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Palmizana, Croatia
~ courtesy of Viia Beaumanis, special to Billy's House of Charm ~

Where to Stay | Getting There | When To Go | Rates | Snapshots

In the famously gorgeous Croatian archipelago, the wildly picturesque small island of St Klement is known informally as ‘Palmizana’ for its family-run Palmizana Meneghello hotel that opened in 1909. Overlooking an idyllic cove, the property houses seventeen rooms tucked into charming bungalows and cottages scattered throughout a lush, century-old botanical garden roamed by imported peacocks.

Palmizana, Interiors and gardens alike are hung with the vast art collection of current matriarch, Dagmar Meneghello, who in her four decade tenure has cast the property as an artist retreat, home to poets and painters, as much as hotel guests. Run by her entertaining daughter Romina, these two extroverts lend the place its singular character and soul. Staffed with cool, young locals from the mainland, the casual al fresco restaurant welcomes hotel patrons and guests from the yachts and sailboats that moor offshore. Ringed in turquoise water and white stone beaches, the island has numerous deserted coves, a small, fully equipped, modern marina, a handful of seaside restaurants and one very cool beach bar. Follow the nature trails that lead from Palmizana and you’ll wind up in the tiny town of Vlaka, on the island’s other side, with an old church, rolling vineyards, and a small guesthouse that serves fresh caught fish.

A total family affair, more funky than five star, Palmizana is wonderfully charming and colourful island getaway with great food, good music, and none of the summer tourist crowds. The perfect spot for a super chill getaway—it’s also 10 minutes by speedboat from the party island Hvar if you need a little excitement in the form of shopping and nightlife.

GETTING THERE: Fly to Split, Croatia and take the one-hour ferry to Hvar; Palmizana’s speedboat collects you at the harbour.

WHEN TO GO: The ideal time to visit is May through August.

RATES: Double Rooms: 120 Euros / 2 Bdrm Cottages: 200 to 300 Euros.