Travel Inspiration

5 Stunning Croatia Hotels

Fora Shella Zelenz Travel Agent wears grey rimmed glasses and brown shirt with ocean in the background

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Shella Zelenz

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Image courtesy of Maslina Resort

Croatia’s reputation precedes it. With historic city centers, stunning cliff sides and rolling olive groves and vineyards — not to mention the cerulean waters of the Adriatic Sea — it’s clear why Croatia is one of Europe’s most exciting destinations. 

There’s no shortage of exquisite places to stay across the country’s dynamic landscape, where guests can take in Croatia’s captivating natural beauty. Luxury hotels in Dubrovnik mix historic charm with modern amenities, putting guests steps from the Old Town’s sixth-century marvels like the Dubrovnik Palace. The bustling city of Zagreb boasts modern accommodations a short walk from the city’s main attractions, while the island of Hvar has hotels combining the feel of a beach resort with the elegance of a luxury hotel. Whether booking a stay at a historic café-turned-hotel in Split or canoodling with your partner in a private cove at the Villa Dubrovnik — these are the five best hotels to stay in when traveling to Croatia.

Villa Dubrovnik

Image courtesy of Villa Dubrovnik

Chances are you’ve heard of Dubrovnik or, at the very least, recognize it as the backdrop to the hit HBO show, Game of Thrones. Beyond being associated with medieval knights and fire-breathing dragons, Dubrovnik is a very real city celebrated for its distinctive sixth-century Old Town set against the sparkling Adriatic Sea. If looking for a place to stay, Villa Dubrovnik is a five-star hotel boasting stunning white architecture that contrasts with the rocky landscape and glistening ocean below. 

Each of the 56 guest rooms features a contemporary design with wooden accents and natural lighting, but it’s the villas that steal the show. The Villa Kodin Residences are described as a “private hotel within a hotel,” a meta way to put it but by far the only way to describe this unique set up. Each villa sits like a private apartment within the hotel, replete with three floors, three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a living room, a private terrace and an outdoor jacuzzi. If it’s just you and your partner, reserve the Romance Suite instead, which offers the utmost seclusion within a cove and unparalleled views of the Old Town and nearby Lokrum Island. Your intimate oceanfront terrace will feel as though you and your partner have snagged a coveted spot on a private beach. 

Fora Perks:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel

Image courtesy of Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel

Dubrovnik draws the bulk of tourism, but you’d be remiss to overlook the resort town of Hvar, found on the Croatian island of the same name. The Palace Elisabeth encapsulates the spirit of this ancient port city, and sits on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. From its sweeping curved archways along the façade to its palatial hotel rooms, this luxurious Croatia hotel combines old-world charm with modern-day elegance. After check-in, treat yourself to a meal at the San Marco Restaurant, perched atop the famed Loggia, overlooking the main town square. Here you’ll indulge in Mediterranean fare with ingredients pulled fresh from the surrounding area. Afterward, imbibe in martinis at The Bar. With views of Hvar Bay, you can sip creative libations in a stylish lounge that combines rich textures with warm lighting.  

Maslina Resort

Image courtesy of Maslina Resort

Another resort in Hvar worth checking into is the Maslina Resort, a stunning boutique hotel found in Stari Grad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a mission to preserve the unique heritage of Hvar island, the Maslina Resort takes care to practice sustainability. Upon check-in, guests will find organic amenities and essential oils that are free of synthetic ingredients and parabens. Meanwhile, the rooms reflect a minimalist design with nods to French art and Mediterranean simplicity, revealing decor that honors the island of Hvar. Because the Maslina Resort stretches along the shore of the Adriatic Sea, every single room offers panoramic views of the ocean, among other notable perks. Family-friendly suites promise heated plunge pools along with walk-in showers and wooden tubs. For a real treat, splurge on the Villa Uvala, which comes with its own gym, swimming pool, office area, private entrance and five bedrooms with ocean views. (I'm all about a private gym, but also check out more of the best hotel gyms.)

Fora Perks:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Heritage Hotel Santa Lucia

Split, Croatia

Located on Pjaca, the main city square in Split, Croatia’s second-largest city, is the Heritage Hotel Santa Lucia. The name is indeed apt, as the Heritage Hotel Santa Lucia is as much a part of Split’s history as the square it stands on. Back in the 1700s, Split saw its first café in Pjaca, which later became a hotel and gathering place for Croatia’s artists and intellectuals. That historic café-turned-hotel later grew to become the Heritage Hotel Santa Lucia, restored in April 2021 to unveil over 30 rooms that honor the hotel’s rich past. Because this was once the town’s first café, it comes as no surprise that its on-site restaurant is the real draw. Central Kavana & Restaurant may have had a makeover and menu change since its heyday back in the 1700s, but it retains the allure of dining in a space where ideas are swapped.

Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik

Image courtesy of Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik

We’re back to Dubrovnik’s hotels, and for good reason. Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik, carved directly into a cliffside, is one of the most beautiful Croatia hotels. Its accommodations combine the feel of a boutique hotel with the unbridled luxury of a five-star stay. After a complete renovation in 2019, Hotel Bellevue is now a state-of-the-art facility, with modern rooms, a chic spa and stellar on-site dining. Each of the 91 renovated rooms features a minimalist style that refuses to detract from the dazzling Adriatic Sea and surrounding sixth-century Old Town. Sticking to a color scheme of soft grays, chalky whites and warm beige, the rooms feel lavish and welcoming, with floor-to-ceiling windows that let out onto a glass balustrade balcony overlooking the sea. 

The “wow factor” of Hotel Bellevue is, of course, those sea views, which are best enjoyed from the Michelin-recommended Vapor Restaurant, now boasting a striking new oceanfront terrace and menu highlighting regional cooking. And because this is your vacation, after all, let’s talk about spa treatments. The on-site spa at Hotel Bellevue has an indoor pool facing a glass wall looking out at the Adriatic Sea. (Check out more of the best hotel swimming pools.) From swimming to massages to relaxing in the hotel’s mosaic-lined steam room or Finnish sauna, there is no end to the myriad ways you can unwind during a stay here.

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