Some guest rooms have balconies with spectacular sea views
Three outdoor swimming pools (two saltwater, one freshwater)
Full-service spa with pool, Turkish bath, and sauna
Fitness center with Precor equipment
Two on-site restaurants and two bars
Large breakfast buffet is included in room rate
Kids' playroom with games, plus organized activities in summer
Free use of sunbeds and towels
Free on-site parking
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Far from Old Town Dubrovnik
Bathrooms look slightly dated
Not all units have balconies and/or sea views
This four-and-a-half-pearl luxury boutique hotel is perched on the rocky edge of the hilly, green Babin Kuk peninsula. The property is located about a 15-minute drive outside Dubrovnik's Old City, so it isn't ideal for travelers seeking proximity to sights, but hotel's semi-remote, seaside location adds much to the romantic ambiance. Public spaces and 115 guest rooms remain fresh from 2016 renovations, and in-room amenities are upscale, as all units have large flat-screen TVs, minibars, kettles, coffeemakers, robes, slippers, and free Wi-Fi. Though while spacious and nicely equipped, bathrooms look slightly dated. Features are solid, too, with restaurants, a spa, three outdoor pools, and direct beach access. Travelers who to stay in Old Town and keep the same range of high-end amenities should check into the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik.
Casual, summer spirit encourages romance and chillaxation
The 2016 renovation banished any remains of the building's original 1960s architecture, installing a vast, light-filled lobby (shared with the adjacent Neptun Hotel, a sister property), with glossy white-marble floors and a wall of windows looking out to spectacular sea views. The sense of space gets an additional boost by minimal, yet classy furniture, like white leather sofas arranged in semi-circles and high-backed modish turquoise armchairs turned seaward. The design continues in the spa, gym, and restaurants, albeit with varying levels of success, but any struggles are forgotten immediately upon stepping out onto the spacious seafront terrace adjoined by three pools and a beach. It's here that the young couples, families, and occasional business travelers splash and tan by day and clink Prosecco flutes by night.
Quiet and exclusive seaside location outside of city center
Hotel Ariston sits on the western edge of the quiet, green, hilly Babin Kuk peninsula, about a 15-minute drive from the old town of Dubrovnik. Although semi-remote, several restaurants, bars, and hotels in the immediate vicinity keep things social, at least in peak season. A car makes it easiest to explore the peninsula and region, but several buses run every 15 minutes to Old Town from a stop outside Valamar Dubrovnik President Hotel just next door. Thanks to the compact nature of Dubrovnik's old town, all the major sites, including the city walls, Rector's Palace, Cathedral of the Assumption, and War Photo Limited gallery, are within steps of each other once you pass through Pile Gate. It's about a 30-minute drive to Dubrovnik Airport from the hotel.
Bright, spacious, and chic rooms, some with sea views and balconies
Hotel Ariston's guest 115 rooms and suites appear bright and fairly spacious thanks to lots of glass, ample sunlight, high ceilings, and boutique design. By and large, they stay more classy than sassy, apart from one wall of metallic-splattered wallpaper, with light beige walls, gray-blue carpeting, and wood-grain furniture. All rooms come with 48-inch flat-screen TVs, minibars, kettles, coffeemakers, electronic safes, and free Wi-Fi, plus bathrobes and slippers. Beige-tiled bathrooms look slightly dated except for glass vanities with basin sinks, but they're roomy, and come nicely equipped with shower/tub combos, heated towel racks, hairdryers, and Terra-brand toiletries. Obviously, a sea view is the cherry on top at Hotel Ariston, and the best, along with balconies, are given to the Luxury, Superior, and "Romantic" rooms. Others face interior gardens.
The full range of summer holiday amenities, and right on the water
The host of amenities tick all the boxes of a luxurious Croatian seaside resort, with direct beach access and three outdoor pools as a highlight. Activity centers around the connecting expansive stone terrace, where multiple a la carte and buffet restaurants and bars dish out excellent food and drink, with gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan options available. There's a large breakfast buffet that's always included in the room rate, and at Mediterraneo, live music sweetens the romantic ambiance twice a week. Wellness amenities include an indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, and fitness center with Precor equipment. Massages and health and beauty treatments are available for a fee. Summer adds a kids' corner with games and activities for children up to age 12. Staff can arrange airport transfers, and freebies include use of towels and sunbeds, and Wi-Fi throughout.