Boutique Hostel Forum in Zadar is one of the hostels that’s joining a relatively new trend in Croatia and elsewhere – of the upmarket kind. For often times much less that even a half decent hotel, you get a fun and funky place to stay that’s usually rather new, has great facilities and is well located. What’s not to like?
The Boutique Hostel Forum is all of these things. Located right on Kalelarga/Siroka ulica, you can’t miss it. Well, actually, you can as we did – stumbling off the bus from the airport, we wandered up and down Siroka ulica a few times before we finally found a door for the hostel. And then felt a bit stupid because it was quite obvious. (The hostel’s opposite the bellower of the Cathedral, in case you find yourself equally challenged.)
Two things strike you when you first enter – ORANGE and BLUE. It’s all very orange and blue. But it’s also very friendly – the young staff check you in quickly and give you a few pointers for the premises, including a little welcome leaflet that contains hostel information, plus a map of Zadar and a few local recommendations.
Private rooms are available but the shared, mixed dorm rooms are certainly comfortable enough – albeit compact – and offer a good deal of privacy.There’s two ‘bunk beds’ either side of the room, so if you and a friend are travelling you can easily have half a room without needing to mingle much with your dorm mates. Having said that, one side of the room is home to a small toilet and the shower room is on the other – so you do need traverse over to the other side occasionally. (I suppose you can always use the ‘public’ toilets in the hallways if you want.)
A couple of chairs feature in each corner of the room, plus hooks for hanging up your coats and what-not, and each guest gets a large (really a good size) drawer unit to store their ultra-private but expensive and essential travel kit- iPads, cameras, Christian Louboutin heels. (Just joking on that last one, of course.) This inventive drawer opens with your room card key, which makes it pretty secure and easy to manage.
Each bed is more like a little cubby hole than merely a bunk bed. Inside your bed unit you’ve got a light, a mirror (for checking yourself out as soon as you wake up, I suppose), a LAN socket (?) and – oh yes! – two charge points. For every traveller’s most important needs are a) wifi and b) electrical sockets! There’s also plenty of other sockets dotted around the room too, in case you’ve decided to bring every electrical item with you on holiday. These cubby hole-type beds have their own blinds, which you can shut for complete privacy. The bed and bedding is more than comfortable, although the actual duvet is perhaps a little too thick for a typical Croatian summer. (Especially as – given the tight bed space – things get a little stuffy!)
The rooms actually overlook Kalelarga/Siroka ulica, and beyond that you can easily see The Forum and the twinkling Adriatic sea. It’s a simply gorgeous view! Don’t forget that as good a sight as you have of the outdoors, people outdoors have a good sight in…make sure you shut the blind before you, y’know, get into your PJs or whatever. (There’s actually a friendly warning by the window to this effect!)
There’s not a great deal of storage overall in the room – you have to squeeze your backpack/suitcase into the corner or hallway of the room as best as you can and there sure isn’t a good deal of space to ‘hang’ out. But you’re in the beautiful town of Zadar – who needs to hang about indoors?
There are, of course, a number of common rooms, including kitchens where you can store your own food or opt for breakfast if you want it, although a ‘breakfast in a bag’ (see below) is included in your room price. There’s an outdoor terrace out back, and a relatively large TV room – with two TVs – that reminded me a little of a children’s soft-play zone, with the bright colours and the sofa seating on different levels.
My favourite bit – waking up in the morning, pulling up the bed bunk blind and finding a breakfast bag had been delivered by my bunk. How did they do that? Who cares, there’s a sweet burek pastry inside! Pop down to the harbourfront for breakfast with a view.
Most importantly, the hostel’s wifi is strong and FAST – yay!
I’d highly recommend Boutique Hostel Forum – friendly, clean, comfortable, fun, decent value and superb location. Give it a try if you’re visiting Zadar!
Boutique Hostel Forum
Siroka ulica 20, Zadar
Disclaimer: Visit Croatia stayed at Boutique Hostel Forum anonymously and paid for her own stay.