Hotel Marmont Heritage | Courtesy of Hotel Marmont Heritage
It wasn’t that long ago that there wasn’t a hotel worth the name in and around Split’s historic centre. Now there are 20 at least, half-a-dozen justifiably termed ‘boutique’, providing stylish accommodation in unique, modestly sized properties. Here ‘unique’ really does mean unique. The first guest was a Roman emperor and contemporary hotel designers have been keen to play on this exclusivity.
One of a mini-chain of Heritage hotels around the Roman palace, the Diocletian makes the best use of its location. It’s not just about the history or the boutique furniture, it’s about the view, particularly if you splash out a bit extra for a room with a balcony. Communal features include an excellent spa on the seventh floor, with a jacuzzi and loungers on the terrace.
Close to Split’s bus station and main ferry terminal, the Hotel Luxe has transformed a former factory into a riot of purples and blues around the 30 rooms; lobby bar, upscale restaurant, cigar lounge and spa. Those staying on the upper floors are treated to the sight of sleek Jadrolinija ferries gliding gracefully in and out of port. The hotel also offers residence suites and a charter boat service.
Only granted a three-star status but lovely all the same, the Peristil comprises of nine double rooms and three singles, right by the historic main courtyard it is named after. The sacrifice for this prime location is that guestrooms aren’t exactly expansive, although some do have views of Split Cathedral. The tasteful interior design of creams and light wood is continued in the Tifani restaurant, where classic Dalmatian cuisine is served. There’s obviously plenty of other dining options on your doorstep.
The Vestibul Palace is a feat of architectural engineering, the design team factoring in original walls from Diocletian’s time with elements of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance from other palatial buildings that also stood here. The very fact that you’re sleeping close to where a Roman emperor once did is thrilling enough. Shades of brown are the dominant but not domineering hue. There’s a restaurant, the Magnus, but little room for anything else in terms of communal facilities. There’s room service until 10pm. The Vestibul team also runs the two-room, two-suite Villa Dobrić alongside, of similar historic ilk.
Once a cheap hostel, the Jupiter Heritage is now a boutique hotel, under the same umbrella as the Diocletian Heritage nearby. The conversion makes best use of the available space, providing 14 well furnished rooms, a roof terrace with a jacuzzi and a somewhat modest area for breakfast. The three deluxe rooms feature a king-sized bed and bathtub with massage jets. The location is, of course, as outstanding as backpackers used to enjoy, a few steps from the bell tower of Split Cathedral.
Named after the Napoleonic governor who was responsible for creating the Riva promenade and other handy urban features, the Hotel Marmont Heritage came with the first wave of finely conceived hotels in Split’s historic centre. The 21 rooms are done out in a minimalist yet warm style, the linens made of natural materials, the wood walnut. Equally classy and old-school, the hotel’s Marshal restaurant provides fresh juices, whole-grain pastries and all kinds of hot and cold dishes for breakfast. Lunch and dinner are equally tip-top.