Croatia Online - Šolta, Martinis Marchi
We couldn't complete the latest run of postings on Šolta without a little more information on an outstanding hotel and restaurant, Martinis Marchi.
The castle in which both are housed was built by the Martinis brothers in the early 18th century to help protect Split's mainland and islands from pirate attack and to develop a community to work the land. Since then it was allowed to decay, and suffered a modest earlier renovation to serve a short life as a 50 bedroom hotel and occasional restaurant.
Now it's been returned to its fomer glory after massive time and investment by its relatively new owners under the guidance of local Croatian heritage architects and advisors. The six hotel suites vary in size and are individually designed and furnished, both to be true to the castle's original design and to offer the ultimate in quiet elegance and comfort. The reception rooms are equally impressive, the courtyard houses a heated open air swimming pool and there's a heliport in the extensive grounds that display equal care and nurturing. As if that wasn't enough, the restaurant terrace has great views over the bay and west facing Maslinica makes for the perfect location for a quiet cocktail at sunset.
Internet, heated bathroom floors, air conditioning, etc, are all of course standard in the suites. Four poster beds are a feature and the largest suite occupies the whole tower on five floors – ground for the main reception room, first for the office and music room, second for the vast bathroom and a wall of cupboards in the hall, top for the master bedroom, and the stone walled basement for the konoba/kitchen area. This one costs €1,500 a night but you can stay in equal comfort, with varying space, for €420 to €750, in the other suites. The bathrooms and bedrooms are all enormous, and the common areas are of the grandeur and functionality you would expect.
The test of the restoration is that the Šolta islanders are proud of it as well and 2009/10 should see the upgrading of Maslinica’s harbour to a marina of similar style.