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Glamour on the Adriatic

1 June 2019

A boutique-style hotel perched above Croatia’s Dalmation Coast offers views to die for

From the road, Villa Dubrovnik looks less like a hotel and more like the entrance to a VIP nightclub. Guests take a lift down to the light, airy reception, and it immediately becomes clear how cleverly designed the hotel is – the star of the show here is the Adriatic Sea, and everything has been built to maximise the views. There’s something of a Miami vibe to the design: crisp clean lines, minimal furnishings and lots and lots of cream, grey and white. That extends to the rooms, which have floor-to-ceiling windows and long balconies on which to enjoy a morning coffee or evening sundowner. Even the bathrooms have glass walls, so you can enjoy a bath while taking in the Adriatic’s azure waters.

For the best views however, head to the fifth-floor Prosciutto & Wine Bar from where you can see the sun dip below Dubrovnik’s Old Town. For something more substantial, first-floor restaurant Pjerin offers fine dining with an emphasis on locally caught seafood.

There’s plenty of wellness on offer here, from the Turkish and Bio saunas and indoor swimming pool to the range of treatments on offer in the Villa Spa. There’s also a rocky private beach with plenty of sunbathing spots and a five-step ladder to the sea.

If you do decide to tear yourself away from the hotel, it takes about 20 minutes to walk to Dubrovnik’s Old Town, and the route is spectacular, hugging the steep coast. If you decide to stay put – and who could blame you? – enjoy an afternoon drink at Bistro Giardino, a narrow al-fresco restaurant on a stone terrace, shaded by giant pine trees overlooking the Adriatic. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a glass of something cold while watching the superyachts glide past.

From the concierge

War Photo Limited
This Old Town gallery focuses on photojournalism from conflict zones. There’s a permanent collection of photography on the Balkan War, which includes remarkable photos of the siege of Dubrovnik, as well as images from other wars around the world.

Lokrum
Located just 600 metres off the Dubrovnik coast, Lokrum is an island that once housed Austrian Archduke Maxmilian’s holiday home. There’s a Benedictine monastery and a botanical garden that still stand from the Archduke’s era.

Cavtat
If Dubrovnik’s tourist hordes get too much, escape to Cavtat, which is a gorgeous town 20km south. Red roofed houses slope down to a pretty harbour dotted with cafes and restaurants, while pleasure craft bob in the turquoise waters.

Words: Conor Purcell

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