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‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik

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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:

Overview

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.

Review Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik hotel

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.

Our room

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.

Review Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik hotel

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.

Review Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik hotel

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:

Review Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik hotel

Facilities

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.

Review Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik hotel

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.

Review Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik hotel

Booking

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.

Review Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik hotel

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.

Conclusion

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.

If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.  There is an interesting article about the recent refurbishment, with a lot more high quality photographs of the hotel interior, here.

Hilton logo

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, 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, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (26)

  • John T says:

    Looks like a lovely hotel but ever since GoT, Dubrovnik is awful in summer. So crowded, lots of very average restaurants with prices that are very high for Croatia, any sliver of beach is standing room only. There are some lovely peaceful places in Croatia (like Korcula) but Dubrovnik is not one of them.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    [email protected] If you are reading your “Article” The name of the courtyard Restaurant a stroll away would be very useful to us, we was meant to be staying there now postponed until 2022
    Colorado & Arizona next year now
    Thanks in anticipation

    • Alan says:

      Hi Chris,
      It was Restaurant Kopun, which is in the courtyard at the top of the Jesuit Stairs (shame steps for the GoT enthusiast). I had a lobster burger which wasn’t as exciting as it sounded but my partner had a squid ink risotto which was fantastic. We went quite early so we were the only ones seated for a while which was romantic and probably got us a bit more attention from the staff. We were given a free aperitif – some kind of fruit brandy.

  • John says:

    This hotel had some shenanigans going on with redemptions, but it seems to not be happening this year. They used to pretend that they had no standard rooms during summer so all redemptions were at the premium rate, but on the 1st of November the same room mysteriously lost its sea view and became a standard room again.

    However, £240 for 3 nights sounds like a great deal, the usual rate I thought was £240 per night. Anyway as some have said I wouldn’t go in the height of summer anyway (ignoring CoVId).

    This hotel advertises in euros which is not the currency of Croatia (yet). Do they scam you on the exchange rate from euros to Kuna like some hotels do? The DT Zagreb actually scammed themselves as they only charged me €1 to 7.3 Kuna

    • Alan says:

      Hi John,
      At that price I wasn’t really concentrating on the exchange rate 🙂
      I was but confused it was in euros as a UK customer – so I assume everyone is presented with a Euro rate and its then dependent on your card provider.

  • Daz says:

    Last time I was in Dubrovnik was in 1995! I’d love to go back and see Croatia again, I’d love to nip back over the border back to Mostar and Sarajevo and see how they’ve got on since the war. I may do when I get a chance, maybe next year.

  • AJA says:

    Dubrovnik is a great place to visit, went 7 years ago! Stayed at the Rixos a bit further around the coast. Looks a bit like a premium Russian 70s concrete monolith but set into the hillside so most rooms are sea-facing with large balconies. Considered the Hilton but was put off by the fact that it only has an indoor pool while the Rixos has a fairly big outdoor one. Easy walk into the old town and a bus ride back later in the day. The Rixos is now part of Accor Live Limitless, I don’t recall it being part of that chain when I was there.

  • Karen says:

    We stayed at this hotel in Sept 2019 in the same type of room as pictured in thie article. It was very nice. Ours had a balcony with Sea and City Views.
    Hotel Location is fantastic. The old town pedestrian area of Dubrovnik was very crowded when we were there and the hotel is a very short walk outside the main gate to old town. So it is nice to get away from the crowded old town for breaks.
    The breakfast buffet was very nice and there was a lovely outside patio area to have meals.
    The hotel does get crowded with tour groups using the dining facilities.
    When we were there the executive lounge was open but no staff and food and drinks were being served and I think the coffee machine was broken. So I was not impressed with it at all.
    The hotel use to be decorated in dark browns and oranges and I think when we were there Sept 2019 the Executive Lounge had that old decor.
    Also I have heard you don’t want a room in the annex building. Make sure your room is in the main hotel building that is in all the pictures.

  • Kev says:

    This is a wonderful hotel with great staff and recognition to returning members. The pool is lovely and there is a steam and sauna adjacent and also a gym but all are indoors.

  • uk1 says:

    We have also had the suite in the picture (when it was brown …. 🙂 – for five nights – it was an upgrad and has a lovelt balcony. It was a wonderful stay that enabled us to see and eat in Dubrovnik each evening after the crowds had left. The lounge manager spent some time telling us what it was like during the troubles and what life is like living in the city. It was an exceptional stay.