We stayed at the Valamar Club in Mid-October, and enjoyed a pretty decent holiday at this "new build-style" (but actually slightly tired) 3-star hotel, which is situated in Babin Kuk in amongst a large estate of 3 or 4 other Valamar hotels (including the higher-rated Lacroma and President, whose facilities guests are apparently allowed to use although this doesn't seem to be widely advertised).
The hotel is about an hour or so from the airport, so the transfers are fairly pain-free (although it is a little further than Dubrovnik's old town). The location itself is reasonable - although it's a bus ride (or very long walk) into the old town, the hotel is situated near a reasonable (at least by Dubrovnik's limited standards) pebble beach ("Copacabana"), a short walk (up a steep hill, admittedly) to the bus stop (15 mins or so to the Pile gate of the old town), and with a small shopping precinct (with some bars and travel agency outlets) nearby. The reception staff are generally helpful and speak good English, and you can buy bus tickets from the small shop in the hotel (definitely recommend this as the price is lower than buying on the bus).
We had a room at the front of the hotel (it's planned and laid out bizarrely badly - the shape of the hotel would allow nearly every room to have a sea view, yet because the main corridor is situated on the sea side of the hotel, about half the rooms on each floor face out into the car park). The room itself was perfunctory, but fine for a 3-star, although the bath was exceptionally small (really only for midgets!) and quite deep, meaning that if you used the shower it was a BIG step to get out. I would say, however, that the room was kept extremely clean by housekeeping throughout our stay.
The main issue with our room was noisiness. Like a lot of inexpensive hotels built 20+ years ago for package holiday business, it feels a bit like it's been built very much "on the cheap". Thin walls, thinly glazed patio doors. You'll hear people talking (not even shouting) outside, and if, like us, you had the misfortune to be in a room next door to a noisily amorous couple, expect to be kept awake by moaning, squelching and bed thumping for half the night. This was, I think, especially bad due to having a (locked) adjoining door to the next room - try to get a room without this if you can.
We didn't use the facilities in other hotels (I was keen to have a go in one of the gyms) but we did use the pool (which was pretty good & large for a 3-star hotel, if a little chilly in October), poolside area (not the prettiest but again, pretty good, and open, so it catches the sun most of the day), table tennis tables, indoor and outdoor bar (again, both pretty good and average prices for Dubrovnik).
Food was up-and-down. Our first night experience was pretty horrific - a virtual fight for tables as a number of package trips descended all at the same time, we ended up sitting at a grubby table and having a pretty noisy, unpleasant dinner. The experience generally improved through the week, though.
Good mealtime tips - the smaller dining room (turn left as you descend the stairs) and the outside areas are generally more pleasant to eat (the canteen-like accoustics and large size of the other dining area make it noisy and at times unpleasant). The food from the "live cooking" hot plates can be very inconsistent - some fish was excellent, but I also had some very tough meat and a tuna steak that was bone-dry. The freshly made pizzas and salads are all very good, however. The hotel is "all-inclusive light", which means that drinks (including reasonable lager and mediocre but drinkable red and white wine) are available for free throughout meal times. We found this to be an excellent cost-saver.
All in all, I guess you'd think this review is more negative than positive, but this hotel does have some very good points and we did get it very cheaply, so for the price (under £500pp for a week, including flights, out-of-season) I was actually very happy with it, really. If you can afford it I might consider upgrading to one of the nearby 4-star Valamar properties, however.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Valamar Club Dubrovnik is the only family oriented hotel in Dubrovnik, located on the shores of the scenic Babin Kuk peninsula and just minutes away from the old town. This hotel puts the spotlight on your family's needs. All inclusive light service and interconnected rooms are all designed for your peace of mind. Imaginative activities at the Maro Club, children's restaurant corner and an incredible range of sports and entertainment activities for adults make this hotel a firm family favourite in Dubrovnik. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Valamar Club Dubrovnik Hotel Dubrovnik
- Valamar Hotel Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik Valamar Hotel