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“Quirky and friendly but poor value for money”
Review of Palmizana

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Palmizana
Ranked #22 of 164 Specialty Lodging in Hvar
England
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Quirky and friendly but poor value for money”
Reviewed September 20, 2009

Spent 6 nights staying here as part of a longer trip to Croatia, and while we didn't have any major issues with any aspects of Palmizana, it just wasn't remarkable enough to warrant the fairly hefty bill.

Our accommodation was individual and comfortable, although more rustic than plush - with local art on the walls and quirky features. We stayed in Villa 'Red', which was spacious - with a decent sized living area, small bathroom, mezzanine bedroom and large shady terrace. It's not self-catering, so no kitchen facilities apart from sink and kettle. It was cleaned thoroughly every day - usually by the time we had returned from breakfast.

The villas are all nestled amongst trees on the estate, and very well placed so that most are not overlooked - and without feeling too 'resort-y', which we liked. The restaurants are all close by, but again nicely tucked away within the trees. We were quite surprised (possibly by not reading up properly beforehand) by the fact that the island of S. Klement actually has a sizeable Marina and a good 7 or 8 independent restaurants - which offered good choice - although didn't help to keep prices low!

Service was great - Romina and her staff are always present, very friendly and helpful and very laid back. Whether breakfast, dinner or ad-hoc enquiries, there was always someone on hand to help. We rented a little motor boat for the day, and paid about £60 for the day - which seemed quite expensive.

We ate twice in the Palmizana restaurant - food was fresh, local, home cooked & very tasty - but quite pricey (although no more so than anywhere else on this island). Our meal at the sister restaurant 'Toto's' was equally good food but service was laughably slow - luckily we weren't too concerned and were recompensed with some extra wine. Breakfast at the Palmizana restaurant was always good with a decent selection of bread, jams, yoghurts, fruit & eggs every morning.

The private beach isn't great, but there are others you can wander to within a couple of kms. It's all pebble/ rock, which we were expecting, good tips on here to take shoes you can wear into the sea to avoid the sea urchins & spiky rocks. It definitely feels like an island that is best explored by boat, as you're a little limited on foot - a couple of paths taking you to the village of Vlaka where there are 2 restaurants, and another leading down to another bay, but otherwise fairly limited for a week's stay. It's definitely missing a swimming pool!

As we were staying slightly out of high season, we were caught out a couple of times trying to catch the taxi boat over to Hvar Island because it didn't turn up as advertised. The private taxi boats take a minimum of 4 people so we often had to wait until another 2 people turned up to make up the numbers - not greatly flexible, and pretty expensive at about £10 each for a return ticket, which mounts up when you're popping back and forwards a couple of times in the week.

Hvar Island is definitely where the action is, and in hindsight we would probably have stayed here instead and used as base for exploring - we ended up spending a fair amount just getting off the island. Unless you literally want to do nothing in fairly average surroundings, there's not enough to do here for a week - and it's not as pretty as some of the places we found in Croatia (of which there are lots!). We stayed at 5-star hotels in Split and Dubrovnik and paid roughly the same as we did here - we were looking for something different, and although it had some good bits, it just didn't feel like good value for money.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank TheGetawayGang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2009

We stayed at Palmižana on the Island of St Klement for 10 days in July 2009. We were 3 couples and 1 single ranging from 25 to 66 years old. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone wanting a truly unique getaway!

First of all, the island is part of the Paklina archipelago and has no cars so it's very peaceful and you are completely surrounded by nature. The harbour is a 5 min walk from the resort and has a shop and a cool cocktail bar which we often frequented for late night drinks. You can get a water taxi to the Island of Hvar which takes just 10 minutes and being the most bustling and touristy island, you have the best of both worlds.

The accommodation is quirky and unique. We stayed in the Yellow, Green and Violet bungalows which were tastefully decorated in their said colours. Our accommodation was comfortable and clean but do not expect luxury - the amenities are basic and simple which suited us fine. Hot water can run out quickly so we got used to having quick showers but this wasn't a problem for us. The paths leading to the villas could do with more lighting and some fixing but again, when you are in such beautiful surroundings, little things like that didn't get to us.

Breakfast is served at Dagmar's - a beautiful art inspired building overlooking the marina. They offer a good selection of cereals, fruit, yoghurts and cooked eggs and ham done how you like. We had amazing dinners at Dagmar's and Toto's. The seafood and fresh fish was delicious and service was always good. Dagmar's do a delicious fish stew on the fire which my family couldn't have enough of. There is also meat and vegetarian options if you don't fancy seafood. We had drinks before dinner on our patio - we took our own and they provided ice and glasses with no problem and we would move onto dinner around 9pm.

The main beach of the resort is nothing special - it's small and busy so we didn't spend any time there but this wasn't a problem to us as we explored the island by foot and by boat and stumbled across beautiful excluded bays and beaches. They are all pebbled beaches so don't expect sand (anywhere on the Dalmatian coast for that matter). I advise you wear booties at all times to avoid the sea urchins. There is the small problem of litter thanks for the boats using the ocean as a litter bin but the beaches are cleaned up after every season apparently. We had super weather with clear skies and baking sunshine every day. It didn't rain once and the evenings were a pleasant temperature.

One day, we did a 1.5 hour hike to the fishing village of Vlaka. The paths aren't proper paths as such but are colour marked. It was very hot so we armed ourselves with water and wore suitable clothing and walking shoes. The island is full of aloe and rosemary so the scent is wonderful. We came across a magnificent crystal clear bay where we stopped for a swim to cool down. We then headed into the village and were amazed at the quaint houses and serenity of this sleepy little place. We visited the church and stopped for lunch at restaurant in the middle of nowhere called "Pansion". It is owned by a family who grow their own fruit and vegetables, run their own winery and the man of the house is a fisherman who catches the seafood daily. We shared the likes of octopus salad, seafood dip and cheeses with homemade bread and sampled their home made wine. No exaggeration, this was the best meal we had on the entire holiday - and the cheapest funny enough! The daughter who runs the restaurant spoke good English and was delightful to talk to. We didn't fancy walking back in the mid afternoon heat so she organised us a water taxi back to the resort. This definitely worth a visit!

We did two private boat tours while staying on the island. First one was to the Island of Brac where the town of Bol and the longest beach in Croatia were great to visit. The other was to Vis with stops at the Green Cave and the world famous Blue Cave on the Island of Biševo - all worth seeing. Just take sea sickness tablets if you suffer like me :)

Palmižana has been run by the Meneghello family for over 100 years so their passion and enthusiasm is definitely a warming attribute. All the staff were friendly, helpful and attentive. The one daughter, Tarin deals with the bookings and PR and was excellent in answering my e-mails efficiently. The other daughter, Romina runs the show and sorted out every request within minutes. Eva, the secretary was very good in organising our day excursions and answering all our questions. The waiters, Igor and Eva were fantastic and loads of fun and Mario was helpful too. The rooms are cleaned while you are at breakfast and fresh beach towels were provided when we asked.

After Palmižana, we went to Dubrovnik for a few days and we all just kept on saying - "We want to go back to Palmižana!". At first you may think it's a bit rough around the edges but once you get into the island way of life and take everything in, you won't regret this unforgettable and truly relaxing place!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank islandstyle08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hvar
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2009

just got back from this hell hole on the first boat out!

only stayed 2 hours. i would solemnly advise that NO ONE go to this island.
its smelly, old and run down,
staff are rude. the beach is the size of a peanut and covered in rubbish and people.
the crickets gave me a headache after 2minutes and the accomadation looked like a health hazard.. i would have rather stayed in a mud hut in the sahara,
thankfully back in hvar, never to return!! hvar is amazing! palmizana is a big pile of steamy poop and a waste of money that you will never see again.
if u think this review is a joke.. go see for yourself...actually dont!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank lucyloo7Hvar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2009

My husband booked a week in Palmizana as the second stop of our spectacular three week honeymoon. He figured it would make for a relaxing and somewhat restful break between Paris and Istanbul. He figured right. We had done a lot of research prior to arriving in Palmizana so we would know what to expect during our visit - expectations that were definitely exceeded. We stayed in Villa Orange and couldn't have been more pleased with the beautiful, comfortable accomodations that were made complete by an amazing terrace with a view of Palmizana Bay. Aside from a couple of day drips to Hvar (which I would highly recommend), we stayed on island. We enjoyed one incredible fresh meal after another. Romina, the owner, was always present and available to assist in any way she could. We rented a boat one day and found several private coves to swim and relax. Most of our time was spent at the beach sunning and swimming, eating and drinking fabulous Croatian wine. A kilo of fresh grilled shrimp for lunch became our daily ritual while sitting on the terrace at Toto's taking in the view of the Adriatic. I only hope that one day we can return to Palmizana -- one week wasn't enough!

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank ESRinSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 15, 2009

When we booked this trip we had an idea of a quirky and friendly hotel and we were not disappointed.

The hotel itself is located in one of the main bays of St Clements. The island is mainly covered with forest with a rocky coastline with very little entertainment except yourself and your book or scrabble board.

But surely this is the reason to go? The charming Romina whose family have owned and run this guesthouse for generations explained how electricity only arrived at the island 5 years ago. There is no road to speak of just a track taking you through the interior to take you through the various bays. There is also no real beach but an area with loungers on the front of the Palmiziana Bay.

If you are looking for a large sandy beach, then this is not for you. But equally you will easily find a comfortable and secluded spot in any of the bays with pretty much no one else around.

The restaurants on the bays served mainly seafood. However the standard was excellent with fresh fish brought to your table to select and extremely friendly staff who were always willing to help and recommend, especially when they realised you were staying longer than the passing ships who dock in the harbour.

This is probably not the place for people looking to party, and I wonder if it is the best place for younger children but if you are looking for seclusion and you do not mind the various methods of transport required to get to this destination then i would thoroughly recommend. Hvar is a boat ride away if you do get cabin fever.

Do not expect the fancies of modern hotels, there are no egyptian cotton sheets. plasma tvs nor giant walk in showers. Maybe that will come in the future but when it does also except the price to go up a hundred or so euro a night.

The destination itself is unique and beautiful, the accomodation similarly unique and well worth visiting.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank eermeenow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland, England, the Balkans
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 15, 2009

Palmizana is a beautiful resort on a perfect island. It has a wonderful get-away-from-it all feeling. The 20 minute boat trip from Hvar (a fantastic venetian style place in itself) is like a trip away from the cares of the everyday world to a magic place. It's what we Irish call a 'thin place' — where earth and the heavens touch—you expect to bump into a god or goddess somewhere around.

I stayed with a group of colleagues for a training week. We slept in different villas, each decorated to a different colour theme. The silence at night has to be experienced to be believed. Probably due to the fact that there is no traffic on the island (apart from a couple of stripped down landrover service vehicles).

The resort is an artist's paradise - perfect for writing, photography, painting or just quiet reading. It is surrounded by luxurious semi tropical vegetation and, of course, the warm inviting Adriatic. The sea was crystal clear, with plenty of isolated coves—ideal for private bathing and enjoying the delights of the outdoors.

I found it the perfect place for quiet meditation, but I'm sure it is also fine for partying, if that's what you like. There were some interesting people around so it's a good place to meet, drink, talk and share ideas.

We ate outside, on tables beautifully laid out with clean linen for every meal (including real linen napkins—my test of a classy restaurant). The food was locally sourced and excellently prepared. Service was friendly and quick. There was no problem cooking some special vegetarian dishes for me—nothing seemed too much trouble for the staff.

I loved Palmizana and rate it as one of the best places I have ever stayed. I want to go back again and again. It's a perfect place for lovers and anyone creative or spiritual.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank tdjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2009

We stayed in this resort for a week in September 08 and had a terrible time over there. First of all do not be fooled by their brochure, the pictures are much more glamourous and beautiful than the reality of the resort that is run on a minimum budget. Everything is old and would need some money spending. There is only hot water for 2 very, very quick showers everynight, they only have water delivered in a reservoir and water consumption is restricted. The island is not catered at all for children, the paths are not paved and you walk directly on dust and rocks. The beaches are rocky, dirty, full of rubbish from the boats and tourists who invade the island everyday. The only easily accessible sand beach is also distgusting, always covered with rubbish, tiny and it is a very noisy (they have a bar next door). The bungalows are very close to each other and there is very little privacy. Also the bungalows are surrounded by 3 restaurants and the rooms are quite noisy all the time so do not expect to read your book in a quite mediterranean atmosphere. Some bungalows had no air conditionning. But the worse is to come. While we stayed there 8 people got food poisoning from their main restaurant and the owners of the resort (always on site) did not want to take any responsabilty, did not offer any discounts or refund. People were ill for up to 3 weeks with terrible tummy ache, diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. It was a terrible experience when the problem occured as the island is completely isolated and there is no doctor, pharmacy or anyone that can help you if you have a health problem on site. We felt stranded on this island while all unwell, the nearest island with doctors is 30 min away. They can get you there but the transport is done on a fishboat with no comfort, you get splashed constantly along the way. The marketing of this resort is really clever: they ask you to transfer directly the money to their Lichtenstein or Austrian bank accounts so you have no way to get your money back or get it back from your credit card company if something goes wrong. Also they ask you to book for a minimum of 1 week which is far too much for this island that has so little entertainement or nice beaches to offer. I discourage anyone especially with young children to go there. While we were holidaying there we saw some people leaving the resort before the end of their schedule stay because they were so unhappy with the service and the resort.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
12 Thank trustme1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
meneghello, Owner at Palmizana, responded to this review, May 22, 2010
We are very sorry that this guest had a bad experience on Palmizana
and it must have been extremely distressing to have to look after a
sick child at the time. However, we feel we should point out that
many of his complaints against the resort are founded on a complete
misconception of what Palmizana is about and what we are trying to
achieve. We’d also like to point out that, while we have the
deepest sympathy for him and the distress he felt at the illness of his child,
it is, for quite simple reasons, highly unlikely that his child became
ill as a result of food poisoning contracted through our kitchens.

First, we should point out that our family has run the resort for more
than 100 years with immense dedication and devotion. This is a family
business, our livelihood. We run this business according to the
highest moral standards and take great pride in the way we treat,
serve and respect our guests.

We operate with maximum respect for the natural environment as well as
for our guests who come to us with their families and children,
wanting to experience that natural environment and to enjoy it. Our resort is a bohemian one that offers a richblend of natural and man-made beauty.

Palmižana is not an artificial tourist resort like so many built
uniformly around the world. It is a unique and original landscape
created and enriched over decades by its inhabitants. It is a
landscape that has been visited by people for over a century in order
to enjoy a close communion with nature. It is not a “luxury”
resort and we will sacrifice the comforts of civilisation, in order
not to harm the natural environment. For instance, our guest
complains that the paths through the woods to the beaches are not
asphalted – but that is not negligence on our part. We have quite
deliberately avoided doing that, in order to preserve the natural
environment.

Water is the most precious commodity on the island. There is not a
limitless supply. We bring water to the island by boat. As a result
of this, it is necessary to impose water restrictions, but these still
allow guests to have (hot) showers. Tourists for whom a limitless
supply of water is an essential luxury are ill-advised to stay here.
Limited water supplies are part of the reality of a small island like
Palmizana.

We pride ourselves on being very careful in keeping interference with
the island’s natural environment to an absolute minimum. We want to
leave everything on the island as natural possible. Subject to that
we provide all necessary services for our guests.
We are dedicated to maintaining the resort as it has always been, to
preserve the ethos and vision of its founders and to give the guests
who come here the same life experience our guests have always had.
That, too, has been a very deliberate decision and we have persisted
with that in spite of all the political turmoil that has beset the
former Yugoslavia and Croatia over the past century.

Palmizana is a small island and it takes time to reach it. We highly
recommend to everyone to stay at least one week there and, in the high
season, we operate a minimum stay of one week to simplify the
administration of arrivals and departures. This is not an unusual
system and it tends to be convenient for guests too. Most of our
guests stay at our place for one or two weeks during the summer and
most flights and other connections are on Saturdays, too.

Because it is somewhat off the beaten track, the nearest emergency
rooms are in the town of Hvar /15 min ride by boat/ and the nearest
hospital is in Split, 45 min to 2 hours away, depending on the ferry
boats schedules. Of course this could be a matter of concern to
guests, but this information is available on our website, under the
“important information” section.

This guest mentioned that his son had caught a virus and that others
on the island suffered a similar problem. But it is important to
point out that this phenomenon was both fairly restricted in Palmizana
and much more widespread – there was an outbreak of an entero virus
epidemia right along the Croatian coast at this time. Such outbreaks
are common occurrences during the summer months. Numerous cases of
vomiting and diarrhea were reported on the island of Hvar and the town
of Hvar at that time. But there were no specific food poisoning cases
on Palmizana. In our two restaurants during the peak season we serve
around 200 people over lunch and dinner on a daily basis. Given those
kinds of volumes, any incident of food poisoning would have affected a
far wider section of the people staying on the island. But clearly,
this did not happen. It would therefore seem that Palmizana was
simply the location of his child’s illness, but certainly not the
cause of it.

We are very sorry that he had a distressing experience while staying
with us and that this was compounded by his party not fully
understanding what the Meneghello family is trying to achieve and
preserve in continuing to run the resort. I would like to extend my
sympathy to this guest and his family. I’d also like to thank him
for giving me the opportunity to clarify what Palmizana is about, in
order that other travelers are not put off visiting this unique,
beautiful and unusual island that has been giving enormous pleasure
and peace to its many guests for more than one hundred years.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palmizana

Property: Palmizana
Address: Meneghello Estate, Hvar, Hvar Island 21450, Croatia
Location: Croatia > Dalmatia > Split-Dalmatia County > Hvar Island > Hvar
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 164 Specialty Lodging in Hvar
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Palmizana Hotel Hvar

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