Divota Apartment Hotel

Split, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Book from

Contemporary rooms, studio apartments and a 3-bedroom house (all self-catering), scattered across restored stone cottages in central Split
The Swiss-Croatian owner of Divota Apartment Hotel fell in love with the authentic charm of Veli Varoš, a quaint neighbourhood close to Split’s harbour and Unesco-listed centre. Soon she was collecting and renovating stone houses along its narrow lanes, taking on the design challenges presented by quirky floor plans and preserving original details such as steep tiled roofs and tiny shuttered windows. The result is a family of cosy rooms, sleekly styled studio apartments for 2-3 and a 3-bedroom house that live up to the name Divota, the Dalmatian word for 'splendour'.

After a day of sightseeing or sunbathing, leave the crowds behind and head up quiet, pedestrianised streets, greeting locals as you go, to your home-away-from-home. Inside, white-on-white interiors are furnished with sculpted Panton chairs, leather sofas, colourful artwork and sheer curtains. Some rooms and apartments have sunny terraces, balconies or courtyards with potted palms and lemon trees; all come with WiFi, iPod docks, espresso machines and bathrobes. Breakfast can be delivered to your door for a small charge, and if you’re staying in the house or an apartment you can whip up dinner using fresh produce from the market; there are also countless restaurants nearby. You can expect a warm welcome, too; there’s a concierge service at the central reception building, and staff go out of their way (often literally) to ensure every aspect of your stay is exceptional.

Highs

  • Perfectly placed in a traditional neighbourhood that's convenient for shops, cafés, markets and the harbour - and great value, too
  • A range of set-ups and sizes to suit all guests, including honeymoon nests, a twin studio, open-plan apartments for 2-3 and a freestanding house for 6-7
  • A rare blend of authentic and modern. We admired the reverence for original detail, along with the space-saving ingenuity and high-spec amenities
  • A genuine dedication to service from the friendly staff, who can book excursions and recommend must-see sights
  • Some apartments and rooms sit in the same building or interconnect - ideal for families or couples travelling together

Lows

  • Apartment kitchenettes are fairly basic and the rooms only have fridges, but you’ll probably want to eat out anyway
  • Many spaces are small, and building restrictions mean floor plans often border on bizarre (e.g. balconies accessed via the shower)
  • The area’s pedestrianised lanes don't allow for taxi access or nearby parking
  • Reception is only staffed from 8am to 8pm, but there's a phone number to call if you need help at other times and late check-in can be arranged

Best time to go

We recommend visiting in May-June or September-October, when you’ll avoid the crowds. Spring and autumn days are sunny but not too hot - ideal for hiking - and the sea is warm enough for swimming. In high season (July and August), Split is hot, crowded and chaotic, though if you’re searching for buzzing nightlife and open-air cultural events, this is the time for you. In winter (November-April), you’ll find the city peaceful and will get a true taste of everyday life among the locals.

Our top tips

Veli Varoš is convenient for visiting Split’s central sights, but it's a fascinating area to explore in its own right. The narrow, winding lanes, flowery ledges and stone buildings (once home to peasants and fishermen) beg to be photographed. One tip for an original shot: during spring, the roof of the 11th-century Church of St. Mikula blooms with flowers.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
City Style
Family
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Rooms, Apartments & House
  • 9 rooms, 8 apartments + 1 house
  • Self-catering (breakfast on request + restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry Service
  • Maid service every day
Room: Deluxe Studio with Balcony (302)

Rooms

Gleaming hardwood floors, clean lines and sophisticated white-on-white spiked with bold splashes of modern art make for eye-popping interiors - very unexpected inside Divota's 9 restored cottages, which between them house 6 rooms, 8 studio-style apartments (each sleeping 2, with the option of an extra bed in many) with sitting areas and kitchenettes, and a self-contained 3-bedroom home. Conservation restrictions challenged the owner to make do with existing structures, so the sloped ceilings and squeezed-in bathrooms can feel cramped, but they’re enchanting nonetheless.

The Deluxe Studios (301, 302 and 402) feel the most spacious, both indoors and out - 301 has exposed stone walls and a private courtyard, 302 a sunny balcony with a table, chairs and potted plants, and 402 (spread over 2 floors) a private terrace. Just above 302, there's a twin-bedded Superior Studio under the eaves. The 2 units have separate locking doors but share a common entrance via a courtyard - a nice arrangement for families with older children.

The other Superior Studios, all doubles, are a little smaller than the Deluxes but fine for couples - one (902) has a terrace. We're reluctant to recommend 500 as it’s shoehorned into a freestanding house, with a bedroom and bathroom downstairs and a living area upstairs; its kitchenette is perched on a ledge, far too close to open steps for safe manoeuvring.

The smallest apartment is the ground-floor Standard Studio (601). It shares a courtyard with the Deluxe Double Room (602) - convenient for couples travelling together. There are also several Standard and Superior Rooms clustered around the main reception. They’re cosy inside and, like 602, have no sitting area or kitchenette, but 2 have small balconies; a couple (Standard Double Room 401 and Standard Single Room D) can interconnect. There are also 6 newer rooms (1-6) in a more recently refurbed house which we haven't seen, but which look clean and white and contemporary.

The 3-bedroom house (800) is a good option for families and groups of friends. It sleeps up to 7 in 3 double bedrooms and a rollaway bed, with 2 bathrooms, a large living area, a dining room, a full kitchen, and terraces with tables, chairs and a BBQ.

All units have cable TV, WiFi, iPod docks, radios and coffee machines; the apartments, house and Deluxe Double Room also have washing machines. Bathrooms are small but well-equipped, with tubs and/or showers, bathrobes, hairdryers and toiletries.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Beach towels
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron (on request)
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast can be delivered to your door each morning for a small additional charge. This service has been introduced since our visit so we have yet to sample the selection, but expect a basket of fresh, warm bread with Nutella, butter, marmalade and various jams.

For other meals, you’ll have to self-cater or head out. With fridges, hobs, ovens, dishwashers, a few supplies (sugar, salt, pepper etc) and dining tables or breakfast bars, the apartment kitchenettes are basic but have all you need for creating simple dishes using fresh ingredients from Split’s fruit, vegetable and fish markets. The 3-bedroom house has a full kitchen and a dining room on its first floor, as well as a little kitchenette off the ground-floor living area and a BBQ on one of its terraces. The rooms only have coffee- and tea-making facilities, a few bits of cutlery and crockery and minibars stocked with drinks, but there's enough space in the latter for storing light snacks. A selection of excellent Croatian wines and olive oils are available to buy from Divota’s reception, and there are supermarkets scattered throughout Veli Varoš.

Split has plenty of restaurants to choose from, though many tend to be packed during high season so it’s worth booking ahead. Our recommendations include Konoba Matejuška, which serves fresh fish and traditional Croatian specialities, and a wine bar called Zinfandel, both in the centre of town. Beyond the bustle, Dvor is popular for its menu of seafood and pasta and its romantic setting overlooking a small beach. Paradox, a wine and cheese bar located a block from Divota's reception, is a great place to sample Croatian wines.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Kitchenettes/kitchens in apartments and house
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating: Standard Studio (601)
Activity:

Activities

  • Settle into the neighbourhood. Cook up the day’s catch from the fish market, and watch the comings and goings as you relax with a glass of wine on your balcony. Massages in your room/apartment can also be arranged
  • Wander through Split’s historic centre, set inside the walls of the Unesco-listed Diocletian's Palace. Built in 293 AD by the emperor Diocletian and occupied continuously ever since, it’s one of the best-preserved Roman structures in the world. It’s now Split's shopping, dining and tourist hub and, along with 2 Egyptian sphinxes, you’ll find stylish boutiques, restaurants and cafés housed in Gothic and Renaissance buildings
  • Climb the bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Duje for a stunning panorama of Split, nearby islands and the peninsula of Marjan. Built around 305 AD as a mausoleum for Diocletian, it’s the oldest cathedral in the world
  • Hike or bike (reception can arrange bike hire) to a view. When you're tired of the crowds, set out for the forested hills of Marjan, a few hundred metres from Split's main promenade. Its high point is Telegrin, where you'll be rewarded with magnificent views. The peninsula’s southern cliffs are popular with alpine climbers
  • Take to the sand and water. Marjan is home to Bene, a beautiful pine-backed beach, and its coastline is a favourite kayaking spot
  • Spend an evening with the throngs of people along Split's beautifully lit harbour front (riva)
  • Catch a ferry over to Hvar, Brac or Vis. Catamarans connect Split with these Adriatic islands, where you can swim in aquamarine waters, visit historic castles or rent a scooter and explore
  • Visit the impressive ruins of Salona, 6km from Split and also once home to Diocletian

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, and some rooms and apartments have space for an extra bed or baby cot - see Rates. Deluxe Studio 302 and Superior Twin Studio 303 share a main door and are ideal for families with older children, while Superior Double Room 401 can connect with Superior Single Room D next door. The 3-bedroom house (800) is another great option - suitable for 6-7 people, it has 3 double bedrooms (no twins), a full kitchen, a dining room, terraces and a living area with space for a rollaway bed.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Families Should Know:

Note that some units have steep stone steps that could be dangerous for small children.

Kid Friendly: Superior Twin Studio (303)

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for Divota Apartment Hotel