This hotel is a strange mixture, and it’s difficult to know where to start. We were another customer of Riviera, which does not include porterage. When we arrived at the hotel, there was no-one around to help with our cases (I have walking difficulties), and this seemed to highlight a general theme: not enough staff on duty when it is busy. However, we coped and checked in. Because of my difficulties, we had asked for a low floor, and were assigned a room on the same floor as reception (floor 2, which was at ground level!). The layout of the hotel is such that there is no room close to reception, but we were assigned the nearest.
Our room was a decent size, very clean, with French windows onto a shared balcony, and the beds were very comfortable. On arrival, we immediately turned on the air conditioning, but nothing happened. Like the Hotel Plaza in Omis, where we’d just come from, the a/c wouldn’t come on when the window was open, so we checked that and found that the window was closed. We eventually found that the window needed to be shut in just the right position, otherwise it didn’t register as closed for the a/c.
The a/c was not very effective, though, perhaps because the controls looked like those I last saw in Sri Lanka over 20 years ago. However, there was a very effective ceiling fan, and by using the two together the temperature felt well under control. Thankfully, the a/c and fan stayed on when we left the room.
The room was kept very clean, and was made up in the morning when everyone was normally out. We were impressed with the cleaning. I’m not at all sure why it was necessary, but the doorway into the bathroom was ridiculously narrow, though I could (just) get through it! It certainly wouldn’t be usable by someone in a wheelchair.
The restaurant was huge, and part of it was on a terrace. The big difficulty for me was that I could only get to it by going up (or down) some stairs. There was a wheelchair lift that made it unnecessary to use stairs, but there was no obvious way to use it. I didn’t see anyone in the restaurant in a wheelchair – perhaps that’s why!
All of the food was buffet style, and my comments are on that basis. I liked the food: as others have said, some of it was cooked while you wait, and there was a wide range available. Unfortunately, I’m not into salads, and my wife didn’t like a lot of the salads that were available. However, I did like the tomatoes, so much so that they ran out of them one night – what a disaster! But the meats included the usual pork and chicken, and surprisingly steak as well. For breakfast, there were sausages and bacon (sorry, but I’m a carnivore!), as well as the usual cooked and cold alternatives. The rolls and bread were lovely and fresh.
There are a few negative comments to make about the food. First, the meats at dinner were very considerably over-salted. Second, the breakfast fruit juice was watered down to the point that it was unpleasant. I could just about drink the apple juice, but the orange juice was dreadful (you could pay extra for fresh orange). Unfortunately, the coffee was not to my taste either, though that of course is very personal. The tea (for my wife) was fine, but needed two tea bags! She liked the fact that they provided tea pots.
There have been comments about cats in the restaurant, but I didn’t see any. There were cats, but they were kept outside the hotel. The only difficulty people had with the restaurant was in finding a table if you were a bit late down to the start of meals, particularly if you were in groups.
The hotel itself was pleasant, if a bit clinical, and in a very nice location. It was up on a hill in the middle of what I would call a park, with some lovely views. In spite of being out of the centre of Dubrovnik, you could catch a bus (nr 6) outside the hotel that would take you in 15 mins to the centre for the grand sum of about £1.50 – a bargain! Internally, there were effectively beer gardens, very spacious, and very pleasant to sit in. This was serviced by the lobby bar, and the only down side to the lobby bar was that it got horrendously busy at times. To return to a starting theme, there were not enough staff on this bar when it was busy, with long queues forming. If my memory is correct, we only ever saw two people serving at any one time. These two were expected to serve at the bar as well as wait on the tables.
The other comment relating to drinks is that they were relatively expensive. For example, a 500ml bottle of water was about £2.50 at the Argosy; in the local shops, a 1.5l bottle was £1.50. And that same 1.5l bottle in Omis was about 75p! Other drinks were equally expensive, relative to the outside and to Omis. However, I did find a local beer in the hotel (Tomislav Tamno Piso), which is a dark beer, rather like stout, and that was very tasty. It’s perhaps a pity that the Argosy had in their menu the 33cl size at about £2.50, but served the 50cl size at about £3.50. For once, I didn’t object to being misled!
So, what was my overall view of the hotel? It was huge, spacious, clean, and clinical, but expensive and, at times, understaffed. Considering the rack rates they publish (up to £250 per room per night B&B, plus about £20 per person per night for half-board), they really ought to be able to cope with busy periods better than they did. The staff were always helpful, and we were impressed by the restaurant staff and the room cleaning. There’s a lot to be happy about, but their prices for drinks seem too high and the rack rates should imply much less queuing.
Would we come again? Yes, but not at those rack rates.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded by fantastic Mediterranean scenery, the Valamar Argosy Hotel provides the scene for a relaxing or romantic getaway near the old town of Dubrovnik. It's located in the unspoilt nature of the Babin Kuk peninsula, just a few minutes away from three attractive Dubrovnik beaches. In 2018, Valamar Argosy welcomes you with our new and improved services and facilities. Enjoy your stay in a comfortable, stylish room with a balcony, select from the wide-ranging buffet offer in the hotel restaurant, and relax in the wellness zone or by the fantastic infinity pool with a view of the sea and nearby islands. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Argosy Hotel Dubrovnik
- Argosy Dubrovnik
- Hotel Argosy Dubrovnik