Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace

12 Dec 2014 by Jenny Southan

BACKGROUND

This Croatian five-star originally opened in the early 1970s, but this year saw the completion of a full revamp, with the hotel reopening in April. It is a member of Adriatic Luxury Hotels, of which there are 11 other properties in the country.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Against a backdrop of dense pine forest, the Dubrovnik Palace is a modern hotel set into cliffs that go down to meet the Adriatic. There are no beaches along this bit of coast but you can jump off the rocks to swim in the sea.

Thanks to recent renovations, the rooms look smart and contemporary, and all benefit from balconies and views of the ocean. However, the public areas are fairly bland and the pool areas are not as pristine as I would have expected (towels were old and there wasn’t much space for loungers).  

With lots of meeting space, it is a good option for corporate groups coming for events or incentives, although I thought the service could have been friendlier at times (mainly from the staff at the pool bar).

WHERE IS IT?

On Lapad Peninsula, ten minutes’ drive from Dubrovnik’s old city and 30 minutes along the coast to the airport.

ROOM FACILITIES

Standard amenities in the bedrooms include flatscreen TVs, robes and slippers, minibars, air conditioning, safes, 24-hour room service and free wifi. But the best thing about them are their sea-facing balconies.

The minimalist décor is attractive, with a pleasing nautical feel – light wood panelling, and a palette of blue and white.

I was staying in a spacious corner Junior suite, which benefitted from having a separate living room and a wrap-around terrace with loungers and chairs. Everything was very clean and comfortable, and there was turndown service in the evening.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

There are three restaurants (Ponta, Maslina Tavern and Elafiti) and two bars (Sunset Lounge and Lanterna Glorijet, by the pool). I had a couple of casual al fresco lunches at Ponta, and a meal in the evening at Maslina, and although the views were lovely, I found the food to be average, at best. In its defence, Maslina specialises in fish, which I didn’t try, so maybe that would have been a better bet. During the summer, there is live music.

Lean and Light on the tenth floor serves raw food, salads and low-fat dishes for the health conscious. I didn’t try the breakfast in Elafiti, instead ordering it to my room to eat on my balcony.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

Located on the tenth floor, the Palace’s Mare conference hall is one of the biggest in the region, capable of hosting 750 delegates theatre-style.

It can be divided into four and also has four translation booths, a bar and video link technology enabling it to be linked to the Dubrava Hall on the floor below, which can seat up to 260 guests. Events can also be held outside on the hotel’s various terraces or at the Sunset Lounge.

LEISURE FACILITIES

In summer, there are three outdoor swimming pools open for guests, as well as the option to swim, snorkel and dive in the sea (there is a licensed PADI suba diving centre here).

The main pool has a swim-up bar but you have to get there early if you want to get a lounger. It’s also not the most attractive poolside environment – there is a lot of concrete and people are packed in close together. The views across the sea are lovely though.

The 1,510 sqm spa and wellness centre on the tenth floor has seven treatment rooms, spa baths, steam rooms, Finnish saunas and a chill-out area. I used the gym a couple of times, and enjoyed the fact that it faced the sea and had doors that opened up on to a terrace for fresh air. There is also an indoor pool for use during the winter season.

Open from March to November, the hotel has a gallery on level seven displaying works by local artists. Adriatic Luxury Services can help organise activities, tours and boat trips.

VERDICT

There is no doubt the Dubrovnik Palace has been greatly improved by its recent revamp. This is a good high-end option for holidaymakers coming for short breaks (especially if you want to combine time in the city with time in the water), as well as business people coming for events and incentives. The food could have been better, on the whole


FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 308 – 22 Superior single, 235 Superior doubles, 14 Deluxe doubles, 24 Junior suites, seven Executive suites, two Deluxe suites, plus three Ambassador suites and one Presidential in the VIP wing.  
  • HIGHLIGHTS Renovated rooms with balconies and sea views, free wifi and sizeable event space.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in March started from €120 for a Superior room.
  • CONTACT Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Masarykov put 20, Dubrovnik; tel +385 20 300 300; adriaticluxuryhotels.com


Jenny Southan
 

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