Quality Hvar Accommodation 2017: A Closer Look at Hotel Riva

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It is a very strange thing being a tourist on an island where you have lived for over a decade.

And yet that was the experience that I had a few years ago when I was invited by Croatian foodie club Gastronaut to join them on their three day tour of Hvar. I suppose I could have commuted from Jelsa, but the idea of two nights in Hotel Riva, speedboat transfer to wine tasting at Zlatan Otok, more speedboats for lunch at Meneghello, before another speedboat journey into Gariful fish heaven and a whole lot more made the idea of starting and, more importantly, finishing at Hotel Riva rather than Jelsa a very attractive proposition indeed.  

But the feeling was strange, a chance to experience an island I had discovered as a resident through the eyes of a tourist, and what a totally different experience it was.

Of all the hotels we could have stayed at, I was glad it was Riva, because it was the one hotel which had always slightly intimidated me walking by. For this was the hotel where the seriously cool people hung out. You could see it in the guests sunning themselves in the waterfront comfy chairs in front of the hotel, in the filmstar decor, and in the confident moves of the efficient staff. Every time I had a meeting at Riva – and I had several – I always felt I did not quite fit in, as I was not quite cool enough. And yet here I was now, as a guest!

And with that change of status, so too did my viewpoint of Riva change, for instead of looking in at the cool people, here I was looking out, playing the role of one of the cool people. I liked what I saw.


I still remember the bedroom view – the palm, the sunset, a view I was to wake up to the following two mornings and enjoy from my bed. You really could not put a price on it. There was the wow factor people look for in hotel accommodation.  

I would be lying if I said the hotel rooms were the most spacious I had stayed in (they had been VERY well photographed), but everything was there, stylish and swanky, and yes, I did feel a little more of a celebrity that I would at any other four-star hotel. There was a crispness, hipness that appealed to me, and even made me a little more self-confident so that I felt I could go down and mix with the beautiful people without being self-conscious. 

Riva is unshamedly designed for the younger stylish guest, but it is a hotel which works for all ages I think, given its exceptional location. Located at the heart of Hvar’s fabled exclusive waterfront, it is the ultimate people watching zone, as well as one of the places to be seen. 

The outside terrace is one of the treasures of the town, a severe chill zone, where one can enjoy the hotel cuisine, including Croatia’s first dedicated shrimp house. Breakfast however was my favourite, the perfect vantage point to watch the town come to life after another busy evening. With mega yachts in front and backpackers queueing for the ferry, the Hvar waterfront is not only one of the most cosmopolitan in Europe, but also one of the most socially accepting – rarely can you see such variation in social classes mingling side by side. And all from the comfort of your front row seat as one of the cool people sitting in the cool hotel in the middle of the cool waterfront. Once I had got into playing the role of being a guest at Riva, everything became VERY easy. It was one of the most relaxing weekends I had had in years (and yes, the luxury of complimentary speedboat transfers does help, and it took me some time to readjust to my pathetic real life after such a weekend). 

Riva is not the quietest hotel in the world – how can it be if it is on the Hvar waterfront? – but the makeup of the guest staying there is not typically someone who is in bed by 7pm, but in terms of location and convenience of location, it is pretty hard to beat. As part of the Suncani Hvar Hotel network, there are of course connections to the company’s other services, such as the Bonj les Bains beach club, and there are various packages available to find one which suits your needs perfectly. 

If you have already fixed your dates for 2017, there are various special deals on offer, with savings of up to 15% for early booking by the end of next February. Click here for more details on all Hotel Riva offers for 2017

A wonderful stay, part of an amazing weekend which will stay with me for a while, and when I last visited Riva at the beginning of this year, I was in for a complete surprise – and a very pleasant one. Looking for lunch in January, I was a little shocked to find that there was not a single restaurant open in the town, and the ONLY place to get something to eat was at Riva. Although I was hungry, I had not planned on investing in a four-star hotel lunch, but wandered by to see what the options where, and emerged an hour later with a very wholesome two-course lunch washed down with a beer that cost me just 8 euro. 

And again, it felt really nice sitting there looking out, feeling like one of the cool people. 

Try it.

For more information on Hotel Riva, visit the official hotel website


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