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“Highly recommended” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Stella Mare

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Stella Mare
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Zavala112 | Otok Hvar, Hvar, Hvar Island 21465, Croatia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #84 of 150 Specialty Lodging in Hvar
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Highly recommended”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

I have been to Stella Mare many times. Last time I took 24 friends with me for a special birthday week. Relaxing and with splendid views of the Adriatic and the neighbouring island of Šćedro, the accommodation is self-contained with a small kitchen area but you also have the option of Nada's amazing cooking - truly fresh food perfectly cooked with a wide rnge of locally sourced fish and meat and home-grown vegetables, accompanied by wine from the local vineyard. Teo and Nada are so hospitable and nothing is too much trouble - you feel like you are staying with friends and are certain to want to go back again.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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7 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Guildford (UK)
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2010

We have just returned from a lovely relaxing week’s holiday at Stella Mare in Zavala. Teo and his family cannot be faulted for their hospitality and it is a bonus they speak English (and German, Italian and Russian) very well. We stayed at the Argola apartment and although the room is very basic it does have a comfortable bed and airconditioning. Our apartment came with a lovely terrace surrounded by gorgeous smelling rosemary and with stunning views over the sea and beautifully kept gardens. There is an area with swing seats and hammock and a hot tub area is under development. We catered for breakfast and lunch ourselves by visiting the bakery and a small supermarket up the road. It is advisable to take a dishcloth, washing up liquid and tea towel if you intend to cater for yourself. Cleaning of the apartment is on request only but they are happy to accommodate. We did have dinner at Stella Mare quite a few times and the outdoor vine covered restaurant area is the best we’ve seen in Zavala and is beautifully lit at night.

Zavala is a quiet area and unless you have a car it is not that easy to get around as it is very hilly. It is a perfect spot for relaxation but not if you’re after a big nightlife and a choice of many eateries. I was content relaxing on the lounger under the dappled shade of the vines but many people visit the rocky coves for some full on sun. I would advise you take reef shoes and some sort of padding to lie on as the pebble beaches are not that forgiving.

All in all I recommend this lovely family run place highly.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunoon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

We cannot fault Stella Mare - Theo and his family were hospitality itself and went far more than the extra mile with their kindness, home grown or caught food, delicious wine & superb breakfasts, and our room was simple, clean and bright, with a fabulous view over Zavala Bay.

PLEASE NOTE - THAT ONE NEGATIVE REVIEW REFERS TO A STAY IN 2004 - SIX YEARS AGO, WHEN THE PROPERTY WAS STILL BEING BUILT. Don't be misled by the August 2006 date at the top.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

Theo and his family could not have made us more welcome - as he said "If you want anything, don't keep your mouth shut!". Our second floor apartment was pretty, clean and bright and had a fabulous view over Zavala bay, Theo's garden and vineyard. We were travelling by bicycle and he insisted on taking us back through the road tunnel in his van - [the tunnel is a couple of km from the house and only suitable for cars, which we hadn't realised]. He recommended an excellent route on a white road [not tarmac] to Hvar town and generally looked after us as if we were his favourite aunt and uncle. The food was excellent, mostly his own produce, and his wine is delicioius. May is a perfect time to be on Hvar - the wild flowers everywhere, cool breezes and hardly anyone on the roads. Although we were only there for a couple of nights, I would not hesitate to recommend Stella Mare for a longer stay. Lovely!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2009

This is being written by a 50-something American couple who spent a few lovely days in Croatia as part of a whirlwind European drive. Initially, let us say that Croatia is a stunningly beautiful country and it is non-stop scenery no matter where you go. The people are friendly and happy to see you there. There are no visible signs (at least in the major tourist areas of the Adriatic coast) of the terrible war that occurred in the early 90's. There is a new superhighway (autocesta) that runs from Zagreb to Split (and is being built on towards Dubrovnik--a marrvel of civll engineering and worth a look for that reason alone) and from Zagreb to Rijeka that is magnificent for its scenery, its environental design (they have "green" bridges that cross the road to help wildlife across, tunnels, and service stations every 30 kilometers or so that are clean, provide great food and even offer natural gas for the cars that use that fuel--light years ahead of what we have in the US!), and its driveability. Driving is reasonable, although watch out for the speeding Germans.
Now for a review of Stella Mare. This small, spotless, family run and very friendly place is located on the south side of the island of Hvar (reachable by car ferry from Split to Stari Grad), a spot which is far from the more crowded Hvar town on the west side (but which did not seem crowded when we were there just last week). The hotel has about 20 rooms or so, on 4 differenet levels. Some, like ours, have a patio surrounded by rosemary bushes and lemon and pomegranate trees. They make their own olive oil; there is a vineyard next door; our room was very clean with a modern bathroom; furnishing was very basic, but the bed was big and comfortable; it is air conditioned, although you can get by without it because the humidity is very low--the climate is magnificent; there is a stunning view of the Adriatic which is onloy about 200 yards down the hill; the walk back uphill might be straining for some. I was told a pool will be added for nexct year. Note that there are essentially no sand beaches on the Adriatic--instead you have rocky coves with various sized pebbles in the water. The water is remarkably crystal clear and fresh smelling (considering it is a salty sea) and rivals the nicest spots in the Virgin Islands. We saw people snorkeling, but there are no colorful fishes like you see in more tropical areas. Some beaches are more corded than others, but you can always find a little cove just for yourself.
The owner. Theo, and his sons are absolutely fluent in English (as well as about 4 other languages) and were friendly and service oriented. The food prepared by the owner's wife, focuses on local seafood specialties and is very tasty because it is very fresh--the giant shrimp and fish come off the boat the same day of your eating them; the tomatoes and vegetables are out of the garden; the olives actually had a taste to them and not just salty (!!!). There is also a variety of grilled meats. There is a dessert made out of baked peaches on a crepe with cream that is out of sight. They serve local wines from a winery down the road which was truly outstanding. Fully stocked bar. They will provide detailed advice on where to go and what to see. If you do not have a car, they will pick you up at the ferry. Be forewarned that the driving on a good bit of the island is not for the faint of heart--the roads are very narrow and steep, including access to the hotel itself (probably about 35 degree slope down--so get an automatic transmission, or be very experienced at driving a stick shift on a hill); payment can be made by Euros (they do require that you send them a small deposit by wire transfer, which can be an issue if your bank does not know how to do that and most banks will also charge you a lot for the service (Wachovia, for example, charges $40 regardless of the amount being transferred.)
The price of the stay turned out to be about $210 per night with wine and meals--and that was with a 30% "premiuim" that is tacked on in most hotels in Croatia during the high season when you stay for 3 nights or less (we stayed for 3). The room also has a kitchenette and small refrigerator; there is a good pizza place up the road a little bit. The Stella Mare web site is very accurate and the place is actually nicer in reality than depicted on the site. It is a very relaxzed atmosphere--there is no formal reception area--just a little alcove next to the restuarant and bar. The clientele ranged in age from young familes with children (who, incidentally, were remarkably well behaved even during late dinners!!!) to middle aged and older couples; the room walls are made out of solid rock, so you will not hear what is happennning next door. If you are looking for a great place to exprerience local color without sacrificing comfort or communication (due to your inability to speak Croatian), this place is highly recommended. Keep in mind that this is a small, family run hotel and the pace might be a bit slower--but nothing to compromise overall service. And the breakfast is great--they were actually surprised that we did not want eggs--which they will cook any way you like them. Also french toast and a whole variety of cold cuts, cheeses and other goodies; you can smell the bread being baked in the morning! We really cannot stop praising this great little place.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2006

We had booked into a specific room in the Stella Mare apartments, booked by contacting the owner direct. When we arrived the owner had no idea we were arriving and put us in a room in a half built house 200 yards up the hill. The upper storey of this house was half built (no windows no doors no plaster just concrete,). There was no air con (essential in Hvar in August)We were promised to be moved into the room we booked the next day. The next day we were told we could move the day after. The day after we were told it would be one more day and so on. We finally got into the room we booked on the last night. This runied our holiday. We were promised a free week there but this bever materialised.

  • Stayed August 2004, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stella Mare

Address: Zavala112 | Otok Hvar, Hvar, Hvar Island 21465, Croatia
Location: Croatia > Dalmatia > Split-Dalmatia County > Hvar Island > Hvar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #84 of 150 Specialty Lodging in Hvar
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel - Villa Stella is located on the south side of the island in a small fishing village Zavala.Vila has one apartment, five studio apartments, five suites. The villa is located reastoran "Vapor" so that our guests can choose from a daily menu and ala carte ... more   less 

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