Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Hotel Sipar Playa Laguna in Umag & Bistro-Pizzeria Luna

While we were visiting the Istria region, during our two-week tour of Croatia, we stayed for a couple nights at the Hotel Sipar Plava Laguna in Umag, which is the most westernmost town in Croatia, lying on the Adriatic Sea. Umag is a popular resort town, with an interesting Old Town area to explore, and it's also know as the "tennis capital" of Croatia. Each summer, Umag hosts the Croatia Open tennis tournament. The center of Umag is just a short walk from the hotel. 

The hotel is a 4-star resort, with 236 rooms on 4 floors, and it's next to the beach. The rooms are very comfortable, with plenty of amenities, and those with balconies looking out on the ocean have great views. For breakfast, they have a huge buffet, one of the largest I've seen before in Europe, with lots of tasty options. I'm sure this is an extremely popular place during the summer, with its fine facilities and excellent location.

The hotel is located next to one of the shallowest parts of the Adriatic, so during the summer the water is especially warm and pleasant. This area is also fascinating for additional reasons, such as the fact you can see dinosaur footprints on the beach! I didn't have time to explore the beach so didn't see any of the footprints, just a couple photos of such. This area is also the home to numerous beautiful and colorful orchids.  

The hotel also has 3 beautiful, outdoor swimming pools, all filled with sea water. There's a large pool, which is up to 1 meter deep, a small pool which is up to 1.4 meters deep, and a baby pool which is only up to .4 meters deep. Only a couple people were swimming while I was at the hotel, which seemed to be a waste of these fine pools. 

This is a hotel that I'd choose to stay at again, and would recommend it for those seeking a higher-end choice in the Istrian region.

One evening while staying at the hotel, a few of us chose to walk to a nearby restaurant, the Bistro-Pizzeria Luna, for dinner. We didn't know much about the restaurant, so we were taking a risk, which thankfully paid off. It was a relatively small, quaint spot, with a large food menu, with plenty of options that sounded potentially delicious. We began with a basket of fresh, hot bread, which is always a good way to attract my attention. 

The Scrambled Eggs with Truffles was a huge plate, and it was quite tasty, with well-made eggs and the exquisite taste of black truffles. This is a popular dish in Istria, and who wouldn't want to start their day with this type of breakfast? Or even for dinner? 

I opted for the Dracula Pizza, made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, garlic, oil, and parsley. I was impressed with the pizza, with its tender and crisp crust, plenty of melted cheese, and lots of garlic. It was a relatively simple pizza, but executed very well. Highly recommended. 

We also chose the 2020 Kozlovic Teran to accompany our dinner. At 13% ABV, it was a soft and easy-drinking red wine, which opened up more in the glass over time. Definitely a nice pizza wine. 

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