If you crave a feeling of ultimate retreat that goes beyond merely staying on an island, and a bit of extra travel time by boat doesn’t make you shy away, then the Palmižana—actually a collection of six bungalows and six villas on Sveti Klement islet—can't be beat. Situated in a botanical garden that has been lovingly tended to by the Meneghello family for over 100 years, Palmižana is true to its name, surrounded by palm trees, citrus trees, and cacti. A regular taxi-boat service takes you straight to Hvar town in 15 minutes.
The villas and bungalows are named and arranged by color, and carefully decorated with contemporary painting and sculpture, part of the owner’s longstanding art collection. The leafy terrace, surrounding gardens, and pebble beach provide ample opportunities for lounging, and two restaurants—one on a covered terrace full of art, the other next to the sea—offer both breakfast and dinner, including plenty of local seafood.
Sv Klement, 21450 Hvar
Heritage Villa Apolon
With a name that evokes the mysteries of antiquity, the Heritage Villa Apolon makes quite an impression with its pink, neoclassical façade peeking over stone walls and an iron-wrought front gate. Located in Hvar’s second city, Stari Grad, it was originally built as the private home and mausoleum of local archaeologist, historian, and writer Don Šime Ljubić.
Seven superior rooms and suites offer old-timey details like exposed beams and rich textiles, paired with modern amenities including sumptuous bathrooms with floor heating. The Apolon restaurant not only serves a daily breakfast but is also one of the town’s most celebrated fine dining locations, with a menu of elegant and contemporary disjdishested in local and seasonal ingredients and classic Croatian flavors.
Šetalište don Šime Ljubića 7, Stari Grad, 21246 Hvar
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Pharos Hvar Bay Hill
If your style skews more Miami Beach than St. Tropez, the Pharos Hvar Bay Hill Hotel will match it just perfectly. With its decidedly retro vibe geared towards the younger, millennial set, the hotel’s renovated 1960s building is just up the hill from Hvar town. It includes a pool with its own little mod pool bar and plenty of sun loungers, and a welcoming open lobby with a bar serving pizzas with local Hvar oregano, as well as salads and sandwiches.
Rooms are decked out in primary colors, with clean lines, light wood accents, and pop art exclamations by Roy Lichtenstein. Many have balconies that overlook the pool and the sea beyond, as well as the open closets and glass bath partitions that give even smaller spaces a feeling of openness and airiness. In general, this place feels like a cute little motel right out of "Mad Men," with lower prices to match—a perfect retreat for the budget-conscious on decidedly upscale Hvar.
Ulica Dinka Kovačevića 10, 21450 Hvar
Riva Hvar Yacht Harbour Hotel
Perhaps no property reflects the current vibe of Hvar quite as well as Riva Hvar Yacht Harbour Hotel, with its sleek, mod interiors decked out with black-and-white photos of Hollywood starlets of yore, buzzing outdoor restaurant and bar, and its location just a quick walk from all of Hvar town’s most beloved party spots. Although the lack of a pool may be a deal breaker for some, guests have free access to the rooftop pool at Riva’s sister-hotel, the Adriana (see below).
Rooms sport a mix of black, white, grey, and brilliant red, lending your living space an air of sophisticated glamor, as well as open bathing areas with glass partitions. Two experimental dining stations—the Shrimp House and the Pasta House—allow you to sample a range of local seafood or create your own pasta dishes, while the hotel's BB Club bar serves up champagne and cocktails on an outdoor terrace, perfect for people-watching.
Obala Riva 27, 21450 Hvar
The sister hotel to Riva Hvar (see above), the Hotel Adriana pushes right up against the waterfront, attracting the island’s glitterati, as well as those seeking wellness and relaxation. The Top, its mod-classy cocktail bar, offers terrace views over Hvar town, a magnet for the city’s partygoers. Meanwhile, the waterside Val Marina Restaurant provides indulgent dishes in a see-and-be-seen location, the Sensori Spa offers aromatherapy treatments and massages, and a rooftop pool and fitness center are available as well.
The relaxing rooms at this recently refurbished hotel are decked out in warm tones and natural materials, with floor-to-ceiling windows to let in that dazzling Mediterranean light and provide guests with views of the harbor. A few have terraces and balconies, and the spa suites even include whirlpool baths with picture-perfect views of town: a satisfying way to relax after a few hours at the beach.
Obala Fabrika 28, 21450 Hvar
Little Green Bay
The name says it all: The chic and charming Little Green Bay sits on its own secluded bay—and with only 15 rooms, it can feel like the perfect hideaway. Owned by a French brother and sister and built out of an old farmhouse, this hotel is replete with natural materials like linen and wicker against a subdued setting of stone and scrubbed concrete. Although it’s a few miles from Hvar town, the hotel offers private speedboat transfers, so you can decide whether you want to stay secluded, or dive headfirst into Hvar's renowned nightlife scene.
The private pebble beach is a tranquil place to enjoy a sunset aperitif overlooking the water, or take a dip with the hotel's own snorkels and floats, while the the adorable, terraced Little Spa offers massages in view of the bay. The elegant, waterside bistro serves an Instagram-worthy breakfast on sleek ceramics set on walnut midcentury modern tables, then turns French in the afternoon and evening, offering a menu of classics like lamb, duck breast, and lobster ravioli.
6 uvala Lozna, 21450 Hvar