Tripadvisor helped me learn about this hotel, and I'm absolutely delighted to pass it on!
Background: I had a few extra days between Split and Dubrovnik, and couldn't decide whether to visit one of the islands or to stay on the mainland coast. I wanted a peaceful, laid-back place without crowds, with a lovely view of a beautiful Croatian town and scenery, and with great access to the sea. I also wanted very easy access to the location, as I did not have a car.
Reservations: Super easy. I booked online and received several emails warmly welcoming me and offering hospitality, such as a ride from the bus stop (i.e., just call, and someone will come pick up guests and bags).
Getting there: Gradac is a mellow little town with a nice resort vibe, and the hotel is on the quieter end of the town (10 min leisurely walk from the less-quiet end!). Gradac is about halfway between Split and Dubrovnik, right on the coast. The bus from Split took about 2 hours, and the bus stop is about 500m from the hotel. I did not actually need the offered ride - happened to meet a staff member on a motoribike at the bus stop and he pointed me and my small rolling bag toward the hotel. About halfway through my relaxed stroll to the hotel, he appeared again to take my bag and escort me to the hotel. Check-in was extremely smooth and friendly. The lobby was spacious and clean with free and fast wireless internet.
Room: 2nd floor, and exactly as it looked in the photos. Immaculately clean, extremely large, very comfortable furniture, sparkling bathroom, and a fantastic large balcony with new furniture and a spectacular view! The one issue with the room was that it did not have wireless (it did have high speed internet via ethernet, but I did not have an adapter or wireless hub for my ipad).
Restaurant: I had an excellent fresh fish dinner (dentex; just pick your fish and trust the chef) with Croatian wine. Service was impeccable and friendly, and as always I was somewhat put to shame by the excellent English of the waiter. Please remember to learn at least some Croatian phrases, but also be aware that most of the staff also speak English beautifully. The breakfast (included) was hands down the best breakfast I encountered during my nearly 3 week Italy/Croatia trip. Plenty of sweet and savory options. I cannot say that the coffee was great, unfortunately, but it was fine.
Beach: The pebble beach is steps from the hotel - it's technically across a road, but a very small, very quiet road. There are sun loungers and umbrellas for rent, and the scene is very mellow. There were quite a few families and smaller groups there, but it felt very peaceful nonetheless. Remember your water shoes, as this beach like all other Croatian beaches has a rocky bottom. Should you forget them, or any other beach necessities, there are lots of little shops just up the road.
Staff: Absolutely wonderful. I have to say I felt quite at home and I was a bit sad to leave!
When you visit, please send them a hello from that girl from New York City!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Saudade has first opened its doors in April 2011 and has 28 accommodation units, wellness, restaurant, bar, parking, free wireless internet. Distance to the beach is only 10 m. Distance to city centre is 200 m. Gradac is ideally located in between Dubrovnik and Split and is famous for its beach which is the longest and most beautiful beach of Makarska Riviera. There are two room types in hotel: Superior rooms with balcony and frontal horizon sea view, and Standard rooms with balcony and side sea view. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Saudade Croatia/Gradac