Croatia has always been kind of my favorite place to spend summer in Europe. Perfectly clear sea, nice beaches, good food, a low-key tourism industry and lots of local flavor everywhere. Croatia is, in most parts, still very original and real. They don’t allow for many large hotel complexes, and beaches are 100% public. Nice.
So, now Starwood has taken the chance of placing one of those rare large hotel complexes on a prime location in Dalmatia, which is the South of Croatia near Dubrovnik. The newly-opened Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel in Mlini, Croatia is a rising star in the booming hospitality industry of this region. It is set as a five-star beach resort and Spa. Dalmatia is in need of luxury accommodations because there simply is none down here. And the beautiful location just in between the (very un-busy) airport and Dubrovnik city makes the Sheraton Dubrovnik the ideal target for that weekend escape.
I have been lucky enough not only to travel here, but to be the very first SPG Guest in this hotel. This is an honor, and the hotel has been treating us as real VIP guests during this three-day stay, including a one-hour treat in their amazing spa, as well as an invitation to come back. Well, sure as hell we will.
Rooms and interior design has been done meticulously using high-tech and luxurious materials. The bathroom alone is worth the stay. A spacious rainforest shower, encased in stone tiles and darkened glass, a huge bathtub and two sinks filled with their premium Shine by Sheraton amenities. The Sheraton Dubrovnik exceeded all expectations when it comes to the room.
Looking down from the small balcony is the large outdoor pool area (there’s an indoor pool as well. I knew you’d ask.) with enough sunbeds to accommodate a small army. The beach is separated only by the public beach promenade, which has several cafés and not too many restaurants. The hotel owners promised to open two restaurants, though.
The beach is one of the nicest ones I have seen in Croatia so far. You know, normally Croatia has rock or large stone beaches, but this one has nice small pebbles, and as soon as you’re in the water: Sand. Nice, perfect sand. And clear water, of course.
The spa is worth mentioning as well. Not that you will find time to go there, because there’s just too much on the to-do list when you are in the region. But let’s just say you have time. Then you should definitely go, and have the Shine Signature treatment. They send you to the clouds and back, and you feel like a newborn when they release you from that treatment room.
One nice feature is their restaurant. They serve amazing breakfast each morning, with a nice view over the pool and sea, and changing offerings every day. This is a huge plus, and something you don’t always find in Sheratons. But the Sheraton Dubrovnik has a great kitchen team, and they really have high standards.
From the hotel, Dubrovnik can be reached in ten minutes by car or public transport. The city’s historic fortified old town is one of the best seaside monuments of the mediterranean, and it’s a must-see both day and night. Other recommended trips in the region include a short trip to Kotor Bay in nearby Montenegro (just an hour drive), or going north to Mostar and its historic bridge, which was destroyed during the Bosnian war but rebuilt shortly after. There’s hundreds of small islands and beaches around to be discovered as well.
“The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel is a visionary project for the entire region,” says Damir Lukic, the Sheraton’s General Manager. He sees this hotel to become “the prime property of Sheraton in all the mediterranean”. Well, I can’t say anything different. Can’t wait to be back!