Maslina, a member of Relais & Chateaux, is a contemporary, five-star resort on the Croatian island of Hvar, located near Stari Grad, one of the oldest towns in the Eastern Adriatic. The resort is driven by mindful luxury – the alchemy between personal and professional service, a stunning location, sincere respect for the environment, and an interior design that is contemporary and chic, yet family-friendly. Maslina’s philosophy thus promises respectful high-end hospitality motivated by the rich cultural and natural heritage of Hvar Island.
Maslina’s mindful luxury philosophy is reflected in each detail of the guest experience. The resort’s non-intrusive architecture, which features classic Mediterranean styles with contemporary French touches, blends seamlessly with the island environment. The resort’s interior and exterior coalesce, honouring the natural world by celebrating its beauty through the use of local materials such as Brac Island stone, exotic Iroko wood, brushed brass, and tones of terracotta.
The low-intrusive architecture floats on the landscape like scattered pavilions, decorated with a ventilated wooden facade that blends in with the island environment. The integrated interior design is inspired by the four elements of nature, which helped construct a palette driven by the cerulean Adriatic Sea, salty summer breeze, pearly white rocks, and dense green forest. The custom-made interiors and carefully handpicked vintage pieces complete a space that is intimate, comfortable, and delicately designed with the guest in mind.
To cultivate the same feeling the designers had upon first visiting Maslinica Bay, native and local species are used to maintain the landscape language already in place, where wild Mediterranean vegetation thrives thanks to thick Aleppo pines, mature olive trees, and fragrant herb bushes.
Energy efficiency and procurement practices that promote local and regional suppliers are strongly encouraged. The cuisine delights the senses thanks to organic, seasonal, and local ingredients and the signature in-room guest amenities and natural spa cosmetics are locally designed, non-toxic, and made without any plastics.
Maslina Resort is so private, yet so accessible. Hvar and the surrounding Pakleni Islands Archipelago lie in the northeast Mediterranean basin, making Maslina Resort easily reachable by plane, car, ferry, or catamaran.
Hvar Island is a multi-generational destination celebrated for its rich history, UNESCO heritage, booming party scene, and culinary prowess. It is also known for its remote villages and ancient customs, which are a precious testament to the Mediterranean ancestry and lifestyle that continues to thrive today.
Not only does Hvar own the most UNESCO heritage of any island in the world, but it is home to Europe’s first public theatre and is the birthplace of organized tourism in Europe, with tourism based on health and recuperation. It has been a favourite wellness destination since the Austro-Hungarian era.
HEIGHT OF HEALTH
Wellness is the crux of Maslina Resort. The resort’s Pharomatiq Spa showcases a modern fitness room, beauty salon, and relaxation areas as well as a dedicated Aqua Thermal area with a Finnish sauna, aromatherapy steam bath, Turkish Hammam, and cold plunge pool. The Spa specializes in restorative experiences with a garden-to-skin inspired menu that uses home-grown, organic herbs, and locally sourced essential oils. Seasonal à-la-carte treatments and immersion programs combine western and eastern massage techniques, fitness, and mindfulness practices. Hvar itself is a health sanitarium and has been recognized as a destination for recovery and wellbeing since 1868.
Supporting Maslina Resort’s Mindful Luxury philosophy, the resort’s culinary focus embraces the UNESCO-protected Mediterranean Diet but adds a contemporary flair. The cuisine at Maslina Resort respects local ingredients and producers and recognizes seasonality, with many ingredients harvested from their 8,000 sqm Organic Garden.
Daily a la carte menus with tasting menu options are complemented by a selection of predominantly Croatian and French wines, spirits, and classic and craft cocktails inspired by the island of Hvar. The culinary department has made a point to source as much locally and seasonally as is possible.
The idea behind The Restaurant is to have the shortest circuit: “from the earth to the table”. The wine list is composed of 50% Croatian wines, 25% French wines, and the remaining selection comes from the European Union, allowing a low carbon footprint and the best of each terroir to complement Chef Gouloumes’ creations. One of the pillars of The Restaurant is to leave a legacy through the authenticity of the terroir and the respect of the environment and the community.
Along the coastal promenade of Maslina Resort is A-bay, a laid-back beachside hangout where you can eat, drink and swim from sunrise to sunset. The Wine and Culture Club is open throughout the day, where Maslina’s expert concierge helps guests create bespoke experiences on the island. It is also a hub for those who want to learn about the long history of winemaking on Hvar and boasts an extensive wine list abounding in award-winning local and international labels.
What are the main aspects of the resort that make it stand out against others on the island?
It would be better to say that we complement rather than stand out from the others. Hvar has over 150 years of experience in organized tourism, and while being the newcomer on the island, we move the needle more towards experiential tourism while being conscious of the ways we interact with the local community and the guests.
Wellness plays an integral part in the resort’s offering, tell us more about this…
We believe that wellness is the core of Maslina Resort and our guests’ wellbeing is at the heart of our hospitality. Wellness at Maslina thrives at Pharomatiq Spa, where garden-to-skin treatments are inspired by Hvar’s healing environment. Our Spa offers various healing modalities, daily movement classes, and Wellness Immersion Programs for guests looking to stay with us for a while and embark on a deeper transformational journey.
Our facility offers a fitness studio featuring NOHRD equipment, manufactured with wood from renewable forests in Germany; treatment and relaxation rooms; and wet areas. We really want guests to treat their whole selves when they visit Pharomatiq Spa.
What other facilities/amenities/services does the resort offer? Give us some details on these and what makes them special…
Some of the highlights include our 8,000 sqm organic garden, where our gardeners work with our Restaurant and Pharomatiq team to plant the needs of our kitchen and spa, ensuring we maintain our garden-to-kitchen and garden-to-skin approach.
We also offer a Kids’ Club to give our youngest guests a taste of their own luxury. The playroom provides a stimulating environment for children on holiday with their family, creating a space for them to relax with educational programs around local culture, water elements, a climbing wall, and entertaining activities.
We are also excited to open A-Bay this summer, our chic sunset beach bar that sits on the coast where guests can enjoy cocktails and Mediterranean tapas. It’ll be the place to unwind after a long beach day in the sun.
The resort is located on an island, which is a big drawcard. What other activities and attractions can guests look forward to in and around the resort/island?
Hvar Island is a playground for tourists who love the outdoors, with many adventure-packed activities available, from hiking to scuba diving and cycling. Guests at Maslina even have the option to take out our wooden COCO-MAT Bikes to ride in nature! We also love to promote the local wineries on the island and encourage guests to partake in wine tastings at the revered Dubokovic Winery, for example.
We cannot forget to mention that Hvar has the most UNESCO protected sites of any other island in the world, so there is so much history to explore, from Venetian fortresses and Renaissance cathedrals to the Stari Grad Plain, established by the ancient Greeks in 384 BC!
Hvar truly has everything – it offers the perfect interaction between history, culture, wine, gastronomy, unspoiled nature and clean and clear seas while having a low population density and being well connected to the mainland. You can spend weeks on Hvar and not get bored, as it offers layers and layers of different activities and things to explore.
Above health and safety measures, what else do you think is the most important to guests when they book accommodation and how do you factor this into the Maslina experience?
It is important for guests to know that we are conscious of our environment, encourage mindful practices, and promise hospitality based on authenticity and respect. We want guests to adopt our mindful luxury philosophy when staying with us.
Maslina is defined as a 5-star luxury resort – what does luxury mean to you and how is this put across to guests visiting the resort?
I remember the first time I came to Maslina and arrived from the sea – I overlooked the hotel until I was standing next to it. This sends the ‘mindful’ message. We are a 5-star hotel, but we care for the environment, and what we do fits into the environment.
Mindfulness is a state of mind. It is having attention to detail and being an attentive person to guests and staff who share the same state of mind as you. It is being organized and conscious of what we are using. It is protecting the impact we have on the environment.
The essence of Maslina is that we are there but unobtrusively. That we offer 5-star service and remain environmentally conscious while doing it. That’s the goal we will continue to deliver.
You don’t come to Maslina by chance. You come because of our offer and because we broaden horizons. For the same price as other 5-star hotels worldwide, Maslina also offers a human experience, emotion, the environment, and the story.
Mindfulness is not only the attitude inside the property but how it is represented outside of Maslina too. It is a way of life.
Tell us about the culinary offerings at the resort. What can guests expect, and what are some of the culinary delights?
There won’t be many ingredients on our plates because we like to keep things simple, with good texture, and let the freshness of the produce shine. We age local meats, all of our fish comes from local fishers, and we grow most vegetables in our garden. Our menu will often change to reflect the feeling of the day and what we have available!
Do you think it is important to champion local products and craftspeople? How is this reflected in the resort and its dining offerings?
We believe in promoting local and regional suppliers and this can be seen throughout Maslina’s design. Our Restaurant promises guests a zero-kilometre approach to dining with organic, seasonal, and local ingredients, while our in-room guest amenities and natural spa cosmetics are locally designed and crafted. You’ll find Croatian products displayed in the vitrines around Maslina’s lobby and Spa, too!
What memories and emotions do you hope travellers will leave the resort with and how are these fostered during their stay?
We want guests to take home mindful memories of Maslina so that they come back time and time again.
Images © Damir Fabijanic, Nikola Radovani and Kate Sevo