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Split, Croatia

Le Meridien Lav, Split (Lodging)

Address and Website: Grljevačka 2A, Podstrana, Split 21312, Croatia; or you can access the hotel's Starwood Link here

Location: The hotel’s location had positives and negatives. I knew when I booked that it wasn’t very close to the old city. However, I thought the location might be a bit more relaxing. The hotel was situated on the water with a pool and lots of amenities and seemed preferential to staying somewhere crowded in the old town which I had heard could get rather loud at night. The hotel was quiet, and we did have some relaxing time at the pool and the indoor spa facilities (free access to guests). There were a few cafes situated around the harbor by the hotel, and the hotel had several places you could eat, as well. However, old town definitely wasn't walkable. To get to there, you either had to get a taxi or take the hotel's shuttle (book times ahead and keep to its schedule—we called the hotel from town and got on the shuttle we wanted to on the way back without a problem). It was easy, cheap, and billed directly to our room. (A taxi would cost substantially more.) Within 10-15 minutes we were dropped off right in the middle of things at the harbor front. I believe the shuttle ran until around 11pm. So if you were a night owl (there are a lot of bars in town), then you’d probably have to catch a taxi back. Also, I don’t think it began running until later in the day, so it wasn’t an option for the morning.

Photos: The Hotel's Infinity Pool

Overall: Overall, the hotel was a great place to relax and unwind in an otherwise bustling city. The pool and spa facilities were great. The beach in front was a nice plus, but it was very rocky. The water wasn’t the clear water you see elsewhere (like in Dubrovnik), but that goes with the area in general. I have no complaints other than that the drinks we got from the terrace bar could not have been made any weaker unless there was no alcohol at all in them (and I am not one to want a strong drink). The hotel was immaculate, and the food we had for lunch from the restaurant by the pool was decent. The lattes we got from the bar in the lobby in the morning were very good (and cheap). The lobby in general was lovely and made me want to spend time there just watching the bustle of people going by.

Hotel Staff: The staff went very out of their way to welcome me as a Starwood Preferred Guest and offer any assistance they could. The person checking us in even went and got her supervisor to come and welcome us and offer any assistance she could. They upgraded us to a nicer room and overall were very good. Even the shuttle driver was pleasant.

Photos: Left: Hotel's Beach; Center: Our Hotel Room; Right: View from Our Room's Balcony

Room: Our room was wonderful. We were upgraded to a nicer room with a sea view at no additional cost, so I’m sure I’m a bit biased. We had a little balcony we could sit out on and relax. The room was a bit larger than a regular one, so we had some room to stretch out. It wasn’t enormous, but it was a good size for 2 people. The bathroom was nice and felt new, as well.

Sperun (Restaurant)

Address: Sperun 3, Split, Croatia; Phone: 385 21 349 999

Location: The restaurant’s location wasn’t far from the Riva and Republic Square. It was on a quieter street (less foot traffic).

Overall: Overall, the service was friendly and helpful. My husband’s pork dish was absolutely delicious, but my seafood risotto was only so-so. It tasted a bit too fishy to me (and I love seafood). It was difficult to eat—I helped him with his. I think there’s a chance that I just got a dish that wasn’t quite prepared properly because the other meals we saw being served around us looked wonderful and the other items we ate were well prepared (and my dish visibly looked good).

Atmosphere: Atmosphere wise, the outside of the restaurant was very inviting, particularly at dusk with the lights just beginning to glow and the plants around the exterior. There was both indoor and outdoor seating. We sat inside in a small dining room. The interior was a bit tight, but it felt cozy.

Days of Diocletian (Entertainment)

Address: Split, Croatia- Throughout Old Town

Venue: The event takes over much of the Old Town, but the parade and concerts primarily take place down along the waterfront. Emperor Diocletian’s address takes place from the Peristyle.

Performance: For one week a year in August, the streets of Split are taken over by groups of toga-wearing, horseback riding, Diocletian-era impersonators. There are concerts, addresses by ‘Diocletian himself,’ and parades complete with horse-drawn carriages. The festival draws stalls selling local foods, handicraft vendors, and hordes of people out and about. The evening parade was the highlight from what I saw--any child would enjoy it. It was definitely aimed more at the younger crowd with the costumes, fake fighting, and concerts, but it would be enjoyable for any age.

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