Escape the ‘Game of Thrones’ Crowds and Enjoy a Luxury Croatian Vacation in Dubrovnik

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Considering Dubrovnik’s recent popularity among travelers (it’s the setting for Game of Thrones’ King’s Landing), finding tranquility and privacy there is now perhaps the most sought-after luxury among discerning jet-setters. The historic Old Town and its immaculately preserved medieval architecture have been become the shoulder-to-shoulder stomping ground of tourists—both those coming for a few hours off cruise ships and ones staying days at a time.

As such, many hotels located in the heart of it all—as beautiful as they are—might not be able to truly deliver the classic Mediterranean vacation most travelers to the region are longing for: indulgent but relaxing.

Inside the Lovor Suite at the Bellevue.
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Just over a mile away from the Old Town’s winding alleyways and the tour groups that grip them is the ideal antidote: the Hotel Bellevue, an upscale resort that recently completed a head-to-toe, multimillion-dollar renovation. The accommodation offers a tucked-away location that primarily highlights the area’s natural grandeur rather than its TV-ready setting—though it remains within walking distance of all the action.

“We are a destination within a destination,” says Sanela Omercahic, the Bellevue’s general manager. “We realize that travelers are drawn to the location first, but we wanted to provide a retreat that guests could experience outside of the Old Town that delivers luxury alongside a sense of place that captures Dubrovnik’s natural beauty.”

The Executive Suite bathroom.
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Built into a 300-foot cliff on the Miramare Bay, this glossy, modern resort houses 91 rooms, starting with 300-square-foot sea-view units that fetch an average nightly rate of $465 during peak season, all the way up to a one-bedroom presidential suite ($2,210 a night) with a spacious 108-square-foot terrace overlooking the Adriatic.

All of it was thoroughly reimagined by Lisbon-based Tereza Prego Design Studio to appear brighter than ever as an homage to the landscape that surrounds it. Guests who stayed before the renovation may not even remember it. “Previously, the property had a darker aesthetic, and we wanted to introduce light in all aspects of the redesign,” Omercahic adds. “The hotel was completely transformed to capture the serenity of the Mediterranean.”

The balcony of the Bellevue’s Deluxe Suite.
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To achieve this feeling of easy lightness, a subdued color palette of whites, slate grays, and beige was layered with blonde wood furniture, nautical stripe and summer-ready gingham textiles, sculptural light fixtures, and black-and-white photography of the Côte d’Azur in the 1960s. Surprisingly, there is not much blue used for the interiors of the hotel. Perhaps it’s too obvious a reference, but with the ever-present glow of the Adriatic visible from nearly every corner of the hotel, more blue could have been redundant.

Given its address outside Dubrovnik’s main haunts, the Bellevue wanted to establish itself as an escape not just from the rest of the world but from the sometimes stifling energy of the city when it’s in full capacity. The hotel’s laundry list of thoughtful amenities could certainly sustain someone who doesn’t want to leave the property at all.

Patio seating at the Vapor Restaurant.
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There are two dining venues: a casual beachfront eatery serving fresh, beach-perfect seafood meals like pasta tossed with fresh shellfish and oysters from the town of Ston, as well as a more dressed-up option called Vapor on the property’s fourth floor, which on a clear day gifts diners with jaw-dropping vistas of nearby Lokrum island.

The Spa at the Bellevue
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There’s also a small pebbly beach exclusive to Bellevue and an intimate spa with an indoor pool. All of it is enough to keep clients entertained for most of the day.

In fact, travelers who are keen on exploring the riches of the Old Town are advised to do it later in the afternoon, closer to sunset. By then, temperatures have mellowed but every attraction is still open, while the cruise-ship visitors are back in their cabins, allowing for more breathing room.

Inside the Wine Bar cellar room.
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Another significant new addition is a cozy wine bar stocked with 180 different labels of fine wines, including a substantial section devoted to Croatian wineries. Tastings, which weren’t offered prior to the renovation, present an opportunity for enthusiasts to learn more about the country’s centuries-old production, most of which never leave the country. It’s just another way that the hotel has created an on-property experience that remains relevant to the destination.

After all, says Omercahic, Hotel Bellevue is “a place that guests want to spend their time exploring and not just a room to sleep in and store their luggage.”

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