Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.
I recently enjoyed a trip in the magnificent Southern European countries of Croatia & Montenegro. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Villa Dubrovnik, Croatia (today)
- Review: Aman Sveti Stefan, a PHENOMENAL hotel, Montenegro (next week)
Today (April 15, 2020): Review of Villa Dubrovnik (Croatia).
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: Villa Dubrovnik
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
A proud member of the Leading Hotels of the World, Villa Dubrovnik is prominently positioned on the cliffs above the city’s prestigious St. Jacob district, a UNESCO World Heritage site rich in history and culture. Stunning panoramas of the Old City (to be reached with the hotel’s complimentary shuttle) or Lokrum Island await in the 56 rooms, almost all with sea views and all with private balconies and terraces. Guests here can enjoy the rooftop Prosciutto & Wine Bar, indulge in Mediterranean cuisine at Restaurant Pjerin or Al Fresco Bar Giardino, relax at the indoor pool, or soothe their soul with innovative spa treatments.
Villa Dubrovnik features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Croatia & Montenegro.
Have you ever stayed at Villa Dubrovnik? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
REVIEW OF VILLA DUBROVNIK: PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Almost six decades of hospitality have made Villa Dubrovnik the best luxury hotel in Dubrovnik. The city of Dubrovnik – often dubbed The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ – is situated on the Dalmatian coast and became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667 and again in the 1990s by armed conflict, Dubrovnik has been beautifully restored to its former splendor, earning it a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Completely surrounded with medieval defensive walls, the magnificent city houses beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains.
- Set below a road and secluded in maritime pines, the hotel is situated on the eastern edge of Dubrovnik, right on the Dalmatian Coast, with beautiful views towards the islet of Lokrum and onto the medieval town walls across the water. The property is just over a mile (1.6 km) from the historic walls that protect the city’s Old Town and complimentary shuttle service (with a fixed time schedule) is provided to guests. The property is also a short walk to Sveti Jakov Beach, one of the most picturesque bathing spots in the region. Close by guests will also find the lookout point at Orsula Park, with spectacular views of the tiny bay, Lokrum Island, the city and beyond.
- Set into the cliffs, Villa Dubrovnik cascades down a steep hillside towards the shimmering waters of the Adriatic Sea. Upon arrival at the property, guests are whisked away into a glass elevator at street level and swept down to a courtyard lined by a spectacular tall stone wall, which gives way to the hotel’s spotless white and light-filled reception area. Here, clean, nautical lines evoke an ambiance of understated refinement and a mood of calm tranquility. Overall, the pristine white architecture and the minimalist modern interior design provide a stunning contrast to the rocky landscape and emerald green waters of the sea.
- Villa Dubrovnik features 55 guest rooms & suites, each with a sea-view terrace. Suites have the added luxury of more space and an in-room whirlpool tub or an outdoor hot tub. During my visit, I stayed in a deluxe room on the hotel’s second floor. The room featured a kingsize bed, an en-suite bathroom in glass (with double vanity and bathtub), and a balcony with views of the Adriatic sea and Island of Lokrum. The room’s smart contemporary decor was highlighted by a neutral color palette, modern furnishings, and wood detailing (e.g. parquet floor, terrace in gorgeous teak). The room bathed in natural light because of a panoramic glass wall.
- Villa Dubrovnik also features three large apartments – called Villa Kolin Suites – which are located in a separate structure on the property, immersed in nature. With their own private entrances, these apartments feel like a villas within a villa and have three bedrooms and four bathrooms. Each residence is set over three floors and features a secluded terrace in teak furnished with a Jacuzzi and sun canopy. Villa Dubrovnik’s top accommodation, Villa Dubrovnik Royal Suite, also deserves a special mention. This suite is individually decorated with luxury details and offers a spacious lounge, two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
- Spread over two floors, the hotel’s spa – called Villa Spa – aims at revitalizing its guests’ body and spirit with a selection of beauty treatments that mix Mediterranean cures with innovative techniques. Spa staff utilizes a range of ingredients, including the flowers of the locally grown immortelle plant, to achieve smooth, glowing skin. The spa offering includes the popular Villa Spa Diamond System, a cocoon-like waterbed treatment combined with chromotherapy to banish stress. The spa also features a large indoor pool (opens onto a terrace with sun loungers and parasols), several saunas, and a well-equipped fitness center.
- At its base, the hotel’s main building is surrounded by a series of stone terraces, shaded by Aleppo pines and Mediterranean cypresses, which are great for lounging, enjoying an al fresco breakfast (more on that below), or simply soaking in the tranquil environment. These terraces lead down via stone steps to the hotel’s private ‘beach’ on the Adriatic Sea. The beach is not really a sandy beach, but rather a rocky outcrop which comprises several white and concrete platforms equipped with chic loungers and sun umbrellas. The setting offers privacy and breathtaking views of the Adriatic. Steps provide easy access into the sea.
- Villa Dubrovnik features two excellent restaurant, both of them enjoying a view of the Adriatic Sea and Dubrovnik’s medieval walls:
- Pjerin Restaurant is the hotel’s fine dining venue, featuring a contemporary dining room with outdoor terrace. Pjerin serves creative Mediterranean fare, such as homemade artichoke-and-ricotta ravioli and rabbit fillet with hazelnuts and wild mushrooms. The à la carte breakfast is also served at Pjerin, with delights such as Eggs Julia, a special take on Eggs Benedict served with salmon.
- Al Fresco Giardino is an outdoor bistro, set against the historical parapet that overlooks the hotel’s rocky beach. Open during lunchtime only, Al Fresco Giardino offers light fare that ranges from Sicilian shrimp with creamy guacamole to handmade spaghetti with lobster.
- Villa Dubrovnik also has two bars where guests can relax after a day of sightseeing:
- For an unforgettable sundowner after a day’s outing or a nightcap before bed guests may retreat to the hotel’s stunning rooftop bar. The space is decorated with comfortable sofas under a canopied pagoda. The menu offers a wide variety of cocktails – try the house special – and a selection of top quality cured meats, including Iberian ham and prosciutto prepared in cellars by Croatian producers in Dalmatia, Istria and Slavonia.
- The Library Lounge – located next to Pjerin – is the perfect location for guests in search of a quiet corner to curl up with a book or sanctuary from the sun. Decorated in soothing neutral colors of white and gray, the space has a selection of reading material and includes an outdoor terrace with light-colored chairs and sun umbrellas.
REVIEW OF VILLA DUBROVNIK: CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
Villa Dubrovnik is the best luxury hotel in Dubrovnik. It offers an excellent seafront setting, great facilities, and wonderful views towards Dubrovnik’s old town. When you consider a stay here, you need to know the following though:
- The hotel is not located in Dubrovnik’s historic center (which is a blessing, given how crowded the town is in summer). Complimentary shuttle service to the old town’s east gate is provided though (with a fixed time schedule) and only takes around 5 minutes.
- The property is tucked down some particularly narrow streets, which makes it not very convenient (and even dangerous) to walk to town, especial at night (because the streets are not well lit). If you have your own car, you will have to navigate the narrow streets, but there’s good private parking once you arrive at the hotel.
- As mentioned above, the hotel’s private beach is a rocky outcrop with direct access to the sea and with several terraces that feature loungers and sun umbrellas. Don’t expect a sandy beach or shallow water. Also, service at the beach is very slow and not on par with the hotel’s otherwise outstanding service.
- Though all rooms have their own balcony, some are more private than others and the garden suites and Villa Kolin suites don’t have sea views. Also, those rooms that come with sea views don’t always enjoy open panoramas because of some all pine trees right in front of the hotel (which provide some welcome shade in the hot summer days).
- While the rooms are decently sized, the bathrooms are rather small (especially for the price you pay) and have some design flown such as a the deep soaking bathtub which doubles as a rain shower, making it difficult (and dangerous) to get in and out. Also, the bathrooms feature a see-through glass wall (which can be partially closed by a curtain), so there’s not much privacy if you are sharing the room with a friend, although it’s still awesome of course to wash your face in the morning while watching the Adriatic.
- Villa Dubrovnik is the area’s most exclusive property, which is reflected in its rates as it’s a very expensive hotel. The rate for the entrance room category is almost 700 euros per night in high season. Iif it wasn’t for being in Dubrovnik, the hotel would not be able to charge half of what it gets away with now (but I guess that’s true for most hotels in the Dubrovnik area).
- There are varying minimum stay restrictions from June until September.
REVIEW OF VILLA DUBRVNIK: MY VERDICT
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 8/10
- Pool: 8/10
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 9/10
- Breakfast: 8/10
- Spa: 8/10
- Service: 8/10
- Value for money: 8/10
- Overall experience: very good 8,6/10
REVIEW OF VILLA DUBROVNIK: TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and one complimentary lunch for two).
- Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Villa Dubrovnik (and/or receive many free perks).
- Room tip: suite 316 features a terrace with views across the sea and Old Town.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
REVIEW OF VILLA DUBROVNIK: BEST TIME TO VISIT
September and October are the best months to visit Dubrovnik: there are les tourists as most of the cruise ships have abandoned the port and the weather is still great with balmy, sunny days. The water remains warm for these two months, so it’s a great time to dip into the sea rather than your savings. The peak season – the summer of June, Juy and August – has arguably the nicest weather but the small town struggles to meet the demand of the large visitor influx and hotel rates soar. Prices go down from October through April, but so will the temperatures and the beach appeal.
REVIEW OF VILLA DUBROVNIK: HOW TO GET THERE
Villa Dubrovnik is a 45 min drive from Dubrovnik Airport. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Dubrovnik.
REVIEW OF VILLA DUBROVNIK: PHOTOS
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I stayed here a number of years ago and your review mirrors my experience though there was room for improvement with restaurant service.
Did they end the daytime boat transfers to Dubrovnik? It was a really nice short ride to town.