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June 25th, 2013

HVAR – Where to Sleep (and where not to)

 HVAR   Where to Sleep (and where not to)

 View from The Adriana

We have some friends who live in Split, Croatia, and they recommended the two 4 star hotels Hotel Amfora and Hotel Adriana operated by the Suncani Hvar Group as the best accommodations the island has to offer.  Initially, we planned (and booked) to spend our first 7 days at the Amfora and move to the Adriana for the remaining 5 days of our holiday.  But things didn’t quite turn out as expected…

Hotel Amfora red traffic2 150x150 HVAR   Where to Sleep (and where not to)

Hotel Amfora, located at the outskirts of Hvar Town, about 10 minutes walk from the town centre, is an unusually large and rather bleak tito-style building.

I hated it with a vengeance:

-       The cold and sterile lobby felt oppressive and could have been in any city business hotel.

-       The breakfast hall reminded of a school cafeteria: huge with very high background noise, closed windows and no terrace.  According to my partner the breakfast buffet was rather nice, but I was too depressed to eat.  Also annoying was that there was extra charge for cappuccinos!

-       The inaccessibility: awkward steps and tiny lifts – from our room there was no possibility to get to the beach, the lobby or the breakfast room without having to take at least one flight of stairs.  With my pram I felt trapped.  We asked at the front desk if there was ANY room that was accessible by pram (which of course also means accessible for disabled or elderly frail guests), and the answer was no.  People with baby carriages or problems walking – avoid this place like the plague!

-       The room (“superior”, my ass!) was minute and with the cot bed there was hardly even space to walk (or open our suitcases).  In addition it was very badly designed – for example, turning the light on in the bathroom would lighten the entire room (incredibly impractical if visiting the toilet during the night) and the toilet! It had a wooden seat, just like a Vicotrian bathroom or outdoor toilet.  What for Christ’s sake did the interior designer think??

-       While the pool was beautiful, large and with a great area for kids (including slide) and there was direct access to the sea, the sun beds were far to close together and I felt claustrophobic . Again there was no way to pass through with my pram.

After one night at the Amfora, I was ready to pack my bags, and board the next plane back to London, never to return to Croatia.

Fortunately however we were able to move to the intimate and charming Hotel Adriana, immediately and not on Day 8 as originally intended without any surcharge (in fact for some incomprehensible reason the Adriana is even slightly cheaper than the Amfora).  From then everything was good and my holiday was finally ready to begin.

 

Hotel Adriana  HVAR   Where to Sleep (and where not to)

The Spa Hotel Adriana is a boutique hotel with about 45 rooms and it has just recently been accepted as part of the Small Leading Hotels of the World.  The location is superb – directly on the harbour with beautiful views and short walking distance from all the relevant restaurants, cafes and bars.

After the anonymity and coldness of the Amfora, we welcomed the familiar atmosphere at the Adriana.  The staff was so friendly and they were trying very hard to make everything perfect.  As it was the beginning of the season, things did not always run all that smoothly, but if glitches happened, the staff was genuinely sorry and was trying to make up for it. We felt very well taken care off.

As an example, we were not happy at all when one Monday evening, the hotel bar in the top floor suddenly was turned into a teeny nightclub.  The music was not only very bad, but also deafeningly loud, even in our room with the window closed.  We felt disturbed, but what even worse was that baby woke up and cried even louder than Rihanna   When we complained, the management made sure that the music stopped at 11 pm and on the next day they apologised profoundly with a fruit basket.

The rooms were better designed, more pleasant and larger than at the Amfora.

The Adriana doesn’t have beach access, but has a large pool on the roof (indoors) with a generous sun deck facing the harbour with deck and lounge chairs and enough shade structures.  In addition, there are packages available that entail free access at the Bonj Les Bains Beach Club, 5 minutes walk from the hotel.  Also the Spa at Hotel Adriana ticks all the boxes.  I had a tremendously painful but efficient Thai massage and a truly professional Swedish massage there.  Only the steam room, although clean, smelled musty (I am really searching for mistakes here!).

 HVAR   Where to Sleep (and where not to)

The Beach Club

The breakfast is very good and included in the room price. You can go wild and order from the vast à la carte menu (different kinds of egg dishes, waffles, pancakes) or help yourself to self-made yoghurt, fresh smoothies and muesli from the buffet.  Cappuccinos are not charged extra.

Negatives:

I had the impression that Hotel Adriana is trying too hard to please everyone – from young people who come to Hvar for partying to the retiree.  It just doesn’t work.  Firstly, the hotel is too expensive for your average teen or twen and during our stay most other guests were geriatrics.  I am sure none of them appreciated the above described teeny disco.

I also didn’t appreciate the fact that, from 7:00 when the breakfast opened until late at night, bad and annoying lounge music was played far too loud in the public rooms.  Someone should tell the Hotel Adriana management, that playing supposedly “young” music doesn’t make your hotel trendy.  If you decide to play music from dusk to midnight, please, at least get some decent CDs! 

These points of criticism are few, and, with a little bit more attention to detail, the Adriana could easily be a 5 star hotel.  I shall be back!

 

Hotel Amfora

Majerovica bb, Hvar (00 385 21 750555)

Rooms from €150

 

Hotel Adriana

Fabrika bb, Hvar (00 385 21 750200)

Rooms from €150

4 comments to HVAR – Where to Sleep (and where not to)

  • simieski

    I’d recommend trying a fish called Orhan if you get the chance. It’s delicious.

  • Ute

    @simieski – never heard of it, will try next time, thanks for the advice!

  • Hello there! da ist ja ein Baby! Gratuliere!
    Deine Hotelgeschichte ist ja gruslig, zum Glück hattet ihr das Adriana “up your sleeves”. Hoffentlich lesen die dein Blog und verzichten auf die Musik – ich hasse Berieselung.

  • Ute

    @Ilse – Danke dir :) Er is ein ganz ein lieber und ich habe gar keine Zeit mehr zum bloggen, weil ich ihn immer ganz verliebt anschauen muss.
    Ja, gottseidank fuers Adriana! Das waere sonst ein ziemlich furchtbarer Urlaub geworden…

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