May 21, 2018 – Summer is coming, time to take a closer look at some of the best places to stay on Croatia’s Adriatic coast and islands. We start in delightful Zrnovska Banja on the island of Korcula.
Where to stay on your Croatian holiday? As I move around the country visiting various Croatian hotspots, it occurred to me that there is very little in the way of blogging about some of the coolest places on the Adriatic, so I thought we would try a new mini-series, highlighting some of the very coolest spots on the Adriatic. If you have a suggestion for a place to be included in the series, please contact us at [email protected]
We start on the island of Korcula, whose famous old town gets most of the media spotlight. And rightly so. But what if you could combine the majesty of the old town and its fabulous gourmet experiences, with an uber-chilled holiday on the beach in four-star comfort and about as relaxed a hotel environment as you are likely to find?
Meet Tara’s Lodge, located on the water in the middle of the bay, Zrnovska Banja, about 5 minutes north of Korcula Town by car. Staying there with my family during the excellent Korculanske Pjatance, I was reminded of one very important truth – proximity to the water beats almost everything else on holiday. Tara’s Lodge has a very cute small pebble beach in front of the hotel and its Mimi’s restaurant, where the water is too clear and inviting to ignore. The hotel has a concession for the beach, which they cleaned up themselves, and some of the most comfortable sun-loungers on the Adriatic. Whether you are sunbathing, lingering over lunch or relaxing over one of the excellent cocktails, parents can truly relax watching the little ones splash around in the shallow bay in front. Beach heaven for all the family.
One notices the difference in approach and that relaxed vibe from the moment one comes to check in. The traditional hotel approach is to get out passports at the counter and fill in forms. At Tara’s Lodge, a menu of complimentary drinks is the first port of call, after which reception comes to you. A very nice touch.
Another thing which becomes quickly apparent is the international feel of the place. Lots of young, enthusiastic and dedicated staff from all over the world. I did enjoy watching the cocktail precision of Marcus from Ireland, for example. I couldn’t decide whether or not Tara’s Lodge reminded me more of an upmarket backpacker’s hostel (a LOT more upmarket) or a safari lodge in East Africa. Either way, the absolute focus is on chilling.
The menu is fresh and creative, with head chef Tara (daughter of the owners who both have Dalmatian roots, in addition to Australia and Switzerland) one of two 19-year-old chefs who took Mimi’s to TripAdvisor number one in their very first season. Don’t miss the Mimi’s burger with that VERY special sauce, and if you figure out the recipe, please contact me. Special mention of the desserts, one of the highlights of the stay for the little ones. So good was the chocolate cake that my 9-year-old daughter felt brave enough to knock on the kitchen door to compliment the chef and ask if there was a possibility to get the recipe so that she could prepare it at home.
Small details. If you are looking to do absolutely nothing on holiday and escape from the stress of the daily reality back home, this is the place for you.
Just metres from your hotel room.
The view of Mimi’s from the beach. Open all day, it blends seamlessly from it comprehensive breakfast offer into lunch and then dinner. A place to dine, to chill, to have a drink at the bar, with the pull of the beach at the end of the bar. Divine.
Pulling myself away from the waterfront heaven, I never ceased to marvel at the architectural design of Tara’s Lodge. A relatively narrow parcel in the middle of the bay, the owners’ vision to create such a high-quality end product in a bay not known for its tourism appeal before they started, is highly commendable. The greenery at every turn is impressive indeed, but the design of the stone pathway was nothing short of miraculous on such a tight spot. Steps of course, but also access for delivery carts and suitcases on wheels.
And so to the rooms, with the mandatory idyllic terrace view.
The design is unapologetically modern and sleek, with ample space for a group of four in the 2-bed family apartments.
A quality finish and a great night’s sleep.
And if you happen to be there when there is a full moon, you might just be treated to toasted marshmallows on the beach.
A holiday on the beach. Is there a better way to base yourself in Dalmatia? And will the magic of the island of Korcula to explore if you can drag yourself away, there can be few more relaxed places to while away a few days on the Adriatic.
If you know of a property which you think qualifies as the coolest on the Adriatic, contact us on [email protected]