The best Airbnb Croatia stays
Croatia Airbnb stays deliver incredible value for money, so why not go for somewhere with a wow factor? We've tracked down the coolest places on offer, from a 19th-century lighthouse to luxury beachside villas. Here are the most impressive Airbnb stays in Croatia. RECOMMENDED: more great hotels in Croatia
Recommended Dubrovnik hotels
It's hard to keep track of the ever-rising number of high-end Dubrovnik hotels, but the city also packs some impressive hostel and B&B options. As is common in Dalmatia, high-season prices are significantly higher than in spring or autumn, and some venues close at some point in the winter – though this policy is changing as Dubrovnik becomes a more year-round destination. Read on for your guide to the best hotels in Dubrovnik.
The best Zagreb hotels
The problem with Zagreb hotels in the past was the dearth of venues between the bunk-bed and smoking-jacket ends of the spectrum. This is no longer the case, given attractive range of options available. As Zagreb continues to spread its wings as a destination in its own right – rather than a spot to lay over before the coast – hotel options continue to grow. Here are the best.
Hotel Adriatic • Orebić
This handsome stone building on the shoreline path, previously owned by the church and then a school, was transformed into an intimate boutique hotel two years ago. The six rooms feature rich fabrics and exposed stone; the terrace of the hotel’s Stari Kapetan restaurant has an enviable position perched right on the shore. Views across the water to Korčula are superb. This hotel is adults only.
Hotel Excelsior • Dubrovnik
A €22-million refit of Dubrovnik’s most prestigious hotel was followed by a grand reopening in 2008. Built in 1913 as a private villa, it became the Hotel Excelsior in 1930. Royals, writers, movie stars, they all stayed here. Acquired by Adriatic Luxury Hotels group in 2000, it now features four restaurants, three pools, a piano bar and spa. The adjoining Villa Rustica also contains luxury lodging for six. The Satu sushi bar and the luxuriant wellness centre endow the hotel with additional kudos.
Luxury hotels in Zagreb
Sheraton Zagreb Hotel
A true five-star on any scale, the Sheraton has 306 rooms, all with marble bathrooms, well lit and expansive living spaces, handsome wooden nightstands and desks, and high-speed internet connections. All in all, like a polished version of home – with turndown service. The lobby flows from the café bar across to the restaurant under cascading glass chandeliers and leather armchairs. There are 17 conferences rooms, a fitness facility, spa and indoor pool. When you factor in the location, service and level of pampering, it really is quite good value for money. Make sure you ask about weekend specials when prices can drop down.
Something of an urban landmark ever since it first opened in the 1970s under the Intercontinental banner, this cool five-star slab has frequently been the top choice for high-end Zagreb visitors: the Stones, Sophia Loren and Nick Cave have all graced its halls. In 2005, a €10-million renovation gave the hotel its contemporary feel and current 378-room, 13 conference-room look. The rooms come equipped with fog-proof mirrors and marble-effect bathrooms. The north-facing units have grand views of the Old Town and Sljeme Mountain. The hotel's 'Heavenly Bed' philosophy prioritises a good night's sleep with deluxe mattresses and pillows and high thread counts. The sparkling, jet-set-worthy fitness and beauty centre contains Turkish and Finnish saunas, cutting-edge Nautilus equipment, and massage treatments alongside pedicures, manicures and facials. The 17-metre pool is surrounded by tasteful wooden lounge chairs and black stones, bathed in an ethereal blue light.
DoubleTree by Hilton
Rising serenely above Radnička cesta, Zagreb's developing commercial and financial district, the sleek bronze block of the DoubleTree was the major hotel opening of 2011 and brings a new dimension of contemporary design and comfort to Zagreb's upper-bracket accommodation. All rooms feature a svelte mixture of charcoal, chocolate and ochre surfaces and fabrics; big windows provide both plenty of light and a a sense of outside bustle. Desks and luggage space are well provided for, even in the smaller 'standard' doubles. Wifi, and media hubs that allow you to play your gadgets through the hotel TVs and speakers, are standard throughout. Importantly, every room has a bathtub. Another major plus is the top-floor gym and spa centre, with a small pool on one level and a large exercise area just above it, big wall-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking panoramas of the city as you pedal way or pump iron. Down on the ground floor, the the hotel bar and the Oxbo restaurant share a relaxing open-plan social space.
Panorama Hotel Zagreb
The phrase you hear thrown around with regard to this property is 'a good bang for the buck'. The re-named Panorama Hotel Zagreb is located next to the Dom Športova arena on the western edge of the city centre – five stops on the No.9 tram from the train station – and thus a favourite for those travelling to Zagreb for sporting events and various mid-sized-venue concerts. The 279 straightforward and ample-sized rooms are internet-ready and equipped with everything you would expect: tea- and coffee-maker, safe and satellite TV. The part you might not expect – how helpful and nice the staff are. Sweeping views from the upper storeys live up to the hotel's name.
Best hotels in Dubrovnik
Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik
For once the slogan is right: this is indulgence on a grand scale. Here in lush Babin kuk is a state-of-the-art hotel with the Ragusa spa and its dizzying array of treatments (free with a minimum fournight stay), pools indoor and out (and separate kids' pool), fine dining Langosto luxury restaurant, cocktails in four bars – plus, of course, the guest rooms, 385 in all, plus 16 suites. There are also any number of conference facilities.
Dubrovnik has more than its fair share of cliff-hugging, sun-trap hotels and this particular feat of engineering is one of the more outstanding examples. The venue, cut into the cliff facing the sea, has been expensively refurbished to feature local woods and granite. All rooms have a sea view, as do the spa and highly rated Vapor restaurant. The Nevera Beach restaurant occupies a man-made cave right beside the private beach.
Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
This ten-floor, 308-room luxury hotel reconfigured in 2004 was conceived in 1972, set in woodland paths at the tip of Lapad, in full view of the Elafiti isles. Today this is what everyone sees from their balcony, from the four bars, three restaurants, four pools and gym. Saunas, massage treatments and beauty procedures are on offer at the energy clinic spa. Also of note are the Lanterna Glorijet poolside bar and the Sunset Lounge cocktail bar.