“Bohemian retreat nestled in lush botanical gardens on a tiny island in the Adriatic Sea (10 minutes by boat from Hvar)”
Palmizana offers various individually designed stone bungalows and villas, with interiors that are either whitewashed or painted in vibrant colours. Some have exposed stonework and cool tile floors; all are furnished in a Mediterranean style and accented with Croatian art. There are also 3 Double Rooms and a Suite in Villa Giorgia , an old Italian villa - each it has its own small terrace and private entrance.
The bungalows can accommodate 2-4 guests and are mostly 2-room buildings with 1 bedroom and a living room with a sofabed (making an additional bedroom). Our favourite, the Green Bungalow, is a studio space with steps leading up to a mezzanine level, which functions as the main sleeping area and has a small porthole window. Each bungalow is named after the colour that predominates in the interior décor. Some rooms have air-conditioning, but all have a fan and a small fridge. There’s also the Romina building, which comprises 2 separate suites, but bear in mind that the soundproofing is not great between them.
The villas can accommodate 4-6 guests. All have basic cooking facilities for preparing coffee and snacks; several have a fireplace in the living room. We stayed in the White Villa and it quickly established itself as one of our favourites. Lying directly on the beach with a private path leading down to the shore, it has an enormous terrace overlooking the bay, 2 bedrooms, wicker furniture, and colourful paintings throughout.
The most luxurious is probably Villa Palmizana, which has an octagonal living room, 2 bathrooms and an outdoor terrace decorated with colourful mosaics inspired by Austrian architect Hundertwasser. We also liked the Turquoise Villa: it’s slightly more modern, with sleek, light fixtures, blue furniture, and glass doors that open onto a stone terrace overlooking the ocean. Each building is set amid the pinewoods and exotic planting, and has a secluded terrace for sitting out and dining.
Click to see resort map
Dagmar Meneghello personally oversees the 2 restaurants in the resort: Palmizana and Toto's. Both have huge terraces overlooking the ocean and serve a variety of seafood, grilled meat and fresh vegetables from the island’s garden. Much of it is cooked over an outdoor open-fire oven; Dagmar also likes to be in charge of grilling fish, scampi and meats on the enormous outdoor grill.
Breakfast is served on Palmizana romantic terrace. Expect fresh fruit, croissants, bread and jams, plus eggs and pancakes cooked to order. Lunch, which tends to be peaceful as most people are on the beach, is served at both restaurants. We choseToto’s as it lies directly on the beach on the south side of the island (just outside the resort), and serves simple tasty seafood snacks - squid and scampi kebabs, small fried fish - plus pizza. We dined on the seaside terrace, which is decorated with coloured mosaic tiles inspired by the Austrian architect Hundertwasser.
In the evening, both restaurants start buzzing as visitors with yachts (who keep their boats at the nearby ACI marina, or anchor in the bay) begin arriving for dinner. This time Palmizana is the main attraction. Its deep fuscia walls are hung with playful modern art, and fresh colour is added by enormous terracotta pots of blue and pink hydrangeas. Healthy, locally produced, seasonal dishes based around fish, vegetables and olive oil are served nightly and we were treated to an enormous seabass filleted at the table by the friendly waitresss. After dinner, it is not uncommon for the Meneghellos to serve homemade herb liqueur.
Guests staying for a full week will be glad to hear that there are a couple of other restaurants and beach bars on this tiny island, and many people make use of the water taxis to try the many eateries in Hvar Town.
Children are welcome and it's a great place for them: the shallow pebbly beach on the doorstep is ideal for youngsters and they will love the tortoises and peacocks on land. As the island is car-free, they can run around and explore freely. It's great for extended family breaks too - book Villa Giorga in its entirety, or reserve separate bungalows for the grandparents or nanny.
Cots are free of charge and available on request; children aged 5 - 8 years pay reduced rates for breakfast and half-board.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Book Villa Giorgia if you're coming on a group family break - it sleeps up to 14 in 5 double bedrooms. Villas have basic kitchenettes and sleep 4-6, and Bungalows sleep a maximum of 4 (that's with the children on a sofabed in the lounge). White Villa is not suitable for children under 12. We recommend Orange Villa, Blue Bungalow, Yellow Bungalow, Pink Bungalow or Violet Bungalow for families with toddlers.
Babysitting can be arranged if requested in advance
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The 2 restaurants (on-site and nearby) serve up kid-friendly food - pancakes, steak, fish, barbecues, pizza, ice cream, kebabs - and can provide half-sized portions.
There are some steps in the gardens and various spiky plants and cacti. There are only 2 shops on the island, selling basics, so bring anything you think you won't be able to get hold of (e.g. high-factor suncream)