I am by no means at the age where I am prepared to say no to a family holiday because of work or family commitments. In fact, I’m hoping I never get there. Just this morning my grandma and I were in fits of laughter thinking about me tagging along in my thirties, only with a few more little people to bring along! When we were discussing a family holiday at the very beginning of this year we were trying to decide between Lake Como in Italy, or Croatia as I had been on a quick stop to Dubrovnik the year before. Due to my operation getting nearer and nearer, we knew that we needed to go somewhere really nice where we could all completely rest and just enjoy being together. I absolutely adore the lakes in Italy, but decided on Dubrovnik as I felt I hadn’t quite seen enough of it the year before. Before I knew it everything was booked and the countdown began! When going away with my family, I leave everything to them and just turn up at the start with a case and high hopes for an epic week away!
When I visited Croatia last year I instantly fell in love. I couldn’t get over its original beauty and very subtle atmosphere. I knew I had to go back and see more.
With most holidays I always have a few things planned in my head to do and a rough idea of the how the week is going to plan out. With this one, the only thing I knew was I needed a rest. Everything has been a bit manic in the past few weeks, finishing up things with work, going away quite a bit and trying to get everything in the flat organised. A rest was also very much what I needed mentally. With my operation, I am starting to feel very anxious as the days go on – it is a weird feeling that I have never really experienced before. I needed some time away, to just enjoy the little things and being somewhere different.
Our hotel was actually about 30 minutes away from Dubrovnik, in a quiet little village called Slano. For a lot of people this may be a bit of a nuisance, but for us it was perfect. I didn’t leave one city to be put in another for a week… even if it is much more beautiful than Bristol. The village itself was perfect, with a few places to eat, supermarket, pharmacy and obviously the most amazing views. There were so many boats coming and going as well, which I think we’re taking people around all the little islands. It was a quiet and quaint place to be, with beautiful architecture and everything we needed. Something we noticed straight away was the houses which had obviously been bombed during the war between Croats and Serbs. It was devastating to see all these houses with broken roofs and even bullet holes in the walls. The war was only a matter of years ago, in fact I’m pretty sure it only finished about two years before I was born! It was obvious how fresh it was, as the building have now clearly all been re done, although kept to their traditional architecture. The hotel setting was very much like being on a gentle lake, surrounding by the most breathtaking lakes. The hotel had its own beach, so from our rooms it almost looked like you were on a cruise ship. To get into Dubrovnik it was a case of getting two buses, which overall too about an hour. It wasn’t too bad, and for us it was fine as we only planned to go in once. The hotel also had trips to lots of various places which is great if you do wish to explore.
According to the locals, we were extremely lucky with the weather. All except one day we had complete blissful sunshine, clear skies and the perfect tanning weather. I tried to avoid tanning as I am always so terrified of getting burnt. We were quite surprised about the weather, as really it is coming to the end of the season for them. On the one day we had bad weather it was absolutely hilarious. It was typically the one day we went into Dubrovnik and it was quite astounding. In the morning it was a little grey, but not too cold or raining. We counted our blessings really as we didn’t want to walk around the city in blazing heat and sunshine! We stopped for a coffee at about midday, in a little cobbled alleyway right in the main Street of Dubrovnik. We sat for about ten minutes drinking our Cappuccinos and having a chat, before the rain started. Honestly, I have never heard anything like it. The stairs behind us started to become a full on waterfall and the water was gradually getting higher higher up the chair legs we were sat on. There was cover over us, so for a while we just sat and admired it before deciding to have a glass of wine inside… we couldn’t go anywhere so why not have a drink?! The rain did not stop for a good hour and a half! After managing to escape I obviously managed to get my hands on a new handbag and some jewellery before hearing back to the hotel! The next day, our last day, was beautiful sunshine and clear skies. I’m assuming for the time of year, we were very lucky with the weather.
The hotel was absolutely perfect and had everything we needed. The room was spacious, with a beautiful view and very comfortable bed which was important to me as I knew I wanted to sleep a lot! There was obviously the beach right outside, outdoor and indoor pool, spa facilities and a very good treatment spa. I treated myself to a massage and a facial at either end of the holiday as I couldn’t see any reason why not!
I also managed to persuade my grandma to have her very first ever pedicure, which she thoroughly enjoyed. I think I might have finally converted her! There was also a fully equipped gym, which I stupidly forgot my trainers for so couldn’t use, as well as being able to hire bikes. I hired a bike on the very last day and went for an hour around the coast with my grandad. The view was absolutely priceless. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel if you want to be somewhere to just rest and enjoy the beauty of Croatia right in front of you.
I feel like I have been to a lot of cities during my life, but not one has ever compare to Dubrovnik. Seeing it for the second time, I just couldn’t believe the sheer originality and beauty of it. The architecture is absolutely incredible and it seems like there will always be more to see. Obviously, Dubrovnik’s claim to fame now (apart from in is own right) is that it was used to film a lot of Game of Thrones. However it is portrayed in the programme, that is exactly what you get when you see the city. Everywhere you look there is something interesting to see and something you will want to photograph. It has a very relaxed atmosphere, as well as something for everybody. There are so many little boutiques, amazing bars and restaurants as well as the most gorgeous little market. I absolutely love it and would love to go again, maybe for a mini city break.
Food & Drink
I hate to even admit how much I have eaten during this trip. I don’t actually think I have had one bad meal? I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I think I got way more in terms of quality than I thought I would. The hotel provided breakfast and dinner which obviously made life much easier. Breakfast was always a selection of fresh fruit and pastries, as well as bacon and eggs or choice of omelette. I think the scrambled eggs were the best I have ever had it a hotel. Every morning I started with some eggs and a cappuccino – my fuel for the day, not that I stopped eating very much. For lunch we would leave the hotel to find a little restaurant, which was only ever less than two minutes away.
They did the basics like pizza, pasta and a lot of seafood. I absolutely loved each lunch time, and became completely addicted to the most amazing Greek Salad! My grandma and I also became quite accustomed to having a Hendricks Gin and Tonic with each meal. They were bloody delicious to say the least! Dinner was always a buffet, again with such a varied selection. I usually have very low expectations for buffet food, but as far as a buffet goes it was absolutely fine. It was nice to always start with a fresh salad of some description and maybe have more of an option? As we were having a pretty relaxed holiday, it was also nice as it was a bit more casual and easier when we all wanted an early night. The food in Dubrovnik was also really good. Everything was delicious and I couldn’t believe the value for money.
To visit the website of the hotel we stayed in, click the link here.