Hotel Podstine

Hvar, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Book from Book from £113 per night

A romantic seafront hotel and restaurant in a secluded bay, 20 minutes' walk along the coast from the gorgeous town of Hvar
Of all Croatia's stunning Dalmatian islands, few have attracted more interest than Hvar - and in particular the postcard-pretty town of the same name. So what’s the pull? Elegant 16th-century Venetian stone buildings, fresh Dalmatian seafood served in chic eateries, a quay lined with flashy yachts, a proud hilltop castle, and a scattering of uninhabited islets for bathing.

A boat or hotel minibus ride (5 minutes) along the coast from Hvar town - away from the hustle, but within reach of bars and restaurants - stands this discreet 51-room hotel (rooms are spread between the main hotel building, and a lodge 15 meters away). It overlooks a serene inlet, with a lovely garden restaurant out front. Tables are set below palms, pines and lemon trees, and a series of terraces step down to the water, with sparkling views across azure seas to the lace-edged Pakleni ('Resin') islets. At night, bathed in subtle lighting and gentle music (think Eros Ramazzotti), the scene takes on a truly dreamlike quality. Blissful.

Highs

  • It's hard not to fall in love with the location - the reception is on the top floor (road level) and the hotel cascades down the hillside, ending up with gardens and cocktail bar on the waterfront
  • Balconies with stunning sea views; go for a Superior Exclusive Room (in the main hotel) to get the best one possible
  • Private bathing area with easy access from the rocks into the sea
  • Taxi-boats and chartered yachts to myriad islands - perfect for snorkelling or diving
  • Small outdoor pool and wellness centre with solarium, sauna, Jacuzzi, massage and beauty treatments

Lows

  • Hvar Town gets horribly crowded in July-August: try to come in May-June or Sept-Oct
  • Come nightfall, many guests head into Hvar town, so the restaurant can feel quiet; we also found the food underwhelming
  • Rooms in the lodge building are a bit small and dark, plus they overlook the car park. Economy rooms are best avoided, unless you're on a tight a budget
  • Annoyingly, the last section of the charming coastal path is gated so, if arriving on foot, you have to turn inland and reach the hotel via a back road

Best time to go

During high season, July-August, trendy Hvar is literally overrun by tourists. Try to visit either in May-Jun or Sep-Oct when the days are sunny, the sea warm enough to swim, and the island’s bars and restaurants not too overworked.

If you visit in summer, attend a Hvar Summer Festival open-air performance - we recommend the classical music concerts in the cloisters of the Franciscan Monastery.

Our top tips

The hotel can arrange excursions to Vis island, known for its sunken ships and archaeological sites, and to the island of Brač, home to the stunning fine-pebble beach of Zlatni Rat near Bol.

Great for...

Beach
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 51
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Private beach
  • Dive Centre
Room:

Rooms

The hotel is built into a hillside, so the higher the room the better your view. Rooms are spread between the main hotel and a newer lodge building, 15m away. Granted, they are not the height of chic, but they’re clean, functional and peaceful. The layout and format remains consistent across the board, so it’s the size and balcony view that determine the rates (you’re paying extra for those views).

In the main hotel, the Superior rooms have sea views and small balconies. Standard rooms do not have a sea view, but some have side- or rear-facing balconies. The compact Economy rooms lack balconies and overlook the street; perhaps best if you're on a budget. We stayed in a Superior Exclusive, most of which are on the second or third floor. Ours had a huge balcony framing views of the sea and islands beyond - worth nabbing if there's one free (and you can afford it).

The newer lodge building is located out back, overlooking the car park. Rooms in this building get less natural light and are a tad cramped (although top-floor rooms get impressive sea views). Both the Standard and Superior rooms here have small balconies with partial sea views; Superiors are a little larger, but all lodge rooms have a sofabed.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • WiFi

Eating

For dinner, the Amo restaurant serves Italian-style pasta dishes and Dalmatian seafood. Tables are set up in the stunning garden, on beautifully lit terraces overlooking the sea. Discreetly placed amid lush plants, you’d never guess there are over 100 settings. Now and then, special themed evenings are held, such as ‘Star Night’ (live alfresco piano music) and wine-tasting (local grapes to a soundtrack of heady jazz music).

At the bottom of the garden, overlooking the sea, two funky wooden beach bars serve up cocktails throughout the day (they close around 11pm to keep the hotel peaceful). We made the most of the afternoon ‘Happy Hour’ then took the hotel shuttlebus into town.

Hvar Town’s buzzy restaurants are really upping the local foodie scene. We tried Black Pepper, where candle-lit tables tumble down the ivy-draped walk-way outside. The contemporary Croatian cuisine was to die for. Afterwards, stick around to enjoy the vibrant late-night drinking and dancing scene.

At breakfast the indoor buffet offers lots of choice. We enjoyed some nice breads and oven-warm croissants, but many of the options were packaged (plastic yoghurts, tinned fruit salad). The dining room is rather characterless, so guests tend to head out to the patio. Lunch is also served, though most guests are on the beach by then.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Hvar Town is rich in monuments, including a 16th-century cathedral overlooking a magnificent piazza (the largest in Dalmatia), a 17th-century municipal theatre (the oldest public theatre in Europe) and a hilltop castle. It's 5 minutes away by hotel minibus or a 20-minute walk along the sea path
  • Be sure to check out the nearby Pakleni islets' beaches, reached by regular taxi boats from Hvar Town. If you want an all-over tan, Jerolim and Stipanska are devoted to nudism
  • Day charter a sailing boat or a motorboat to explore the Dalmatian coast and islands; skippers are also available
  • The sea is ideal for scuba diving and the hotel has an on-site Viking Diving Centre. Expect excellent visibility, a stunning variety of fish, coral reefs, ancient shipwrecks and amphorae
  • For Hvar nightlife, try the exquisite Veneranda, set in pinewoods in the grounds of a former monastery above the sea, for drinking and dancing by a pool. Carpe Diem hosts club nights on a neighbouring island, with taxi boats leaving at midnight and returning at 4am
  • Hvar Island is renowned for its excellent wines - try Tomic in Jelsa, for tastings
  • Back at the hotel, there's a seaside sunbathing terrace, with a ladder into the sea and a 'Spalmaris' wellness centre with sauna, Jacuzzis, a pool and treatments

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children are welcome and it's great for older kids, who will love all the water activities and be able to cope with the many steps, slopes and rocky waterfronts.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

We'd recommend the Superior Exclusive room in the main hotel as it is able to fit an additional bed and a baby cot.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 8 independent reviews from i-escape guests

7/10
Rooms
6/10
Food
9/10
Service
7/10
Value
7/10
Overall

The hotel is in a wonderful position in Hvar, an easy walk into town, but away from the hubbub of town centre. The staff are excellent and helpful particularly the reception staff. The hotel is "Croatian" in style so the decor is not the neutral tones we have come to accept as stylish, but it is clean, well kept and very comfortable. We had a large room with two balconies overlooking the sea. Our teenagers had a balcony but the room was a little cramped and odd shaped for a superior double. The hotel was very keen for dinner business as the enticements of the town meant few dinner guests. I would suggest a good dinner, B&B rate to encourage people to eat in as the food was pretty good. The gym could do with some air conditioning. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend to it others.

9/10, , August 2016

We loved this hotel. It was the perfect location to enjoy the best of Hvar with immediate access to the crystal clear waters, yet an easy 10 minute stroll along the beautiful coast path into town. We were lucky to get an upgrade to one of the rooms on the top floor with a terrace - it was a real treat waking up to the sea view. The hotel staff were extremely helpful, organising boat trips directly from the hotels jetty.

8/10, , May 2016

Excellent location, 20 min walk into Hvar town along the front. Beach area was great for relaxing and swimming. Staff very friendly, remember to book your lift to and from Hvar. Breakfast was good, evening meal was good, especially the salmon carpaccio. Good selections of Croatian wines.

9/10, , September 2015

We researched quite a bit and there didn't seem to be anywhere better - we were especially keen on having direct access to the sea, and this is the only hotel that has that. But overall the Podstine was a bit of a disappointment. On the plus side, we spent a lot of time on the private "beach" (terraces running down to the rocks - but lovely). And the reception staff were really nice. It just didn't feel like great value. The decor is a bit dated, the food in the bar/ restaurant at lunch was bad (although we had a good dinner there on the first night). There were also silly but annoying things, such as being charged EUR 5 for a clean beach towel. It was fine, and we had a good time in Hvar, but we expected a bit more for our money.

6/10, , August 2015

Overall a very happy stay, a relaxed ambience and a great spot – but the breakfast could be greatly improved (especially as they produce excellent bar, lunch and dinner menus). Housekeeping could have had more attention to detail (e.g. on arrival, light bulb needed replacing, battery in the room safe needed replacing etc.).

8/10, , September 2014

The hotel is in such a wonderful environment, it really was a lovely place to be. The beach staff were excellent and so was Sime but on the other hand, the drivers and room staff were not so good. Even though we got upgraded, the room was not great in the lodge. The hairdryer wasnt working, the towels were not good quality and views not great. Overall, the facilities were a bit shabby around the edges. However, with all that in mind, we still had a wonderful time.

6/10, , August 2014

My wife and I stayed at Hotel Podstine in July 2014 to celebrate my wife's birthday. We travel internationally regularly and I am pleased to say that this stay rated as one of our best. Hotel Podstine is like a quiet sanctuary beautifully located 15 to 25 minutes walk from Hvar Port, close enough to enjoy all that the quaint little town offers but far enough away to avoid the "party animals" at night. The hotel is designed to maximise the benefit of the fall of the land with different beautiful views at every level. It has all the facilities that we ever may want and the very hardworking hotel staff were quite exceptional, meeting every request with friendly enthusiasm. We stayed in room 307, a Superior room - well worth the extra cost to have the sea view. The only thing missing from the room is a kettle. As we are early risers and would love to have been able to make ourselves a tea or coffee and admire the early morning views.

9/10, , July 2014

When we arrived we were told we'd been upgraded and were given a lovely room with views across the water in two directions. The combination of beach access and the pool was great - sunbathing on the beach, a quick dip and then retreat to the pool, via the jacuzzi. We both had a massage and it was fabulous - an achey knee that has been plaguing me for months was banished. Our final night on the island we spent eating on the verandah - a bbq'd whole fish that we chose from a platter. Delicious albeit not cheap and much nicer than the very simple breakfast and only average bar snack lunch suggested. Oh and the walk into Hvar town really isn't far.

9/10, , May 2014

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