Just returned from a weeks' stay at the Ariston on half board. Weather was spectacular for October in 22-24C range, so worth considering if you fancy a late bit of sun.
Good check in, must have been upgraded to a big room with a huge balcony that had 2 sun loungers. shared balcony with another room. Only problem was they wouldn't let us have a parasol, as it was against safety rules - Surprisingly, the better room we shared a balcony with, had 2 parasol stands!! I think one was ours.
Rooms were cleaned well every day by a delightfully cheerful lady. New towels, toiletries, tea/coffee etc.
Good modern tv which you could connect a tablet to (HDMI) in order to watch own films. Only English channels were BBC world news, CNN and Sky News - nothing other than news available in English.
Hotel was quite empty, as you would expect at that time of year. Reception was always helpful. Internet provided free on a couple of pc's in the reception area which was nice touch.
All 4 hotels in the group next to each other. Neptune was tower block size and supposedly 4 star. Ariston, Royal Palm and Royal Princess all supposedly 5 star but not compared to London ratings.
Nice terraces and small pools in hotel grounds. Across 'road' to restaurant serving buffet meals. Road is a coastal pathway going through hotel grounds allowing road access to the super expensive 5th hotel the Villa Elita. Bar 'On the Rocks' has very pleasant staff, comfortable chairs and overlooks the sun bathing areas and has the 2 pools below. Large tv for football / sports showing each night.
Breakfast good selection of cold and hot food, salads,etc. Only poor comments would be they need to actually serve tea and coffee manually rather than allowing 3 machines to dispense sub standard drinks, when they worked. Also only one machine to toast bread - surely 2 would be minimum. Lovely exterior seating area overlooking sea. Excellent staff clearing tables and taking orders for different types of eggs.
Evening meal was essentially edible. On one or two occasions there were dishes which could be considered worthy of a 3 star. All buffet again. Soups were bland. Good salad selection but hot meals really not good. After speaking to another couple who stayed at the Royal Princess and ate in their a la carte restaurant plus the 'Mediterranean' buffet (our restaurant) plus 'Zoe' a la carte, they also felt meals were poor.
We walked to Levant restaurant which is just past the Villa Elita on the coastal path and this is a family restaurant overlooking the sea. A little more expensive but definitely worth it. If you continue on this path, there is the More hotel -not especially good food either but lovely bar below pathway and then in 10-15 minutes you reach Lapad beach and a pedestrianised strip of bars and cafes. I'd hate to think how busy they would be in the peak season. Supermarket and cinema up the hill to the right as you enter strip. They show films in original language and use sub titles so lots in English.
Recommend getting Dubrovnik travel card and entry pass from reception. 220 Kuna for 7 days. You can buy 1 and 3 days as well. 150 Kuna of this is for 20 journeys on the buses. The rest is for entry to 8 museums etc. Well worth it as entry to the walls surrounding the city is 90 Kuna. There is a bus running every 10 minutes from just across the road and up a small path to the bus stop just before you enter another hotel complex with shops restaurants etc. Looks to be mainly flats / condominiums with a couple of hotels. Building work is going on so it looks like you are heading for it as you leave the Ariston hotel foyer and head directly across the road.
Stop half way to the old town at the top of the pedestrianised strip. There is a restaurant a hundred yards or so down the road opposite. Serves wonderful pizzas and other food. Much cheaper. Mainly locals.
Overall the hotel is modern, clean, very quiet, good rooms, lovely staff, good facilities including indoor pool (very small) sauna etc but needs a new chef! Would I go back - Definitely.
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