A big thanks to the Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik for hosting my stay so I could provide this detailed review of my experience.
Arriving at Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik is like setting foot on your own King’s Landing. Cue the dragons. Although this boutique luxury property may not have made an appearance in the HBO series Game of Thrones, it’s a stunning newcomer from the Adriatic Luxury Collection, located one mile from busy Old Town Dubrovnik. Situated above a rocky cove 30 meters above the stunning Miramare Bay, the pristine warm aquamarine waters of the Adriatic dazzle your eye in every direction from the property’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
The location is perfect for a daily dip in the crystal-clear water, with a private beach and a much quieter feel, away from the bustling madness of touristy Old Town. A landing strip probably once used for boats juts into the sea, letting guests maneuver into the water to swim into caves, admire the dramatic rugged coastline, or just float the day away. An elevator zooms straight to the bottom floor where a cave-like tunnel leads straight to the beach – with restaurant service, which is a nice amenity to enjoy a cocktail, salad, or oyster platter in a swimsuit, on a lounge chair, or at a little secluded beach cove for guests.
Move over crowded, expensive Amalfi Coast. Croatia’s 5-star Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik is calling! Rooms are carved into the rugged cliffs, providing dramatic sea views from every room and from the hotel’s restaurants and terraces. Completely refurbished, the design-savvy hotel is super chic with white cheery rooms dressed in modern Boho chic Malibu-esque décor, with soft neutral tones and warm light-colored Scandinavian woods accenting a stylish desk, bed, and smartly designed closet. My room felt like a Zen apartment space, one I didn’t want to leave, as the sunlight filtered in during mid-October.
The beds are super comfy and the room service is exceptional, as the room was organized and immaculate every time I returned. Marble bathrooms have walk-in rainfall showers and are stocked with Nature Bisse bath products. Free bottled water is provided. A cozy mod couch, coffee bar with fridge, contemporary mood lighting options, and even fresh flowers were all nice touches, but the gemstone-colored coast is the constant wow factor from the room and glass balcony. Blackout curtains might help slumber but you’ll want to sleep with the French windows ajar to hear the crashing waves in any of the 91 rooms and 14 suites.
You may not find any need for the flat-screen TV as the first thing you’ll want to do each morning is run to your oceanfront balcony and admire the curvature of the land’s cliffs, watch a brave soul cliff-jumping, or marvel at the waves rhythmically lapsing the crystal-clear shore. Your private room landing also makes the ultimate spot for sipping Croatian wine at sunset.
Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik has become one of my favorite hotels in the world – where culture and serenity are offered in equal measure. Three nights was not enough.
When you feel motivated to leave your peaceful private sanctuary, breakfast awaits on the hotel’s dreamy perch terrace, hanging over the water, offering morning coffee views accompanied by a la carte menu options and an impressive buffet. Laze away a morning and choose from an endless array of fresh local options such as yogurts, fruit parfaits, seasonal fruits, cakes, muffins, fish, meats, cheeses, salads, and 6 different kinds of honey – just in case you can’t decide what to put over your yogurt or drizzle in your tea.
A reservation at the hotel’s Michelin-recommended Vapor is a bounty of Mediterranean cuisine, featuring the finest seasonal produce prepared with innovative twists and artfully presented in an elegant venue, complemented by one of the best wine lists in Dubrovnik. Try Croatian lobster atop grilled polenta or other popular Croatian items – refined to perfection – like white Adriatic fish ceviche, roasted butternut pumpkin soup, mixed seafood salad and truffle gnocchi with chicken sous vide. Lamb rump steak is a popular entrée option.
Spend a few hours at the hotel’s Energy Clinic Spa and Beauty Center, with more scintillating dramatic ocean views from the glass windows and glass roof surrounding the freshwater heated pool and jacuzzi. Unwind with a steam or sauna or book a holistic spa treatment and make sure to try out the hot and cold stone pebble treatment for your feet.
When you are ready to leave this perfect respite, it is only a 1-mile walk to Old Town Dubrovnik, where the traipse alone will leave you mesmerized while hugging the coastal cliffside. Stop at various points to gawk at the views alongside the cats who are also lounging under trees and watching the sunset. Beautiful ancient buildings and charming restaurants straddle the busy roadside. It’s easy to understand why this seaside playground is dubbed “the Pearl of the Adriatic.”
Explore Dubrovnik and Beyond
The best time to visit Dubrovnik is in May or during the fall months, preferably the first two weeks of October to avoid the crowds and heat. Here are our top tips to make the most of your time.
Spend a day in calmer Cavtat
Just 30 minutes south of Dubrovnik, spend a night or two in the quaint seaside town of Cavtat. Dine on the terrace or stay at the new boutique 16-room Hotel Supetar, housed in an original 1920s three-story private villa built on the remains of the ancient settlement that will be displayed in a nearby museum. Savor the unfolding sunset hues above Cavtat Bay over a romantic fine dining experience as the hotel’s chef uses local ingredients in inventive ways. Enjoy tomato burrata, scallops from Ston, mixed seafood salad, and black squid ink risotto, all made better with exceptional Croatian wines. The entire villa-esque property oozes with style and features a wine bar, an infinity edge pool surrounded by gardens, and a patio space with wicker chairs set amongst the citrus trees.
Walk around the Old City Walls
Climb the century-old fortresses – originally designed to protect the city – to admire the rooftop view of the Adriatic, King’s Landing, and UNESCO-protected Old City with its red-tiled roofs. Go early before cruise ships arrive. You don’t have to do the 2-hour full 1.3 mile walk but it’s worthwhile to start walking the 80-foot-high walls headed to the ocean and King’s Landing. Built into the side of the walls, find Bard Bar in view of Lokrum Island, a perfect waterfront spot to rest your legs over a fine Croatian beer or wine.
Watch the sunset from the top of the cable cars
Cruise on uphill aboard the scenic cable car that departs hourly, to gawk at the views of the sprawling city and walled Old Town. Book a reservation at Restaurant Panorama in advance for dinner and request a seat near the edge; or if not dining, admire the setting over a cocktail.
Stroll one of the most beautiful streets in the world
Known as Stradun, the gleaming limestone promenade shines, especially early in the morning or at night. Meander the streets at dusk when the sky turns royal blue. The promenade seems to always be bustling. The street’s natural shine is due to the thousands of feet that have walked up and down this main open-air public space for centuries. Admire the 15th-century fountains and two bell towers amongst the boutique shops, cafes, galleries, and gelato shops. Meander in and out of the charming side streets. Find the Jewish street with synagogue and Jewish Museum from 1520. Watch the clock change on the Dubrovnik city clock tower and see how many times you can spot the patron saint and protector of Croatia carved into the walls holding the city of Dubrovnik in the palm of his hand.
Find a great tour guide to point out the secrets of Dubrovnik
Book a private tour with the Get Your Guide app or with the best – the enthusiastic local tour guide Lidija Begic, who unveils all the hidden secrets of the city both past and present. You can reach her at +385 98 2192 13.
Visit the Pharmacy of the Franciscan Monastery
Founded in 1317, the pharmacy is one of the oldest in the world, where they still make potions for ailments. Stop in to buy cold-pressed beauty soaps and creams made from natural ingredients and prepared according to 200-year-old recipes – with scents of rose, rosemary, and lavender. The library holds pharmaceutical manuals with secret recipes and ordinary remedies like elixirs for youth, memory, and maintaining a peaceful marriage.
Dine and unwind over local flavors
Sip the best coffee in Bunic Square at Bura Bistro and Wine Bar where you can order an array of international dishes showcasing local ingredients like sardine tartine, swordfish and shrimp ceviche with basil and mint, gnudi with ricotta and caramelized cream basil sauce, and braised pulled lamb with gnocchi. Restaurant Kopun is another memorable find, tucked away in the Old Town in an enchanting square that is aglow at night in front of the Jesuit Church. Dine outside on local dishes like oysters, marinated sardines with squid sashimi, and Royal Seafood Stew Brodet from the Croatian Islands. Homemade gnocchi and capon ragout with black truffles are a must order too paired with Posip and Plavic Mali wines.
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