“Dalmatian stone building hosting a slick, architect-designed hotel overlooking the palm-lined harbour in elegant Hvar Town”
The Riva offers 46 Superior Rooms, 7 Junior Suites and 1 Riva Marina Suite. Rooms are not large but are well kitted out, ingeniously designed (bedside tables can be recessed for additional space) and comfy. The best are those with a sea view (found in all categories) - unless you object to late-night noise, in which case you should ask for a city view room at the back of the building.
Rooms are decorated with contemporary flair in charcoal, grey and cream, with splashes of vibrant red in sculpted poufs, scatter cushions and feature walls. Expect cubist sofas, glass-top coffee tables and a large black-and-white photo of a movie icon (such as Bridget Bardot, James Dean, Anita Ekberg or Audrey Hepburn) above the bed. The connecting corridors and landings are minimalist white, but discreetly animated with larger-than-life charcoal line-drawings of nudes.
For most visitors, the most amusing feature is the bathroom - the shower cubicle or bath is visible from the bed through a large glass window. It's very sexy, but be warned, the trendy sinks can splash water about. You do get a separate toilet with its own basin, for privacy when it really matters.
All rooms have queensize beds and rain showers; most of the Superior Rooms have also have a bathtub and some have balconies. Junior Suites have a sitting area and a balcony, and most have bathtubs as well as showers. The Riva Marina Suite has a separate living room, shower and bathtub, 2 small balconies and a private terrace overlooking the yacht harbour. As you'd expect, rooms have excellent amenities: flatscreen TV, electronic keys, free WiFi, DVD player, safe and minibar, fan and heating, hairdryer and bathrobes.
One of the Riva’s top draws is its delightful open-air terrace overlooking the harbour, furnished with brightly coloured cubist sofas and potted olive trees. Here on sunny days, Roots Restaurant serves an excellent buffet breakfast with lots of fresh, cold and hot choices (a lot better than some of the other Suncani hotels). In winter, a cooked-to-order breakfast is served in the dining room. Roots is now in partnership with the Japanese brand Sora, so you may expect delicately flavoured tofu and tempura on the menu.
Roots also serves lunch and dinner on the terrace. Expect starters such as rižot od plodova mora (seafood risotto with fresh herbs) and domaca tjestenina s tartufima (homemade pasta with white truffles), and main courses including jastog na brudet (lobster stew served with tagliatelli) and peceni govedji file s tartufima (fillet steak with truffles). Dishes aren't cheap but ours could not be faulted for taste, presentation or freshness. Dishes use predominantly local ingredients supplied by Suncani Hvar’s ‘Best of Hvar Club’, a kind of upmarket island co-operative founded by the hotel chain.
Adjoining Roots, the BB Club is a funky ground-floor bar, focusing on a long, green, back-lit glass counter. In common with the guest rooms, the walls bear larger-than-life black-and-white photos of cult movie stars such as James Dean and Audrey Hepburn. The BB Club terrace, with an after-dark DJ (daily 9pm-2am), is one of Hvar’s hippest venues for fine wines, cigar selection and cocktails - try the BB Sunset (vodka, cherry liquor, cantaloupe liquor and fresh orange juice). It also serves light meals such as Caesar salad and salmon wraps. During the winter, the BB Club caters predominantly for locals, serving a reduced-rate, set-menu lunch.
If you want to venture out, you could do a lot worse than pop across to Gariful, which serves fresh fish, scampi and crabs (you can pick your poor victim from an ice tray), as well as the usual meats and salads, plus an excellent list of white wines.
Children under 14 are free of charge when sharing parents' room; cots are free. Children are welcome but the Riva is aimed primarily at young couples and has no special amenities for children although they do provide cots.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking