Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik is a historic property located within walking distance of Old Town, offering fairly unremarkable base-level rooms, but attractive common areas and amenities. As part of the Hyatt – Small Luxury Hotel Of The World partnership, you can earn and redeem your World of Hyatt points at this property.
Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik Review, A Hyatt – Small Luxury Hotel Of The World Property
I spent two nights at this hotel in August 2022.
As this was peak summer season in Dubrovnik, this property was running €800/night. Consequently, I used points for my two-night stay. This is a Category 7 hotel in the World of Hyatt program, with nightly rates running:
- 25,000 points/night – off-peak
- 30,000 points/night – standard
- 35,000 points/night – peak
The entire month of August was at peak pricing, meaning 35,000 points per night. I hate paying peak pricing for an award, but at over two cents per point in retail value, it beat paying cash.
After arriving from Munich at Dubrovnik Airport, we took a taxi to the hotel (about 40EUR), arriving at about 4:00 pm. The lobby is a beautiful public space with picturesque views of Old Town Dubrovnik.
35,000 points get you a standard room and no upgrade…the hotel was sold out and I was assigned a very basic room, 124. This property features a total of 158 accommodations, including 139 rooms and 19 suites.
Tower Classic Room
You don’t necessarily come to Dubrovnik to sit in your room, but I must confess I found the room a huge letdown for a category seven property. Quite frankly, the room lacked character and warmth, with limited natural light (at least in the afternoon), bare walls, and not much space beyond the bed and desk.
A mini-bar was present and there was a platter with sweet treats with a welcome note on my desk. Sadly, there was no espresso machine, just a water kettle with powdered coffee.
The bathroom was spacious, with a separate tub and shower and a large counter with dual sink. Bulk toiletries were by Natura Bisse of Barcelona.
Perhaps most disappointing was the view from the room. If I stood back far enough, it looked pleasant enough:
But once I stepped closer, I was met with a lot of pipes…not very picturesque, is it?
And from the bathroom with the shades up:
Classic rooms have no views, but Superior rooms have partial sea views while Deluxe rooms have full sea views and balconies. Rooms are located in either the main hotel tower or in the Villa Odak, a former UNESCO-protected early 20th-century royal villa from which the hotel originally came into being.
Free wifi is available in guest rooms and common areas. Also, note that extra beds are not available (not that my room had any space for one).
I guess my point is to know what you are getting yourself into if you simply use points for a base room. It costs a lot of points any time of year, but especially during peak season, and you will not receive even a partial ocean view, regardless of your Hyatt status. This is not a complaint, merely an observation.
My friend did not use points and reserved a room with a great view…but it was over €1200/night…rather steep.
There was no Hyatt or even SLH branding at all that I noticed beyond the welcome note. Instead, the hotel is also part of the Adriatic Luxury Hotel Group, and that logo, featuring a leopard, was present everywhere.
Indoor + Outdoor Pool + Wellness + Spa
While the room was a disappointment, one of the greatest treasures of this hotel is the beautiful outdoor and indoor swimming area. The hotel sits on the shore of the Adriatic Sea and although there is no beach, you can jump right into the water (which I did…at sunset) and enjoy a refreshing swim with Old Town just a few hundred meters away and Lokrum Island also close.
Chairs are readily available and food and beverage service is available along the sea.
But if the weather is too hot, there’s also a beautiful indoor pool, with areas for swimming, and a wellness area with jets that provide water therapy and heated chairs.
In this indoor area is also a Finnish sauna, steam room, and Roman bath.
Spa treatments were available as well, though prices were not attractive.
One level above the pool area is a small fitness center that focused primarily on cardiovascular machines with only limited free (and light) weights and a single r0wing machine for strength training…this was very disappointing.
Food + Drink
After flying from Los Angeles to Drubvonik via New York, Frankfurt, and Munich, I was fairly exhausted by the time we finally reached the hotel. The first night, I just went to bed and skipped dinner.
Breakfast At Salin
Breakfast was served each day from 6:30 am to 10:30 am at Salin, located on the hotel’s second floor. Both indoor and outdoor seating was available.
A large buffet included a variety of European and American breakfast favorites, including delicious ripe peaches, plums, and apricots (some of my favorite fruits) plus pastries, cold cuts, cheeses, and salads.
There was even a gluten-free section:
At the table, a menu card was presented from which you could order egg dishes or other popular breakfast dishes like waffles or pancakes.
Importantly, the coffee was good…but your servers make it themselves, and skills vary widely. I was happy I found Ivanna on the first day, who knew how to make an excellent flat white (and was charming and attentive in every way).
The next day, I was originally seated with Marijo, who I found to be cold and inattentive. Thankfully, I found Ivanna and moved tables. What a difference.
Serious complaint: no fresh squeezed orange juice. Come on…this isn’t a hostel.
Abakus Piano Bar
I skipped dinner upon arrival, but we did have a “welcome” drink before turning in early.
The main restaurant offers a menu of meats and freshly-caught seafood with both outdoor and indoor dining. We sat outside and I didn’t even open the menu, instead just asking for a freshly-caught white fish from the Adriatic and some mushroom risotto on the side. My order for sea bass was confirmed, apparently caught earlier that day.
My friend ordered a bacon cheeseburger from the bar menu as well as some grilled vegetables.
I wasn’t expecting it, but my friend mentioned we were celebrating my birthday and a complimentary dessert was presented (and everyone sang to me…).
Ivan took excellent care of us during dinner.
The only restaurant I did not sample was Prora, which is set directly by the shore and offers a more limited but beautiful a la carte menu and fine dining experience.
24/7 room service was available, with a limited selection (menu is on your TV).
With 158 rooms, I found the service less personalized than at other five-star hotels I’ve stayed at in Europe. With the exception of one breakfast server, it was also friendly and professional but also was not memorable. For €800/night, I do think an expectaiton of more personalized service is no unreasonable.
A business center offers desktop compuers and printing. It is open 24/7.
The hotel also offers meeting space with great views.
Just a few minutes walk from Dubrovnik Old Town, this hotel is ideally located. It is relatively quiet, but you can easily walk to a bustling beach in less than five minutes.
Further on, the beautiful Old Town is reached in under 10 minutes.
Guests at this hotel included the late Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor so I was in good company. I am glad I stayed at Hotel Excelsior and I certainly would consider returning in the off-season when rates are more attractive and the weather more moderate, but I do not think 35,000 points or €800 night represents a reasonable value proposition during the height of summer when the weather is hot and town is packed.
All things considered, the hotel is a good deal if you’re going to be in Dubrovnik during high season and want to conserve cash. But it’s also a large property and I found the service less personalized than I did at the nearby Villa Dubrovnik.
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