On Hvar’s north coast, Maslina Resort is an idyllic island hotel. Hvar distils all the delights of the Dalmatian coast in one peaceful place: pristine Adriatic-lapped beaches, check; Unesco-listed port towns and bucolic beauty at every turn – also check. Maslina Resort is a trove of pleasures too. Its clever design – integrated into the landscape with pine slats, planted roofs and low-lying buildings – conjures a sense of being tucked away when actually you’re a stroll from Stari Grad. Croatian oak, terracotta, marble and limestone lend spacious interiors a nature-inspired elegance that’s proudly local. A stellar spa and fitness suite, photoshoot-worthy pools and finessed Mediterranean fare all serve to bolster Maslina’s top-drawer credentials.
53, including 15 rooms, 35 suites and three villas.
12 noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £304.76 (€360), including tax at 13 per cent.
Rates include breakfast. In summer, a two-night minimum stay applies for rooms and suites; for villas that's three nights.
Cigar smoking may be an acquired taste, but should you come over all Fidel Castro and fancy a Cohiba, the hotel has an entire menu of cigars to choose from as well as a dedicated garden in which to smoke them.
October to April.
At the hotel
Spa, gym, pools, beach, restaurant, bars, library, bikes to borrow. In rooms: smart TV, Marshall bluetooth speaker, minibar, cafetière, kettle, refillable organic bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Villa Uvala makes an architectural statement with a striking wood-slatted design, five sea-facing bedrooms and its own gym, sprawling sun terrace and full length pool. In the main hotel, Premium Panorama rooms are on the upper floors, affording the pick of sea views. Romantic couples in search of seclusion over company in the resort’s communal areas should opt for a pool or garden suite.
Trees and shrubs dotted poolside create a sense of seclusion around Maslina’s two heated saltwater pools, edged by square-canopied parasols and cushioned sun loungers. The infinity lounge pool has bubble jets and sea views; the larger, family pool has stepped entry and a submerged platform that creates a shallow area.
A palatial 600 square metres, the limestone-walled Pharomatiq Spa has a gym with sea views, a beauty and hair salon, an aqua thermal suite of steam rooms and saunas – icy plunge pool, in situ – as well as treatment rooms, indoors and out. No design afterthought, this two-storey retreat has an airy atrium, planted with trees, brass-edged doorways, marble panels and statement brass door handles by sculptor Gregory Ryan. Enjoy a sea-breeze-kissed massage in a rope-strung outdoor sala, or join a yoga class on the plant-edged wooden platform in the spa grounds.
Kaftans and sarongs aplenty to see you from room to pool to beachfront lounger.
If you need to linger after check-out (and trust us, you’ll want to), there’s a luggage store and you can use the showers and changing areas at the spa. A laundry service is available. One Bay Room and all communal areas are wheelchair accessible.
Very welcome. Extra beds (for under 12s, from €75 a night) and cots are provided; there’s a children’s menu at the restaurant; a carefully curated kids club runs in high season and babysitting is bookable with a week’s notice (from €40 an hour).
Under 12s are best catered for at this tranquil beachfront property, which has a kids club in summer, family-friendly pools and a spot on the beach at Maslinica Bay. Watersports are the main draw for teenage Smiths.
The two- and three-bedroom Family Suites are spacious and handily located. For larger groups, the villas are worth considering. Cots and a single extra bed can be added in all but the smallest rooms.
A kids club runs 9am to 5pm during summer months. The hotel playroom is organised by activity, with an art area, chill-out space, a gaming zone, an outdoor play area and modest climbing wall. Under-fours must be accompanied by an adult.
A daily-changing programme of sports, wall climbing, puzzles, arts and crafts, board games and music, dance and water play, plus a kids’ spa experience are all on offer, tailored to different age groups.
The family pool has a shallow area that’s ideal for the newest of swimmers.
Highchairs are provided and there’s a children’s menu at the restaurant. The kitchen will happily heat milk or baby food. In all rooms, there’s a minibar but no kitchenette.
Book seven days ahead for babysitting from €40 an hour.
No need to pack
Art supplies, puzzles and games – the play room has this covered.
Although the hotel sits above a pebble beach, venture a little further along the bay for shallow waters and a broad stretch of little Smith-pleasing sand.
Low visual impact was at the heart of the resort’s design, meaning that it was built using Croatian oak and pine, with limestone sourced from the Dalmatian Coast, and is sympathetic to its forested coastal setting. Refillable bath products are organic and locally sourced. Heat pumps and LED lights drive energy efficiency at Maslina. Food waste is composted and water waste is processed in sealed bio tanks. The hotel restaurant sources organic veg and herbs from its kitchen garden.
Terrace tables overlooking the infinity pool come with sea views and the best kind of air-con. Indoors, the banquette-lined tables against the wall win for privacy and comfort.
Casual – although a collared shirt for him and a gossamery summer gown for her wouldn’t look out of place.
Dine indoors or out at Maslina Restaurant on mains such as fillet of veal and pancetta with truffle sauce on creamy polenta or roasted lobster tail, served with olive mash and sautéed fennel. Poolside, a smaller menu of salads, wraps and pasta is available daytime. By the beach, A-Bay bar offers surfside refreshment on a terrace where the seating ranges from daybeds to tub chairs to proper dining. Coffee and pastries are on offer first thing; the bar then turns trattoria to whip up salads, burgers and other light lunches. As the sun sets, cue cocktails, champagne and tapas-style small plates.
The pool bar stretches from indoors to out. Poolside, there’s a terrace furnished with sofas and lava-stone-topped tables; indoors, mellow tunes and low lighting create a laid-back lounge feel; choose between easy chairs and low tables or bar-side stalls beneath pretty pendant lights. Beer, cocktails and an extensive wine list cater to all thirsts.
Breakfast is served at Maslina Restaurant, 7am–11am. The poolside menu is available 12 noon until 10pm; for dinner at the restaurant, it’s 6pm–10pm.
A selection of dishes from the restaurant’s menu is available 24/7.
On Maslinica Bay overlooking the Adriatic, Maslina Resort lies just outside Stari Grad on the Croatian island of Hvar.
Split Airport is the nearest international hub, an hour away by sea from Maslina Resort. The hotel can arrange private transfers by speedboat for €675 each way, or there’s a public catamaran service.
There are daily fast rail services from Zagreb to Split (hzpp.hr/en), from where you’ll need a catamaran or private boat transfer to Hvar.
You’re within walking distance of Stari Grad and the hotel concierge can help organise transport further afield: renting wheels at this island idyll makes little sense.
The hotel can arrange free transfers from Stari Grad port. Hvar’s helipad is just over a kilometre from the resort. The airport on neighbouring island, Brač, has domestic flights and limited connections to Austria and Germany.
Worth getting out of bed for
Wander the harbourside in Unesco-listed Stari Grad, or explore the ruin-dotted plain, farmed by Ancient Greeks millennia ago. On an island lauded for its homegrown reds, it would be rude not to try wine tasting. Talking of vineyards, hiking trails beside the vines, through olive groves and lavender fields connect the island, north to south. Climb to centuries-old Hvar Castle for views over Hvar Town and the Pakleni islands. Take to the Adriatic for kayaking, Scuba diving, paddleboarding or sailing. Go island hopping on a speedboat excursion, or try windsurfing or kitesurfing.
For an evening out in Stari Grad, head to family owned Jurin Podrum, where an awning strung with lights and chalkboard menus welcome you to a traditional bistro and an ever-changing menu of grilled meat, seafood and homemade pasta. The grilled octopus or steak and chips look as good as the harbour views at Stari Grad’s chequered cloth-tabled Blue Doors restaurant: the grilled fish is irresistibly fresh and flavoursome.
The plainly timbered interior of harbourfront coffee specialist Melting Spot in Stari Grad belies its brilliance in brewing flat whites and cold coffee, as well as serving unctuously filled croissants. Croatian coffee roasters Kava began their business in Hvar at diminutive coffee shop Kava 37 – take a seat in the cobbled alleyway for bakery treats and brews.
Broadly terraced Lampedusa in Stari Grad serves coffee by day – cocktails by night. Its intriguing cocktail menu has entries such as gin-and-tonic-inspired Olive Spritz alongside classics such as Negronis, any of which is best savoured with sunset views over the harbour. Beach-bar-on-the-rocks Tramonto has a breeze-kissed, tree-shaded terrace and superlative sea views to go with its array of beers, cocktails, juices and coffee.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this beachfront hotel in Hvar and unpacked their artisanal lacework and bottles of plavac mali wine, a full account of their island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Maslina Resort on Hvar…
Arriving at Maslina Resort, you’re greeted at reception by a 13.5 tonne slab of limestone from Brac serving as a desk – its polished white surfaces catching the light from statement chandeliers above. It’s a strong first impression that sets the tone for the considered, nature-inspired design you’ll find in this luxury resort’s rooms, suites and show-stopping villas. An indoor-outdoor aesthetic is evident hotel wide. Beds are positioned so you can wake up to sea views. Suites are as much about their private terraces with pool or garden as they are about upscale comforts within. The hotel bar extends seemingly forever to serve drinkers indoors and poolside. Dine among the olive trees, island hop by speedboat or, to punctuate spells at the beach, stroll to the ancient port town of Stari Grad, where an engaging mix of cool, cobbled alleys, pint-size boutiques and a picturesque harbour lined with bars and cafés awaits.