The Pucić Palace, Dubrovnik
With its handsome honey-coloured stone façade, complete with graceful balustrade and carved window surrounds, the Pucić Palace looks every inch the nobleman’s residence it once was. Inside is just as impressive, with masses of period details, ornately framed classical paintings and Murano glass chandeliers. It’s entirely in keeping with its fabulous setting within the walls of Dubrovnik’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, and a stay here provides a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the area’s unique historic atmosphere - and enjoy a few more modern pleasures.
Location is the keyword here: not just the building itself, but its position in the corner of a picturesque square - named after a celebrated Croatian poet - and surrounded by narrow limestone-paved streets lined with elegant old houses. Every major site in the Old Town is a blissfully short traffic-free stroll away, and you can dive down every inviting side lane secure in the knowledge that, when you need a pause and a recharge, the hotel’s select facilities are right nearby. Among the most appealing of these is the café-brasserie with shaded tables on the Old Town main square and a menu that fills every need from coffee-and-cake to a full-blown meal of local dishes. Then there’s the hotel’s other restaurant, whose terrace is a rather more private affair - perfect for a leisurely fine-dining experience. And, if that’s not restful enough, guests have access to a private area on super-clean Banje beach, 650 metres away, where there are sunbeds, parasols and towels, and sparkling sea views.
The 17 rooms and two suites are individually decorated in a style in keeping with that of the palace: that means more antique furniture, oriental rugs, olive-wood parquet floors and richly coloured velvet upholstery. The bathrooms are particularly plush, with mosaic tiling on the floor and walls, porcelain-lined copper roll-top baths and green marble countertops. Deluxe Rooms are grand and airy thanks to their high ceilings and equally tall windows.