We first stayed at this hotel in 2007 on the recommendation of friends who told us that for folks who want a hotel with character and charm, there are only two places to stay in Dubrovnik--the Grand Villa Argentina and the Pucic Palace in old town. However, as between the two, our friends said, we should definitely pick the Villa Argentina since it has marvelous views of both the Adriatic and old town Dubrovnik. By contrast, they said, if you stayed at the Pucic Palace you not only had no view, you would have to keep your windows tightly shuttered and curtained both for privacy and against the noise of the busy old town streets AND you would have to schlep your luggage several blocks since the old town is closed to cars.
We took their recommendation and enjoyed our stay at the Villa Argentina so much we did not even consider another hotel when we returned to Croatia (this time with our adult children) in April 2012. And this time we enjoyed it even more. Here's what makes this hotel grand:
--Character and charm. The other five-star hotels in Dubrovnik are new, modern impersonal structures. The Grand Villa Argentina consists of two old, stone sea-side villas (the Villa Argentina and the Villa Orsula), fully renovated with marble bathrooms and modern conveniences, but maintaining their old charm. Granted the two old villas are separated by a much more modern structure which houses the lobby, bar and one of the hotel's restaurants, not to mention quite a few additional rooms, but somehow, through decor and old-style service, the place still has the feel of a grand old resort on the order of the Greenbrier or the Homestead.
---Location. The hotel is only a five-minute walk from old town Dubrovnik--but is situated up a small hill so that it has spectacular views of the old town (probably one of the prettiest cities on the planet) not only from its lobby, its lovely terrace (where you can breakfast on warm days), and its Victoria restaurant, but also from quite a few of its sea-side rooms. Even those rooms that do not overlook Dubrovnik itself have spectacular views of the Adriatic and some of its lovely islands.
--Service. The hotel's manager, a handsome white-haired gentleman straight out of central casting, prides himself on providing the best service in Dubrovnik--and he delivers. On our most recent trip, our kids (who had been traveling in Greece and planned to meet us in Dubrovnik) got stranded in Albania (too long a story for this review). Not only did he graciously accept our late cancellation of the first night of their room, he made numerous phone calls for us (on his own motion), ultimately helping us arrange to pick them up at the Budva, Montenegro bus station. He plotted the most efficient route to Budva for us, gave us perfect directions to the Budva bus station (even writing down the words "main bus station" in the local language just in case we had to ask), and then gave us marvelous recommendations for siteseeing in Montenegro on the return trip so our day would not be lost. And the other staff is cut from this lovely gentleman's mold. On our first night, dead tired from a 23-hour trip, we had a surprisingly good dinner at the hotel's more casual restaurant, and my husband left what he thought were several additional twenty-kuna notes for our superb waiter. The next morning the same waiter appeared at our table and tucked the tip--as it turns out, several two-hundred-kuna notes--under my husband's coffee cup. He said, "I know you said you were pleased with the service, but I don't think you meant to do this, and I really can't accept it." How often do you get service like that?!
All in, we would give the Villa Argentina ten stars if we could.
One footnote on another reviewer's gripe about the hotel's "beach": This is Croatia, where the entire coast is rock. There is only one white sand beach in the entire country and it is not in Dubrovnik. Given that, the Villa Argentina's water-level terrace is actually quite nice, and there are lovely gardens on the walk down.
- Also Known As:
- Grand Villa Argentina Hotel
- Grand Villa Argentina Hotel Dubrovnik
- Grand Hotel Argentina
- Grand Hotel Dubrovnik
- Hotel Argentina Dubrovnik
- Villa Argentina Dubrovnik
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grand Villa Argentina is Dubrovnik’s traditional luxury address, combining exclusivity and attention to detail with spectacular views of the sea, backdropped by pine tree-clad mountains. This five-star hotel in Dubrovnik has a regal, old-world charm. Just minutes from the Old Town, it has been an exclusive enclave in the city for nearly 60 years. Sitting on a steep cliffside, leading down to the sea, the views of the Adriatic stretch from the island of Lokrum round to the old harbour of Dubrovnik. As soon as you walk into the hotel reception, the incredible scenery stops you in your tracks. Lush gardens, with stone fences and secluded corners in which to sit, are filled with lemon, wild orange, rosemary, lavender and bay leaf plants – the flavours of a Mediterranean kitchen. Whether you’re sunbathing on the private beach, with its seaside pool, dining on the restaurant terraces or quietly reading your book in the gardens, spectacular scenery follows you wherever you go. ... more less
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