Hotel of the week: Hotel & Spa iader Zadar, Croatia


The Iadera gleams with newness. From the glass lifts, to the radiant white bathtubs, to the burnished sheen on the croissants, everything is polished. For guests at the luxury spa, it’s all about renewal too, settling into fluffy white robes, cleansing in the clear blue sea of the private beach, getting the grime scrubbed off, your tired muscles pummelled and eye bags smoothed away.

The hotel, owned by the luxury Austrian Falkensteiner group, is one of Dalmatia’s premier retreats.Perched on a jutting coastline, the Punta Skala resort, is practically its own village, with beach bars, a traditional Croatian Konoba grill, elegant fine dining and poolside ice cream parlours — handy because the nearest city, Zadar, is difficult to get to without a car.

But why would you leave? Leisurely prosecco breakfasts go on until 11am. From there, you can gawp at the smooth white stone coastline and the crystal clear blue sea from the private beach (bring shoes if you want to swim, northern Dalamatia has lots of sea urchins).

The spa has two centres, black and white. In the black spa is a luxurious two-story Turkish hammam. It’s not for the shy, this is a clothes-free zone, where you scrub away your dead skin debris with deep-scented oils and salts, lavender, sage and lemon. After letting it melt into the skin in the hot sauna, you descend into the mosaic-tiled pool to dunk your head in cold water.

The white spa has three swimming pools, including a salt water dip, lodged in fine white stone from Dalmatia’s island of Brac, with stunning views of the coast and the gardens.

Treatments at the Acquapura range from mind-numbingly good full body massages, to sea salt scrubs, seaweed wraps and healing stones (we are on the coast, after all). There’s even more manly spa treatments, like a vigorous black sand polish, using sand from Tahiti and aromatic oils.

rates: rooms from £174 per room including breakfast

Rosanne Eliot

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