Today we are kicking off our second batch of reader hotel reviews with the Hilton Imperial in Dubrovnik.
The feedback we received about the ‘My favourite Hotel’ series was very positive which is why we have decided to commission another 25 reviews. I picked these from the list of 150 we received when we initially asked you to send in your favourite hotels, but depending on how the second batch goes we might open up nominations again if we decide to run more.
If you missed any of the first batch of reviews, you can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.
We are restarting with a mainstream option in Europe. Today’s hotel is the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik in Croatia, a stylish luxurious hotel without the price tag. It is reader Alan’s favourite hotel and here is his review:
The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik sits about a hundred metres outside the walled city of Dubrovnik. The hotel was built in 1895 and exudes the grandeur that its name implies. Post war, it reopened in 2005 as a Hilton after extensive renovations but a squeeze on funds meant that the interior never matched up to the exterior. This was corrected with a chic and stylish makeover during refurbishments in 2018.
Dubrovnik itself is quite a small city with not too much to do other than admiring its film set looks, especially from a walk around its medieval walls or for an aerial view from Mount Srđ. This, and several great restaurants, make it a perfect long weekend destination.
Getting to the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik has no rail connection from the airport, which is fourteen miles away, so your options are either taxi or bus. We took the bus which cost 80 Croatian Kuna (£9) return and dropped us off almost opposite the hotel at the Pile Gate after a 30 minute ride. Unfortunately the bus does not pick up from the hotel on the way back and we had to catch it from the cable car station, about a 10 minute walk from the hotel.
We arrived after an early British Airways flight from Gatwick, checking in at about 10:30am, yet our room was ready for us which was ideal.
I initially booked a king room, but as I had hoped we were upgraded to an Executive room with sea view due to my Diamond status.
The room was elegant and comfortable, well-appointed and had a large balcony. The below is an official photo, but perfectly represents what we saw when we entered.
The views were stunning, enhanced by the impeccable weather. Not only could we see the sea, but also Lovrijenac (a 16th century fortress) and the old town.
A good sized bathroom was made to feel even bigger by a sizeable mirror. The shower was of good pressure and everywhere was well cleaned. The toiletries were by Crabtree & Evelyn, as is common across Hilton hotels.
During the turn down service a small plate of cakes and cutlery was left on our table which was a lovely touch.
Here is a hotel picture of a suite which looks equally attractive:
We made frequent use of the Executive Lounge. The lounge was the best decorated Hilton lounge I have been to, though as it was on the first floor the views were not as great as the ones we had from our room which was a pity. It did, however, make it very convenient to pop into when coming back from town for a refreshing drink after being in the sun.
The lounge was stocked with a variety of drinks and snacks, including some local specialities such as candied orange peel (arancini) and Croatian style biscuits.
The space was rather small, but cosy and not cramped. We never had a problem getting a table.
Breakfast was served in the main dining room and was a mix of typical continental and cooked items including an omelette station. As is often the case in continental Europe, sparkling wine was available to start your day – and so we did.
The hotel provided guests with a daily newspaper. These were delivered to your door overnight and were made by printing off and stapling. As we were English we had The Times provided.
There was an indoor swimming pool and a health club which we didn’t use. Neither did we dine in the hotel – Dubrovnik has many restaurants vying for the tourist trade. We found a courtyard restaurant in the old town, which was only a short stroll away, to be good quality and well-priced.
The hotel also had a couple of bars which looked very comfortable and refined, but with access to the Executive lounge we had no need for them.
We booked a king room directly with Hilton at a promotional rate of £240 for three nights. In addition we had to pay a city tax of 10 Croatian Kuna (£1) per person per night.
Dubrovnik has a very well defined high season starting at the beginning of April. Prices typically double both in terms of cash and points redemptions between low and high season. We stayed in mid-March 2019 and had excellent weather, with the bonus not only of lower prices but also avoiding the peak of cruise passengers, holiday makers and Game of Thrones fans.
What to do in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is pretty! Not a very big town, but gorgeous full of picturesque lanes and walls. Pass through the Pile Gate and it’s a wanderers paradise. There is a an old pharmacy in a Franciscan Monastery, a war museum in a fort on top of Mount Srđ and in case you weren’t aware, Dubrovnik was heavily featured in the Game of Thrones TV series. You will find people on tours looking at the set all around you.
The Hilton Dubrovnik Imperial offers a calm restful spot ideally placed to explore the city. Both the hotel and city are pleasing to the eye. For Hilton Diamond members this hotel offers great value. If you don’t have Hilton status I’d recommend splashing out on an Executive room with sea view if you can. If you go out of season to avoid the crowds and the high costs, I hope you get the same weather we did.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (October 2021)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card comes with a limited time bonus of 60,000 Amex points (converts to 120,000 Hilton Honors points) until 2nd November 2021.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)