By Michael Travin & Jenifer Pelaez
At the foot of Croatia’s sun-kissed southern tip, overlooking the beautiful Adriatic Sea, the Hotel Excelsior, part of the spectacular Adriatic Luxury Hotels, proudly stands – a modern glass building sculpted onto the cliffs of the charming seaside village of Dubrovnik. This five-star, design-conscious haven has been a magnet for the rich and powerful since its opening in 1913, attracting the likes of royals and celebrities, such as Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margret, Margaret Thatcher, King Olaf, Edward Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Ivana Trump, Sir Roger Moore, among many others. Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik’s long-standing rich tradition combined with its nonchalant elegance and Mediterranean charm continues to herald in dignitaries, stars, and trend-setters at its coveted seaside location to this day.
Regarded as one of the best hotels in the region, this iconic Dubrovnik landmark illustrates the perfect blend of old and new. The original building has been restored with a host of modern conveniences while maintaining its old world charm. Set in a tranquil environment with magnificent gardens in which to stroll, there are countless opportunities to take in the panoramic Croatian views. With the island of Lokrum in one direction and the UNESCO-protected Old Town in another, it is the perfect location to embark on an exploration of the beauty and history of the region.
Conveniently located in the Ploce neighborhood, just steps away from Dubrovnik’s historic Old City, there is plenty to discover. Marvel at the cultural and architectural beauty of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains, like Franciscan Monastery, Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace while taking in the history and vibe of this well preserved medieval walled city. Also nearby and not to be missed are Orlando’s Column and Church of St. Blaise, the patron saint of the city. From sightseeing to sailing and island hopping, there is an activity for every preference. From visiting the well-known arboretum and botanical garden in Trsteno to sampling local vintages on the Peljesac wine trail, one can take in the fresh Croatian air and relax in the tranquility of nature. For those wishing to partake in more nautical activities, the private beachfront can be your haven for the day. Explore the waters of the Adriatic on one of the hotel’s luxury yachts, and sail away in style to a variety of exciting destinations. The concierge at the Excelsior can arrange a customized extensive program of excursions, perfectly tailored to your interests.
After a long day of sightseeing, rest assured knowing the Excelsior is renowned for its hospitality and personal touch. Each of the 158 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites are stylish and contemporary, yet comfortable with modern state-of-the-art technology and spacious bathrooms. The decor is a welcoming blend of warm browns, fresh creams and cool grays, accented with dark wood furnishing and Croatian art. Step out onto one of the deluxe room’s sweeping private terraces to unwind and take in the stunning views. For further relaxation and pampering head over to the Energy Clinic Spa and Wellness Center, where a freshwater pool, two Jacuzzis, Turkish and Roman baths, as well as a comprehensive spa menu featuring customized skin and body treatments await.
Dining at the Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik is as much a delight as expected in such a picturesque setting with even more spectacular sea-view vistas. With four restaurants to select from, you need not travel far for some of the best fine dining in Dubrovnik. Overseen by the talented and well-known Executive Chef Peter Obad, the menus are carefully crafted reflecting the best offerings of local and international food using fresh and high quality ingredients. The main restaurant, Salin, is a beautiful light-filled vibrant dining room serving buffet breakfast in the morning, later transforming into a modern Mediterranean restaurant in the evening, complete with a terrace and unique views over Dubrovnik. Ideal for an intimate evening served under ancient stone arches, Prora Beach Restaurant sets the mood for romance with its impeccable fresh seafood menu and heavenly regionally inspired desserts. For a change of flavor, and to awaken your palate, SATU Sushi Bar & Restaurant presents artfully created Japanese cuisine, transforming fresh local fish into delicious sushi and sashimi. After a delectable dinner, enjoy live music and cocktails at the legendary Abakus Piano Bar. It’s also one of the most popular spots in the area during the day and sunset for light bites and amazing views of Old Town, an excellent scene for people-watching.
Nearby, on the Western side of Dubrovnik, another five-star luxury hotel similar in style and splendor lies tucked away at the beginning of the beautiful Lapad Peninsula. Perched on a cliff above the picturesque and tranquil Miramare Bay, Hotel Bellevue, also part of Adriatic Luxury Hotels, can be recognized by its modern glassy facade which contrasts with the grandiose rocky terrain below. This boutique hotel boasts some of the best views in town. Upon entering the lobby you are immediately greeted by a picture-perfect floor-to-ceiling panorama of the crystal clear, azure Adriatic sea. You are transported to a world of elegance and luxury, a perfect hideaway to immerse yourself in the laid-back and breezy spirit of the Mediterranean. Secluded and shielded from the bustle of town, yet close enough to explore the sights of Dubrovnik and Old Town, Hotel Bellevue is an exceptional retreat to relax and enjoy the breathtaking views in a chic and comfortable setting. Whether on your balcony, on of the many terraces or on the beach, you are sure to enjoy your stay and unwind completely.
Hotel Bellevue’s 91 rooms and suites are simply yet stylishly designed, each with sea views. The interior decor, inspired by the city’s maritime heritage combines contemporary design with a welcoming sea-infused color palette and original Croatian art. Organic materials and sleek upscale furnishings with modern and state-of-the-art technology make for a successful blend of warmth, convenience, and character. A notable feature are the novel balconies which have a clear glass balustrade to accentuate the already impressive views.
Below, one of the most visited beaches in Dubrovnik is just steps away. This pebble beach is charming and secluded, a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, sunbathing on one of the loungers or lazing in the warm blue waters. For further relaxation, take a dip in the indoor infinity pool perched on the cliffs, or book an appointment at the Energy Clinic Wellness and Spa Center featuring relaxation and detoxifying treatments.
If the fresh Croatian air has opened up your appetite, Hotel Bellevue presents two tempting restaurants and a lounge to choose from. For light snacks and cocktails, the stylish Spice Lounge is an exotic space filled with ambiance. Aside from the brilliant view, the room’s focal point is a magnificent Nepalese stone wall and a grand palm tree centerpiece. This world-class designed lounge and bar offers Viennese coffee and pastries, fine wines, draft beers, and tasty cocktails. For a more formal fine-dining experience, Vapor showcases an international a la carte menu created by Executive Chef Saša Računica. He inventively turns traditional Mediterranean cuisine into uniquely new and fresh creations with a regional twist. Meanwhile, at Nevera Beach Restaurant, you can casually enjoy grilled fish and Mediterranean-style cooking with Asian and Pacific influences, paired with some of the best local wines while overlooking the bay.
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