Under three hours from the UK by air the Croatian harbour resort of Split is steadily growing in popularity, yet remains fully authentic. This section of the Adriatic coast is simply stunning; the water runs astoundingly clear, with vibrant aquamarine and blue hues further out. And Split itself has a fascinating history, having been under Roman, Venetian, Austrian, French, Italian and Yugoslavian rule – its Old Town is a delightfully relaxed place to sightsee and sample some of the sea’s bounty. Or head a little further south of the city to encounter a Riviera that’s sprinkled with many excellent high-quality beachside hotels
Le Méridien Lav
Found on the Dalmatian Coast, in Podstrana, this Marriott property commands 800 metres of pristine beach (like many in the area it’s pebbly but perfect). The property makes fine use of this position, with an infinity pool, restaurants and bars angled to take advantage of the expansive blue views. The Gooshter Beach Club provides a base for guests to order cocktails, shelter from the midday sun on a day bed under a thatched roof, or grab a bite to eat in barefoot-chic style surroundings. There are also tennis courts, an indoor pool, the RE:CUPERA Spa (which is one of the largest in the country) and a kid’s club.
Radisson Blu Resort & Spa
Less than two miles from the city centre, the Radisson Blu in Split caters to those wanting a city break beside the sea. It’s right beside a pebble beach, with an outdoor pool surrounded by palms and plush modern daybeds, several eateries, bars and a large spa. Glass plays a big role in the architecture here; there are floor-to-ceiling windows, glass balconies and a low-level glazed wall at the edge of the pool projects against any strong breezes. The public rooms are infused with sea-influenced colour schemes, while bedrooms are categorised according to the floor’s colour palette.
Stay just a stone’s throw from the Old Town by booking one of 156 rooms at the Cornaro Hotel. It’s housed across three heritage buildings, one of which used to be the city’s main post office. Inside, the decor is modern yet classic, making use of earthy tones and complemented by monochrome photography of Split. It has two restaurants, King Tomislav and Nodilo, a rooftop bar with hot tub and views across to the sea, plus a further basement wine bar. There’s also a spa, fitness centre and bike concierge services for cyclists. Pets and children are made very welcome at the Cornaro Hotel.