This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products and experiences we think you’ll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale.
Visitors to Dubrovnik, Croatia’s popular seaside resort town, have a variety of options to consider when visiting the city. Like many historic cities throughout Europe, the Old Town is the main attraction—particularly for Game of Thrones fans—and many hotels, restaurants and cultural activities center around that hub.
Of course, the Adriatic has an influence on how visitors see the city. Along the coast near the Old Town, private and commercial properties give tourists unique opportunities to enjoy the serenity of a private beach.
Visitors who stay in the Old Town may be more interested in authentic cultural and dining activities that are within walking distance. In exchange for that access though, noise levels may be slightly higher while beach access may be farther away.
On the other side of that equation, properties on the Lapad peninsula enjoy wide open spaces and easier beach access, though the trip to Old Town can often require a taxi or at least a healthy walk.
Splitting those features, hotels and rentals on the seaside just outside of the city walls (mostly to the east) blend unique footprints and amenities along with easy walkability to the old town.
Here’s where to stay in each of Dubrovnik’s neighborhoods.
Boutique hotels are the name of the game in Dubrovnik’s Old Town; There’s neither space for the traditional, massive hotel footprint nor beach access to accommodate. Among boutique properties in the city center, Hotel Stari is a favorite.
Renovated in 2013, the hotel has only eight premium rooms, each appointed with superior and thoughtful furnishings. There’s also an amazing spa—but most visitors will be more interested in the hotel’s fantastic roof terrace. Here, guests can dine in the hotel’s private restaurant or simply hang around and admire the panoramic city views as the day passes by.
Fresh* Sheets Kathedral is more of a guest house than a boutique hotel. The six-room property caters to travelers looking for a more creative approach to Old Town accommodations: more communal and boutique than a traditional hotel, but far more posh than a hostel. Rooms in the 17th-century building are large, full of light and appointed with clean and minimal amenities. And while there may not be three restaurants or a fitness center, the hotel’s proprietors make everything up with over-the-top hospitality.
Situated at the mouth of Lapad on a cliff facing the sea, Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik combines the relative serenity of the peninsula with great access to the historic old town. It’s a pleasant, ten-minute walk from the hotel along the seaside to the city center, while those looking to stay put have a lot to look forward to. Refurbished in the spring of 2019, Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik features 91 updated rooms and suites with modern, clean design and beautiful views throughout. Naturally, there’s also a private beach at the bottom of the cliff.
Going deeper into the Lapad peninsula takes travelers away from the bustle of the city center, but it also affords some amazing views north over the Adriatic. And among top-tier hotels in this area is the Valamar Argosy. This 308-room property originally built in the 1970s was updated in 2018 with refurbished rooms and improved service, guaranteeing modern appointments and amenities. Outside of the rooms, guests can expect sprawling views of the sea as well as impressive pool and wellness facilities.
Just a half-mile from Old Town, one could argue that the Gran Villa Argentina is close to the city center, but in reality, many visitors to this property may not even leave its grounds. A luxury hotel refurbished from an early-20th-century private residence, the Gran Villa Argentina is built into the seaside cliffs and features lush, terraced gardens full of fruit and rosemary plants. Many of the 131 rooms and suites look out directly over the Adriatic while there are two restaurants, a bar, a wellness center and direct access to the beach on site.
Several miles southeast of the city on the coast is Marriott’s contribution to the hotel scene in Dubrovnik. But the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera is unlike most Sheratons around the world. This property is finely tuned to the local, Mediterranean style with terracotta rooftops, solid interior design and a pool scene that rivals any of the local properties. It may be a bit far from the attractions of the Old Town, but there’s direct beach access, plenty of space to work and best of all: It’s possible to earn and spend Marriott points here.