotel, flanked by superior rooms and suites, the chlorinated pool (unheated) is open from 10am until 6pm.


In the basement of Palazzo Rainis, a tucked-away spa is a sleekly dressed den of saunas, ice-bucket showers, a treatment room, relaxation area and a Jacuzzi, plus a small gym.

Packing tips

Casual, loose-fitting threads for wafting around Novigrad; nautical stripes and deck shoes for yacht adventures.


Sadly the hotel is not wheelchair accessible.


No pets are allowed at this smart coastal hotel. See more pet-friendly hotels in Novigrad.


This upscale coastal stay is an adults-only hotel.

Food and Drink

Photos Palazzo Rainis food and drink

Top Table

Pine-shaded tables on the terrace are the most sought-after.

Dress Code

What would Beth Harmon wear? Channel tailored separates, pleats and retro prints to bring a little Queen’s Gambit flair to the chequerboard dining room at Chemistry.

Hotel restaurant

With room for only 30 diners and a gourmet menu, Chemistry at Palazzo Rainis is something of a hot ticket. In a 50s-cool dining room of chequered floor tiles, peacock green walls and brushed nickel details, dine on Istrian cuisine with Mediterranean and French influences thrown in: championing local, seasonal ingredients and at Chemistry you can expect the same with added kitchen alchemy: ingredients such as tartufi and wild asparagus are reimagined with more than a nod to the science of cooking.

Hotel bar

Named in deference to Venetian chemist Rainis, the villa’s original owner, Potions bar is at the heart of the restaurant, allowing guests to move seamlessly from apéritifs to dinner; curvaceous velvet sofas at one end of the restaurant are the place to linger over cocktails or sample your way through the Istrian and Croatian wine list – with additional high stools at the bar.

Last orders

Breakfast is served, 7am–11am; lunch between noon and 3pm; dinner, from 7pm–10pm.

Room service

A tale of two menus, breakfast can be ordered to your room between 7am and 11am; from noon, a dedicated menu of Istrian-influenced dishes is available until 7pm.


Photos Palazzo Rainis location
Palazzo Rainis
Kastanija 1

Palazzo Rainis is in Novigrad on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula in northern Croatia.


Pula (50 minutes by road) and Trieste in Italy (80 minutes away) are the nearest international airports to Palazzo Rainis; Slovenia’s Ljubljana Airport is less than two hours away, too. The hotel can arrange private airport transfers (€130–€460 each way).


Istria is not known for its rail infrastructure. Trieste in Italy is the nearest train station with good connections, still an 80-minute drive from the hotel: Pula train station is less well connected and routes from Zadar, Dubrovnik and Zagreb often involve lengthy stints on buses as well as rail travel.


The hotel is a car-free zone with a private car park 200 metres from the hotel, which has charging points for electric vehicles.


Ferries from Venice cross the Adriatic in less than three hours to Poreč, which is only a 35-minute drive from Palazzo Rainis.

Worth getting out of bed for

Town does not preclude beach in the scenic port of Novigrad: shingled gems such as Plaža Maestral, south of the old town, and City Beach, alongside the town walls, are bathing spots in easy reach. Further along the coast, popular Plaža Pineta is a broad, pine-fringed stretch of pale pebbles lapped by turquoise shallows. The hotel can arrange a day trip by yacht to explore the pristine blue-and-green beauty of the Brijuni National Park (off the coast of Pula). The Roman amphitheatre in Pula has Colosseum-like grandeur and is yours to visit on a full-day private guided tour of Istrian towns and sights. Join a truffle hunter in the woods on a quest for the famed fungi and feast on your finds for lunch. The picturesque fishing port of Rovinj and seductive summer resort Poreč, which has lauded beaches and a charming old town, should also be on your Istrian checklist.

Local restaurants

A trio of fish and seafood restaurants are all within walking distance in Novigrad… First up, the gourmet one – Damir i Ornela – where elegant, simply dressed plates of the freshest seafood confirm its fine dining status. The award for best dressed goes to the linened tables bathed in a warm glow from pendant lamps at the Marina Restaurant, where prettily presented fish dishes are as smart as your polished surroundings. With less formality but just as much flavour, Konoba Čok (better than it sounds) is a casual spot for ceviche, oysters, pan-fried scallops and whatever catch of the day has made its way from the Adriatic to the kitchen, plus its wizardry with truffles and pasta is good news for vegetarians.


Photos Palazzo Rainis reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this coastal hotel in Istria and unpacked their olive oil and clay wine jugs, a full account of their Croatian beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Palazzo Rainis in Novigrad

A contemporary stay with a storied past, Palazzo Rainis owes its old-fashioned good looks to a loyal reconstruction of the turn-of-the-century villa it’s replaced. High ceilings and arched windows on the first floor, a roof ribbed with salvaged beams from the original villa, wrought-iron balconies – some spacious, some Juliet – mean every room is a little different; yet all are dressed in a refined modern style punctuated with heritage details that nod to the hotel’s past (an aesthetic that extends to superior rooms, too). History here does not mean antique: beds are four-poster but with clean lines free of flounce; seemingly antique mirrors are in fact bespoke brass commissions. You’ll find this magnetic mix of heritage and innovation in the restaurant, too: chef patron Tom Gretic (well known in Croatia) showcases seasonal, local produce (tartufi, wild asparagus, olive oil), but reinvents them with experimental aplomb (the restaurant, after all, is called Chemistry). From restaurant to room, the result is a one-of-a-kind  boutique hotel brimming with local character. The spa and pool may encourage staying put, but this is Novigrad – a vibrant port town – where pine-fringed Adriatic beaches, history-steeped streets, inviting restaurants and bars are all within easy reach.

Price per night from $144.02

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