I first went to Dubrovnik in 1958. My father had gone to the island of Brioni to present his credentials to former Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito at his summer residence. Snatching the opportunity, he took us on a tour of the Dalmatian coast.
All I remember from that time are the ramparts and narrow streets. When I had the chance to go to Dubrovnik again almost 60 years later, all I saw again were ramparts and narrow streets. However, in contrast to my previous visit, I also came across a hotel that made me elated: Villa Dubrovnik.
I’d like to tell you about this hotel and its restaurant.
I think the hotel has 50-60 rooms… It’s neither as boring as boutique hotels or motels that are so crammed that you are forced to talk to your neighboring guests, nor as unattractive as large hotels or cruises where halls, restaurants and open buffets are filled to the brim. It’s a beautifully located hotel, overlooking the ramparts and a forested island.
The thing that impressed me most about the hotel was actually its beach. Well, it’s not a beach per se; it would be more appropriate to describe it as the pier of a waterfront mansion. A pier with 8-10 platforms with a couple of sunbeds – meaning it’s not one of those Cote d’Azur beaches that’s so crowded people are practically stacked on top of each other. A pier that has stairs that lead to a sea that is still clean. I once had a similar summer house in Çeşme. Maybe that’s why I loved this special place so much. While swimming and sunbathing, I felt like I was on the pier of my house with friends and not at a hotel.
The restaurant of the hotel is located right on the pier. As you can see in the pictures, this is a restaurant under pine trees with an amazing view. Of course it has a name that eludes me but I’m sure you can Google it! At first glance, it doesn’t look like an impressive restaurant.
They serve breakfast. There is none of the hustle and bustle that goes with an open buffet. People don’t stuff their plates with more than they can eat just because they paid for it. A quality and sufficient breakfast is served with the beauty of a crisp morning…
They also serve lunch. The coolness provided by pines and leafy trees can’t be replicated with any type of pergola, tent or artificial canopy.
After your swim, you come up here without worrying about your attire and have a light meal (of course there’s no obligation to eat light, that’s just me)…
If you’re in the same place by evening, you’ll probably eat at the hotel. This time, biting into a delectable dinner and sipping your wine while viewing the illuminated ramparts of Dubrovnik Castle before heading toward the castle and the town with the hotel’s boat will crown your day.
Since there are no sandy beaches, pools and playgrounds for children or entertainment-casinos at the hotel, the guests are usually older people with no children. This in turn enables you to have a quiet dinner.
The service is excellent… The staff at the hotel are smartly dressed in clothes fit for a summer hotel (they have different attire for day and night). Obviously they are handpicked girls and boys who are all very fit. They walk straight. The girls are lean, tall and beautiful. With tight white pants, sneakers in the morning, flats at lunch and slightly heeled shoes at night, they put folk dancers to shame with their gait. The boys are polite and handsome… They know how to serve without making a big deal of it… They all speak excellent English – ensuring the chaos and misunderstandings that occur in most restaurants in Europe during ordering due to the language barrier doesn’t happen here! All employees carry out their duties without exaggeration or pushing themselves to the forefront, acting in a calm and polite manner.
When all these things come together and you enjoy a combination of relaxed dining and sumptuous food, you’re in for some unforgettable happiness. You feel as if you’re in your own summer house and not at a hotel/restaurant. When the comfort and privacy of your home is in harmony with the quality and comfort of the restaurant, and if you’ve had a great day on the pier without the noise of children and big crowds, you can’t help but ask this question:
Do you stay at Villa Dubrovnik when you’re in Dubrovnik or do you go to Dubrovnik to stay at Villa Dubrovnik?
I’d plump for the second!