The Best Hotels in Zadar, Croatia

Discover the beauty of Croatia’s northern Dalmatian coast in and around Zadar
Discover the beauty of Croatia’s northern Dalmatian coast in and around Zadar | © Zimu Liu / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alex Robinson
22 December 2020

Rosemary-scented islands sprinkled across an emerald Adriatic, crumbling Roman ruins, valleys of vineyards and meadows of wild asparagus; Croatia’s northern Dalmatian coast is every bit as pretty as the celebrated stretches around Split and Dubrovnik to the south. However, it’s far less visited. Yet Zadar is well-served by UK budget airlines – and with Venetian churches, palatial townhouses and a lovely setting right by the water, it makes a good base for exploration.

Luxury Rooms Kadena

Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse
Map View
Luxury Rooms Kadena
Courtesy of Luxury Rooms Kadena / Expedia.com

With only three rooms the Kadena is more a boutique bed and breakfast than a hotel, decorated in soft greys, and lent pizazz by swirling baroque wallpaper, satin curtains and marble-lined, double-basin bathrooms. It’s in the heart of old Zadar – two minutes from the Roman ruins and the sea front. The only downside is that there’s no lift – and with the bells of St Chrysogonus Church next door ringing out at 7am, it helps to be an early riser.

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Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera

Spa Hotel
Map View
Falkensteiner Spa & Hotel Iadera
Falkensteiner Spa & Hotel Iadera | © Falkensteiner Spa & Hotel Iadera / Hotels.com

The Falkensteiner caters for travellers who want to stay on a Mediterranean beach without having to worry about more than getting a good tan. Identikit laminate-wood, cream and Matisse-blue balcony-rooms sit behind a modern glass-and-concrete façade on an isolated peninsula. With a gentle shingle beach, a stroll from the rooms, a hammam spa and huge indoor and outdoor pools, you are some drive from any sights. Most guests are content to lie back, relax and never leave the grounds.

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Mono Apartments & Rooms

Hotel, Apartment
Map View
Mono Apartments & Rooms
Courtesy of Mono Apartments & Rooms / Expedia.com | Courtesy of Mono Apartments & Rooms / Expedia.com

With off-white walls, soft-grey counterpanes, inoffensive art and ebony-look furniture, the Mono’s room décor is business-hotel more than boutique. But the location is plum: in a historic tall townhouse right next to the archaeology museum in Zadar’s old town. Best of all, shops and restaurants with genuine local character are within credit-card swiping distance.

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Hotel Bastion

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Hotel Bastion - Relais & Chateaux
Courtesy of Hotel Bastion - Relais & Chateaux / Expedia.com | Courtesy of Hotel Bastion - Relais & Chateaux / Expedia.com

Here’s a genuine piece of heritage in old Zadar, set in an elegant neoclassical manor house built around the ruins of a 13th century Venetian fortress on the quays. It’s far from frumpish – light floods into the plush, modern rooms through tall windows, most with views over the marina. The jacuzzi-steamy spa glitters with gold mosaic and the sea-view terrace restaurant (serving Croatian-Mediterranean cooking) is one of the best in Zadar. When you’ve had your fill here, there are plenty more places to dine nearby.

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Dezign Apartments

Serviced Apartment, Apartment
Map View
Dezign Apartments
Courtesy of Dezign Apartments / Expedia.com

With double beds you can fall into, complimentary wine you actually want to drink on the bedside table, and bathtubs in the living room, these self-catering apartments (with fully equipped kitchens) are for couples who care about intimacy even more than privacy. The seaside promenade is a five-minute amble away, and tailor-made for romantic sunset views. While you’re out, take time to potter among historic Zadar’s sights and shops.

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  • Hotel Niko

    Hotel
    Map View
    Hotel Niko
    Courtesy of Hotel Niko / Expedia.com

    The building is nothing to Instagram home about – a concrete block 10 minutes’ drive from the centre. But the Niko’s Trokrevetne and Balkonen rooms are something else. Decorated in an exuberant French Empire style with bergère armchairs, heavy drapes and satin bedspreads, both are fronted with sea-view terraces big enough for a romantic evening meal. And the owner-manager family are heaven-sent – genuinely seeking to please.

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    Almayer Art & Heritage Hotel

    Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Almayer Art and Heritage Hotel / Expedia

    Rooms under £100 in Zadar are rarely much better located than this: in a beautiful neoclassical townhouse in the heart of the old town, a minute’s stroll from the waterfront. There’s even a shady courtyard garden. Free parking, too. We say avoid the top-floor attic rooms, which have uncomfortably low ceilings, and the mezzanines, with their print-block art and faux-Japanese screens, in favour of the best rooms: the upper-floor double-standards.

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    Art Hotel Kalelarga

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Art Hotel Kalelarga
    Courtesy of Art Hotel Kalelarga / Expedia.com

    This little boutique, in the busiest part of the historic centre, manages to feel bright and modern. Rooms radiate honey-tinted whites and light wood, with fitted desks and bedside tables, all the while retaining vestiges of the 19th century building. Expect exposed raw stone walls and an al fresco bar area spilling onto the Renaissance flagstones of the adjacent street. Generous breakfasts are included and Zadar’s best restaurants are minutes away.

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    These recommendations were updated on December 22, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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