Friday, 27 November 2015

Hotel Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik



The crystal clear turquoise of the seemingly-endless Adriatic Sea glittered in the sunlight. In the distance was the island of Lokrum. To my left were hills carpeted with greenery, peppered with white terracotta-roofed houses. This is what I call a room with a view.

Nestled into a cliff overlooking the Dalmatian Coast, the Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik  serves up idyllic views in a warm and friendly ambience. Built during the Communist era, the hotel was severely damaged during the Balkan Wars. Having been lovingly restored by the Turkish-owned Rixos Group, it is now one of Dubrovnik’s most luxurious contemporary five-star hotels.




Room with a view


The simply decorated lobby with a central atrium and floor–to-ceiling windows, makes it feel light and spacious. 

Check-in was quick and easy and there was a glass of Croatian bubbly waiting to welcome me. The guest relations team is especially helpful. Ivana went the extra mile when she bumped into me on her day off and took me for a walk along a beautiful coastal path that I am not sure that I would have found myself.

You get the sense that the people who work in this hotel enjoy their work. The ones I met all seemed so eager and willing to ensure I had a great experience.



Atrium 



There are 254 rooms, most with large balconies, and apartments as well as conference facilities. Rooms are decorated in calming neutral shades and fresh, crisp white. A touch of black gives it a modern feel. The open-plan bathrooms are tastefully decorated. There are coffee and tea making facilities and the free Wi-Fi is quick and efficient. A lovely touch is the bowl of fruit and bottle of water waiting for guests on arrival.

Being by the sea was therapeutic enough for me, but if you want to indulge in some serious pampering head down to the Royal Spar that has an impressive menu of treatments. There you will find an indoor and outdoor pool and one for children.

You can also swim in the sea. The beach is rocky. Don’t go to Dubrovnik looking for lovely sandy beaches. They are mainly shingle or pebbles.



Superior twin


Another great plus of this hotel is the location. Dubrovnik’s fabled old town is only a 15-minute walk away. As I was there early autumn I missed the crowds and most of the cruise ships.

It is not often I would say to go half-board at a hotel. While there are plenty of eateries in town, they can be hit and miss. Executive chef Özgűr Dönertaş has honed his skills from many highly-regarded restaurants including Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, so you can expect the quality of the food in the hotel to be good. 

Produce is sourced locally. Breakfast and dinner buffets are served in the Mozaik Restaurant. You will get plenty of choice from international to dishes with a distinct Mediterranean and Dalmatian flavour. (More on Dalmatian cuisine and wines in another post.) In the summer you can also dine at the Azzur Fish Restaurant.

For a real treat, book yourself a table at the Lalezar Grill House, where Özgűr  has put together a superb choice of Dalmatian dishes with a Turkish twist. There is also an impressive wine list featuring a variety of Croatian wines.

After dinner you can relax on the terrace or in the bar and listen to the piano player. Alternatively if you fancy a flutter there is the Golden Sun Casino, the only one in town.

Unlike so many resort hotels which can be soulless, the Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik exudes its own special charm making it an idyllic place to stay.

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there

British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik from £62 each way. For connections from regional airports and to book visit  www.britishairways.com

Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik is a member of Great Hotels of the World Premium Collection. Double room rates start from EUR 84.80. For more information or to book, visit  http://www.ghotw.com/hotel/home/rixos-libertas.htm or call 020 7380 3658.

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