Obala, 3; Vela Luka, Korcula
The trouble with Croatia is that every island is beautiful. Nearly every town is picturesque to the point it hurts your eyes, with a harbour lapped by water that is clearer than the stuff that comes out of your tap just to pile on the pleasure.
Vela Luka, although surrounded by pine fig and olive trees and enclosed in a calm inlet, doesn’t quite have the same quaint good looks as the overly busy Korcula Town on the other side of the island. It feels more workaday. In most places that wouldn’t matter. In Croatia, it doesn’t feel quite as charming as some other places we’ve stayed like Hvar Town and Krk.
But then it does boast a far more stylish hotel than a lot of places.
The Hotel Korkyra is one of the best hotels we stayed at in Croatia; elegant, stylish and comfortable. It rained almost constantly during our visit to Vela Luka and Korcula which didn’t help either the town or the island’s cause. The rain meant we were either trapped in a local bar – no hardship and there are a couple of decent ones – or scampering through the hills trying to get back to civilisation before we were totally drenched (unsuccessful). In short, we didn’t see the place at its best. Yet the Hotel Korkyra made our stay pleasantly comfortable. If you’re going to be confined to barracks because of the weather there are a lot worse places to have to spend your time.
Sexy, silver and white walls with sleek curtains and bedding to match – bedrooms are modernly minimalist but with colonial touches, like the louvre shutters that open onto a view of palm trees and the bay. They are a cool and comfortable base to relax after exploring Korcula. The bathroom is equally contemporary, oozing style like the rest of the hotel. All 58 rooms have a television, mini-bar and hairdryer. The website also says there is internet access. For wifi we had to use the lounge area.
The hotel has its own pool set in an inner courtyard but we didn’t get to use it thanks to the weather. Even better sounding is the hotel’s own beach, Azzurro, which is across the bay and is reached by a boat organised by the hotel. The boat ride takes 5 minutes and the boat travels every half hour. There are sunbeds and a restaurant at the beach. What it’s actually like we can’t say because of… you’ve guessed it… the weather.
Breakfast was a buffet affair which felt slightly resorty even though the restaurant is as elegant as the rest of the hotel (the puffball lights are particularly interesting). The food was decent enough but best was the option to have certain items freshly cooked to order. Dinner is also served in the dining room but we preferred to ‘pop’ next door to Restaurant Ribar which was a really friendly restaurant serving good local cuisine at very reasonable prices. There are a few restaurants dotted around the bay.
The Hotel Korkyra has an attractive bar but during the afternoon it proved a bit difficult to get served in it. There’s also a small gym and wellness area with good views over the town and surrounding islands.
We liked the Hotel Korkyra a lot and would certainly recommend it. Vela Luka might not be as pretty as Korcula Town but it is a far more relaxing place, feels less touristy and you can park easily.
Hotel Korkyra; Obala,3; Vela Luka; tel: +385 (0)21 601 000; double rooms with breakfast cost from around €90 per night.
Jack is co-owner, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+