“Gloriously arty villa (for 10-16; can be divided into 2 apartments) on the sunny Dalmatian island of Hvar”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is available by arrangement.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
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.
There are steps in the garden and in the villa