Hotel Review: Croatia’s Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, The Grand Dame of Dubrovnik’s Luxury Hotels
Europe is known for its medieval walled cities created to protect their inhabitants from marauding pirates and conquerors. One of the finest representatives of these cities is along the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia’s Dubrovnik. It is city of soaring sandstone walls, red terracotta roofs, rose marble streets where adventurers can wander the outdoor bistros, boutiques, and side streets for hours. An ideal respite from which to explore the fascinating UNECSO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik is a landmark in its own right, the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik.
A hundred yards away from the historic old town’s main gate is the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik. It is a noble abode perched on a hill overlooking the town and Lovrijenac Fortress and the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. It was built in 1887 to welcome wealthy northern Europeans vacationing to escape the bitter winters of their homeland. They created a haven with accommodations fit for aristocrats and the landed gentry. It is now 125 years later and the finest design and craftsmanship of the hotel still holds its five star position as among the top hotels in the area. Today, after a beautifully done renovation of the room and common area, it has reached an even higher level of style and sophistication.
Dubroknik is an unforgettable destination and a one of a kind stone walled city of Renaissance architecture and filled with towering wooden drawbridges, ancient castles, frescoed churches, and museums. The Walls Walk allows explorers to saunter around the city’s high walls overlooking the town and sea, as the guards protecting citadel did hundreds of years ago. The stunning facades are also familiar for another reason being the countless Hollywood blockbusters that film there such as the Game of Thrones.
It truly is a magical place with a lot to do away from the Old Town as well, such as the panoramic cable car to Mount Srd, or frolicking at the many nearby beaches. Others may choose to visit the protected Lokrum Island, a short boat ride away, where guests can run away and hike its pine treed trails and take dips from its secluded beaches.
During the day, Old Town is a great place to explore, take a break for an al fresco lunch at one of the many bistro’s or check out the open air market selling artisans crafts, cheeses, and other local products. At night the city couldn’t be more romantic for a long candlelit dinner facing the crashing waves and then getting lost in the labyrinth of streets while stepping in and out of the bars and taverns.
The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik is a hotel created to exude glamour with a grandiose Victorian era façade of brick and gleaming white surfaces with emerald green shutters and wide open terraces behind gilded wrought iron railings.
The hotel features 147 spacious rooms, a Croatian and continental cuisine restaurant and an indoor pool. The hotel’s recent renovation has created an environment of a fresh and light color palate of pastel blues, egg shell white and elegant new furnishings. Guests staying in the Executive Suites get access to their Executive Lounge, which provides a hearty breakfast, snacks throughout the day and cocktails and canapés at night.
The rooms are light and airy with panel flooring, detailed cornices, and pastel white with pops of turquoise. All have marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. The larger suites have wonderful views of the sea and Old Town from private balconies.
Croatia is part of the Mediterranean and as such comes from a rich history of delicious light cuisine created from the fruits of the sea and land. Guests at the hotel’s Porat Restaurant enjoy Croatia’s rich culinary and cultural tradition dining alfresco under the sprawling canopy of camphor trees. One night to truly enjoy the rich culture of the area is at the hotel’s Dalmatian Coast theme night where guests dine on a feast of grilled veal, lamb chicken, prawn, fish and seafood, The grill sizzles as the meats are prepared with a simple brush of olive oil, rosemary and salt. The sprawling buffet also includes a bevy of Mediterranean delicacies, and of course, the delicious Croatian Malvasija white wine. The staff is friendly and jovial there especially the members of the three piece band playing their mandolin, guitar and accordion and singing lovely Dalmatian ballads. Its absolute heaven to dine alfresco under the starlight night, enjoying the live music as they serenade guests who dine on the wonderful meal and drinking wine.
The hotel also has a lovely indoor bar area for pre-dinner cocktails and live piano on special nights. This is also the place where locals as well as hotel guests gather for a formal afternoon tea complete with warm scones and cake towers.
There are endless places to explore away and then come back to the creature comforts of the hotel. The hotel has a quaint spa which provides a wide range of services from massages to facials and scrubs. There’s also a sauna, and steam room as well as workout facilities and physical trainers there to make sure you get the most of your workout. The hotel also boasts a large indoor pool under a glass-domed ceiling.
Dubrovnik is one of those destinations every well-heeled traveler must see at least once in their lives. The Old Town, Adriatic Sea and Dalmatian culture make it s0 worth the while. And when going there, a stay at the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik ensures that you’ll take in all that this fascinating city has to offer and then retreat to a comfortable and pampering environment worthy of the most refined traveler.