It all comes down to knowing what you want upfront - that way you at least can spare yourself falling into the 'expectations gap' and writing nonsensical "stayed for 2 hours" types of "reviews. Or being annoyed by "crickets" (cicadas, actually, but never mind that).
Palmizana is NOT "where the action is" - it is small, rustic and sparsely populated. For "action" (singles bar scene? shopping?) do stick to Hvar. We escaped Hvar as quickly as we could to avoid endless tourist mob and prevailing sub-standard client service. We moved to Palmizana on the basis of i-escape info and reviews - and did not regret it one bit.
First off, you need to slow down, chill, change your stride - and enjoy it. No recommended for hyper types, but turned out perfect for a family of 30-something with a 5 year old boy.
Service - excellent, and one of us is a New Yorker. I can not think of anything that Romina and her crew would not do for us - rent a boat, get a free kayak for the kid, arrange fishing, take us to green abd blue caves, pick up from Hvar, help coordinate travel schedules, recommend things to do / places to eat in Split... Staff at the restaurant and the beach was very friendly and helpful. Can not think of a single inconvenience.
Food - excellent if a bit expensive. Yet when I compare it with 'fresh seafood' in the UK, it is positively worth the price. Both of us love seafood, so we gorged on it. Wine is expensive, that's the one you want to watch out for. Simple solution - drink less, or take the hotel boat to Hvar and pick up a case or two. May save 1/3 of the price, if I remember correctly. Or pay up and don't bother to break the slow flow of life on Palmizana. Oh, and if you catch an eel or an octopus by the little pier (family kids can teach you how), Romina's crew will cook it for you. If you want bit more basic / cheaper fare, go for Toto's or one of the beach bars.
Beach - 20 sec walk from the restaurant and most bungallows. It is small which again is absolutely perfect for us. You want a big one? Go to ConeyI sland, complete with its rollercoaster. It is stoney, so one thing you want to bring is rubber-soled slip-ons. Also helful when exploring the rocks. Pick them up in any of the Hvar shops - or on the pier. Beach is cleaned every day, and water is absolutely translucent. Reserve the sun beads early (around 9.30-10), they are free for hotel guests, but do get snapped up. Best thing to do is to pick a couple near umbrella and just ask the 'beach manager' to reserve them for you for the duration of your stay. Water is shallow far out enough for kids to enjoy and adults feel safe. Sandy once you are in the water. One downside - plenty of Hvar day tripper boats in high season. We even had a visit from an Arab sheik's yacht - watching his 3 year old grandson taking a dip on our beach surrounded by a dozen of ex-US marines was quite a spectacle. If you get tired, rent a boat and explore beaches around the island. There is a tiny sandy one within 15 min walk or less. Or ask Romina to take you to a nearby island for a day.
Rooms - rustic and basic, but clean and imaginatively designed. We've been given a tour of all, and I can not remember seeing one without AC. Overall. not for the over-pampered ones out for full set creature comforts, but perfect to beach / island bums. Check pics on i-escape or on Palmizana's own website. One thing I'd say is that Georgia House is not worth having - furtherst from the beach, no view, and the back garden needs a lot of work. Go for those closest to the beach - Green, Orange, Yellow, White... Oh, and no TV in rooms as far as I have seen, which, to me, again is a plus.
Transportation - it is a bit of a pain, as you have to fly into Split, take catamaran to Hvar (do buy tickets in advance and check the schedule), then boat it to Plamizana. Taxi boat from Palmizana to Hvar and back is equally a pain in the neck. If must get off the island for a day, ask Romina to take you when their boat goes shopping in the morning - and pick you up in the evening. No cars on this side of the island, apart from a couple of old service cars. No bikes, I don't think. So no noise / traffic.
Shopping - none, thank heaven for that. There is a small convenience store near the bigger resort (15 min walk from Palmizana) for your basics. Anything else - ask Romina's shoppers to bring you what you need from Hvar. For recreational shopping go there yourself.
Kids - our now 6-year old has been saying all winter that he's going back to St Clement's. And he does have resonable basis for comparison from multiple trips to Greek Islands, Croatia (Lopud and Dubrovnik), Spain, the US, Russia, etc. Beach / water is close, kayaking, fishing, exploring - all there when you want it. For eel-fishing bring a torch, think line and big hook. Romina will provide calamari for bait.
Flora / fauna - actually, just fine. Yes, plenty of 'cactuses' - actually, of cacti you have prickly pears and massive aloes. There is also boxwood plants, acaceas, and decent variety of others. Several resident peacocks and a tortoise enclosure. Lots of lizards, geckos, noisy cicadas and various 'flying things'. In sea, you get your stone crabs, fish, sea urchins, shells (occupied and vacant). May see an octopus of you're lucky - and even catch one if you are very lucky. Paradise for a 5-6 year old boy.
Internet - free Wi-Fi in the restaurant area, but pretty slow. Which, in my book, is a good thing, I spend enough time in front of the thingy.
In short - disregard content-free negative reviews (must be something very personal), decide whether rustic unwind is what you are after, and watch the costs - or just say "to hell with it", relax and enjoy.
- Also Known As:
- Palmizana Hotel Hvar