Dubrovnik is known for being the “Pearl of the Adriatic” – and it’s easy to see why. Located on Croatia’s stunning Dalmatian Coast, the city has become a tourism hotspot in recent years thanks to its picturesque old town, medieval walls and turquoise waters.
Used as the main filming location for “King’s Landing” in TV smash hit Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik’s old town and walls continue to attract thousands of fans for tours and visits. Despite its GoT success, the show is not the main reason for why you should visit.
Dubrovnik has a fascinating history, loads of great restaurants and bars, its waters are perfect for swimming and it’s an ideal destination for exploring the Adriatic islands and south of Croatia.
Why stay here?
The city is also home to the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik, a five-star luxury hotel located within walking distance of the old town and main attractions. Cascading down into the sea, the 13-floor hotel blends impressive architecture and design both inside and out.
R&R is the name of the game here – and a perfect way to recover after exploring the old town. Spend the day relaxing by Libertas Beach, which is rocks rather than sand. Accessible via ladders built into the rocks, the water here was just mesmerising – cool, clean and calm. The only real “waves” came from the jet skis and boats passing by to visit Bellevue pebble beach just around the corner.
By day hotel guests use the Libertas Beach area for swimming in the sea or fresh water outdoor pool while also sunbathing and enjoying some snacks and drinks from the bar. By night though the area is used for evening dining with tables on the seaside terrace offering a romantic view of the water and coastline.
As well as swimming and sunbathing, guests can burn off last night’s meal with a visit to the gym or a game of table tennis, which are located near to the fresh water outdoor pool. There’s also the 2000m² Anjana Spa, heated indoor pool and Jacuzzi; a billiards room; and the Merit Casino Libertas, which is located under the hotel.
Rooms and suites
With seven types of rooms and five types of suites, there are 310 rooms overall at the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik. We stayed in a double deluxe room with sea view which included an ultra-comfy bed, Jacuzzi-style bath, rainforest shower, and a superb terrace overlooking the hotel grounds, sea and old town in the distance.
I would honestly say it was one of the best views we have ever had from a hotel – it was truly incredible. Add in the fact that the terrace also had loungers and a table, you could easily spend an afternoon just snoozing in the sun. Pure bliss.
Eating and drinking
Plates at the ready… it’s buffet time! The Rixos has a number of restaurants and bars where guests and visitors can enjoy a meal and the local wines on offer. The main restaurant, Turquoise, is where you go for breakfast and dinner – which is included if you’re on a half-board stay. Alcoholic drinks are not included with dinner, but there is sparkling wine at breakfast. So start the day with a bit of fizz before spending time lounging around by the water.
Some hotel buffets can be a bit bland and samey, but the dinner buffet at Turquoise was tremendous. There’s so much to choose from – meat courses, fish, local specialities, vegetarian options, breads, salads and, of course, desserts. Plus, every night there’s a special theme focusing on one particular cuisine. Themes included nights for Dalmatian, Japanese, Mexican and Indian food.
Other places to eat and drink at the Rixos include Japanese restaurant Umi Teppanyaki, Libertas Beach Snack Bar, Libertas Fish Restaurant, Libertas Terrace & Lobby Bar, and the Sports Bar. Reservations are required for Umi Teppanyaki and Libertas Fish Restaurant.
In the pedestrian-only old town there’s plenty of places to eat and drink. The main street, Stradun, and the passageways within the grid are packed with restaurants and cafes serving food all day. Visiting in summer, we made sure to benefit from the many ice cream shops on offer.
For a special treat you should head up Srđ mountain (more details below). At the summit you will find Panorama Restaurant & Bar, where you can have a great meal and enjoy incredible views of the old town and terracotta rooftops below. The restaurant offers light lunches (10am-6pm), plus meat and fish specials, a range of wines (local and international), and an extensive cocktail list.
What to do in Dubrovnik
Once you’ve had your fill of sunbathing, buffets and blissful swims in the sea, you have to head into Dubrovnik’s famous old town. Located just a 20-minute walk from the Rixos, Pile Gate is the main entrance to the old town and from here you can explore the narrow streets, boutique shops and restaurants. Pile Gate is also where the main entrance is for the spectacular city walls. It’s advisable to walk the walls early in the morning in summer to avoid the hottest part of the day and crowds of people.
If you have time then we would definitely recommend going up Srđ mountain. Forming a beautiful backdrop for the old town, the views from the top are spectacular. You can walk, hike, take a cable car ride or drive to the summit, where you’ll find Panorama Restaurant & Bar, an amphitheatre and gift shop. One word of warning though, if you’re planning to reach the top for sunset, then driving or getting a taxi up is not advisable. Our driver said that the winding, often single-track road can get jammed with all the cars. Maybe get your hiking boots on or take the cable car instead if you want to watch the sun setting with the old town below.
A resort, more than just a hotel, the Rixos provides a great luxury option for visitors looking to book a city break in Dubrovnik. Its location – 1.5km from the old town and 23km from the airport – is ideal, and it offers a relaxing beach-style atmosphere to complement the busy touristy areas of the town. From the room and views to the food and facilities, it was a first-class stay.
Prices at Rixos Premium Dubrovnik start from £287 per night, based on two people sharing a classic room with a double bed and park view in non-peak season; rixos.com