Tara's Lodge

Korcula, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Book from Eur158

Reviewed by Jane Foster
Peaceful hideaway on the island of Korcula with stunning views, a freshwater pool and a lovely beachside bistro
In the small village of Zrnovska Banja, a 10-minute drive from medieval Korcula Town, sits a small hotel overlooking a sheltered turquoise bay. The upscale Mimi's Bistro launched the project in late 2015, with a waterside terrace serving Asian-Med fusion cuisine, and 17 rooms and suites followed soon after. The blocks of accommodation are built into the hillside overlooking the bay and a natural stone path serpentines its way between them, through flower beds fragrant with oleander, cacti and rosemary, and down onto the seafront.

Here, Mimi's tables are arranged on a covered wooden deck, looking onto a strip of pebble beach lined by white bean-bag loungers and parasols, with waiters serving cocktails and snacks. Paddle boards and bicycles are available for hire, and there's a speed boat for fishing and snorkelling trips. The setting is blissfully tranquil, with views across the sea channel to Peljesac. A perfect place to unwind in the sun for a week or more.

Highs

  • Just steps from a small, private beach so you can swim before breakfast or take a sunset dip
  • Well-priced rooms that feel fresh and modern
  • Mimi's Bistro, serving gourmet cuisine and fine wines in an informal but romantic setting
  • Away from the bustle of Korcula Town, but close enough to nip in for sightseeing or dinner - and far from the crowds
  • Great for couples, friends, and families with teens and outdoorsy older kids; there are 3 Family Suites

Lows

  • Full pre-payment at the time of booking, and food, drink and extra beds are pricey
  • Zrnovska Banja is poorly served by public transport and it's a taxi or 40-minute walk to town, so you'll probably want a car
  • No twin rooms except in the Family Suites
  • You'll need to take a seaplane flight from Dubrovnik or Split, or travel by road and boat to get to Korcula

Best time to go

We think the best times for the Dalmatian islands are May-June or Sept-Oct. During these periods, local attractions are open but not overcrowded, the weather is sunny but not too hot, and the sea warm enough to swim (in June and Sept for all; in May and Oct for hardy types only). During peak season (Jul-Aug), Korcula is overrun with tourists and prices escalate. In low season (Nov-April), most tourist facilities close completely for winter.

Our top tips

Korcula is renowned for its quality white wines (Grk and Posip), while the nearby Peljesac peninsula is noted for excellent full-bodied reds (Dingac, Plavac and Mali Plavac). Try a day in each location visiting local vineyards and wine cellars, to get a better understanding of Dalmatia's little-known family-run wineries. You can buy bottles to take home.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 17
  • Restaurant and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

There are 17 rooms and suites, all slick and spotlessly clean, and ours had a glorious sea view. The look is white, minimalist and modern, with wooden floors and discreet built-in cupboards. Beds are comfy and kingsize (no twins), and floor-to-ceiling glass doors slide open onto a little terrace, furnished with 2 chairs and a whitewashed log for a table.

Bathrooms, too, are sleek and sparse, with a walk-in rain shower (no tubs), a selection of big thick white towels, and Argan Source toiletries from Italy. The difference between the various double room categories is merely floor space and a choice of sea, pool or garden views. Family Suites have a double and a double/twin room, and an open-plan living area with a kitchenette.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Desk
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Mimi's Bistro is modern and vibrant, with a covered wooden deck (giving shelter from the midday sun and spring showers), and white tables and chairs. The menu changes weekly, but the emphasis is always fresh, local and seasonal - think seafood pulled from the Adriatic that day, and vegetables picked the same morning.

At dinner, we feasted on tuna sashimi served on crushed ice, black squid risotto, and duck breast on potato with a beetroot compote. Other dishes to look out for include fresh oysters from nearby Ston on Peljesac, and the local wild boar. The wine list includes choices from Croatia, Italy and France.

Breakfast was excellent, too: eggs florentine, freshly squeezed juice and a good strong coffee, eaten in the sunshine overlooking the beach. Mimi's is open all day, and besides serving residents, it's frequented by sailing crews, who put down anchor in the bay and come ashore to dine here.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Chill on the small beach, sunbathing and trying out the stand-up paddle boards (hourly rental)
  • Book a guided cruise aboard the hotel boat (Boston Whaler 22) to try snorkelling and fishing; you might see/catch octopus!
  • Rent a dinghy (licence required) and explore the nearby Korcula archipelago of 20 islets, rimmed by secluded coves and pebble beaches
  • Spend a day in Korcula's Old Town, which sits on a medieval-walled peninsula, centering on a splendid Gothic-Renaissance cathedral
  • Hire a bicycle and pedal over to Lumbarda (9km), renowned for its excellent white Grk wine, dating from the 4th century BC when the Ancient Greeks settled here
  • Try windsurfing or kite-surfing in the channel between Peljesac and Korcula; you can rent equipment and book lessons from a base in Viganj

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kitesurfing
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Windsurfing
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Tara's Lodge welcomes all ages, but we think it's best suited to outdoorsy older children and teens, who will love the activities on offer and the informal bistro.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Suites have 2 bedrooms (1 kingsize bed, 1 kingsize/twin) plus space for a baby cot or rollaway bed for a child. They also have an open-plan living space, a shower bathroom and a kitchenette with a microwave. The Superior and Executive rooms each have space for a baby cot or rollaway bed for a child.

Babysitting:

On request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Pool
  • Beach
  • Bikes to hire
  • Stand-up paddle boards
  • Boat trips with snorkelling and fishing

Families Should Know:

The pool is fenced with a child-proof gate lock

Distances:

  • Airport: 20 minutes (domestic seaplane flights from Dubrovnik or Split to Korcula, or you'll need to come via road and sea; approx 2 hours from Dubrovnik and 2-3 from Split)
  • Shop: 5 minutes' walk
  • Local Hospital: 4km
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
10/
Food
8/
Service
10/
Value
9/
Overall

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