Hotel Review: Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar, Croatia 

Let your Croatian cup (or buffet plate) runneth over with a visit to Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar. Modern, spacious and buzzing with energy, here’s why this seafront hotel is the ‘place’ to be when it comes to a weekend break that offers it all

Azure waters, friendly locals and breathtaking scenery aplenty. It’s no secret that Croatia has become one of the hottest destinations to visit when the UK gets a little too, well, UK. Truss issues aside, the newly-opened Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar in Makarska is reason enough to grab your favourite bikini and book a flight. Located just an hour’s transfer away from Split, editor Sophie Ritchie shares more about this spirited seafront stay.

Set on the edge of the water in Makarska, a port town known (and flocked to) for its Makarska Riviera beaches, seafront promenade and nightlife, this new 180-room property provides everything needed for a long weekend filled with chic surroundings, sun-kissed activities and foodie opportunities. 

Easily the town’s coolest hotel (the rest of the buildings dotted along the promenade seem almost fuddy duddy in comparison to its tall turquoise-hued exterior) Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar combines youthful energy with modern, laidback interiors to conjure a trendy bohemian style experience for its guests.

Step inside the reception to find vast and open spaces, which create an ‘outside in’ feel through high ceilings, plenty of foliage and an outside terrace where hungry guests patter back and forth from the indoor restaurant, buffet plates in tow.

The Room

Embodying Tulum-esque boho chic through wooden headboards, neutral colour schemes and vibrantly-patterned pillows, the rooms at  Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar are cozily cool, kitted out with simple contemporary interiors and beds so wide they feel more like sleeping on a (very comfortable) barge. 

Minimalistic hanging lights and lamps replace the standard ceiling illuminations, whilst rooms also come with a clever aircon system that recognises when a balcony door’s been opened, thus automatically shutting off. 

Bathrooms are compact but modern – and if you prefer a full Mel Gibson-style pamper session when on holiday, make sure to pack a well-stocked wash bag as Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar provides just eco-friendly soap bars in lue of full-sized toiletries.

For those on the lookout for something luxurious, book one of the more premium ‘Cherry On Top’ suites. Located (unsurprisingly) on the top floor, these ten seaview suites feature huge bathtubs, Nespresso coffee machines, in-room bars and sprawling views worth gawking at for hours. 

The Food & Drink 

Guests can book a standard stay, but there’s also the option of choosing a more flexible [PLACES FLEXI] offer. Designed to make the all-inclusive experience just a little more sexy, guests are given a fancy wristband to scan when ordering food or drinks, which comes with €25 daily credit to use as they wish (plus unlimited free breakfast). 

Throwing caution to the a la carte wind, everything’s served in buffet style fashion – make your way around the stations filled with salads, breads and soups, then order main meals from the counter. Another example of how tech is woven into  Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar’s ethos, everyone that orders a main dish is handed a restaurant pager, which buzzes with vigour when a dish is ready to collect and devour. 

Serving cuisine centred around the Mediterranean diet, you’ll find pasta, salads, pizza and enough olive oil bottles scattered around to have shiny hair for a lifetime. The plant-based front is a little less authentic, with the intriguing likes of ‘dumplings’ turning out to be fluorescent pink processed ‘meatballs’ or an equally flushed fake burger patty  – but there’s still plenty of healthy veggie-friendly options to enjoy if you look hard enough. 

Take 3: Things To Try

1 Stroll around in the sky:
Croatia’s scenery is simply too beautiful to spend your time solely on a sun lounger. Set time aside for an excursion to the nearby Biokovo Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass platform perched 1228 metres above sea level in the beautiful Biokovo Nature Park. If you look closely enough, you might even spot the hotel’s eye-catching balconies in the distance. Take the hassle out of  navigating precarious mountain roads and book an organised tour through Tip Extreme, whose knowledgeable team will share interesting snippets of information along the way – as well as tasty local delicacies for an added treat.

2 Dip a toe:
The hotel’s enviously close proximity to the ocean makes it ideal for the water babies, with the likes of SUP, windsurfing, kayaking and of course, just a good old fashioned swim on offer. The hotel’s on-site duo of 357 m2 outdoor freshwater pools are also excellent for a dip, particularly first thing in the morning before the Towel Army moves in on the surrounding loungers (this is Europe, after all). 

3 Take on a trail:
With a prime location on Makarska’s promenade, pack your running trainers and head out for a jog along one of the many picturesque trails. The rocky terrain and rising climbs are worth it for the dramatic views awaiting you – just make sure to lather on the SPF before setting off, as temperatures can soar once the sun’s up. 

The Wordrobe Verdict

Let your cup (or buffet plate) runneth over with a visit to Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar. Contemporary, spacious and buzzing with energy, enjoy a hotel experience that combines youthful vivacity with simplistically luxe decor to conjure a base worthy of any modern bon vivant. 

Make it happen
How: Find out more and make a booking via emailing or visiting
Wallet: Doubles start from 160 EUR per night.
Getting there: Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar is around 70 minutes from Split airport, with flights departing daily.

Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor

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