This stay was a very fortunate find. A true gem. I feel the situation is very undersold or perhaps its that everyone tries to market their place and they are all "special" or come across that way in the blurb. This is REALLY special...for many reasons including the situation.
In this case, the house is incredible. Old, amazingly restored, lots of space, super facilities, very clean, yet welcoming and homely. Airconditioning throughout (not downstairs but not needed there...cool - old stone walls, partly in ground). Great garden, nice pool - very clean and big enough to cool down, beautiful patio with big outside table, terraced garden, loungers, very private. Oh yes...black and yellow fig trees laden with fruit. And it overlooks the old ruins about 20 meters away that is lit up and where concerts take place every 2nd night or so in summer while we were there. Guitar music, jazz etc. So one can be in the pool, overlook the valley with old ruins and listen to live music. Surreal stuff.
We had no idea where we were going to be in terms of the location or village. Kastav it turns out is a rare gem. Super old, super genuine, like a movie set for a medieval village. So quaint, yet a little shop, a few bars and coffee shops and a handful of fantastic restaurants. We got really lucky staying here. To get to the house you have to go through literally old city gates (tough in a big SUV....only just fits through :-D). And the house is on the top edge of this small village right next to a forest with walking/jogging paths, geocaches etc. By car about 30min to beaches. And a biggish Spar supermarket down the road within walking distance.
Finally our host. We have stayed in many rented places and generally they try to save money or the place is not really used by owners (so not fully stocked in terms of general living things)....also generosity is not something that really is too common in a situation where someone is trying to earn money from a property. This was a wonderful exception. Aleksandra is very generous...from wine and beer in the fridge, to some food basics, some great chocolate, plush towels in and outside, and abounding cooking and cleaning stuff. Not the typical 10ml of cleaning liquid and a single dishcloth, or an old salt cellar and nothing else. Its like using an established warm family kitchen that is clean and welcoming.
And on arriving she spent probably an hour giving us tips on where to go, what we might like to do, where best beaches are etc. And she was always available when we had a question on anything.
So to sum up...we were very lucky to find this place. Its like being transported into another world. And the hostess is just wonderful.