4 Stars for Pharos Bayhill as Hvar Hotel Quality Continues

Paul Bradbury

June 24, 2024 – Another star for Pharos, hvar bayhill hotel, the latest upgrade in the Hvar hotel scene.

When I first moved to Hvar in 2003, its hotels were a mess. Most were remnants of the socialist era, and several were still recovering from years of hosting refugees and internally displaced people during the war – long-stay guests who did little for the maintenance of the buildings. It struck me as odd that this was one of the world’s top ten most beautiful islands – and Croatia’s premier – and yet the quality of the luxury accommodation was pitiful.

Times change, and these days, Hvar boasts no less than three 5-star hotels. The driving force for the upgrade in quality has been the island’s largest employer, Suncani Hvar Hotels, whose portfolio got an impressive makeover after its sale to ORCO Group back in 2006. Foreign owners investing millions to bring the quality of the waterfront hotels to the quality of the island itself. Hotels Adriana, Riva and Amfora underwent complete renovation and became the new 4-star stars of the island.

Things got even better in 2019, when 2-star Hotel Palace, superbly located on the edge of the main square and overlooking the Adriatic, was transformed into the island’s first 5-star hotel, rebranded as Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel, in honour of Empress Elisabeth, whose investment into the first Hvar hotel in the 19th century put the town on the tourism map before most destinations in Croatia.

There is another Suncani hotel which has undergone a complete transformation, and in many ways it is the more interesting one. It is exactly 8 years since I received an invitation to come to the opening of what was billed as Croatia’s first Millennial hotel. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what a Millennial was, except that it was something cooler and younger than me, and I must admit to being tickled to seeing cartoon sequences on the tiles of my shower.

Pharos, like much of the Suncani portfolio, had been a poor 2-star hotel, and the chic upgrade set it apart from any other hotel on the island. Set back from the waterfront and located in a residential area in pine forest, it is a deceptively chilled place and remarkably quiet – my favourite hotel to stay in during the peak season. And I got to see another side of Pharos bayhill’s versatility a few Decembers ago, as I found myself once more there covering the winter training of one of the world’s top cycling teams, Bahrain Merida (Bahrain McLaren today). A completely different type of hotel attracting the younger crowd, but still one in which I felt very comfortable.

When the fully renovated Pharos bayhill hvar opened in June, 2016, it was awarded only three stars, due (from memory) to an issue with the size of the rooms. That issue has now been resolved, as the hotel this week was awarded its fourth star, the latest 4-star hotel on this magical island. You can learn more about Pharos bayhill hvar hotel here.

And Suncani is not quite finished with the upgrades. Next on the list once the famous Croatian bureaucracy has been tamed is 2-star Hotel Delfin, in prime location on the water directly opposite Hvar’s fabled riva. It is a riva and harbour that is looking a lot more elite and quality than when I first arrived over two decaded ago.


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