Villa Nai 3.3, Dugi Otok, Croatia

Villa Nai 3.3, Dugi Otok, Croatia

Seeking an eco-conscious hideout? Scribble Villa Nai 3.3 at the top of your list. Read on for the inside scoop on the Croatian bolthole capturing the hearts of design-driven travellers.

takes just one visit to Croatia to fall for its almighty charm. From
its craggy cliffs to low-slung villas and secluded coves, this
Balkan country is fast becoming the destination of choice for those
seeking a hedonistic escape. While free-spirited travellers are
quick to dance in the streets of Hvar, swim in the gin-clear waters
of Split and taste the many flavours of Zagreb, it’s the
pocket-sized, pristine island of Dugi Otok that is starting to turn our heads.
Just an hour’s catamaran ride from the creative city of Zadar,
there’s a comforting, blissfully slow pace of life to be found

The arrival of design-driven hotel Villa Nai 3.3 has cemented
the island’s sultry and no-frills attitude. The eight-key stay is
the brainchild of civil engineer Goran Morović, and is dug into a
hillside in what appears to be a sprawling jungle of tangled olive
groves; the same groves that have passed through generations of the
Morović family. After teaming up with the incredibly talented
architect Nikola Bašić back in 2013, the tranquil home-from-home
was finally brought to life last year.

Outdoor Seating Villa Nai 3.3
Villa Nai 3.3 Exterior

Before we reveal the juicy details, let’s point out the
reasoning behind the hotel’s name. Once upon a time,
three-and-a-half days of snowfall was the optimum climate for
producing tasty olives. Today, of course, this is no longer the
case, so instead the “3.3” stands for the olive oil, spa essential
oil and the signature cocktail at the hotel which is drawing
crowds. If you think that’s cool, just wait until you hear about
the in-house olive mill.

On arrival at the hotel, you’ll glide through vast stretches of
greenery, catching corners of the shimmering Adriatic with each
twist and turn. Then, suddenly, emerging beneath the baby-blue sky,
a curvaceous cutting-edge structure appears. Each stone (excavated
from the very hill the hotel stands on) has been placed tactically
in order to best absorb and reflect beams of sunlight, making for a
seamless blend among nature.


Five rooms and three suites each flaunt the same exposed stone
walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and Italian-chic furnishings from
glamorous Giorgetti. State-of-the-art technology is purposefully
rooted within rooms – think: electric curtains, finger-touch light
fixtures and a door that locks itself – and that’s not to mention
the top-knotch coffee machine or built-in wardrobe space. We stayed
in a sea-facing room, but if you’d prefer to be at one with the
great outdoors, there are bedrooms for that too. While the beds are
most definitely something to scream (or snore) about, it’s the
private outdoor terrace that’s nailed our vote. Decked out with a
ready-to-snuggle sofa and plush footstool, it’s the best place to
spend an afternoon gazing out to the distant shadows of the Kornati
National Park. The bathrooms are just as impressive – a
black-marble oasis basked in natural light, thanks to the open-sky
window. Splash between an enormous freestanding tub and the
inviting walk-in shower and revel in the Hermès products, fluffy
robes and silky slippers.

Villa Nai 3.3 Bedroom Sea View
Villa Nai 3.3 Bathroom

What’s for breakfast?

Everything. First arrives a pastry basket brimming with
hazelnut-stuffed croissants, sticky cinnamon-swirl buns and crumbly
brioches. Then a freshly pressed orange juice takes centre stage.
Whether you consider yourself a sweet or savoury sort of person,
order a plate piled high with fluffy pancakes and an extra-large
serving of the scrambled eggs – both worth every single last

How about lunch and dinner?

There are two in house-restaurants on hand to deliver convivial
all-day dining: Grotta 11,000 and 3.3. On warmer nights Grotta
11,000 calls; the outdoor courtyard is wrapped in burnt-orange
beams of sunlight, making for the perfect date-night spot, with two
outdoor fireplaces, so you can kick back and watch head chef Andrej
Ivanšić work his magic. For a more relaxed but equally serene
space, bag a table at 3.3. You can choose between infinity-poolside
seats or the cosy inside dining area and, either way, check out the
seven-course tasting menu.

Is there a bar?

Of course. Arrive at the bar at any hour of the day and you’ll
find flamboyant bartender William, also known as ‘the mixology
mastermind’. Shaking up all sorts of fruity concoctions, don’t even
think about leaving without tasting the signature lemon and
olive-oil infused tea – trust us.

Villa Nai 3.3 Grotto Restaurant
Villa Nai 3.3 Poolside Dining


An outdoor saltwater infinity pool and an indoor saltwater pool?
Now you’re talking. Unwind in the sauna and on the ready-to-roll
loungers or skip to the outdoor gym. Tennis fans will delight at
the extra-large outdoor court. Anyone for a game of doubles?

How about their green credentials?

Farm-to-fork dining is a thing here. As the sunset submerges
into the sea, the team arrives with buckets of freshly caught fish.
On the roof of the property there’s a working fruit and vegetable
farm, and Goran’s stylish wife, Nives will no doubt arrive with a
basket of oranges and lemons plucked straight from the couple’s
home garden. Food aside, you’ll find signs in your bathroom for an
eco-friendly guide. Choose to reuse towels and linens, or simply
place them in the tub when you fancy a refresh.

What about accessibility?

The hotel is one-storey, so it’s got the green light for those
with disabilities. It’s a driving distance from the nearest town
and port, and there’s a transfer team on standby if you wish to
potter around the island. Those who prefer to travel in style can
keep their eyes peeled for the arrival of the hotel’s helipad later
this year.

What’s the crowd like?

If the dictionary had a photo definition of cool kids, we’re
pretty certain it would look like the guests we brushed shoulders
with at this place. This is an adult-only set-up (no under 12s), so
you can expect to find an empty pool during most hours of the

Things I should know

Given that the hotel has an entire room dedicated to its olive
oil awards, it seems rude not to chat to the team about booking a
private tasting session. After indulging, head to the in-house
boutique to snag your own bottle of olive oil to take home.

Within a short walk I can find…

Nothing – the whole point of this place is to reset and
recharge. Rest assured, if you’re craving an adventure, you can hop
on a boat for a ride through the island’s stunning Kornati National
Park, or climb Lighthouse Veli Rat – the tallest lighthouse in the
Adriatic – which is worth every step.

The Lowdown

Rooms cost from £835 per night. Discover more at

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