Villa Meneghello

Hvar, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Book from Eur460

Reviewed by Jane Foster
Gloriously arty villa (for 10-16; can be divided into 2 apartments) on the sunny Dalmatian island of Hvar
The Meneghello family have built a great reputation for creating bohemian-style villas set amidst lush botanical gardens. Their artistic retreat on the islet of Palmizana is one of Croatia's most idyllic island hideaways, and in 2007 they purchased this 2-storey villa overlooking the turquoise sea on the edge of Hvar Town to expand their collection. Available as 2 separate 3-bedroom apartments or a large villa, it's a haven for friends or families who want to escape the mainland's crowds.

Set in a rocky hillside garden of towering pines and exotic blooms, it feels very private, yet it's only a 15-minute walk into Hvar Town for sailing or glitzy evenings out. The décor is at once eclectic and vibrant, with bright colours and big bold oil paintings filling the walls. The upper apartment has a harlequin theme of primary colours, whilst the ground floor is decked out in a more subdued, black-and-white style. The bedrooms are funky, the living areas light and spacious, and there's an outdoor kitchen for evening BBQs, plus a pool.

But for us what makes this villa so special is Dagmar Meneghello’s private art collection. The entire complex is something of a live-in gallery, a homage to modern Croatian art. Dagmar has been patronising contemporary painters and sculptors since the 1960s, and has some 150 pieces on display here. She also has an amazing flair for combining Hvar’s traditional stone and driftwood sculptures with quirky modern design pieces. Very inspiring.

Highs

  • Lush gardens with plenty of outdoor sitting spaces, plus a pool
  • Perfect for big groups of friends hiring the whole place for sun, sea and nightlife
  • Plenty of taxi-boats and chartered yachts from nearby Hvar Town to myriad islands and secluded bays for snorkelling or diving
  • Fab restaurants and a hectic nightlife are near enough to walk to, but far enough away that no noise intrudes

Lows

  • Unless you hire the whole villa, you'll be sharing the pool and garden with strangers (and you might keep different hours from them)
  • The décor won't suit all
  • Hvar Town gets very crowded in July and August: try to come in May-June or September-October if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere
  • There's a 7-night minimum stay between July and August

Best time to go

Because the island is so popular in July and August, when hordes of Italian tourists flock to the Croatian coast, the best time to visit is May-June or September-October, when you’ll have more of the island to yourself; the temperatures are milder but the sea is still warm enough for swimming.

Our top tips

If you're here in summer, take in a classical music concert in one of Hvar's monasteries and churches, or stand and listen to the Klapa choirs that entertain in Hvar Town's cobbled streets.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Great Outdoors
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villa & Apartments
  • 2 apartments or 1 villa
  • Self-catering (+ restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room: Apartment A

Rooms

Set on the ground floor, Apartment A (sleeps 6 + 2) has a cool, slightly kitsch décor. The 2 double bedrooms and 1 twin room have wooden floors and are painted royal blue, with lime-green furnishings and white duvets emblazoned with big black flowers stealing the eye. Decorated predominantly in black and white, it's slightly more subdued than the upstairs apartment, with occasional colour added by mosaic-topped tables, bold oil paintings and exposed stone walls.

The open-plan living space, dining area and kitchen has a striking black-and-white chequered tile floor, with a big glass dining table with wrought-iron chairs seating 8, 2 sofas (which could be used as beds), and a funky cooking area with black marble counters and a vast Coke bottle acting as a breakfast bar. There are 3 colourful tiled bathrooms, each with a shower and one with a large bathtub too.

Click to see Apartment A map

Upstairs on the first floor, Apartment B (sleeps 6 + 4) is ultra bright, with a multi-coloured chequered tile floor and red-, orange- and mauve-striped duvets - a real eye-opener. All 3 bedrooms (2 doubles and a twin) have wooden floors and lead out to a long sea-facing terrace. The living room and lean-to kitchen are light and airy, with vast modern oil paintings on display. There are 2 colourful tiled bathrooms, both with a shower and one with a bathtub too.

It’s incredibly inspiring - at times verging on kitsch, but somehow managing to remain within the realms of good taste. It's an exuberant, summery apartment - a walk-in art gallery decorated with contemporary artwork, funky lamps and wrought-iron furnishings. We loved it and could stay here indefinitely.

Click to see Apartment B map

Both apartments have private terraces. Bed linen and piles of towels are provided, and the whole villa is cleaned twice a week. You’ll find natural Croatian toiletries and big bunches of freshly picked lavender in every bathroom.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbeque
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

The 2 kitchens (1 in each apartment) are well kitted out for self-catering, with a range of utensils and basic provisions (cooking oil, sugar, salt, pepper, washing-up liquid, bin bags etc). Both have microwaves, fridges, ovens, hobs, freezers and dishwashers, as well as indoor dining areas and terraces for alfresco dining.

But the highlight for us has to be the stunning shared outdoor kitchen and dining area, in an open-fronted lean-to decorated in black and white, with a big BBQ and a long table seating 10 (plus a washing machine for guests to use). Set amid lush Mediterranean planting, with the pool just a few steps away, it’s so special that many guests end up spending almost their entire stay here.

When you arrive you’ll find a bottle of good local wine waiting for you, plus everything you need for your first breakfast - fresh bread, butter, jam, coffee, tea, milk and fresh fruit. If you're feeling lazy, the owners can arrange for a private chef to whip up delicious meals - see Rates.

There are dozens of restaurants to choose from in Hvar if you want to eat out, and Dalmatian specialities include black risotto, langoustines, octopus salad, lobsters and fish stew. Just 5 minutes from the villa, Terramarique has a great reputation and is right next to the pretty Franciscan monastery. In the centre of town, just off the main square, Macondo is a sound choice for fresh fish and seafood, plus delicious desserts. Nearby, Menego is tucked away on a narrow stepped alley leading up to the castle - come here for homemade wine and platters of pršut i sir (prosciutto and cheese), then round off with the restaurant’s famous 'drunk figs'. The luxury harbourfront Riva (aka Hvar Yacht Harbour Hotel) is a great place to sip champagne and watch the sun set over the sea.

If you spend a day at Villa Meneghello's sister property Palmizana, on the car-free island of Sveti Klement, you can enjoy fab seafood snacks at beachside bar Toto's, and more elaborate seafood meals at the Palmizana restaurant.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Children meals
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Welcome hamper
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take a short stroll down to the sea below the villa and sunbathe on the rocks, or wander to Pokojnyi Dol pebble beach (5 minutes away; great for children)

  • Rent a sailboat or kayak and explore the stunning Paklinski archipelago, which stretches across the sea in front of Hvar. It consists of tiny islands and hundreds of little bays where you can swim in crystal-blue seas, sunbathe, fish, snorkel, picnic...

  • Go diving, windsurfing and waterskiing - there's a whole host of activities on offer in town

  • Hire a bicycle and pedal around Hvar island - the landscape is dotted with beautiful gardens, lavender fields and exotic greenery; see Local Info for our favourite routes

  • Stroll around Hvar Town. Admire the medieval Venetian fortress and fortifications, wander through the central piazza, and see the oldest public theatre in the Mediterranean

  • Shop in the town’s colourful boutiques and galleries for chic one-off items of clothing and jewellery created by Croatian designers

  • Don your best outfit and head into town for the evening: Hvar is full of seafood restaurants, cafés, bars and dance clubs - if you're home before dawn, you haven't partied hard enough. Carpe Diem is the town's most famous nightclub, where you can lounge on floor cushions and people-watch; look out for Full Moon parties at Carpe Diem Beach on the nearby islet of Stipanska

  • Visit the Adriana Spa Hotel with its Sensori Spa, where you can have a whole range of pampering, indulgent treatments

  • Catch a taxi-boat to the tiny island of Palmizana. Here you can dine in the Mediterranean restaurants, visit the tiny museum of amphorae, stroll around the gallery that showcases local artists, or relax on the beaches

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Windsurfing

Kids

Villa Meneghello is ideal for larger or extended families as it can be rented as two separate apartments, each sleeping 6 in two doubles and a twin, and cots and extra beds can be added as required, note that kids under 12 stay for free.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Apartment A is on the ground floor and has a large open-plan living/dining/kitchen area plus sofas which can double as beds, plus three bathrooms, one with a large bathtub.
Apartment B is upstairs and its three bedrooms share two bathrooms, one with a tub; it also has an airy living room and kitchen plus a sea-facing terrace.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots are available on request
  • High chair
  • Baby bath on request
  • Plastic crockery & cutlery
  • Extra beds

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

Children's meals:

The villa is well set-up for self-catering: there's a dining room and kitchen in each apartment with all the required appliances, gadgets, pots, pans, cutlery and utensils including microwave and blender. Both share an outdoor kitchen and dining area, plus a big BBQ a few steps from the pool. The nearest food shops are a mere 500-metre stroll away, and there are more shops in Hvar town centre itself, about a 20 minutes walk. The nearest restaurant is in Krizna Luka, 500 metres away, and again there are more choices in Hvar.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool with steps along the shallow end
  • Pool toys
  • Gardens to play in

Kids Activities nearby:

  • You can swim in front of the house
  • It's a 10-minute walk to Pokojni doc beach

Families Should Know:

There are steps in the garden and in the villa

Distances:

  • Airport: 2-3 hours (Split including ferry journey)
  • First Aid: 3 minutes by car
  • Shops: 2 minutes on foot
Kid Friendly:

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