|LUXURY RESORTS: MASLINA RESORT, CROATIA
Maslina Resort reopens for the new season on May 1, 2023
Style : Croatian style that goes back to nature.
Scene: Lounging in the Croatian Sun.
Seen in the Lobby: A stunning 13.5 tonne stone which was imported from nearby Brač island. This is the hotel reception and really is stunning. It’s a great first representation of what to expect throughout the resort.
Guests’ experience of Maslina is fast tracked before they even arrive at the waterfront resort as its bespoke speed boat will transport you from Split to Hvar Island in approximately one hour.
From the minute you arrive at the luxury resort you can start enjoying the facilities as check-in can be dealt with on board. This ensures an effortless and seamless arrival, so before I even knew it my bags were being taken to my room and I was sitting drinking a cocktail on the deck by the pool.
Maslina, a Relais & Chateaux property, is located on the beautiful island of Hvar, on Maslinica Bay near the town of Stari Grad. Opened in 2020, with an ethos of ‘Mindful Luxury’, the resort aims to deliver a ‘respectful high-end hospitality experience inspired by the rich cultural and natural heritage of Hvar Island’. Having spent a blissful week at the five-star Maslina, I can say, ‘Mindful Luxury’ and their goals have been achieved.
The resort has been sustainably designed with local materials and natural elements such as cotton, terracotta, wood and stone throughout the public areas and accommodation, creating an oasis of calm. Maslina feels organic and natural – from style, design ethos, attitude and this is reflected in the spa, restaurant and accommodation.
The resort feels like a natural feature of the area, blending into the landscape. Any other design would spoil the location but Maslina’s flow and style complements this already stunning area perfectly.
The stylish interiors are beautiful, but what makes Maslina extra special are the amazing views. All of the 53 rooms, suites and villas have sea views. Every time I walked out onto my balcony I was amazed by the stunning panoramic view of the glittering blue, framed by lush banks, of the bay.
Maslina continues their environmental approach to its in-room and spa amenities. Products are locally designed, non-toxic, and made without any plastics. All are still wonderfully luxurious and super indulgent!
Maslina beautifully blends high luxury and service but with an authentic, relaxed feel – which completely suits the style of the resort. All of staff were so friendly and welcoming and knew how to strike the right balance of excellent guest experience with great attention to detail while remaining relaxed and discreet.
TLTB also fell in love with the resort’s resident ginger cat, Garfield. He started hanging around the resort and is now a permanent presence around the hotel lobby. He enjoys the perks of living at a luxury hotel such as smoked salmon for breakfast and much petting from guests, especially from Little Luxies.
Maslina’s Pharomatiq Spa is outstanding and ‘Mindful Luxury’ is evident throughout. Split over two levels with outside areas for exercise and meditation, this is a beautiful and serene spa and from the moment I entered I could feel myself immediately at ease.
| Maslina’s Pharomatiq Spa is outstanding and ‘Mindful Luxury’ is evident throughout. |
With a focus on Wellness, the spa offers a number of activities and spa treatments to achieve this. Each morning there are complimentary sessions of yoga or meditation held in the lovely outside relaxation areas to get your day off to the right start.
The food at Maslina is wonderful. Michelin-starred Head chef Serge Gouloumès leads his kitchen to deliver relaxed breakfasts of fresh fruits, pastries and egg dishes, to a pool-side menu of salads and wraps for lunch, to fine dining at dinner. The restaurant ‘embraces the UNESCO-protected Mediterranean Diet but adds a contemporary flair’. Menus have been designed to shine a spotlight on local ingredients and producers, follow the seasons and many ingredients come from Maslina’s Organic Garden.
My favourite dish was the Chorizo Risotto with Roasted Monkfish which I ordered on two consecutive nights – in fact I am still thinking about it! The Croatian wine the sommelier paired with it made it taste even better!
For a lower carbon footprint, Maslina’s wine list is comprised of 50% Croatian wines, 25% French wines and 25% wines from the rest of the European Union. The bar serves signature cocktails, created by Chris Edwardes, that have been inspired by the elements of Hvar Island.
Maslina means ‘olive’ so it is fitting that the resort features many olive trees across the property. Trees were not disturbed during the construction of the resort and have been incorporated into the layout and design. During the Winter the olives on the resort’s many trees were harvested to be enjoyed during the 2022 season.
Local Olive Oil and Croatian Wine tasting sessions can be enjoyed by guests. Led by the resort’s sommelier it was a great way to experience more of the region’s produce. It was highly enjoyable while also widening my knowledge of this wonderful products.
A visit to the resort’s private pebble beach is a beautiful way to spend the afternoon. Attendants were on hand to provide fresh towels and cold water, and also offer rides back to the resort in electric Maslina buggies.
Such is the warmth of the Croatian Sun that even past 5pm I was able to swim in this quiet, secluded area comfortably, relaxing with just my thoughts and the scenery for company. There are also spots along the bay with decks and loungers for sunbathing.
Further reflecting the natural theme running throughout the resort, wooden bikes are available for guests to use to explore the local area. These stylish bikes are a fun way to spot fellow Maslina guests when travelling around the island.
If you wish to go further afield, or are maybe feeling less energetic, slick Black Mercedes are also available to transport guests on excursions around the island.
Stari Grad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an enjoyable and pleasant 15 minute coastal walk away and after a day of sightseeing TLTB enjoyed watching the setting sun as we made our way back to the hotel for pre-dinner cocktails.
In recent years celebrities have been attracted to the beauty of Hvar (think Beyoncé and Jay-Z, The Duke of Sussex and Tom Cruise) but the island has long been a favourite of the rich and famous. Jackie Kennedy escaped the media glare, in the months after the President’s assassination, to Stari Grad. She was spotted water skiing and reportedly said she ‘felt free’ during the holiday.
Having been dropped off in Hvar town at the castle on the hill, we strolled down the cobbled streets towards the harbour while popping into the small boutiques along the way.
Judging by the number of sleek Super Yachts in the harbour in Hvar town, the island continues to attract the rich and stylish. The yachting set, the super-rich, celebrities and also your average jet-setting hedonists are going to be coming to Hvar all summer long.
Maslina is a truly beautiful resort, a hidden gem away from the bustle of Hvar, which perfectly showcases the wonderful hospitality, culture, food and friendliness that Croatia, and especially the resort’s local area, has to offer.
|Check in: Maslina, Hvar Star Residence d.o.o. Uvala Maslinica 0, 21460 Stari Grad, Croatia
|Ultimate Luxury: Check into the five bedroom Villa Uvala. It’s absolutely stunning - And what a view!
|Most Indulgent Moment: Relaxing while lying meditating under the warm blue skies in a zen sound bath – it was my first time having a sound bath but after such an amazing experience it certainly won’t be my last.
|The Little Things: Hvar is famous for its Lavender. Lavender bath salts to enjoy a soak in the absolutely massive Turkish baths and the little bag of lavender on my pillow to aid rest and create a lovely sense of peace.
|Junior Luxies: Absolutely welcome – they’ll love the kids’ club.
|Dent in the platinum:
|Luxury Resorts Link: www.maslinaresort.com
Sarah Bryans, 27/04/22, Updated 20/04/2023
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