Kate Bussmann, The Daily Telegraph, March 18, 2015
A location for 'Game of Thrones’, this medieval walled city is the perfect weekend break for those with a taste for culture.
The five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace feels like it’s been carved from the rocky cliffs on one corner of the Lapad peninsula. The waves here can be dramatic, but if you’re too nervous to brave them, there are three pools, and restaurants and bars aplenty. From £99
An easy stroll from the old city, the century-old Excelsior has some of the best views you’ll find: from the balcony while you eat breakfast, from your lounger on the terrace, or from the tub in your marble bathroom. The hotel has long been a favourite of royalty and celebrities, from Burton and Taylor to the Queen. From £162
At the eastern end of Prijeko, a street lined with touristy restaurants, is the delightfully unpretentious Rozario, a great spot to try black cuttlefish risotto.
You’d be hard-pushed to find a more romantic location than the Victoria restaurant at Villa Orsula, whose executive chef cooked for William and Kate’s wedding. Ask for the table in the corner and you can watch the old town turn pink as the sun sets. Order the langoustine carpaccio, the crisply pan-fried daily catch and the lemon tart, then retire to the bar on the terrace below.
The terrace at the Victoria restaurant in Villa Orsula (ALAMY)
At D’vino, on a shady side-street off the Placa, choose from a vast list of superb Croatian wines, or order the well-priced tasting flight.
Plan your walk around the city walls to end at St John’s Fortress, and as you head back into town you will pass the disconcertingly modern Bota, an atmospheric spot for oysters, creative sushi and a chilled glass of pošip čara.
The local pošip cara wine (ALAMY)
In the alley leading to the Pharmacy Museum is the oldest working chemist shop in Europe, established in 1317, where as well as insect-bite cream and pharmacy brands such as Avène and Klorane, a grumpy pharmacist will sell you rosewater and other potions made from ancient recipes. Placa Ulica 2
Join a walking tour to get under the skin of this fascinating city, which was ahead of its time even before the walls went up in the Middle Ages, and survived a brutal siege during Croatia’s war of independence.
The island of Mljet, a peaceful counterpoint to the city with its forests and saltwater lakes, is 80 minutes away by catamaran. Stay in the tiny town of Soline, whose palm trees give it an almost Caribbean vibe.
Mljet island (ALAMY)
The 75-minute Decléor Face Ritual at the Excelsior’s Energy Clinic lives up to its name. After an assessment, scrubs, masks and cleansers are applied, culminating in a gauze-wrapped seed mask so natural you could eat it. The treatment includes a brief but effective back and hand massage. About £90
This article was written by Kate Bussmann from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.