Enjoyed the apartment and setting. Perfect for walking around, near restaurants and bus stop to Old To. Mara our host was excellent and made any reservations a needed. Also grounds are relaxing and Mara made us feel right at home. Would definitely return
Among all the many apartments at which we’ve stayed during our years of travel, Villa Marini Dvori holds a special place in our hearts .
The accommodation was a delight, with its expansiveness, light and space, high ceilings, period architectural features, its stunning garden setting and intimate family chapel. All of this was just a part of what had been in Pre-Tito years, a large family estate that was commandeered by the Communist Party during the Yugoslavia years. And in its structure, layout and décor it still retains that grace of a bygone time.
Located in the beautiful older area of Lapad, alongside Lapad Bay and its marina with neat boats and nearby Yacht Club, and just beside the historic Lapad Hotel, the house is peacefully removed a little way off the main road by a short private road and accessed through a gated entrance, thus excluding any traffic noise. Inside you enter into a beautifully fragrant natural garden, which in September still had flowers in urns, hydrangea shrubs, a vined patio, a corner barbeque, and especially a small citrus orchard heavy with fruit, all of it bounded by old walls. The whole place exuded comfort and atmosphere. We’ve spent many beautiful afternoons over coffee on the large terrace leading off the main bedroom, surrounded by fruiting date palms, looking at the water and the ships.
Access to public transport was easy with buses on the main road a 5 minute walk, to take you a short ride away to the old city, the green market and the harbour. A small but comprehensive grocery is a very short walk away, through narrow lanes and quiet streets.
But far above the material joys of our location, was our pleasure in meeting Mara, our hostess and landlady – beautiful, spontaneous, energetic, incredibly generous with her love and care, and altogether an exceptional human being. . She had an amazing network of friends, and as a former travel agent, contacts essential for travel – and willingly called on them to help us on need.
We were greeted with delicious fruit and walnut wines, grapes and hand-made orange marmalade (from her own garden, organically grown! She loves cooking and baking). We were unable to manage a ‘peka’ lunch, for which we would have to drive into the countryside. She arranged it for us at a beautiful outdoor restaurant – the only one she knew specializing in ‘peka’ cuisine, within the town. It was extraordinary, and extremely good value at the price.
But above all, was her generosity, after we had left her and proceeded to our next destination at Ston. Here unfortunately, I fell down some stairs and broke my ankle. Ston is a very small place. But here too we found another kind lady – the house keeper – whose son drove us to the hospital in Dubrovnik. We were in a mess – our luggage was in Ston while we were at a hospital in Dubrovnik. Again we called on Mara. She came immediately with a change of clean clothes – our clothes were in Ston. While I changed she arranged rooms for us at Hotel Lapad at a special rate, then drove us via the pharmacy to collect a pair of crutches, and personally orchestrated – with the help of her friends – all arrangements until we boarded our flight.
Truly a holiday to remember, and a learning experience about the kindness of people when you're in trouble!
Outside +14 C temperatures in Dubrovnik and inside +25 C in apartments. So quiet, super relax for soul&spirit, 5 days for remeber ! Owner is very friendly, former travel agent, she was the best consultant for short excursions in surroundings. Really unique!
As we arrived into the wonderful walled garden, our host Mara welcomed us with real warmth, she felt from the first words trust-able and sincere, not like the fake hospitality we have received at many 5* establishments around the world.
The accommodation was clean, tidy, well furnished and automatically felt like a home from home for the three nights we would be staying. Mara was always on hand whenever we had questions but never intrusive as she lives below the apartment.
The small touches of home made lemon, mandarin and walnut liquors plus a small pot of delicious marmalade at our disposable turns a welcome into a feast of delight for your taste buds too.
The location of the apartment is a short (5-7min) walk to the bus that takes you directly to the city walls. Mara will advise you on where would be the best place to get your tickets and eat is within the neighbourhood. Take her advice as we went off piste one evening and had a awful meal but all her recommendations were perfect.
To balance this review there needs to be something negative as things are never perfect. For us as non smokers the apartment allows smoking guests to smoke in the communal areas, but not in the bedrooms (all smelt smoke free even to our over-sensitive noses). This was all in all the only minor negative for us, but for the smokers of this world reading this review it I am sure is a positive hence I mention it.
The acid test is would we stay at this apartment again, yes we would. Mara and the accommodation together with the location makes for a great base to visit Dubrovnik.
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