Starigrad Paklenica: Hotel Vicko {Small & Family Run}

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Where to Stay in Croatia. Starigrad Paklenica: Hotel Vicko {Small & Family Run}

Hotel Vicko is just a few kilometres from Paklenica National Park and within reach of 4 other national parks. If you’re looking for an active holiday full of cycling, hiking & climbing while being treated like you’re at your best friends house, you need Hotel Vicko.

Hotel Vicko is a part of The Croatian Association of Small and Family Hotels which has more than 200 members.  Hotel Vicko’s specialty are active holidays and can customize an itinerary for you in any configuration you like, including transfers and guides.

Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko
Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko Entrance


A booming smile awaiting you at the reception desk is always a welcoming sign, and that’s what you’ll get from Miro the Front Desk Manager at Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko. I know his name, not because I read his name badge, but because as soon as I walked in he stood up, came out from behind the counter, shook my hand and introduced himself.

Miro has been working at the hotel since the 1990’s, and he knows the area inside out, so if you have questions on arrival you can ask him – he will be sure to know.


We were shown our room by a very smiley bellhop, who carried all of our luggage up the stairs for us. Entering our room we could see how very clean it was. In an older hotel (built in the 1990’s) I often worry about how clean the carpets and bathrooms will be – not here, everything is well maintained, and the bathroom floor was clean enough to eat off.

Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko Room | Croatia Travel Blog
Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko. Small and cozy

Our rooms had a double bed, and a single for the baby donkey. Equipped with a desk and wardrobe, the room was small and cozy, but we were plenty comfortable considering we spent all day out and about exploring.


Put simply, nothing is too much trouble here at Starigrad Paklenica Vicko. I re-arranged our booking several times, without any problems or fuss. The hotel staff are welcoming and are all smiles. My guess is that working for a small family run hotel is rewarding and in turn they pass that onto customers.

Even the hotel cleaning staff were very friendly. Seeing me struggling up the stairs on my own with a tantrum throwing toddler, one of the maids whipped out a candy from her pocket, and scooped up the baby donkey and helped me calm him down, allowing me to open the door & get him to his nap. It’s those small details that make a stay at a hotel great.

If you don’t want to worry about planning or thinking about what to do in the area, let Hotel Vicko use their extensive local knowledge to make all of the arrangements for you. They offer to take care of all of your day trips and tours at no extra charge, all of which they can arrange before or during your stay.

For us, the only downside of the stay would be not having free wifi access to everyone. Although we were provided access free of charge, that is not the case for all guests. Wifi should always be included in my opinion.

Restaurant 4 Ferela

Dining at the Hotel is a must. It’s not your regular hotel fare – not by a long way. The hotel restaurant called 4 Ferela serves an impressive variety of regional food, from all over Croatia. They also offer vegetarian and vegan options.

As well as mouth-watering meals, the service is exceptional. Enjoying a meal here is worth every dollar. The restaurant team are exceptionally friendly;  we enjoyed a few laughs during the evening. One waitress even offered to take our son to play on the swing while we ate.

Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko | Chasing the Donkey Travel Blog
Eat breakfast on the terrace at Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko

Breakfast here is a smorgasbord of tantalising treats from all over Croatia. Hotel Vicko knows you have a big active day ahead, and they make sure you fill up on the most important meal of the day. The usual breakfast suspects like bacon and eggs can be found, but oh so much more. Look out for the bread baked on site, using locally handpicked and dried herbs. We enjoyed a big selection of home marinated olives, cheeses & meats.

Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko Breakfast | Crotaia Travel Blog
Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko Breakfast of Champions

While at breakfast be sure to save room for a Knedle. A typical food from the Zagorie region in northern Croatia. I asked the waitress about it, as I had never seen one before. She explained that this dumpling like a treat it’s made from a potato dough wrapped around a plum when in season or jam marmalade, and then is cooked in boiling water and served with a sugar and cinnamon mix on top. I doubt you’ll be able to have just one – I could not resist. I have got to come back to Starigrad Paklenica just for these!!!

Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko Salata | Croatia Travel Blog
Yummy Salad at Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko

We dined on a seafood feast fit for the Royal Family during dinner – a Royal family of ten, instead of 3. Each course was even better than the previous one. Each course was cooked perfectly and served as you would find in a fine dining restaurant.

If the weather is great, be sure to sit on the terrace so you can enjoy the sea breeze and the incredible sunset!

Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko Croatia Travel Blog | Chasing the Donkey
Sunsets in Croatia are always fabulous
Hotel Vicko Paklenica Dalmatian Gnocci - Chasing the Donkey
Dalmatian Gnocchi at Starigrad Paklenica Hotel Vicko

Child friendly

If you’re traveling with small children, you can leave your pram at the foot of the stairs where it will be safe and save you from lugging it up and down to your room.

The restaurant is very children friendly, with both a highchair and good range of meals suitable for children. Our baby donkey dined on grilled chicken and a chicken soup I was drooling over.

Hotel Vicko also has a children playroom, and a set of swings outdoors to keep your little ones entertained.

Here is more information on Croatia as a family-friendly destination

Getting to and from Hotel Vicko

When you make your booking, let the staff know which airport you are coming from, or where you’ll be arriving into, and they will arrange transfers to and from your location to the hotel. In some cases, like flying into Zadar, the transfers will be provided free of charge in both directions (saving you 800 Kuna).

We drove from Zadar, which was a very easy drive along great roads, only taking 50 minutes with photo stops along the way. There are also complimentary car-parking spaces available at the entrance to the hotel.

Jose Dokoze 20,
Starigrad Paklenica Croatia

Hotel Vicko Starigrad Paklenica

Our Choice for Accommodation in Starigrad


What is There to do in Near Starigrad Paklenica?

There are 6 Croatian national parks accessible for day trips, all you have to do is decide if you want to raft, hike, go mountaineering, explore caves, waterfalls or head out on your mountain bike.

There are several beaches within easy walking distance. Hotel Vicko provides complimentary beach chairs and towels for use during your stay. Also, bikes are available for rent, so you can head to some of the beaches a little further away.

Click here for a full guide on the Starigrad Paklenica

Take a photo jeep safari in Starigrad Paklenica

Find out more about Starigrad Paklenica National Park

We want you to know: We were provided the room without charge in return for this review. All of thoughts and opinions are given honestly and without bias. Some photos were supplied by Hotel Vicko.

Starigrad Paklenica Croatia - Travel Croatia like a local

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Comments (22)

  1. OMG!!!! Worked there as a 15 year old as helper in the restaurant during one summer school holiday some 45 years ago and bought myself beautiful coat after that! Will never forget girls in the kitchen, Vicko, his lovely wife and little son, that now most probably runs the place! Best filana paprika I ever had in my life and since I was the “continental” girl, got introduced to blitva there! LOL!!!! Definitely did not look like this! Much smaller and only one story. Thanks for bringing lovely memories back for me!

  2. Wow, sounds and looks perfect – especially after a day hiking around Paklenica national park. That’s the way to work up a decent appetite!

  3. Hotel Vicko sounds lovely! Your photos were fabulous! I want to try a Knedle. Yummy. I’ve yet to do any review posts, but I appreciate how you have it laid out. Good lesson for me. Thank you! #SundayTraveler

  4. This looks like a cosy spot in a good location and with very appetising food. How times have changed so that we now consider a hotel built in the 1990s to be “old”.

  5. It looks like a great place to stay! I love the family-run hotels, I find they usually put more care into making sure you are happy in your stay! I love that there are vegan options at the restaurant there!

  6. I love family-style run hotels! They are so much friendlier and make the stay that much more comfortable!

  7. Looks fabulous. I love this kind of little family-run hotels to begin with, and the terrace really steals the show here! Not to mention the delicious looking food…

  8. Sounds like a cool places to stay especially if the people are really nice. It makes the stay at a hotel that much better if the service is good too.

  9. This is the kind of accommodation I seek out. Stunning views, friendly service and great food; how can you go wrong?

    1. You can’t. Especially if the $$ are fair. Hopefully you get to Pakenica one day.

  10. That’s an interesting group of hotels this is part of, a confident way of getting something good and local

    1. Yes, thats what I thought too. We are off to explore a few more next week too!

  11. Makes such a difference when the staff are friendly and helpful doesn’t it? That food sounds delicious too! 🙂

    1. 100% Sadly so many places lack that simplicity. Especially when you are travelling with kids, its a huge PLUS.

  12. Sounds like you had a good time at this hotel. The food looks wonderful. Certainly tempts me!

  13. A place that will help calm an unhappy toddler or keep him occupied while you eat? Sounds fabulously family friendly to me! Cleanliness is high on my priority list for a hotel, so I’m glad it scores well in that area, too.

    1. Gah, I hate old dirty hotels. Old I can live with, but dirty… NO WAY! And yes, the whole extra mile with the toddler offer was above and beyond.

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