Thursday, August 30, 2012

HOTEL CHECK CROATIA, part 3, Hvar hotels

Hvar is prettier than a picture. A pastel city shaped by the Venetians, with castle high on the hill. The atmosphere is alive and happy, especially in the evenings when the smell of grilling fish floats into squares and alleyways, and people sit along the harbour sipping Croatian wine and beer. Sunburnt glitterati step off luxury yachts in D&G shades and slip into the crowd.

Daytime invites excursions to nearby islands and beaches. One popular excursion is to Brac and the famous Goldhorn beach - one of the loveliest beaches in Dalmatia, delightfully fringed with a pine forest.

On their recent trip, our Select team looked over three Hvar hotels: Adriana, Riva and Amfora.

Best bedtime ambience - Riva

Best views - Adriana


Best view of the old town and harbour is from Adriana Hotel. This hotel is perched on the quieter end of the promenade.  Designed in contemporary style, the hotel has a great Top Bar overlooking the bay and the white sails of boats. Stunning! Perfect place to chill out with your laptop, and some Croatian beer - as we did.

Visiting Adriana - Erland (Norway), Marita (Finland), Jennifer (UK)
and Pernilla (Stockholm behind the camera) enjoying Hvar's best
view and WIFI lounging in the hotel's top bar

And Croatian beer

Waterside restaurant at Adriana, with view
over the bay to the old city

The top floor also has a Jacuzzi and indoor swimming pool. Breakfast is served on the outdoor terrace a few steps from yachts, with a wide variety including champagne. The SPA is very nice with a natural sea water pool (no outdoor pool),  also small gym and movement studio available for guests.

There are 3 different room categories; we stayed in the deluxe sea view which accommodates maximum 2 adults. This room was pleasant though small, uplifted by excellent views over the bay (be sure to book a room with sea view at the front of the hotel; some city view rooms have no view). We also viewed the spa suite which was lovely and had a lot more space and large bathroom.

Ravishing views from a deluxe seaview room


Indoor pool at Adriana - but you can also
use the outdoor Amfora pool


Situated right on the harbor promenade, this boutique hotel is a place to "see and be seen”. We personally really enjoyed this small hotel; it had fun chic d├ęcor with 50/60’s movie star theme and vibrant colour. This is a small hotel with two room categories. Rather small rooms were livened up by the bright decor, and in some cases by the splendid harbour view. We were all really impressed with the Riva suite, which had a private balcony with an open style bathroom.

A fashionable retro scowl at bedtime

Vibrant colour everywhere and so contemporary

Be aware this hotel overlooks lively bars so can be noisy in high season. This hotel would suit young guests or young at heart! This hotel has no swimming pool or spa however guests are welcome to use Adriana facilities. Adriana Hotel is situated at the opposite side of the harbor (approx 5 to 10 min pleasant walk away).

A nice feature is the extensive al fresco lounging area on the promenade in front of Riva. Great place to watch the Hvar visitors drift by along the promenade as you enjoy a sundowner. Or if you are a sociable yachtie - try the Yacht Club bar.

Extensive al fresco lounging, see and be
seen, at Adriana
Most sociable bar - great for yachties - Riva


Best  gardens - Amfora
Best pool - Amfora
Located 15 min walk from the catamaran drop off point. The main attraction of this hotel is the beautiful outdoor pool area and gardens. Great for families, it is popular with charter, and we would consider it to be 4 star minus. We felt that the North Wing section rooms are a little dated.

Room at Amfora

Pool, gardens and nearby beach club, also open to
guests at Riva & Adriana
You do not have to stay here to use the pool area. Guests staying at Adriana and Riva can also enjoy this lovely facililty. Amfora resort is located right by the public beach (pebbled), and there is a beach club called Bonj Les Bains situated next to the resort. This costs 25 Euro per person for anyone to use. It includes a restaurant and a couple of cabanas for private use. At this “beach club” there is no direct beach, just a small area of decking with steps into the sea!

Medieval Hvar, once shaped by Venetian rule,
watched over by a castle on the hill

Adriana - Erland (Norway), Marita (Finland), Jennifer (UK) and
Pernilla (Stockholm behind the camera) enjoying Hvar's best view
and WIFI lounging in the hotel's top bar at Adriana

How to get to Hvar

From Split harbour, Hvar is 1 hour by catamaran (the harbour is 30 min by car from Split International Airport)

From Korcula: Hvar is 1,5 hours by catamaran (Korcula is 10 mins by car ferry from mainland)

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