So many people claim that Spring is their favorite season, but for us in the Northeast, Spring really is just a tease. The scattered sunny days amongst the rainy, mud-ridden weeks just have me dreaming of summertime—preferably summertime on the Med. So, if you are in the same boat as so many of us, the property to start looking into for a summer holiday is the Maslina Resort, a Relais and Chateaux property on the island of Hvar in Croatia.
If you fly in just as the sun is going down, you pull up to the island via the property’s stylish tender and feel as if you have arrived at a party straight out of James Bond. The tiny island of Hvar is dotted with lights, the old town of Stari Grad glowing and the Maslina Resort located around the corner from the port, nearly blending into nature. And this was all intentional.
With just 53 rooms, suites, and villas, Maslina feels like a private members’ club rather than a resort. When you walk in the front desk isn’t a front desk at all, but rather the largest piece of Brac stone (a natural stone found in Croatia) you have ever seen with a tiny niche carved out for someone to sit behind a single laptop. In fact, the lobby area was literally built around this piece of stone when it was delivered. From there you waltz through an indoor-outdoor common space home to both their restaurant and bar before heading up to your room or suite.
The rooms are filled with natural tones and linens and accented with dark bathrooms. But the best part is the panoramic balconies. The upgrade to a “panoramic room” is totally worth it as you will enjoy sweeping views of the ocean.
After getting a restful night’s sleep in your neutral-toned room, you will want to wake up early because enjoying a leisurely breakfast on your balcony in the morning is one of the finest experiences on the island. Afterward, you have your choice of pool, beach, or a bike ride into Stari Grad. I recommend making time for all three at some point during your stay because each is exquisite.
The pool area is Instagram gold, and the dark-toned deck, the lush landscape, and the blue Croatian sky are truly what summertime dreams are made of. But if you want some privacy, head down to the beach. If you have never been to Croatia before you, know that many beaches and swimming areas are rocky and while that is the case here, it is actually such a gem of a beach area. When you walk down to the beach you will notice that rather than rows and rows of umbrellas, you will find pairs of beach chairs in little nooks, nestled into the natural curves of the coastline. A book, a glass of wine, and your favorite companion make for quite the afternoon. The hotel does have a sandy beach a little bit further down the coast for guest use as well, but if you can snag one of these rocky beach nooks, they are a joy—private and right next to the waves.
Last but not least, perhaps before dinner, grab one of the complimentary Coco Mat Bikes and head into Stari Grad for an aperitif. The wooden bikes do get a lot of attention from curious locals, who may even ask to give it a spin, but don’t worry they will give it back before you finish your glass of wine. There are dozens of seaside cafes buzzing with locals and visitors all day long and any of them are worth a visit. Also, prices are quite something here, a glass of wine works out to around 3 or 4 euros!
When you finally do meander back to Maslina for dinner, you are in for a treat. The restaurant serves local creations paired with some fabulous cocktails and Croatian wines. And the next morning all you have to do is wake up and do it all over again, so feel free to linger and enjoy the evening as long as you wish.
Location: Stari Grad, Croatia
The Vibe: Mindful luxury amid the natural beauty of the Croatian islands.
Our Favorite Thing About the hotel? The beach nooks interspersed amongst the rocky coast.
Food + Drink: As a Relais & Chateaux property, with French owners, food and drink is impeccable. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available at the main restaurant and the Bar is a sleek lounge serving up craft cocktails, local wines, and beers each afternoon and evening. Both have indoor and outdoor seating.
Any Neighborhood Recs? Old town Stari Grad is right around the corner, five minutes by bike, and any of the waterfront cafes are worth a visit when you are in the mood for a 3-euro glass of wine and some people-watching.
Amenities: Rooms with balconies, Wi-Fi, and TVs with streaming services, an outdoor pool, a luxury spa, and complimentary bikes.
What’s Nearby? Old town Stari Grad.
Rooms: 53 rooms, including 3 standalone villas and several suites.
Pricing: Rates start at $400-$800
Closest Airport: Split Airport, accessible to the resort via a public ferry ($10) or the hotel’s private boat transfer (Costs about $800)
Other articles you may like: