How we ended up with a home on the Dalmatian Coast
We had no idea we would buy a home on the Dalmatian Coast - it was always the South of France that attracted us. It all came about as my Mother wanted to see Dubrovnik - so we arranged to rent a yacht for a week and a villa for a week.
When we arrived at the villa we were blown away by the beauty of the place - in those days it was really the only villa of any quality to rent and today she is probably in the the top 5 on the Dalmatian coast. South of France - who needs the south of France when you have unspoilt, incredible Croatia!
The peace and calm under the pines and the lapping Adriatic right at our feet — it felt like being on a boat. I could see the cogs turning inside my husband’s head…oh no not another purchase ( I am the one who looks after our homes and he just keeps buying them)…the next morning the villa manager arrived to fortuitously tell us that the owner had decided to sell…of course he did! Was he crazy - how could anyone ever sell this bewildering place?
He who must be obeyed said he was going swimming and I should buy the villa…so the first phone call was placed to the owner ---- when we left Croatia 2 weeks later we had signed the first documents of ownership and set up a Croatian company to boot. It felt like we had won the lottery - could it be that we were so lucky to own such a super home? It seems that other people feel that too - each year we are booked out with mainly return guests - coming back is something most people want to do, and some even ask can they purchase her from us.
We had fallen in love and it hurt to leave our new found sweetheart…her name is Villa Rosemarine (a combination of Rosemary that grows wild on our headland and the marine of the the sea). Only years later did a Croatian tell us that the headland she is on is known to be the best on the Adriatic but we already knew that in our heart.
The light is divine - now I will sound like a hippy but there is an amazing energy there - is it the ancient rocks or the azure sea or maybe the majestic mountains towering over the entire Dalmatian coast that make this place so very special…just like stepping into a scene from Mama Mia…..but Pierce Brosnan is not coming round the corner singing (thank goodness!!)
Over the next year we deconstructed the villa and replaced it with a 6 bedroom, 7 bathroom luxury stone home with all the bells and whistles and a little help from Mr Starck making her one of the finest on the Dalmatian coast. It was a huge challenge building a house across the seas ( that is a yarn for another day) especially when there was nothing of any quality to purchase in the shops - we transported designer furniture over from Italy giving the villa pizzaz we were searching for.
All year long we dream of being there, the light, the crystal water, delicious fresh food and the wine draw us back constantly. Spending a day on the boat with our Skipper is always a pleasure - he is quite a character! Our staff are the true heroes of this story.
When I am having a difficult day I just dream of floating in the clean water by our piece of paradise which we have truly found.
BUT that is not the end of the tale….just along the lane there was an old stone house and yes he (who is obeyed) purchased that too!!! We now have another massive white stone Villa with an antique stone roof - more to be proud of - high end luxury right on the Adriatic…her name is Akuna (meaning peace by the water) she is not quite ready yet but watch this space.......
Adele Hetherington is the owner of the glorious Villa Rosemarine in Croatia, which is featured on the One Off Places website. Villa Rosemarine is a waterfront stone house on the island of Brac, which has been rebuilt to the height of luxury with designer furnishings and top of the range mod cons. The Adriatic sea is just metres away and the views from the rooms and terraces are nothing short of breathtaking. Villa Rosemarine can sleep up to 14 people and is available to rent from £6890 per week.