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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)

  • Scallder says:

    We stayed here in October 2014 so we’ll before the refurbishment but similarly really enjoyed our stay. The Executive Lounge at that time was on the top floor so there were lovely views so shame that has been moved.

    October was a similarly lovely time to visit and also as a tip the Dubrovnik port website lists all cruise ships docked each day and the capacity of the ships so it’s easy to see how busy the old town is likely to be.

    • JohnG says:

      We stayed in 2015 and really enjoyed it; I don’t think a hotel could be better located. I’d definitely recomend staying slightly outside the high season, the walled city itself is small and by all reports it gets ridiculously overcrowded then (and prices rocket).

    • Lady London says:

      TBH the cruise thing has put me off going to Dubrovnik now even though I had been thinking about it.

  • Anthony Edwards says:

    Thanks for the review! Dubrovnik is beautiful and this hotel sounds like a bargain!

  • Paul irving says:

    Thank you for the price info and the seasonal variation, I find this added info very interesting and helpful.

  • Russell Gowers says:

    I was going to write about this one!! Such a brilliant hotel. Staff were just the best. Couldn’t do enough for you, without being in any way pushy or obsequious. We enjoyed five nights there in April 19 and enjoyed every minute of our stay.

    • Russell Gowers says:

      For those looking for things to do beyond just the old city – we took a boat trip round the nearby islands which was superb value and a great use of a day. If you’re into this kind of thing, there’s the doomed, ruined Grand Hotel on Lopud which is a fascinating example of very early Adriatic Modernism. All the islands feel somewhere between peaceful and eerie.

    • EvilGazebo says:

      Same. I was only Hilton Gold but my kids thought I must be some sort of VIP as they were so nice to us all the time!

      Went off season (which, as others have said, I would also strongly recommend as can’t imagine it’s a fun town crowded) so the lounge was shut. Worked out well though as they basically just gave us free drinks and snacks in the (even pre-refurb) very nice bar.

  • Spursdebs says:

    This is the first hotel review that has inspired me to research the hotel and area.

  • pauldb says:

    We stopped in Dubrovnik last August for a couple of nights – it was unpleasantly busy the hotels were exorbitant. Walking the city walls is near £30, and you had AA flying in 767s daily – to a city of 50k! So definitely go for March/October.

    Montenegro, where we were really headed, was much nicer that time of year.

    • pauldb says:

      Actually I shouldn’t have been so harsh. it’s still worth visiting, we also found a nice (resort) hotel and going in high summer has its benefits – the warm sea – but you should try and combine it with somewhere less hectic.

  • Will says:

    One of my first trips after reading HfP was Hilton Dubrovnik followed by Rome Cavalieri,

    Hilton Dubrovnik is a lovely hotel, fantastic location. Review has brought back some fond memories.

  • ThinkSquare says:

    Do they still have the Plame red wine in the lounge, served all day? We spent a very happy (and drunken) week here way back in 2006. To be honest it’s a surprise that I can remember it!