Editor’s Note: We visited this hotel in late 2019, and this review is meant to share our experience so you can plan future travel when it is safer to do so.
WHERE IS IT? Within five minutes’ walking distance of the Old Town and directly on the water, this hotel delivers both convenience and relaxing views. Its hillside location provides excellent birds eye views of Dubrovnik.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Dubrovnik is becoming well-known for the filming of HBO’s Game of Thrones where many scenes take place within the Old Town’s medieval walls. This has helped the UNESCO World Heritage Centre locale gain even more attention in the past few years. This hotel, part of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels group is ideally located to balance tourist needs with those of business travelers thanks to the long roster of services and meeting facilities on offer. This hotel is also open year-round, unlike some other properties in the city. Recently redesigned, the lobby has walls of windows overlooking the waterfront. In fact, views of the water are easy to find in most sections of the hotel. In the distance, you can also see the Old Town, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds. Past guests have included the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Kevin Spacey, and Queen Elizabeth II. There’s a wall of photos in the popular lounge if you want to spot your favorite celebrity while enjoying a craft cocktail, light bite, or live entertainment (the hotel is popular with locals for sunset happy hour).
ROOM FACILITIES Bright and modern, the recently remodeled rooms display dark wood accents plus contemporary art and photography. They are divided between the original Villa Odak and a newer section, but all offer similar en suite amenities. The first thing you notice are the beautiful sea views from large windows in almost all rooms. It’s worth it to splurge on a Deluxe room or suite to enjoy a furnished balcony. Classic rooms are the only ones to look toward the street and city. Superior rooms have partial sea views while Deluxe rooms face the sea and add a prized balcony. These latter categories (as well as suites) also stock L’Occitane toiletries in the bathroom. Several of the suites separate the bedroom and living area with sofas and comfy armchairs with ottomans. No matter what, the rooms are bright with oh-so-soft bedding and plump pillows. On either side of the bed, light switches are within easy reach, and power outlets keep devices charged while you sleep. Makeup mirrors on the desks are sure to be a hit with some travelers.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS The main dining room serves a beautiful breakfast buffet included in the rates offering cooked-to-order dishes and tasty Croatian specialties. In warmer months, guests can dine on the terrace should they wish. Prora is the seasonal restaurant offering a gourmet dining experience including the latest catch of the day. Terrace seating makes it especially popular at sunset. Be sure to dress the part to assure a reservation! Croatian wines and impeccable presentation are the big draws at the glass-walled Sensus overlooking the sea. The Croatian chef of this small dining room is for his innovation and ingredient list. He prepared a tasty vegetarian menu for me on the spot.
LEISURE FACILITIES During the summer months, the hotel sets up a beach area with umbrellas and lounge chairs facing the water. You can take a few stone steps down and bathe in the sea if you wish. The year-round indoor pool has a wall of windows to take in similar views plus a modern fitness center and swanky spa menu with massage and beauty services. Before a treatment, soaking in the sauna or whirlpools is a great way to unwind and get in the mood.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Wireless Internet is complimentary. The largest function room seats more than 400 people with a few breakout rooms for small meetings. The restaurant and al fresco terrace are also available for private events.
VERDICT The Adriatic Sea views from this modern hotel are unbeatable, and the short walk to the medieval Old Town is both pleasant and entertaining. The hotel is part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which now participates in the World of Hyatt program giving Hyatt fans a chance to earn and burn in this beautiful city.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 158 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Popular waterfront terrace and short walking distance to Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
Amenity-packed hotel without the tourist crowds.
PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $182 on the random dates we checked.
CONTACT Hotel Excelsior Ul. Frana Supila 12, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia, Phone 385-20-353-000. adriaticluxuryhotels.com