Just back from a wonderful trip to one of the most pretty cities in the world. We thank you dear friends for letting us stay in your beautiful city house inside the historic city walls.
Here are my first thoughts on our trip….
People are friendly, especially the warmth of Natascha, a young female waiter, the eversmiling and ready to please you waiter Elvis, the wonderful Amra in Proto, Mario and the hostess at Restaurant Dubrovnik comes to mind – but also the whole staff at Restaurant Nautika, the people on the squares and shops….
But 10 days with 2 rather younger active boys was enough this time around. What they really loved was playing with the doves on the small square and the pool and ipad service of the Hotel Excelsior. We missed the lift going up into the mountains due to bad weather. We had two different wonderful boat trips. Local wines comes in restaurant at around triple the shop price – i.e. 20-30 eur for a nice bottle, 40-60 for a superior. Meals for a family clocked in at 90 eur for your local brasserie food and 300 eur for top of the pops for a two adults with 2 children.
The city is so old – with its old fence – the town walls – that you feel zapped back in time. Its not hard to imagine this city at war. Its hard to imagine it was only 20 years ago last time around.
A little disappointed here. With a numerous amount of restaurants to choose from – most of them promoting local food and fresh fish, it was hard to find the level that we are (maybe) spoiled with in Luxembourg. The service and the local wines were all at a very good level. But the pricing was not far from that of Luxembourgish restaurants, maybe even above that sometimes and the food lacked somewhat. That is mainly due to the status of Dubrovnik, the amount of tourists and the cruise liners coming in on a daily basis during season I guess.
One thing that struck us was – in all restaurants – even the best of restaurants – your wine is served and left on the table for you to help yourself. In better restaurants they would sometimes assist you – but not as in making sure your glass was never empty. Just once in a while. That takes away some pressure for the waiter I guess, and you just had to get used to that.
But the highlight of the gastronomic part of the trip was probably Restaurant Nautica, which is known as the best restaurant in town, and Restaurant Dubrovnik not far behind but with a much more affordable price level. Restaurant Proto had good an acceptable level as well, and as for low budget dining Veritas with always smiling Elvis was a hit with the boys.
I shall get back to those restaurants in individual reviews in the coming days.
Here is a few shots from the city:
After the week in the city house of our friends, we had opted for a few nights in a hotel with an indoor pool, to entertain the boys mainly, but also to have a change of pace. We originally booked another one than the one we ended up in, – we went there and was met with a cool receptionist – cool as in I dont give a damn. That combined with the somewhat remote placement in compare to the old city centre, we opted for the grand old hotel in town – Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik. As a matter of fact hotels was actually the only bargain to be found in Dubrovnik.
Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik:
From the second we entered the hotel to the moment we left – we were treated as you would expect – or even above that. All staff smiling. All staff greeting you. All staff on their toes to make you feel well. The hotel has hosted kings and queens, whores and gamblers – among others Duke Ellington, QE2, Roger Moore, Coppola, Sophia Loren, Morgan Freeman, Yul Brunner, Sebastian Coe, you name them – so I guess it was good enough for us.
Heres a few shots from the hotel
The different restaurants in house ranges from bar food, to a sushi bar to a more gastronomic one. Neither of them impressed us a lot. Best meal was actually the last evening where my simple cheese platter did not try to be more than it was. In other cases, it was as if they were simply trying to produce international dishes they were not capable of. Nevertheless, this we has already experienced in town center and did not surprice us.
Highlights of the trip were the overwhelming beauty of the city, the local artist of whom we bought a small painting, the friendly waiter Mario at Restaurant Dubrovnik, the top service at Restaurant Nautika, the crystal blue waters that surrounded the city, and the wonderful stay at Hotel Excelsior. Should you ever choose to go to Dubrovnik – which you should off course -Hotel Excelsior is the place to be. Ace views, top service, wonderful rooms.
We did find that the 10 nights were the limit for our family, – but we did not get bored as such. We had some heavy rains and storms the last few days and in that respect it was good that we could spend it inside the warm atmosphere of Hotel Excelsior.
I shall also thank the people we met along the way during our extended week here….The two great American women at Nautica, thanks for the chat, good luck in Milano and back home – and the wonderful British couple at Restaurant Dubrovnik – well – we actually went back and changed the reservation for the third evening to surprice you – and Mario came at 8 pm to tell us you cancelled for the evening. Off course we were disappointed – but we thank you for the nice evening we spend together on the first night – and hope you have had a safe return. And to the Australian couple on the boat trip, and the young british travelling couple – I shot some great photos of you, please revert if you want the pictures. Anyway, If any of you read this, please comment here.
Famous last words – We thank you Dubrovnik for a great stay, we thank you dear friends for inviting us into your home. And to Elvis – rock on.