Hidden House

Stari Grad, Hvar, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Book from Book from £72 per night

Boho-chic townhouse with three gorgeous self-contained suites (for 2-4 each) or as a self-catering house (for 10) in historic Stari Grad
On the blissfully quiet side of Hvar, the ancient town of Stari Grad centres on a pretty fishing harbour, filled with painted wooden boats. Just one block back from the water's edge, in a traditionally cobbled alley, you'll find this stylish and intimate 300-year-old Dalmatian stone townhouse, which has three individually designed self-contained suites.

Each occupying its own floor, every suite has an open-plan living space, a well-equipped kitchen, a kingsize bedroom and snazzy ensuite bathroom. Top floor Amanda Suite comes with a roll-top bath and its own roof terrace with sensational views. Lina Suite has a double sofabed in its lounge. You can also rent the whole shebang (sleeping 10 in total) for family parties or gatherings.

Your English hosts, cocktail guru Chris and interior designer Amanda, have a well-established background in hospitality, with former ventures including Blanch House in Brighton and Hidden Bar on Ibiza. Hidden House, lovingly restored from its once semi-derelict state, first to a boutique B&B and now a stylish suite retreat, has been their labour of love for well over a decade. They offer an excellent concierge service, arranging transfers, interesting island adventures and bespoke culinary experiences which includes their cocktail school and wine tasting venue on the ground floor of Hidden House.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Just three private boutique suites - each on its own floor - all with eclectic decor, combining antiques and retro design pieces
  • Stari Grad itself - unspoilt and peaceful, with excellent restaurants
  • Chris and Amanda have created an oasis which is both elegant and intimate
  • Fantastic value
  • Tons to do on Hvar - hiking, cycling, sea swimming and wine tasting

Lows

  • Full pre-payment prior to stay, by bank transfer; no credit cards accepted
  • Outdoor space only available with the top-floor Amanda Suite or if you rent the whole house
  • Occasional low-level street sounds, from the local restaurants nearby
  • For glitzy nightlife, you'll have to drive over to Hvar Town (20 mins taxi)

Best time to go

If you want an active holiday, hiking and cycling, come in spring or autumn, when the weather should be pleasantly warm and sunny, and all the main attractions open, but without the crowds. The sea is ideal for swimming from June through September. The best months for open-air cultural events are July and August, but this is peak season in Dalmatia, so it does get hot and crowded too.

Our top tips

Stari Grad (meaning Old Town) was first settled by the Ancient Greeks in 384BC. They started cultivating the fertile Stari Grad Plain, dividing it into rectangular plots bordered by dry stone walls. These 'land parcels' remain beautifully preserved and are still used for growing olives and grapes, and Stari Grad Plain is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, it's not easy to decipher - ask about guided tours at the Tourist Office.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Family
Foodie
  • Boutique Suites
  • 3
  • Self-catering, restaurants and grocery shops 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
Room:

Rooms

The three eclectically designed suites - Amanda, Lina and Silvija - are individually styled, but all have wooden floors, exposed stone walls, good kitchens and double glazed windows with wooden shutters. In each you'll find sumptuous linens and cushions, mirrors, plants and an interesting mix of reclaimed wood and exotic memorabilia.

Bathrooms are extravagantly tiled and have walk-in rain showers, Duravit fittings, fluffy towels and L’Occitane toiletries.

We slept soundly in first-floor Lina Suite in its super-comfy kingsize bed with goosedown duvet, soft-toned linens and plump feather pillows - expect natural stone and wood with burnished gold accents. We also peeped into the magical and opulent second-floor Silvija Suite (spirit of the woods) with its forest green and taupe walls, vintage wood, and beautiful bathroom with Piero Fornasett tiles. Both suites have 43” TVs with Netflix and HDMI connectivity.

Luxury open-plan penthouse Amanda Suite, enjoys lots of natural light, has a day bed and a big-screen projector also with HDMI connectivity for film nights. There's an Italian roll-top slipper tub in the ensuite bathroom. Steep wooden steps lead up to a small roof terrace with potted herbs, plus dreamy views over the terracotta rooftops.

You can rent the whole house if you're a larger party of friends and family.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Cots Available
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Each suite features its own fully-equipped kitchen, with fridge, hob and coffee machine, enabling guests to ‘eat at home’ if desired. Stari Grad has an excellent local grocery market, two good supermarkets, wine shops and an excellent delicatessen, each just five minutes’ walk from your suite. With advance arrangement, Chris and Amanda can arrange for your fridge to be stocked with the essentials in time for your arrival.

The ground floor of Hidden House is home to a cocktail school, so maestro Chris can impart his finely honed skills, and a wine tasting venue.

Hvar Town dominates the travel press, but its restaurants tend to be crowded and over-priced; in contrast, low-profile Stari Grad has several outstanding eateries, with less razzle-dazzle. Within steps of Hidden House, in the town’s ancient squares you’ll find family-run restaurants specialising in not only Dalmatian cuisine but more recently cuisine with an international twist, appealing to the experienced traveller. Produce is locally sourced and wine lists feature excellent selections from Croatian vineyards.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Swim and sunbathe at the town beach, a 10-minute walk from the harbour
  • Lunch at a waterfront restaurant then explore Stari Grad's car-free cobbled alleys, stopping at the 16th-century Tvrdalj (aka Hektorovic House) and Stari Grad Museum, exhibiting finds dating back to the arrival of the Greeks in 384BC
  • Hike to the top of Purkin Kuk hill (signed footpath leading out from town) for fantastic views down onto Stari Grad Plain
  • Hire bicycles and pedal over to the seaside town of Jelsa (10km), calling at Bastijana for wine tasting en route. On the way back, stop for a swim in one of several idyllic coves between Jelsa and Vrboska
  • Charter a motorboat or sailing boat (skipper required for those with no sailing experience) and spend a day exploring the Dalmatian islands, jumping on and off board to swim in the turquoise sea
  • Spend a day in Hvar Town (22km / 20-minute drive): there's a 16th-century cathedral, 17th-century municipal theatre, 2 monasteries and a hilltop castle, plus great waterside bars and restaurants
  • Amanda and Chris can create bespoke experiences for you

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Hidden House has peaceful, romantic and discreetly sophisticated suites, but families are made welcome. Stari Grad is car-free, making it a very safe destination for small ones. Each suite has a well-equipped kitchen, there are plenty of groceries and family-friendly restaurants nearby. If you rent the whole house you get use of the roof terrace.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

Lina is best for families as it has a double sofabed, while Sivija and Amanda both have a day bed each, which can be made up for a child. All suites can take a baby cot

Kids Activities on site:

Some teddies, toys for little ones and a few books are available

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Safe beaches
  • Hire a boat and have a picnic in a quiet cove
  • Blow up aqua park 10 mins walk
  • Trampolines

Families Should Know:

Note that there is a steep ladder style staircase to the roof terrace. Stari Grad is car-free

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour (speedboat), 2.5 hours (ferry + taxi/bus)
  • Doctor: 5 minutes; Clinic: 15 minutes (Jelsa)
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Hidden House is in the centre of Stari Grad, one block from the harbour, on the north shore of Hvar in Dalmatia. It's 10km from Jelsa and 20 minutes' drive from Hvar Town.

By Air:
Fly to Split (40km away).

By Sea:
From Split, Jadrolinija operates regular ferries (7 daily in summer, journey time 2 hrs) to Stari Grad. In high season there are also near-daily connections to Stari Grad from Pescara and Ancona in Italy.

When you arrive on the island, the owners will meet you in either Stari Grad or Jelsa and lead you to the property so that you don’t have problems finding it first time. You can park for free near the property (on-road).

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Split 40.0 km SPL

Other:

  • Beach 2.0 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 5 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Chris and Amanda are the best hosts! They knew everything about the local area, from great places to shop and eat to all the best people to hire boats/bikes/do a wine tour with. Such lovely people who have the time to spend talking with you over their delicious breakfast and coffee. We went for a honeymoon and they made us feel like part of their family and we have a definite plan to return trip.
A particular highlight was renting a boat for a day to go explore the coves and beaches around Hidden house. We had a great time and everything that we needed was on the tips of Chris and Amanda's tongue.

10/10,

Chris made us feel very welcome and was very helpful in recommending and booking restaurants and activities for us. We breakfasted with the rest of the guests which was fun and the breakfasts were substantial. Things like having cool boxes, flip flops and beach towels for guests was really helpful.
A great stay and would return with friends for another visit.

9/10,

Hidden House is a lovely home from home in the centre of the very pretty Stari Grad. Chris and Amanda were extremely helpful both before and during our stay with advice and recommendations and were great hosts. The rooms were spotlessly clean and had everything we needed. Stari Grad itself is gorgeous and full of great restaurants and bars whilst remaining very authentic and relaxed.

9/10,

Chris and Amanda were THE most wonderful hosts, as were Meech and Anna, who looked after us for our second and third night. We couldn’t have felt more welcomed from the second we arrived! Everything from the beautiful decor of the house, delicious fresh breakfast, kind recommendations, comfortable bedroom and bathroom was perfect for us- we’ll be raving about our few days in Stari Grad for a long time to come!

10/10,

Our stay at Hidden House was amazing, everything you could wish for in a unique B&B. The decor and rooms are absolutely beautiful with every little detail considered. Chris’ hosting whilst we were there was fabulous and we loved every recommendation made, particularly hiring a boat to paradise! Amanda was very attentive with all the booking arrangements also. What a place! I would recommend to anyone visiting Hvar for a truly inspiring stay in Stari Grad.

10/10,

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