Destinations

Hotel Lav

Vukovar, Croatia

Hotel Lav is a modern four-star in Vukovar, on the banks of the River Danube. It offers clean, comfortable rooms, and remains the best place to stay in the city centre; a good base for exploring this war-scarred Baroque town in eastern Croatia and its surroundings.

Location

7 / 10

Vukovar lies in the eastern part of Croatia’s Slavonia region, on the River Danube. Hotel Lav is in the centre of town. Vukovar was besieged and shelled relentlessly during the Croatian War of Independence in the early Nineties. The town still bears plenty of visible scars, but the rebuilding and reopening of Hotel Lav was one of the first success stories in the years following the war. The hotel is close to the rebuilt Vukovar City Museum in the Elz Castle, while the haunting cemetery at Očvara (site of one the largest mass graves in Europe since the Second World War), and the new Museum of Vučedol Culture, are both just a short distance outside town.

Style & character

7 / 10

The original Hotel Lav first opened its doors back in 1840. The present-day incarnation is smart inside without being particularly showy; rooms are comfortable but more functional than places to linger. The bright reception with its glass tiles gives way to a relaxed café/bar, and there’s a terrace with tables beyond at the back of the hotel. In case you were wondering, lav means lion in Croatian.

Service & facilities

7 / 10

Service was good during my stay. Along with a restaurant and bar, Hotel Lav offers conference facilities and arranges several organised excursions, including to nearby Kopački rit nature park – a vast expanse of wetland at the confluence of the Drava and Danube, a major bird-watching area and a RAMSAR site – as well as south to Ilok, with its historic wine cellars.

  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Wi-Fi

Rooms

7 / 10

The hotel has 38 comfortable rooms and four suites. Rooms are smart and uncramped, although the décor does look a little dated – dark blue or green carpets, yellow walls, standard issue wood-veneer furniture. The beds may be a little on the soft side for some. Clean, tiled bathrooms have either shower-over-tubs or walk-in showers. Plush red towels and bathrobes add a splash of colour. Rooms at the back have a decent though not completely unrestricted view of the Danube; bear in mind that those at the front are likely to put you within earshot of the museum clock, which strikes every 15 minutes.

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Food & drink

7 / 10

The hotel restaurant serves good regional dishes – hearty stews, game, grills, freshwater fish – well presented, and has a good list of around 200 wines. Entrées are likely to include kulen (a Slavonian specialty, something like a big paprika-infused salami) and other cured meats. The buffet breakfast is ok but a greater range of dishes would be welcome. Almost directly behind the hotel, Vrške is an excellent and very good value riverside restaurant serving delicious freshwater fish (carp, perch, catfish etc) on a lovely covered terrace perched above the water.

Value for money

7 / 10

Double rooms from 970kn (£112) year-round. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.

Access for guests with disabilities?

A lift provides access for wheelchair-users and some rooms have walk-in showers.

Family-friendly?

Yes, although the hotel is more aimed at adults.

Ul. Josipa Jurja Strossmayera 18, 32000, Vukovar, Croatia.
00 385 32 297 111