Dubrovnik isn't often associated with luxurious spa breaks – understandable really, since planning restrictions prevent hotels within the medieval fortifications from building new wellness complexes. But there are modern hotels on the Adriatic coast to the south of the Old Town which aren't so hampered – while to the north, on the Lapad peninsula, a number of large resorts offer award-winning wellness facilities. Visitors to Dubrovnik tend to come for the history and culture, certainly, but that doesn't mean forgoing a little pampering too.
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik
This family-friendly seaside resort and spa has a beach and wonderful sunset views over the Elafiti islands. If you're after a chill-out seaside holiday, the location is idyllic. The interiors are decorated in bold colours, while the grounds are planted with pines, palms and olive trees, alongside a shore dotted with open-air bars and restaurants. The spa – one of Croatia's best – has an 18-metre indoor pool, various saunas, and a hydrotherapy pool with massage jets and a waterfall. Its therapists offer lush facials and body treatments, using Croatian OCCO products, Thalion, Maria Galland and Bioeffect.
Read the full review: Sun Gardens Dubrovnik
Valamar Dubrovnik President
This big, modern five-star seaside hotel boasts a comprehensive spa – plus a wide beach and striking sunset views. The spa complex includes an indoor pool, whirlpool, outdoor pool, Turkish bath, and Wellness Bar, as well as Finnish and infra-red saunas. There's also a pretty spa garden with a hot tub. Everything from hot chocolate body exfoliations to collagen hyalurin facials are available on the extensive treatment menu. The hotel beach, a pebble cove shaded with palm trees, is perfect for a post-spa snooze.
Read the full review: Valamar Dubrovnik President
Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel
This family-friendly four-star hotel offers striking sea views – and is surrounded by landscaped lawns, towering palms and olive trees. Its Ragusa Spa has a large heated indoor pool, steam bath, Finnish sauna, outdoor hot tub and ice fountain. Treatments make use of Themae and Comfort Zone products, and include everything from indulgent spa baths to manicures. Post-treatment, guests can relax on the lavender-scented pillows in their room, soak up the sea views from their balcony, or splash out on fresh lobster on the secluded terrace of Langusto Restaurant.
Read the full review: Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel
Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
This lavish waterside hotel on Dubrovnik's Lapad peninsula boasts an impressive ocean-ogling spa. There’s a sea-view indoor pool with two adjoining circular hot tubs – plus a steam bath, Finnish sauna and gym. Massages and facials using Thalgo and Energy Clinic products are available. Just next door, Lean & Light specialises in smoothies, salads and low-fat desserts: ideal for a nourishing post-treatment meal. For a blow-out supper, the 'Fisherman's Pot' with lobster in white wine at the beachside taverna is a must. All rooms have balconies and sea views.
Read the full review: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
Spa-seekers will love this historic five-star hotel, with its fantastic views of Dubrovnik's Medieval walls rising from the sea. The vast wellness centre includes a large free-form swimming pool and whirlpools, a Roman bath, Finnish sauna and rainfall showers – as well as beauty treatments with Energy Clinic products. A gym and hairdresser are on site too. Therapies on offer are serious: think Phyto-aromatic comfort extreme facials and detox pedicures. Try and nab a table for dinner at Sensus, which has views of the city walls; you just might catch a late-night firework display from the Old Harbour.
Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik
This modern hotel is a restful retreat, located between Dubrovnik's Old Town and the Lapad peninsula. Its Energy Clinic wellness centre has a small indoor freshwater pool with a floor-to-ceiling window looking out to sea – as well as a whirlpool bath, mosaic steam room, Finnish sauna and gym. Therapies include slimming detoxes, espresso facials and anti-stress leg massages. A big draw is the pebble beach, which basks in direct sunshine until mid-afternoon. A Superior room gets you a balcony with glass balustrades, for uninterrupted sea views.
Read the full review: Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik
This sophisticated five-star retreat is built into a cliff, overlooking the turquoise Adriatic towards Dubrovnik's city walls. Secluded in a sea-view world of its own, it’s all about the finer things in life – but with the minimum fuss. A contemporary design of clean lines and lots of glass allows natural light to pour in and the views to stretch out. The Villa Spa has an indoor pool with sliding glass doors opening onto a outdoor terrace – and offers beauty treatments, a sauna and a gym. Below the hotel, stone steps lead down to a series of rock-and-concrete bathing platforms, furnished with sunbeds and parasols.