“Bohemian retreat nestled in lush botanical gardens on a tiny island in the Adriatic Sea (approximately 10 minutes by boat from Hvar)”
Interiors have been painted deep, vibrant colours and are decorated with unusual driftwood sculptures and contemporary artwork. The result is a discreet yet spiritual escape from the modern world. Popular with flora loving families and hippies at heart, it’s a great place to while away the days eating fresh seafood, swimming in the bay, exploring by kayak and diving nearby shipwrecks.
- The two excellent restaurants, Meneghello and Toto's, which are surrounded by fragrant plants, crystal-clear water and almost constant sunshine
- A haven of flora and fauna - the island is car-free, there's limited WiFi, and no in-rooms TVs or phones
- The carefully designed buildings blend harmoniously with the environment and most have terraces overlooking the ocean
- Just a 10-minute water taxi from Hvar Town's cultural monuments and hip eateries
- The laid-back and friendly vibe: we were taken, by jeep, to our villa and then ordered to relax and not to worry about checking in
- Hvar Town, and to a lesser extent this end of Sveti Klement Island, heave with tourists during July and August - expect plenty of daytrippers, music and yachts during these months
- Logistics: water taxis and only 1 cash machine on the island
- This is a rustic, bohemian retreat - those seeking luxury may be happier elsewhere
- The abundant wildlife can sometimes include mosquitoes at night and wasps at breakfast
- Kitchenettes are little more than a fridge and kettle - fine for snacks and drinks but not enough for meals
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Closed: 25 Oct 2018 - 1 Apr 2019
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
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 2-bedroom Suite in Villa Giorgia , each with their own small terrace and a private entrance.
The bungalows (sleeps 2-4) 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 with a small porthole window. We stayed in the Violet Bungalow, which felt very private. All rooms are air conditioned and have small fridges. There are also the Romina Bungalows, which can be rented as one unit to large families or groups of friends.
The villas (sleeps 4-6) all have basic kitchenettes for coffee and snacks: fridges, kettles and basic crockery. The 2-bedroom White Villa 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.
The most luxurious is probably Villa Palmizana, which has an octagonal living room and an outdoor terrace decorated with colourful mosaics inspired by Austrian architect Hundertwasser. We also liked the slightly more modern Turquoise Villa: it’s 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.
- Air conditioning
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Internet access
Dagmar Meneghello personally oversees the 2 restaurants in the resort: Menghello 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.
Breakfast is served on Menghello's romantic terrace from 8:00 until 10:30 am (or later on request). Expect fresh fruit, croissants, bread and jams, plus eggs and pancakes cooked to order. Lunch, which tends to be peaceful, is served at both restaurants. We picked Toto’s as it lies directly on the beach on the south side of the island (just outside the resort), and serves fresh fish and seafood. We chose bruschetta and octopus salad; other specialities included monkfish in white wine sauce, bulgur with shrimps, and tuna sashimi.
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 Menghello is the main attraction. Its deep fuchsia walls are hung with playful modern art, and fresh colour is added by enormous terracotta pots of blue and pink hydrangeas. We enjoyed a dinner of tomato and basil bruschetta, prosciutto, cheese and figs to start. Mains were seafood Buzara (local seafood stew) and a grilled seafood platter.
All guests have tables reserved at the main restaurant, but if you're staying for a full week you may wish to try some of the other restaurants and beach bars on this tiny island. Many people may choose to take a 10-minute water taxi over to Hvar Town, where our favourite spots were Fig Cafe and Black Pepper. Remember to let the hotel know if you decide to eat elsewhere so that they can cancel your reservation.
- Children's meals
- Restaurants nearby
- The Palmizana beaches are lovely, but be sure to check out alternative bathing venues on the other Pakleni islets. For those who want an all-over tan, Jerolim or Stipanska are devoted to nudism
- Dalmatia is a sailor’s paradise. Charter a sailing boat or a motorboat for a day exploring the coast and islands - skippers are available for those with no sailing experience. The islands are surrounded by numerous coves that act as safe harbours for boats
- The water is ideal for snorkelling or diving, with excellent visibility, a stunning variety of fish, coral reefs and shipwrecks. Palmizana can recommend agencies offering diving trips
- Hvar Town (approximately 10 minutes by water taxi) includes a 16th-century cathedral overlooking a magnificent piazza (the largest in Dalmatia), an arsenal, a 17th-century municipal theatre (the oldest public theatre in Europe), 2 monasteries and a hilltop castle
- Be sure to stroll around the gardens, taking in the sheer variety of flora
- Dagmar is a keen patron of the arts, and hosts exhibitions of up-and-coming Croatian painters and sculptors.
- Explore the small gallery, which displays locally found amphorae, and don't miss Tarin's Palm, a funky pop-up shop selling souvenirs in the middle of the botanical garden.
- Attend a Hvar Summer Festival open-air performance - we recommend the classical music concerts in the cloisters of the Franciscan monastery
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Scuba diving
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
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.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
If you're travelling on a group family break opt for the bungalows or villas located next to each other. Villas have basic kitchenettes and sleep 4-6, and Bungalows sleep a maximum of 4 (that's with children on an extra bed in the lounge). White Villa is not suitable for children under 12 since it's a split-level villa with an open staircase. We recommend Villa Palmizana, Villa Turquoise, Yellow Bungalow, Pink Bungalow and Violet Bungalow for families with toddlers.
Babysitting can be arranged if requested in advance
- Baby cots
- Baby baths
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, ice cream, kebabs - and can provide half-sized portions.
Kids Activities on site:
- Beach just steps away
- Gardens to play in
Kids Activities nearby:
- Sailboats, kayaks and motorboats for hire
- Watersports: kayaking, diving, snorkelling, sailing
- 2 children's playgrounds
Families Should Know:
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). Bring sea-shoes for the kids, as there’s lots of pesky sea urchins at the beach.
- Airport: 1 hour+, depending on ferry schedules
- Emergency room: 15 minutes by boat (Hvar)
- Hospital: 45 minutes-2 hours, depending on ferry schedules