“A cluster of stone cottages forming a gorgeous residence with pool, on a remote hillside overlooking Hvar’s south coast (sleeps 8-10, self-catering)”
The ground floor of the main building has an open-plan kitchen, dining area and lounge, all focusing on a big picture window with a magnificent view down onto the sea. The floor is stone throughout and the ceiling has exposed wooden beams. In the lounge, there’s an open fireplace with a sofa and 2 enormous square poufs, plus a plasma TV and a DVD and CD player. Stone steps lead up to the dining area, which has a big wooden table seating 8, and a terracotta-top breakfast bar.
There are 4 bedrooms, all with tile floors, high-pitched beamed ceilings, and thick stone walls (which means that air-conditioning isn't necessary). Two of the rooms are upstairs in the main building and are approached via external stone steps, while the other 2 are in separate outbuildings, making them very private. Three rooms, painted in pale lime green, have double beds with wrought-iron bedsteads, while the other has 2 single beds plus a sofabed (sleeping 2), making it more suited to children - this room is in an outbuilding. The main-house rooms have walk-in rain showers decorated with tiny mosaic tiles, while the kids’ room has a big rain shower in a stone space lined with amphora. The other outbuilding room (our favourite), is open-plan with a free-standing bathtub on a raised level. All bathrooms are supplied with herbal-scented Aromatica toiletries.
We slept soundly in the lilac-painted kids’ room, with the double doors onto the garden left wide open, a gentle breeze wafting the chiffon curtains, and an amazingly bright full moon reflecting on the sea below.
The fully equipped kitchen has terracotta-tile worktops, an old stone sink (which was found here during renovation), an old-fashioned gas oven with 4 hotplates, 2 fridges with freezer spaces (run on gas), a toaster and a dishwasher. A full set of cream porcelain plates, glasses, cutlery, and pots and pans are provided, along with useful equipment like a blender.
Opposite the kitchen, there’s a covered stone terrace with a big built-in barbecue, an old stone bread oven, and a big wooden table. The sea view is perfect from here, and there’s a good sound system with speakers for outdoor music. Guests are welcome to pick vegetables from the organic garden for their own use - deliciously flavoursome rocket, plus courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines and onions, depending on the season.
When you book, you're sent a shopping list, and you can tick off items to be delivered before your arrival (free of charge; you just pay for the groceries). A few basic provisions are supplied (coffee, tea, milk), but you'll need to buy most things. We'd recommend visiting the large Konzum supermarket at the ferry port in Stari Grad when you arrive to stock up. In Jesla (9km), there are several small supermarkets including Konzum, Kerum and Mercator. You’ll also find bakeries for fresh bread, greengrocers, butchers and a modest fish market. You can buy local wine and olive oil direct from producers here.
For eating out, the nearest place is Konoba Humac (10km), a rustic eatery serving octopus slow-cooked in a peka (casserole pot set on glowing embers) at outdoor tables - there’s no electricity, so if you go after sunset it's lit by candles and gas lamps. Bear in mind you'll need to book a table and order food days in advance in high season, and service is painfully slow. Further afield, the friendly Konoba Vrisnik in Vrisnik is notable for its genuine home cooking, great house wine and reasonable prices, while Skalinada in Zavala does excellent fresh fish on a stone terrace overlooking the sea - the speciality is oven-baked sea bass.
This is an ideal retreat for 1 or 2 families with babies or older children. Surrounded by a large garden and with no neighbours to disturb, you can be as noisy as you like. The pool and sports pitches make it great for an active family. Notice that the layout is slightly odd - the children's room, sleeping 4, is out in the garden in a separate building, and that's why we recommend it for older children. You can however, add a child's bed to any bedroom.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The house has 2 double bedrooms in the main building with 2 outbuildings, 1 with a double bed and 1 with 2 single beds and a double sofa bed. This children's room has a walk-in shower and sleeps up to 4. You can also add a child's bed or cot to any other bedroom. The other outbuilding has a freestanding bath; all bedrooms are ensuite.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
It's well set up for self catering as a family. We'd recommend booking the food delivery option so you don't have to schlep to the supermarket on arrival. A chef can also be booked in advance. Stock up at the ferry port in Hvar Town as you drive through. Note that the slow service of the nearby restaurants might rule them out for family dining.
The pool isn't fenced, lots of the grounds are rocky and uneven, and the kids' bedroom is in a separate outbuilding away from the parents' rooms.