Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik
Part of the prestigious Adriatic Luxury Hotels group, the Excelsior takes a prime position on the seafront, a short stroll from the UNESCO Old City of Dubrovnik. Dating back to 1913, royalty, dignitaries and hollywood glitterati have graced the Excelsior over the years, from Queen Elizabeth II to Elizabeth Taylor. More recently it was the chosen residence for the entire cast and crew of Game of Thrones (most of the GoT location shots were filmed in the Old City and nearby Islands). The original villa and modern wing, dotted with an array of eateries, candlelit terraces and a wonderful piano bar, merge into a rocky hillside overlooking the beautiful island of Lokrum.
Spanning the basement, the Energy Spa is a tranquil haven to escape the busy city. Styled in calming neutral hues, it's centrepiece is a huge freshwater pool fringed with a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam. Facilities include candlelit treatment rooms, VIP Treatment rooms, Roman baths, a Finnish sauna, experience showers, a relax zone and state of the art gym.
My Oxygen Facial began with a double cleanse followed by a gentle glyclolic acid peel. Using a machine my therapist delivered short blasts of oxygen across my face enabling a collagen gel to penetrate deep in to the skin. The treatment included a lifting acupressure facial massage, a wonderfully hydrating mask and a relaxing hand and arm massage. My skin was noticeably plumped and lifted and the treatment left me with dropped shoulders and a beautiful healthy glow.
Decléor Supreme: The package consists of the Decléor Supreme Body Sculpt ritual and Decléor Supreme Espresso facial treatment.
158 rooms and suites span the hotel, many of them offering some of the best sea and Old Town views in Dubrovnik. Styled in natural shades, dark woods and handpicked accessories, all rooms are spacious and comfortable and kitted out with a generous selection of L'Occitane products.
We stayed in the majestic Presidential Suite. Boasting stunning panoramic views of the Old Town and Adriatic, the two-bedroom suite features a huge open plan lounge and dining room, two bathrooms (one with a Jacuzzi) walk in wardrobes and boasts it's very own private gym. It's no wonder the aforementioned chose this as their favourite Dubrovnik abode - this suite is literally fit for a Queen.
Headed up by Executive Chef Peter Obad, Prora is the Excelsior's signature à la carte restaurant, showcasing local seafood alongside regional fish and meat dishes.
The light-infused terrace of Restaurant Salin is one of the best places in Dubrovnik to start your day feasting on a buffet breakfast overlooking the fortresses of the Old Town. At night, it transforms into a modern Mediterranean restaurant.
The Dubrovnik City Tour and The Game of Thrones Tour (you actually get to sit on THE throne...)
Lunch at Posat, just outside the city walls, where you'll dine of the freshest seafood +385 20 421194
*Please note The Excelsior will re-open in spring 2017
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik
If you're looking to combine a spot of beachside r&r with a city break, then Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is the perfect destination. Set in an idyllic location 11 kilometres from the city, the 22 hectare resort fringes a breathtaking area of the Adriatic coast. Featuring a private beach, 3 pools and a great kids club, the family friendly resort also boasts its very own marina to ferry guests to and from the city and the beautiful islands nearby.
The award winning Occo Spa is a sprawling haven of tranquility with a serene spa garden sporting panoramic ocean views. Extensive facilities include a huge freshwater swim-through indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool with 252 power jets, a vitality pool, a fabulous thermal area, a refreshing dip pool and experience showers. Day beds scatter the beautiful garden for pre and post treatment lounging. The candlelit treatment suites include a couple's 'water lily' suite complete with a four poster day bed.
The Spa's OCCO products are created by utilising local plant, flower, herb and mineral extracts from Dalmatia and the Adriatic Sea.
Experience Massage - The bespoke massage, began with a health questionnaire and a consultation covering my stress levels, tension and back problems. The therapist tailored my massage accordingly and chose a relaxing coconut oil to use with with a mix of kneading and shiatsu pressure point techniques. A perfect treatment for tension busting relaxation.
Other Treatments Include
Spa Thermal Detox Ritual 45 - A body wrap combined with algae and magnesium to ease muscle pain and tension and remove toxins from the body.
Spa MG Massage 50 - An energetic deep tissue massage with the addition of pure marine magnesium which penetrates deep into the skin and muscles.
All 201 rooms feature a terrace or balcony with sea views. We stayed in room 613 - a spacious open plan contemporary-style suite on the top floor, with a large furnished balcony boasting stunning panoramic views. Decor brings the outside in with splashes of turquoise, aquamarine and sea green. Our bathroom featured a wonderful freestanding bath looking directly out to the sea and a monsoon shower.
Opt for a club room for personalised check-in and benefits of the exclusive club lounge.
A whole array of eateries scatter the resort including the Origano, a laid back buffet style restaurant with coastal views serving up a selection of international dishes.
There's also La Pasta, a cosy pizzeria, Cilantro for fresh fish and seafood and Ginja, a fine dining restaurant with sea views (high season only).
For The Kids
Marco Polo Kids Club - with trained staff on hand activities include Marco Polo map making, pirate days and Croatian dancing games. For teenagers there's the Hideaway Club which offers various activities and sporting competitions.
A day trip to the Old City (the boat is only available in high season but the resort offers a complimentary bus throughout the year) where you take a ride on the on the cable car for panoramic view of the city and coastline.
Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates flights to Dubrovnik from Birmingham and London Gatwick airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £62 one way (£117 return)
For further information or to book Monarch flights, Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, please visit www.monarch.co.uk
For more information visit the Croatian National Tourist Board's website www.croatia.hr
Words: Lisa Brown
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