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Croatia’s Falkensteiner Iadera Hotel – architecture, two gulls, and the sea


Falkensteiner Iadera is a lavish design hotel with pools and just steps to the sea, with a sublime spa/hamam, and a breakfast buffet to die for. All as it should be… but, oh those gulls: look out below!

In researching places to stay during our prospective Croatia trip, I stumble on the Falkensteiner Iadera Hotel. Unsure if Walter would go for this hotel, I take a closer look at its website.

It looks big — too big. We tend to prefer the more intimate boutique hotels and try to avoid resorts with lots of room to roam.

Still, a few facts about the hotel get my attention: the building’s modern architecture, the naval-themed rooms, the extensive garden and pool layout, a big spa area. And, saving the best for last: the fantastic location right on the seashore.

All right, Walter will just have to fall in line, because I’m convinced that he will wind up liking it, even if he initially turned up his nose at my choice.

Falkensteiner Iadera – the tang of the sea, a touch of the naval

On entering the Falkensteiner Hotel Iadera, I note with satisfaction that Walter seems ready to be impressed by the light-flooded lobby with its designer furniture and greenery.

And then, as we step into our room with sea view, a “cool” escapes his lips. Well, ok, then let’s go and check out the pool and the shore so I can convince him that, without a doubt, it was a righteous choice to spend two or three days here.

Falkensteiner Iadera light flooded bar and restaurant area

Light-flooded bar and restaurant area

Falkensteiner Iadera open space bath room

Open space bath room

Falkensteiner Iadera naval-themed hotel bed

Naval-themed hotel room decoration

Falkensteiner Iadera generous, open bath room

Generous, open bath room

Even if the hotel has many rooms, guests can expect to have plenty of personal space in the spacious hotel buildings and grounds, be it in the café, the lounge, the pool area or the garden – people don’t bunch up anywhere.

And so, we have no trouble snagging two secluded chaiselounges under a Mediterranean pine for ourselves.

Falkensteiner Iadera lounge in the patio

Lounge in the patio

Falkensteiner Iadera lounge by one of two pools

Lounge by one of two pools


Sunset – and then some…

With the sunset drawing our attention, the perfect moment has arrived for a seaside stroll!

By now, I figure Walter ought to be ready to fling his arms around my neck in gratitude for my having found this perfectly dreamy place. Though Walter generally is not romance personified, in moments like this he does show he is all heart, and …

…a gull chooses the moment to attack and leave a poop deposit on his shoulder!

While he is steaming about why the gull had to target him of all people, a second gull swoops to double down with another splat — directly on his favorite SLR camera this time!

Well, bravo, and thanks for nothing! So much for the romance and the gratitude…

Walter Schärer under attack from two gulls

Ouch! No romance in this sunset – Walter has a chip on his shoulder

They say that gull doodoo brings luck — and, since Walter typically sees humor even in the crappiest situations and makes the best of it, he brightens up again in reasonably short order.

And me, I still get to enjoy the sunset ;-)

Sunset and jogger at the beach near Zadar in Croatia

Sunset at the beach

Sunset at the Falkensteiner Iadera beach

Sunset at the beach

Speed boat in the sunset near Zadar in Croatia

Speed boat hurrying home

Culinary arts in Hotel Falkensteiner Iadera

Another horror for me in big hotels are the cavernous restaurants. But, we had no cause to be alarmed here on that score.

That’s because, in the Falkensteiner Iadera, you can choose among four different restaurants, so that all those hungry guests are well distributed around the premises.

Sunset on Falkensteiner Iadera's restaurant La Veranda

Sunset on restaurant La Veranda

Sunset at Falkensteiner Iadera's whirl pool

Sunset at the whirl pool

BBQ by Falkensteiner Iadera's pool. At sunset.

BBQ by the pool. At sunset…

What impressed us most was the breakfast buffet. It is the biggest one for miles around. I had a hard time thinking of what more they might have regaled us with.

Endless breakfast buffet at Falkensteiner Iadera

Around a third of Iadera’s breakfast buffet. It goes on and on

Restaurant decoration at Falkensteiner Iadera, Croatia

Restaurant decoration

Spa and hamam

Another amenity that the Falkensteiner Iadera aces is the spectacular spa with the superb hamam or Turkish bath. Check the hotel website for some impressive pictures of it. After all, we weren’t going to photograph nudes with a “crappy” camera…

Hotel address

Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera
Resort Punta Skala
23231, Petrčane

We made the hotel our base for excursions to

  • scenic Zadar
  • Plitvice Lakes
  • Krka National Park

Of interest: several of these spots, such as the Rijeka backcountry in Istria, served as locations for Indians-and-cowboys Winnetou movies. “The Treasure of Silver Lake,” for one, was shot by the Plitvice Lakes as we will discover in this post.


About Author

Katja is’s destination research and booking expert. She always has the upper hand on itineraries and travel details. When not on the road, Katja is a corporate communications manager.

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