A quite special hotel Balatura is situated in Tribalj, and in many ways is one of the centrepoints of Vinodol’s cultural life. Termed as an ethno-hotel, it is also a „book-hotel“ and „vegetarian-hotel“, a concept that doesn’t exists almost nowhere else in Croatia.
Writer Anne-Kathrin Godec and documentarian film-maker Gordan Godec left the urban German metropolis to find a new peaceful place in between the mountains and forests of Vinodol, a few steps away from the Crikvenica Riviera. And this is what they have to say about their philosophy: „The daily demands of our family with five children are nearly the same. Yet, it seems that here life and time are somehow slow paced. The quietness of the nature, with its silent stones and songs of the wind, make us pause and savour the moment. This precious quality of life with tension that quickly fades away and is replaced by inner peace, rarely found while we live our fast-paced, hectic lives in cities, is something we wish to share with you during your stay at out hotel.“
They have renovated two old Vinodol houses, standing in ruins, together with their homestead buildings, and developed a hotel featuring all the traditional architectural characteristics, with particular inclination for details. But visiting hotel Balatura is not only about the accommodation itself – it has to do with culture of book reading and many meetings.
The hotel boasts with monthly cultural events, readings, and special concerts. Artists from all around the world gather here, under the big enthusiasm of Godec couple and their dedicated staff. The hotel rooms have names of herbs and fruits characteristic for the Mediterranean region, such as Lemon, Olive, or Rosemary. All rooms are specially made, and resemble old traditional houses. Most of them have veranda, overlooking the old houses in vicinity.
Peace and quiet, as well as culture, is why people visit this place. They don’t have to be vegetarians, as we are not, to enjoy the beautiful cuisine and dining experience in Balatura. After some difficulties, the owners found a tremendously innovative cook and it is her claim never to do same dish again. Combinations are manifold, and absolutely outstanding.
Our starter was pommes frites made of root vegetables, yoghurt sauce, and homemade ajvar, a good mix of fresh and rich beginning. Main course consisted of mini-zucchini with quinoa, cooked bear leek, and sauce. Interesting combinations on plate give full taste, especially with bear leek season and its garlic-ish flavour.
Zucchini showed its value on the table once again, despite sometimes ridiculing this quality vegetable. In the end, vegan cake made of dates and lemon proved to be a great surprise, for its texture and freshness was not too sweet, showing the great cooking knowledge and taste combinations. Wines following the dinner consisted mostly of Piquentum, an Istrian brand. Further wine tasting can continue in newly made wine cellar, just beneath the vaults.
Peace-and-quite holiday lovers and veggies should definitely choose Balatura for their stay, in any time of year. While sitting on the porch, it is only natural to imagine different periods and experiences in this outstanding hotel.