Signature checks in to… Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik
Overlooking the shimmering Adriatic Sea with incomparable views of Old Town Dubrovnik, Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik’s recent renovation has made it one of the most desirable luxury properties in Europe. A grand indoor pool, a world-class restaurant, sweeping cocktail terrace and modernized rooms have elevated Hotel Excelsior’s game – without eliminating glimpses of old-world glamour.
Traveller: Sarah Driggs with Compass + Twine
Room: Deluxe Room with sea view and balcony
Address: Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik, Frana Suplia 12, 20000 Dubrovnik
Date: September 2017
Best for: Revamped grandeur with the most enviable location in Dubrovnik
The Signature factor
With the most enviable location in Dubrovnik, Hotel Excelsior’s magnificent terrace allows guests to soak in the spectacular views of Old Town. Chic lounge seating in neutral hues and carefully considered textures dot the terrace on one end. On the other side, tables at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant Senses offer a picturesque outdoor setting for diners. Come sunset, it’s hard to imagine a better spot to be in all of Dubrovnik. Cocktail in hand, you can watch the sky turn brilliant shades of pink and purple as the sun dips below the Adriatic horizon, illuminating the silhouette of the Old Town jutting out into the sea.
Old-world glamour and modern luxury dance hand in hand at Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik following a meticulous multi-million-dollar revamp that was completed during Spring 2017. Most of the 158 guest rooms on the property boast incredible views of the Adriatic and Old Town. Walking in the sliding glass-door entry, floor-to-ceiling windows beckon at you from across the lobby, introducing you to a glimpse of the jaw-dropping view. Head down the black spiral staircase to unwind at the swanky Abakus Piano Bar. Along the wall near the bar, black and white photos of familiar faces hang in homage to some of the hotel’s famous guests, including Elizabeth Taylor, Francis Ford Coppola, and Queen Elizabeth II.
Peering out at the Adriatic Sea from the grand lobby windows upon check-in, you’re immediately torn as to what to do first. Directly below lies the beautiful terrace with a cocktail bar at the centre and plush sofas waiting for your surrender. Below that, sun lounges line the stone waterfront on the ground level, with the dazzling blue Adriatic waters calling your name.
Earthy colours, understated décor, and crisp white bedding make the view a cornerstone of the Deluxe Suite guest rooms. With epic scenery as far as the eye can travel, it’s almost certain you’ll neglect to switch on your TV. A moody, charcoal grey bathroom provides a dramatic contrast to the bright and airy rooms. Modern fixtures and L’Occitane amenities ensure guests feel pampered at all times.
The most prestigious abode at Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik is the Presidential Suite. The grand two-bedroom haven sits on the top floor of the building, offering unobstructed panoramic views. The lavish interior boasts jewel-toned seating and throws and a spacious living area perfect for hosting guests or simply lounging around like a movie star.
On my plate
A decadent breakfast spread and made-to-order favourites like strawberry-topped waffles or savoury omelettes greet guests each morning in the main, terrace-style breakfast space. For lunch, indulge in fresh ceviche or lobster atop homemade pappardelle seaside at Prora Restaurant. The casual yet polished restaurant lies within a shaded, rocky enclave steps away from the blue Adriatic water.
Senses Fine Dining Restaurant is the real culinary gem of Hotel Excelsior. With elegant indoor and outdoor terrace settings, Senses offers one of the most exemplary dining experiences in all of Croatia. Chef Peter Obad, who hails from nearby Konavle, serves an inventive, avant-garde take on local, seafood-driven cuisine. For a decadent journey through the menu, start with the sea urchin topped with a quail egg, caviar, and crème Fraiche. Next, enjoy the homemade braised oxtail ravioli with truffles before indulging in your main dish: lobster tail with Fois Gras, forest fruit, and pear & ginger salsa. Glass walls with refrigerated wine cellars line the sophisticated dining space. A knowledgeable sommelier will help you select a drop from Senses’ well-curated portfolio of local and international bottles. For a crisp but complex local white, pair your seafood with a bottle of the Grgić Posip. Cheers to a wonderful meal!
I wish I could take home…
The sleek, sculptural chairs from the terrace area, and the shiny black grand piano in Abakus Piano Bar.
The lavish spa includes multiple treatment rooms, Turkish Baths, Finnish sauna, and one magnificent indoor pool area complete with Jacuzzi whirlpools. The perfect mix of wellness and beauty services allow guests to completely unwind in newly renovated facilities.
Old Town Dubrovnik is an easy 5-10 minute stroll from Hotel Excelsior. Before you know it, you’re approaching the medieval walls and crossing over the 14th-century bridge at Ploče Gate. Spend your morning exploring the backstreets of Old Town, then climb the city walls for an unforgettable 1-mile walk above the labyrinth of terracotta rooftops. Kayak to Lokrum Island in the afternoon or venture up to Fort Lovrijenac on an exclusive Game of Thrones tour. After a long day, Hotel Excelsior offers the best sunset views from its terrace come evening. These are best enjoyed with a chilled glass of wine in hand.
The list of illustrious guests who have graced the halls of Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik includes Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth II, Morgan Freeman, Owen Wilson and numerous other heads of state, athletes and movie stars. The finest of the Adriatic Luxury Hotel collection, Hotel Excelsior is the 5-star gem of Dubrovnik.
To spend the day seaside, head down to the sun-lounges early to ensure a front-row view of the Adriatic. Dive in and out of the glassy blue water, bask in the sun and order drinks from the attentive servers that wait on the beach.
We wished the same tasty snacks and light-bites menu from the terrace were available at the seaside lounge area. The food available by the water comes from the delicious Prora restaurant menu and is more formal than snack-like.
While an open kitchen in Senses Restaurant creates a cool, interactive dining experience with a contemporary vibe, the noise and chatter in the kitchen can be loud, undermining the sophistication of the dining room. A door might allow for the option of quietness, should the kitchen area become understandably boisterous. Additionally, for a 5-star luxury property, the check-in process can be a little on the impersonal side.
Where to find Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik
by Sarah Driggs of Compass + Twine
Sarah Driggs and Lindsay Ridenour are the storytellers behind the NYC-based luxury travel blog, Compass + Twine. Follow along on Instagram @compassandtwine as they unearth some of the best hotels and travel experiences around the globe. From scenic landscapes to local cafés, they reveal the true character of a destination, always highlighting the best place to stay!