Beautiful though Dubrovnik may be, there’s no denying that tourism has boomed for the Adriatic pearl over recent years. If jostling through the crowds isn’t your thing, or you just need a peaceful haven to escape to, I know just the place.
Perched atop a tree-lined cliff, overlooking the sparkling waters of Lapad Bay, you’ll find the stunning Hotel More. Boutique though not bijou, this 85-room oasis of calm sits just 3.5km away from the walled Old Town. With little but the smell of pine trees and sound of waves lapping the shore permeating the air, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was further.
I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of nights at Hotel More during my time in Croatia. To say I left with my batteries feeling recharged would be somewhat of an understatement. Here’s a few of the things I loved best…
Given that I only had four days in Dubrovnik, I was a little cautious about the idea of staying outside of the Old Town. I needn’t have worried.
Hotel More is situated in the gorgeous beach resort of Lapad, which is approximately 2 miles away from the centre of Dubrovnik. For a start, it’s super-easy to get to. You can either jump on one of the local busses – which leave from Pile Gate and cost as little as 15KN (£1.75) – or it’s a simple taxi ride away. We used Uber to get around, which we found to be very reliable and stress-free. A ride into town never cost more than 60 KN (approx. £7).
Overall, It felt nice to have a little distance from the hubbub of energy that is Dubrovnik Old Town. Lapad itself has everything you could want from a holiday destination: Picturesque views. A sweeping beach. A string of friendly bars and seafood restaurants to while away the balmy evenings. Despite this, it’s wonderfully peaceful.
Hotel More is built upon 8 levels, which take you right to the height of a steep hill overlooking the bay, to sea level itself. You can access the main road by car from the reception end, or exit through the basement to get straight to the seafront promenade. With the surrounding Petka Hill Forest and azure waters of the Adriatic encompassing you at all times, the natural tranquillity is hard to beat.
What more can I say? Hotel More has all you could want from a 5 star hotel, including:
- Not one, but two outdoor pools, each with bathing areas and Jacuzzis.
- A seaside sunbathing area complete with its own stretch of sea for swimming.
- A small but perfectly formed fitness suite.
- A beauty spa, should you fancy a spot of pampering.
- Weddings & conferences.
- 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a boutique pastry & cocktail bar.
- Help with booking activities and boat rental.
- Room service & laundry services.
- Currency exchange.
- Private transfers on request.
- A doctor on call, should there be any holiday mishaps.
Two days wasn’t nearly enough time to make use of all the facilities on offer. One thing’s for sure; there’s no denying that this place comes well-equipped!
Hotel More has 77 luxury bedrooms up for grabs, as well as 8 private suites for those looking to book something a little more out of the ordinary.
We stayed in a classic double, which was absolutely perfect for such a flying visit. It was fabulously equipped with a large and oh-so-comfortable bed (a firm mattress is always going to get a thumbs up from me!), an armchair/dining area, ample wardrobe storage, flat screen telly, private terrace area and ensuite, complete with whirlpool bath.
Everything was decked out with the finest finishings, from the fluffy white towels and sumptuous bedding to the complimentary robes, as modelled by yours truly…
I also loved the simple, beachy colour scheme and nautical décor, which fitted perfectly with the coastal surroundings.
If this was the luxury we could expect from the most affordable room, I can only imagine how dreamy the pricier options might be. The sea-view doubles are sure to offer the dreamiest of views, while the executive suites have their own hot tubs!
The dining options
Foodies won’t be short on options when it comes to dining at Hotel More.
There’s two fabulous restaurants to choose from. The Tramuntana serves up more traditional Dalmatian fare, while the much-loved Restaurant More has a slightly broader offering of Mediterranean dishes.
Breakfast was served every day in Restaurant Tramuntana from 6.30 – 10.30 am. With the open-front terrace giving views like this, it’s hard to imagine a better way to start the day:
The spread itself offered something for everyone. Those looking to fill up for the day were spoiled for choice with cooked options like eggs, bacon and sausages. Those looking for something lighter had their choice of fresh fruit, granola and delicious pastries. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so I didn’t shy away from trying a little bit of everything. Safe to say, it was all delicious.
My favourite though had to be a slice of the sumptuous apple pie, washed down with a glass of morning bubbly. I was on holiday, after all…
Evening meals were nicely thought out too, with both restaurants serving up delicious a la carte meals. I was particularly impressed with the menu options at Restaurant More (also popular with local residents – always a good sign!). There, you could pick between a five course menu selected by the chef or choosing your own tempting treats. With its coastal location, seafood is obviously a main player here on the menu. With a range of delicious dishes ranging from oysters and swordfish carpaccio to crawfish bisque and local speciality, prawn risotto, fish fanatics will adore this place.
Annoyingly, I’m allergic to shellfish. I needn’t have worried about being short on choice. There were plenty of alternatives to tuck into, from plate-filling steaks to colourful veggie options including a rather wonderful homemade ravioli.
A brilliant discovery too was Slatki Kantun, the hotel’s pastry and cocktail bar. Has there ever been a more tempting combination of words in the English language than ‘pastry’ and ‘cocktail’? I think not. This place speaks for itself.
The Cave Bar
What a wonderful paradox it is, that Hotel More’s best-kept secret is also its piece de resistance.
Tucked down in the basement level, a mere stone’s throw from the water’s edge, lies a natural cave. Its discovery dates back at least 8000 years. Having been carefully excavated and converted by the hotel owners, this cave is now the setting for quite possibly one of Europe’s most enchanting bars.
Spread over three levels and with its unique starry sky light installations, this atmospheric watering hole was one of our favourite spots we found in Dubrovnik. Where better to enjoy an espresso or refreshingly cold G&T than the belly of subterranean sea cave, after all?
Without a doubt, what makes Hotel More special are the unrivalled panoramic views out across the bay.
From the moment you enter reception, with its dazzling blue vista, to the moment you kick back on a sun lounger by the rooftop pool, what you can never escape is alluring gaze of the Adriatic beaming up at you from below.
Every window, every doorway, every restaurant table, it seems, have been carefully angled and lovingly pointed towards the sea. Whether you fancy getting up close and personal with the waves by taking a dip straight from the privately-owned beach area. Whether you just simply want to enjoy the distant sound of water rolling over the pebbled bay. You’ll never be far from appreciating Hotel More’s greatest selling point; its natural location.
So where are the pitfalls?
Truthfully, there aren’t many! However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point out one or two of the quirks which might not suit everyone.
There’s no denying that Hotel More has a complex layout. The hotel is actually spread across two different buildings, which are connected by a series of lifts and corridors. Not all lifts will reach every level, so it took a bit of complex negotiating to find our way around at times! I can imagine this would be tricky for anyone with access difficulties. Perhaps a few more signs now and then might help avoid confusion.
It might also be worth noting that while families are perfectly welcome to book into Hotel More, it had a slightly more adult vibe to it. There weren’t necessarily special facilities for children. If you’re the kind of family who enjoy cannonballing into the pool, you might want to rethink.
It may be pronounced ‘More-ay’, but Hotel More certainly lives up to its spelling by going the extra mile. The top-class facilities, combined with wonderful local cuisine and unbeatable natural setting give the hotel a luxurious quality absolutely essential for those looking to find an oasis of calm away from the busy-ness of Central Dubrovnik. This is the place to go if you’re looking to indulge yourself for a few days. I’m so thankful that we were given the opportunity to discover that Dubrovnik itself is not the only pearl the Adriatic Sea has to offer.