The oldest Dubrovnik hotel – the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik is exceptionally successful through all the seasons of the year. The hotel opened its doors for the first time in 1897, under the name of Grand Hotel Imperial, around the time of the feast of St. Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik. Today it may seem surprising that the first hotel should open in the middle of winter, but there was a good reason: for at that time tourism in Dubrovnik was just beginning and was focused more on the winter season than the summer. Indeed, Dubrovnik hotels closed their doors in the summer as it was unprofitable to work out of the season.
With the opening of the Grand Hotel Imperial, Dubrovnik was the first modern hotel to a state-of-the-art standard, providing the highest possible level of service. The Imperial earned the prefix Grand because it was the first in Dubrovnik to have its own electric lighting, four years before this luxury extended to the rest of the city.
The hotel with its unique charm continues to delight not only its many guests, who are happy to point out that the Imperial hotel has a distinctive soul of its own, but also the people of Dubrovnik who, because of its long and rich history, often refer to it as a hotel that remembers much. With this in mind, it was decided to completely renovate the hotel and to recreate it according to three main guiding principles: its rich and famous past, the highest possible standards and the exacting expectations of today’s guests.
Following a five-month renovation, and retaining its distinctively palatial air, the hotel took on a new life and received its first guests in May of this year. The London Design Studio of Goddard Littlefair was very much involved in the renovation project, which used only the finest Croatian materials such as parquet flooring, furnishing, and lighting, while the work of several Croatian artists decorates its walls.
The new interior is exactly what a remarkable hotel with a centuries-old heritage should be: luxurious, comfortable, magical, glamorous and yet equally accessible and consistent with the latest technological achievements. Added to that, the Hilton’s heart remains its staff, who know that they are the soul of the hotel and who, in accord with Hilton’s high standards, tailor their services to their guests.
Photo: Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik