Hi again, it's been a busy week for me, not only with work but with my greatest love: travel.
I had another blog planned this week but spontaneously, which fits with the tone of the post, I decided on something different.
Only a few days before my trip to Croatia, I had met the lovely Stephanie Pratt from Made in Chelsea at her manager's birthday party.
Before too long, we noticed we had a lot in common and almost instantly hit it off.
She had shot off to Hvar in Croatia the day after I met her, so I was pretty surprised when I received a message off of her a couple days after saying I should come over to visit her.
Even though I love Croatia and have been many times before, this trip would be last minute to say the least. But giving it less than a minute of thought - I decided to go for it.
Now I'm never one to turn down a holiday invitation, especially one off a gorgeous blonde like Steph, so I agreed to book a flight.
My schedule was pretty hectic so could only manage to get two days free, which I decided would be enough.
Hvar, where Steph was staying, is a small island off the mainland and the only way to get there is either by ferry (which takes forever and has a pretty stupid timetable) or by speedboat, which you can arrange at the pier or can use Uber boats. That's right, Uber as we know it - but boats.
I thought it would be as simple to just grab an Uber boat as it is to grab an Uber car in London once I landed, but I didn't consider that this might be difficult as I was landing on a pretty late flight.
So as you can imagine, there's me, wandering around a harbour at like 23:30 trying to arrange a speedboat, not something I do often at 23:30 on a weekday night.
It turned out to be pretty much impossible at that time, and also really quite dangerous at night. So I had to wait for the ferry, which was at 01:30 am.
When the ferry arrived, I was crammed on with pretty much every drunk tourist in Croatia, most of whom were English. It was the early hours and unfortunately in this case, they all recognised me so I had to entertain a load of drunk people for about three hours. Savage.
At 4am I got into the hotel, the Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort, absolutely shattered and stumbled into bed without even being able to look at the hotel properly.
The next morning I was woken up by Steph, who seemed as confused as I was at where I'd actually been the night before. And I got the chance to explore the hotel a bit.
The first thing I noticed about the Amfora is the sheer size, I must say that I usually prefer to opt for the smaller more boutique style hotels as I find that the larger complex-type hotels tend to lack attention to detail. This however did not apply to the Amfora; despite the size it maintained a clean, contemporary and tasteful style throughout. The downside to this was that it lacked a little bit of character.
Walking around it seemed that the Amfora was not aimed at any particular type of guest, it looked as if it catered for couples, big groups, young party goers and families too.
The Amfora is right on the beach, about a 10-15 minute walk from the main town so the location is pretty perfect, and of course the Uber speedboats will whisk you way to wherever you need to go.
The service I thought varied somewhat, when I arrived the check in staff were a bit short with me and nobody obliged to help me with my bags, although I overlooked this as it was like 4am. But the rest of the time the staff seemed overly friendly and helpful, although this may have had something to do with me being with Steph; one of the nicest girls I've ever met. Steph always gives off a very upbeat and happy vibe that just makes people want to be friendly to her, including me!
That day we had decided to go and spend the day at Langanini beach club with some of Steph's friends. We jumped on a speedboat and headed there. The beach club was beautiful, cabanas sprawled across a rocky coast with golden sands meeting crystal clear water. It was slightly busy as it was boat week, but the super yachts crowding up the water only made it more impressive in my opinion.
Unfortunately, the reason behind the clear water was the sea urchins. They dominate the sea floor down the entire coast line, making getting in the water tricky at the best of times. First time I'd got into the water I'd stepped down with both feet on one of these urchins and stung with a cluster of spikes in my feet.
I'm pretty sure most of them are still in my feet now, a very painful experience to say the least.
The day at this club with Steph and friends was amazing. I always enjoy meeting interesting, successful people and these guys fit the criteria completely.
It helped that they were all absolutely hilarious too! We were drinking all day and smoking some of Croatia's finest...'cigarettes'.
After a long day at the club we all stumbled back into our speedboat and it was back to the hotel.
The next morning it was time for me to go, off I went on a catamaran to the mainland...
And that was my 24 hours in Croatia!
The Amfora hotel isn't my usual cup of tea, but there was something about it, a je ne sais quoi. Whether it was the company I was with - or the helpful staff, it was definitely a trip I'll remember.
Next week, I'll be going away to Bali, but blogging on another favourite in Europe. You'll have to wait for the Bali stories I intend to make for a little bit longer...