I’ve been on a little trip again! Not long ago I was asked if I was interested in experiencing a weekend of healthy culinary pleasures in Croatia. Healthy food and Croatia? Don’t get me wrong, but this was not something I associated with each other, so I was very curious. When I think about Croatia, I usually think about homey, heavy food or fish and sea food. The spa & resort that I was invited to was the LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin in Sveti Martin na Muri. This is in the north of Croatia, right on the border of Slovenia and Hungary, which was a new region of Croatia for me as well. So let me take you with me on a little culinary weekend to Croatia!
First things first – I was kindly invited to this trip by the LifeClass spa & resort Terme Sveti Martin. You can be assured though that all my opinions are my own and in no way swayed because they invited me. Being honest with you guys is the most important thing for me, so rest assured that I would never write positively about or recommend something to you that I didn’t enjoy.
In order to make this little recap and review more “readable” I decided to split it up in two posts – today I’m going to tell you about my experience in the resort itself (the room, the food there, the spa). Next week I’m going to share what we did in the area and believe me, there is quite a bit to see! Spoileralert: I was very pleasantly surprised by their approach to the topic of healthy pleasures. 🙂
Getting to Sveti Martin na Muri was extremely easy from Austria – from Graz it’s a mere 1,5 hour drive, mostly on the highway. Our route was Graz – Maribor – Lendava on the highway and then just a few minutes on country roads until the Croatian border in Mursko Sredisce. From there we simply followed the signs and arrived a few minutes later at the resort.
Hotel Spa Golfer ****
We stayed in the 4 star hotel Golfer (you can see it pictured at the beginning of this post), which is directly connected to the thermal spa and also has it’s own little spa directly in the hotel as well. The direct connection is a huge plus for me, because I hate nothing more than having to go outside to reach the thermal spa – in summer its a-okay, but when it’s not as warm outside, I’m happy if I can just put on my robe in the room and walk like this to the spa without getting cold.
Our room was on the 4th and last floor and overlooked the golf ground. It was clean, relatively spacious and the beds were incredibly comfortable. I’m not just saying this. They really were. I’ve travelled my fair share around European hotels and I’ve had my fair share in really uncomfortable beds. I often feel like an old lady when I get up after the first night in a hotel room, but I had none of those feelings here! Fun thing in the room: one wall of the bathroom is completely made from glass. So when you take a bath in there, you can look into the room. There are curtains though for your privacy, which is quite useful if you travel with a friend instead of your partner. 😉 The room also had a few other amenities, like a (flatscreen) TV, minibar, chair with a table and a very spacious closet with a full length (!) mirror.
You guys know how much I love breakfast. I always carry little packets of non-dairy milk with me, because more times than not, hotels only have dairy milk for breakfast. Not here! They even had two dairy free options: soy and rice milk. Seriously, I was ecstatic. This has never happened to me before. The choice was also so large that no matter what your breakfast taste, you will find it there. Fruits, cereal, nuts, seeds, all kinds of breads (the cornbread is delicious and very different from US style cornbread), veggies, and also freshly made omelettes and the usual meat and cheese choices. They also had some sweet muffins and cookies. If you can’t find anything there that you enjoy, then I seriously can’t help you. I would go there again, just for the breakfast buffet.
Restaurant Le Batat
There are a few restaurants in the hotel, but Le Batat is the one that serves exclusively healthy food that is sourced locally as much as possible. This is an amazing concept and I really love that they try to encourage their guests to consume more healthy food, without being preachy about it. Give people options and they will be more open to try something new, in contrast to when you try to force it on them. I had the chance to try food from there twice, once at a culinary charity event that I will talk about next week and once in form of dinner there. They take the traditional Medjimurian cuisine (that’s the region where the hotel is in) and give it a modern, healthier spin. Like Gibanica – it’s a traditional dessert from the region with usually lots of sugar and Le Batat recreated a version sweetened with stevia. How cool is that? All the food I tried there was delicious, so two thumbs up for that. The only thing I have to say though, if you are vegan, it might be a bit more challenging for you. I’m sure though, that the people working there would try their best to accommodate your needs if you tell them about it!
Thermal Spa Sevti Martin
Last but not least, a few words about the thermal spa Sveti Martin. I’m quite spoilt when it comes to thermal spas, because I live in a region where we have loads of them and very nice ones on top of that. I was curious how this one would live up to what I’m “used to”. I was not disappointed! The whole thermal spa had been renovated a year ago and been redone according to the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, that you might know from his Waldorf pedagogy. The concept is a holistic one, that is based on the belief that you can only be at your best health-wise if you body, mind and soul are in balance. I love this idea and it was definitely a very relaxing experience. One larger pool has slightly cooler water and you can swim in it, the other pools have hot thermal water and are perfect for just soaking and relaxing. During summer there is also an outdoor water park, which would be perfect for children!
If you happen to be traveling to Croatia and you want to sea something different than the sea – I can really recommend this region, hotel and spa. I will tell you more about all the things you can do outside of the hotel, so you will for sure have a relaxing, but active vacation.
The second part is live: What to do around Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia!