Colin Hockley finds a real gem in the tranquil Splendida Palace Hotel, within a stone’s throw of Split’s Roman Diocletian Palace and cultural heritage.
The words Splendid and Palace in a hotel name will often give me cause for concern as they are such big names to live up to. However, as I entered the lobby of the Splendida Palace Hotel, in a quite non-descript residential area of Split, any concerns I had were immediately dispelled.
This 19th century building was sympathetically reconstructed in 2015, to provide a family run 10-bedroom boutique hotel and is now listed as a ‘Cultural Heritage of the city of Split’. Its charm was evident immediately and it was hard to appreciate we were also just a 5-minute walk from the magnificent ancient Roman Diocletian Palace, the vibrant hub and cultural centre of Split.
Each of the Splendida Palace Hotel’s spacious ensuite bedrooms has been decorated to reflect an aspect of Split’s awe-inspiring Roman Diocletian Palace, mine having an impressive photographic mural of the Palace’s Golden Gate. The well-appointed rooms have air conditioning, direct dial telephone, wi-fi, tea and coffee making facilities, bath robes, slippers, rain shower, safe deposit box, mini bar, a tablet, and even a first aid kit.
My room also had a peaceful balcony on which to relax, and there is a refreshing plunge pool and shaded seating in the courtyard garden. The hotel even provides guests with a local mobile phone to use with preset taxi and hotel contact numbers for emergencies.
Splendida Palace Hotel only offers bed and breakfast; however, the breakfasts are as good as any I’ve had in more prestigious properties and kept me going well into the afternoon. Croissants, pastries, cold meats, and cheese are presented to the table on a tiered cake stand, and of course there is also a choice of cereals, fruit juices and cooked options as well. I was particularly pleased to hear that nothing is thrown away with all the ‘leftovers’ going either to food distribution centres in Split or for animal feed.
Hotel manager Marija could not have been more helpful, not only giving expert advice on places to visit but even giving me a lift to the foot of Marjan Forest Park where a short but steep walk up is rewarded with stunning views of Split and the Adriatic coastline. The atmospheric and ancient Jewish cemetery dating back to 1573 can also be found here next to the Teraca Vidilica bar restaurant.
Although the name Splendida Palace Hotel is perhaps a little grand, certainly in terms of size, however for what it offers in charm, character, and all-round hospitality I am more than happy in this instance to allow a little poetic license.
Hotel images (C) Colin Hockley and Hotel Splendida
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Double rooms with breakfast start at €160 (10% discount for direct reservations).
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