Bracka Perla

Supetar, Brac, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Book from Eur93

Reviewed by Jane Foster
Small boutique hotel centering on a leafy garden with a pool overlooking the sea, on the island of Brac (45 minutes by ferry from Split)
Renowned for its fishing villages, olive groves and stone quarries, the rocky, pine-scented island of Brac lies just a 45-minute ferry ride from Split. Its main port, Supetar, comprises 18th-century Baroque stone buildings clustered around a horseshoe-shaped harbour. On the edge of town, down a cypress-lined avenue, Hotel Bracka Perla sits behind a secluded cove.

Meaning ‘pearl of the Adriatic’, all of the hotel’s architectural attention is turned towards the sea. The 11 rooms sit like theatre stalls around the decked lounge area and pool, while the azure backdrop beyond the hotel walls is framed by tall, verdant evergreens. In the garden, lavender bushes and olive trees mingle with nature-inspired sculptures and the sound of the waves. It’s a genuinely soothing space and ideal for those seeking a few days of escapism. If you do feel the need to liven things up, the delightful staff can recommend local attractions, lend out mountain bikes, and arrange private guided tours of the island.

Highs

  • We fell head-over-heels for the peaceful island location, and the lovely garden, small but well-positioned pool and ever-present sea views were a highlight of our 2012 revisit
  • The beautifully designed complex is built from traditional Brac stone, which is in keeping with the local architecture
  • All rooms have spacious terraces overlooking the lush gardens, with fabulous views of the sea
  • Supetar’s waterside cafés and seafood eateries are within walking distance (1.5km), but far enough away that no noise intrudes
  • Well set up for self-catering: most of the rooms have kitchens and space for dining

Lows

  • Breakfast could be more organised and inspiring: it's currently a simple self-service cold buffet
  • The vibrant and distinctively decorated rooms may feel overwhelming for those who prefer neutral colours
  • The ground-floor terraces are not very private
  • It's in the higher price bracket

Best time to go

To avoid the crowds, try visiting in shoulder season (May-June or September-October) when the days are sunny but not too hot (ideal for adventure sports such as hiking and mountain biking) and the sea still warm enough to swim. During high season (July-August), the Dalmatian islands are overrun with tourists and prices rise accordingly, while in low season (November-April) most tourist facilities close down completely.

Our top tips

  • Buy a snorkel on the mainland before you get there. The sea is crystal clear and, when we visited in 2012, there were lots of fish
  • Take a taxi from the harbour to the hotel. Otherwise, it's a poorly signposted 20-minute walk in the sun - we got lost!
  • Great for...

    Great Outdoors
    Honeymoon
    Spa
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 11
    • Breakfast (+ walk to restaurants)
    • All ages welcome
    • Closed: 1 Nov 2015 - 31 Mar 2016...
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Bicycles Available
    Room:

    Rooms

    Bracka Perla's rooms are each named after a Mediterranean plant and decorated in a vibrant shade that reflects its name. All have wooden floors, kingsize beds and terraces overlooking the hotel’s walled garden. Bathrooms come in neutral shades, with a shower and complimentary toiletries - some also have bathtubs.

    Of the ground-floor Superior Suites, Mandarin is decorated in orange, Pomegranate in red (for lovers), Grapevine in purple, and Olive in green. Living rooms have plasma TVs and pull-out sofabeds, except for Mandarin which has 2 armchairs instead (making it more appropriate for couples). Each has a fully equipped kitchenette, a dining table and 4 chairs. The bedroom has a big comfy bed, a spacious wardrobe (with a safe) and a desk. Wooden furnishings run throughout, and clean lines abound. Walls in both the living room and bedroom are peppered with motifs and mosaic tiles, painted by local artist Sreæko Žitnik.

    Out front, the large, private stone terrace overlooks the pretty pool area. To make the most of this, both the living room and bedroom have green-shuttered double doors leading out to a stone table, wooden chairs and a big white parasol.

    We stayed in one of the Standard Suites on the first floor. Rosemary is decorated in green, and Lavender (our room) in purple. They are double-height spaces with the living area (including a kitchenette and sofabed) on the lower level, and open-sided wooden stairs leading up to a mezzanine bedroom.

    The Superior Rooms are on either the ground or first floor. Fig is decorated in musty light green, Lemon in yellow, Cypress in dark green, Agave in turquoise, and Palm in emerald green. Terraces are still spacious, but inside there’s no separate living area or kitchenette. Unless, that is, you opt for Lemon or Agave, which for some inexplicable reason are considerably bigger and better equipped, making them great value.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Fan
    • Hairdryer
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Terrace
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • Tv
    • WiFi
    • Wifi internet

    Eating

    To help you get in the holiday spirit, you'll be offered a traditional Dalmatian welcome drink of prosek, travarica (grappa), or orahovica on arrival. We say go with it - this place is all about relaxation and getting away from the daily grind.

    Breakfast is served in a lovely covered garden accessed via the reception area. Guests help themselves to a buffet spread of fresh fruit, yoghurts, cereal, platters of cheeses and cold meats, hard-boiled eggs and fresh bread rolls. Light lunches are also available, but generally guests dine elsewhere.

    All of the suites and 2 of the Superior Rooms have kitchenettes equipped with a microwave, a fridge, a cooker (oven and hot plates), a kettle and a sink, plus a full set of crockery, cutlery, pots and pans. Visitors on short stays (2-3 days) probably wouldn’t cook much (though the fridge is always useful for cold drinks, yoghurts etc.), but those staying for a week would enjoy using the kitchen and eating outside on the terrace. Bracka Perla can arrange for your kitchen to be stocked on arrival for an extra charge.

    Although Supetar is small (pop 3,500), it’s the largest town on the island and offers decent shopping facilities. There are several small supermarkets (Kerum, Konzum and Studenac) where you can buy standard provisions (the nearest one is conveniently just 500m away) and a couple of local bakeries for fresh bread.

    For lunch or dinner nearby, try Vinotoka (Jobova 6) which is hidden away up a narrow cobbled alley a couple of blocks behind Supetar’s riva (seafront promenade). Run by a fisherman and his family, it’s said to serve the freshest seafood on the island. If you’re willing to go a little further afield, book a taxi at reception and head to Ranjak (5km). Nestled in a family farm and olive grove, it provided us with the most delicious meal of our trip. Specialties include stuffed courgette flowers and barbecued lamb - try the potato wedges and the amazing herb cordials.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Breakfast
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Bathe in the outdoor pool, set in a leafy garden overlooking the sea and rimmed by a wooden deck with sunbeds

    • Hire a bicycle and explore Supetar - we cycled along the coast, stopping at secluded little bays and fishing villages

    • Try scuba-diving with Amber Dive Center in Supetar - they arrange dives to underwater caves and wrecks, as well as courses for those with no previous experience; snorkelling is good, too

    • Spend a day in Split on the mainland, exploring the pedestrian-only cobbled streets of the Unesco-listed old town, which lies within the ancient walls of Diocletian’s Palace

    • If you’re here in high season, spend an evening at Luna, an open-air club hosting occasional visiting international DJs, set on the hillside above Supetar

    • Visit Bol on the south coast. See the Dominican Monastery and the Deškoviæ Gallery, then spend the afternoon bathing on Zlatni Rat beach, complete with windsurfing and scuba diving facilities run by Big Blue

    • Visit Vidova Gora behind Bol, the highest mountain on any of Croatia’s islands - hike to Blaca Hermitage then have lunch at Konoba Vidova Gora for stunning views out to sea and over the islands of Hvar and Vis

    • Explore Brac’s north coast, stopping in the hamlet of Skrip to see the Island of Brac Museum, in the waterside villages of Spiltska and Postira, and in Puèišæa, home to a stone carving school and a summer festival

    • If you are on holiday with children, take them to Nature Park Sutivan, which has animals including peacocks, sheep, goats, rabbits and donkeys, plus an adventure playground

    • Keen fisherfolk can fish from the shore or hire a boat; there are also several waterskiing operations at Bol and Supetar, and 10 minutes away are some tennis courts

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Cycling
    • Hiking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Private guided tours
    • Sailing
    • Scuba diving
    • Shopping / markets
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming
    • Windsurfing

    Kids

    Bracka Perla has a very chilled-out and calm atmosphere which will best suit well-behaved children. Suites have kitchenettes and sofabeds, and baby cots are available upon request.

    Best for:

    Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

    Baby equipment:

    Baby cots are available on request.

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    7/
    Rooms
    7/
    Food
    9/
    Service
    8/
    Value
    8/
    Overall

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