This apartment is getting three stars from me based only on its location and the apartment itself, both of which are great. If we had received even minimal service during our stay, it would easily have five stars. But unfortunately, we never even met our host. Which made for a bewildering stay without adequate information. Such as: Where is the apartment? Where do we eat breakfast? And how do we pay for our stay?
I didn't expect to have a self-serve apartment, because I had corresponded with Irina before our trip and found her to be quite helpful. The last I had heard from her was an email saying "Please let me know approx (can later) your time of arriving so we can meet you in time in the house, as we didn't live there." So a couple hours before we arrived in Split, I sent an email from the car letting her know when to meet us (at about 6pm). Didn't get anything in response. A few minutes before 6pm, I sent another email saying we were just 5 minutes away on foot. Didn't get a response. We wandered through the old town until we finally found a tiny sign on a wall (see my accompanying pictures) indicating we had arrived at the hotel. But it was still unclear to us where the hotel door was. (Turns out it's through one gate, and then there's another locked gate on the right leading to a courtyard, then the apartments are up a couple flights of stairs - see my other photos.) But this was not apparent to us, even after we found the sign. We had to ask a business owner nearby to call Irina, and after reaching her, that helpful girl informed us that there were sticky notes on the second gate telling us that our key was in the cafe nearby. (We didn't see the sticky notes because we couldn't find the gate/door...) Sure enough, the guy at the cafe had our key, and he gamely helped us get our luggage up the two flights of stairs and into our room.
The apartment is very small, and I say this as a mid-30-year-old who has lived in a 450 sq ft studio apartment in New York City for the last eight years. I am not accustomed to lavish living spaces. The apartment we had in Split has two levels - the entry level is the small sitting/kitchen space, along with a bathroom, and then there's an unusual staircase (see the photo) that leads up to the second level, which has a TV and the beds, along with a couple chairs. Note that the unusual staircase is nice to look at, but it made a 3am potty trip daunting enough that I opted to force myself back to sleep rather than find out how coordinated I was at that hour. The bed area was plenty spacious, but once we opened our two suitcases downstairs, there was no space to sit or move about. We were only there for one night though, so it was workable. The apartment is decorated very cutely, and furnished comfortably. The beds were comfortable. And the AC worked well upstairs. The shower seemed promising, until it ran out of hot water after 5 minutes. Disappointing. And cold.
After 6 hours of poking around Split, getting dinner, watching sunset, etc., we came back and were getting into bed before realizing that Irina had never told us where the included breakfast was to be eaten the following morning. We sent an email and heard back from her within the hour that breakfast was at the same nearby cafe. She also said she had come by at 8:30pm but we weren't around (true - we had been in Split for 2.5 hours at this point and were eating at dinner at 8:30pm). She also said that she would come by at 10am to check us out and collect our payment. Seems like we should have some choice as to the time, but fine - we decided to make 10am work.
Breakfast the next morning was fine - a croissant, coffee/tea, and some juice. At 10am, we took our luggage down to the courtyard and waited, but there was no Irina. She had previously told us that we could leave our luggage in the courtyard for the day until our ferry that afternoon, but we decided this didn't suit us - even though the courtyard was locked, other people (and other guests) had access to it. Plus, it was open to the sky, and it was forecast to rain. Not ideal. By 10:15am, we gave up waiting for her and inquired at the cafe (our proxy hosts), who called her cell phone and reported that she was "far away" in "the village" and that she said we should leave our money with him. What happened to her meeting us at 10am? Why could she not respond to our emails the afternoon before or send us an email pre-10am telling us that she had been delayed? It made for a frustrating stay, trying to chase down our host so we could do things like get our key or pay her before we left. I'm sure she's lovely, but it's hard to speak to that given our experience (or lack thereof) with her.
All of that said, I was happy with the apartment's location inside the palace walls. If there had been more hot water for the shower, I would have been happy with the apartment itself. But given our experience of being latchkey guests, I would look for somewhere else to stay in Split were I to find myself in the area in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- These three beautifully restored apartments are situated in the very heart of Diocletian's palace. The house that they are in was built in 16th century. Two apartments are split-level and encompass second floor and attic space and measure 30m2 and 35m2 respectively. The third apartment is on the first floor and has a separate entrance. It is worth noting that in recent years, Diocletian's Palace has been used as a filming location for the HBO series "Game of Thrones". For those of you who are familiar with it, you will for example,see streets and basements of Diocletian's Palace in parts of Daenerys Targaryen's city of Meereen. ... more less
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