Croatia has been garnering popularity for a while now and not just with Game of Thrones fans in search of King’s Landing – for a summer holiday in one of its buzziest destinations, these are the best hotels in Hvar.
The island adrift in the Adriatic Sea has a port town with medieval walls, a hilltop fortress and an impressive cathedral in its main square. It’s also famed for its beaches and lavender fields.
Hvar has a lively beach-club scene, with popular sea-edge hangouts such as Hula Hula and Carpe Diem giving you somewhere to party regardless of what time of day it is. Or visitors can leave dry land behind and set sail on a yacht for days out touring the Adriatic, dropping anchor at the secluded coves of the Pakleni Islands.
Leading the way on the luxury-hotel scene is Maslina, which has a spa, plus a scene-y pool and restaurant. For resort vibes, Amfora is the Hvar hotel for you, with a lagoon-like pool (and plenty of palm trees) at its heart.
Or check in to Hotel Podstine, which is a walk along the waterfront away from Hvar town, with its own beach and diving club.
These are our favourite Hvar hotels, ready for summer 2024...
If you've got the cash to splash, this celebrity-approved hideaway is just the place to spend it. One of the most luxurious hotels in Hvar is Maslina, with rooms, suites and villas, many of which overlook the water. The decor pays tribute to the hotel’s location, with lots of terracotta, local wood and Brac stone.
The breezy restaurant is perfectly positioned for views of the Adriatic and the tables extend out onto the sleek pool area. The menu champions Mediterranean flavours, with dishes such as tuna tartare, carpaccio and gazpacho. Hvar has a long history as a healing destination – it won’t take you long to feel good with a hike through the lavender fields and olive groves, but if you need a little extra help, just head to the spa.
Heritage Villa Apolon
If you're in search of a Hvar hotel with a history, look no further than Heritage Villa Apolon, which, as the name hints at, is a storied mansion, overlooking the bay. You can't miss the neoclassical villa's pastel-pink façade, set behind a wrought-iron gate in Stari Grad (formerly called Faros), which has an equally fabled past. Sites of note nearby include a Dominican monastery and Tvrdalj Castle.
The boutique hotel is right by the water, at the edge of Stari Grad old town. There’s a wine bar, as well as a restaurant with stone walls and original beamed ceilings that's popular with the yacht crowd, who just love to drop anchor and step ashore for its fine fare.
Fans of flying and flopping will enjoy a stay at Amfora, a beach resort in Hvar that’s perfect for anyone hoping to do plenty of sunbathing as well as sightseeing. It’s in a private bay, with a pool shaped like a lagoon, sea-facing balconies and egg-shaped bath tubs in some of the suites.
For the best spot at lunch, try to secure one of the cabana-like tables over the pool, from where you’ll just about be able to paddle if the heat gets a little much. There's a kids' club, for anyone in search of a family-friendly hotel in Hvar – and there are suites that sleep up to five, too. To Hvar Town, it's a 15-minute stroll along the shore.
Freshly refurbished a couple of seasons ago, Riva Marina is right by Hvar’s main harbour. It's the perfect hotel for fans of old-school Hollywood glamour, since movie stars are a recurring theme in the decor (there are blown-up photographs of celebrities such as James Dean and Audrey Hepburn). The feeling is clearly mutual – A-list former guests have included Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise.
There’s seating set up outside under the awnings of BB Club, for drinks and yacht-ogling. You’ll also be able to enjoy salmon or tuna poke bowls, tempura shrimp and duck gyoza with kimchi sauce here. Inside, it’s a very tasteful affair, with an aptly nautical mostly blue and white palette in the rooms, arched hallways and period pieces of furniture.
For when only a fabulous five-star retreat will do, book a stay at Palace Elisabeth. The grand hotel, a member of the esteemed Leading Hotels of the World collection, has a fairy-tale façade (complete with a clock tower), beds in alcoves, a wrought-iron staircase and eye-catching murals, ranging from faded florals to uplifting quotes by the namesake empress. At the spa, there’s an indoor pool and a sundeck overlooking the bay that’s perfect for post-treatment siestas.
The best seats in the house are out on the elegant terrace, which has a view of the marina. Also worthy of your sundowner-venue selection is the courtyard in the shadow of the tower. As befits a stay as regal as this, there's a fine-dining restaurant on site, too.
If you need your Hvar hotel to come with a spa, try Adriana, also on the water’s edge. Guests can sign up for radiance-bestowing or relaxation-providing treatments by the skincare brands Codage and Kos, and facilities include an indoor pool, a fitness studio and a sauna. There are also spa packages specially designed for couples, some of which last a potentially-too-relaxing four hours.
Start the day right with breakfast out on the hotel's terrace, which faces out across to the marina and the old town. When it’s cocktail o’clock, head up to the rooftop terrace for sundowners with a view. Guests will also be able to make use of the nearby beach club.
Surrounded by pine trees and rocks at the edge of Podstine Bay, Hotel Podstine is within walking distance of Hvar Town – and the scenic stroll is along a pedestrian path by the waterfront. There’s a rocky beach with sun loungers lined up along the shore, as well as a freshwater swimming pool and spa with a sauna. Active sorts can try their hand at scuba-diving. On the other end of the activity spectrum, spa treatments are performed using oils and soaps made by small family businesses.
Dig a little deeper into your destination by signing up for one of the hotel's regular Dalmatian nights, where guests feast on the daily catch, brought in by local fishermen and then cooked on an open grill, with live music and fine Croatian wines.
This Hvar hotel was unveiled a couple of seasons ago after an extensive rebranding. Hotel Moeesy is in a building on the seafront promenade that dates back to 1929, but the modernisation included solar panels, which now supply 50 per cent of its energy. It’s less than a minute from the beach and within a 10-minute stroll of the centre of town.
For venturing further afield, the staff will be able to arrange day trips to Vis and the Pakleni Islands (with scheduled swimming stops, of course), bike tours, scuba diving, excursions to caves and visits to some excellent local vineyards. They’ll also be able to organise walking tours where you’ll learn all about Hvar and its history.
If you’d rather a bit more freedom (and a kitchen), Heraclea House is a holiday home for hire in Hvar, with sea views through arched windows (so you can glimpse the yachts and sailboats in the harbour), high ceilings and the perfect blend of cosy yet stylish decor. It’s in the historical centre of the sunny seaside town, with a Baroque stone balcony overlooking the esplanade and harbour, and a Gothic pool house. Also nearby is the island’s 16th-century fortress.
The villa was built in 1612, when Venice was the dominating influence in the Adriatic and it’s suitably opulent as a result. It’s so special, in fact, that it’s protected as a cultural monument. It has been renovated of course, but under strict conditions.
Hvar Places Hotel
For the budget-conscious traveller, there are more affordable hotels in Hvar to try. One such wallet-friendly stay is the Hvar Places Hotel, which is perfectly located, near a pebble beach and less than a kilometre from town. It's the ideal Hvar hotel for visitors who are keen to spend as much time lounging poolside as possible. The turquoise pool in question has been Pantone-matched with the Adriatic, which can be glimpsed between the row of trees. As well as the main restaurant, where you can enjoy healthy Mediterranean ingredients, there’s a pool bar for hydrated sunbathing during the scorching summer months.
The rooms are decorated in a neutral and simple style, with wooden headboards and hanging lamps. Some have a balcony for yet more sea views.
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