Hvar Town, a Changing Destination: A View from Hotel Adriana Terraces

Total Croatia News

June 22, 2019 – Where is the best place to observe life in the slow lane in Hvar Town? The case for spa hotel, Hotel Adriana. 

It is about 8 years since I first entered the lobby at Hotel Adriana, the luxury spa hotel which is currently the flagship of Suncani Hvar Hotels. I had just started a website called Total Hvar, and I was looking for some prominent Hvar businessmen to support my nascent project, and they suggested Adriana as a meeting place. 


Some eight years later, the destination of Hvar, my Total Hvar project (now part of the TCN family), Hotel Adriana, and I have all undergone quite some change, and I was very happy to accept a kind invitation from Suncani Hvar to spend the night at Adriana to see how things are changing in Hvar Town. 

And things ARE changing. For the better.

As the new Hvar Town Tourist Board Director, Petar Razovic, explained in a TCN interview two months ago, the destination s trying to change its party image and revert back to its traditional roots as a luxury destination. There are already some concrete signs of success in this direction, as well as agreements with the nightclub bosses which seem to be working. The Yacht Week, for example, no longer comes to Hvar Town, being instead diverted straight to Carpe Diem Beach, a huge improvement. And according to Rezovic, The Yacht Week only comes five times a month now, much less than before. 

But I was keen to see how things looked from Hotel Adriana, as it has always been for me the best place to observe life in Hvar Town. 

The heat of the day was an instant distant memory within seconds of arrival, as were greeted by wet towels and a glass of prosecco, before entering our first floor room. 

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There is nothing wrong with a bedroom view like that.

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One of the things I love about the Adriana view is that it takes in everything – a great view to the imposing Spanish fortress and the Arsenal and main square… 

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And a lovely view of the busy and enchanting Hvar harbour and exclusive waterfront. 

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And, as a people-watching exercise, it was hard to beat – congrats to the happy couple!

One of the joys of the Adriana is watching the diverse and busy harbour life, where sailors of all budgets and experience co-exist in a beautiful space. From the fishermen and water taxis, and the sailors and sea kayakers, to the superyachts and catamarans. It really is enchanting. Several years ago, Hvar TV put together a collage of Hvar harbour life speeded up – it is still a great watch today. 

I decided that I wanted to keep the windows open to see get a sense of the sounds – and the noise – of the destination. By far the most prominent and seductive noise in the late afternoon was the gentle lapping of waves almost directly below the room – you don’t get that in every ‘waterfront’ hotel. 

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Observing harbour life was like being in a posh and relaxed Mediterranean town back in the 1970s, the kind of place you would expect Sophia Loren to show up at any minute. Was this really a party destination? It had all the elements of a stylish and elite destination. 

A big change this summer is the large increase in the number of catamarans – some 16 in all during the peak season. I was expecting this to somehow change the dynamic of harbour life, but their frequent arrival was in harmony, the main difference being to reduce the queues of waiting passengers and increase choice. 

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And as the day progressed, so too did the changing position of the sun change the colour of the facades of Hvar’s stone houses. And so too did the riva fill up from with the boats from Krilo Jesenice bringing young tourists to sample the famous Hvar nightlife. The view above taken from the top of Hotel Adriana.

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Arguably the best place for a pre-dinner cocktail is the Top Bar of Hotel Adriana, a stylish locale with fabulous views of the main sights of the town. Choose from the Arsenal, oldest public theatre in Europe and main square… 

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Or the changing colours of the Hvar facades above the exclusive waterfront. 

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Either way, an experience heartily recommended. The Top Bar was completely renovated in 2018 and now has three penthouse suites alongside. I will leave it to you to imagine how the bedroom views are from there.

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Hotel Adriana is a member of Stories, an exclusive group of 17 small and boutique hotels in Croatia, and Adriana’s focus is on spa and gourmet. Although we did not get to test out the spa facilities, the range of services – and its integration into the menu – was impressive. You can learn more about the Sensori Spa facilities here. 


The perceived wisdom is that Top Bar is the best terrace at Hotel Adriana, and some may even say in Hvar Town. The views are certainly divine, but I personally disagree, for the ground floor terrace at the Val Marina restaurant is a total gem, either for a drink, dinner, brunch or an unmissable breakfast experience. 


The restaurant is a little above the pedestrian walkway and separated by a glass fence. The effect is that the restaurant affords privacy and is not so well noticed by passers by, but gives diners a stunning view, prime position and a proximity to those addictive lapping waves. I came for breakfast several years ago and wrote how it was the best terrace in all Hvar Town.

It still is. 

There are also some gems on the wine list. Zlatan Aurum, for example, the 23-carat gold leaf Posip from the late, great Hvar winemaker, Zlatan Plenkovic, which can only be tried here outside the Sveta Nedjelja winery. Learn more about Zlatan Aurum


Could you imagine a better view for dinner?

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I could write a separate blog about dinner, but let’s keep it short here and pay special tribute to this starter, sea bass ceviche…

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And if you are a lover of macarons, there is no avoiding this dessert. 

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As dinner progressed, so the atmosphere of the day evolved. Many younger tourists were heading into the centre for an evening out, and the atmosphere was a lot more vibrant that earlier in the day. The change started around 22:00, but was not as dramatic as I had been expecting. One of the key agreements between Carpe Diem and the town, apart from removing The Yacht Week, has been to have better policing of the partygoers heading for the all-night party on Stipanska. Security guards have been employed to ensure the smooth running of things, as well as being in position to greet the tourists in the early hours on their return and ensure an orderly dispersal. 

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Although we are not in peak season yet, the difference – to me at least – was marked. Walking around town last year was not that pleasant due to many drunken (and yes, mostly Brits) tourists, but it now only felt safe but much more relaved. I believe that party nightlife can co-exist with Hvar tourism, and this new strategy of outsourcing it from the centre seems to be working. 

There was plenty of music and action in the bars which have deals with the party boats – Kiva, Nautica, Seven, Aloha etc. and this was the centre of all nightlife until 2am. While not as intrusive to a relaxing stay as I expected, if there was a way to outsource this to another part of town, all the ingredients are there to really restore Hvar’s place as an elite destination, attracting the kind of clientele such a destination deserves. 

But progress has been significant in the last year, and long may it continue. I decided to sleep with the window open to see how much noise there was. Apart from some shouting as one might expect, it was not too disruptive, and a closed window ensured a good night’s sleep. It remains to be seen how the peak season will look, but Hvar is definitely moving in the right direction. Congratulations to all who have enabled this to happen.  

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The morning view was hard to beat.  

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And there are certainly worse places in the world to enjoy life as a digital nomad.  

And so to breakfast on THAT terrace. Open from 07:00 – 11:00 (non-residents welcome), it really is one of the top 5 things to do in Hvar Town – breakfast on the terrace at Hotel Adriana. 

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It is several years since I had breakfast at Hotel Adriana, and I still remember the wonderful experience and the lazy morning on that terrace. It was every bit as good this time, if not better, and the emphasis on healthy living (no less than 11 types of milk to choose from) was plain to see. I plan to do a separate story on the Adriana breakfast experience, as I really think the combination of what is on offer nutrition-wise, combined with the view and ambiance, make it one of the best ways to observe Hvar Town. I didn’t eat again until the following morning. 

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And for those who wanted to indulge, the waffle temptation was never far away. 

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Our stay was less than 24 hours in mid to late-June. A snapshot of a destination. As a place to observe life on Hvar and to truly relax, Hotel Adriana is hard to beat. 

But more importantly, the first results of change in Hvar Town’s tourism direction are already bearing fruit, and it is encouraging to see. There is still some way to go, and I – along with many others – will be watching with interest. 

For one of the best seats to follow developments, I heartily recommend one of the Hotel Adriana terraces. 

To learn more about Hvar as a destination, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide


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