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Middle Age Miles

Hotel Review – Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera

sheraton dubrovnik riviera hotel review
Pool area and view from the beautiful Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel

This article is part of our Trip Report – Our Summer Holiday in Dubrovnik and Beyond

Introduction

If you’re planning a trip to Dubrovnik, Middle Age Miles highly recommends the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera hotel. The hotel is new, having opened in 2015, and it’s very nice. It’s a few miles out of the heart of Dubrovnik, but it’s adjacent to an easily-accessible beach and we found the location to be good. Book this hotel using Marriott points if at all possible, for a great award redemption deal.

Booking and Rate

For our stay in early August, we booked 2 rooms at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera in late January. This was before the Marriott and SPG programs merged, so we were booking through SPG. The award redemption rate for a standard room was 7,000 SPG points per night (equivalent to 21,000 Marriott points now). We were booking 5 nights, to take advantage of the 5th night free benefit on points redemptions, so our 5-night stay cost us 28,000 SPG points.

At the time, a standard room on a paid rate was going for about $320 per night, which would have been a total of $1,600 for 5 nights. At that rate, we received a whopping 5.7 cents per SPG point in value. Converted to Marriott points, this would have been 1.9 cents per Marriott point. Either way, this worked out to receiving more than two-and-a-half times our baseline values at the time of 2.25 cents per SPG point / 0.75 cents per Marriott point. This is a stunning redemption value.

At the time, we could have booked one room using a Citi Prestige 4th-night-free benefit, in which case the total would have been $1,280 for 5 nights. This still would come out to better than 4.5 cents per SPG point, or 1.5 cents per Marriott point – that is, more than double our baseline values of the points.

Today, it looks like rooms for early August 2019 at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera are again running in the range of $275-350 per night for a rate with no cancellation penalty. The hotel is now Category 4 in the revised Marriott hierarchy, meaning that a standard room costs 25,000 points. At a room rate of $300 per night, this would result in a redemption value of 1.2 cents per Marriott point, which is still a fabulous redemption.

Note: Pending further study, we’re dropping our baseline value for Marriott points to 0.7 cents per point (from 0.75) based on the recent devaluations. We will continue to review this baseline value, and we’ll also pay particularly close attention with the next devaluation shoe drops with the introduction of Peak/Standard/Off-Peak award pricing later this year.

Also Note: Even at Peak pricing of 30,000 Marriott points for a Category 4 property, the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera would still be a great value, at 1.0 cents per Marriott point for a room that would otherwise cost $300.

We remember that in 2018, by mid-February award reservations were largely unavailable for the Summer holiday season. This year, though, it looks like availability is better. Most dates in July are available (save for Tuesdays; I suspect that this is when they have a big tour group that books the hotel full, as this happened one day when we were there – but this limits opportunities for 5th-night-free stays).

Availability in August isn’t quite as good – 20 of 31 nights during August are available, but there are no consecutive 5-night blocks of availability (unless you count July 31 through August 4).

Obviously a points reservation here is great if you can get it. But the remaining question would be whether a paid rate is worth it. I’m not sure we can answer that question because we didn’t fully explore other alternatives in Dubrovnik given the great points rate we were getting. But as you’ll read more in this review, we really enjoyed the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera hotel and we’d gladly stay there again.

We’d also note that you can stay at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera hotel for a much lower paid rate if you visit outside the Summer holiday season. Every night for the rest of March is 100 Euros ($113) or less. Most nights in April can be had for 120 Euros ($136) or less.

Location

The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera hotel is not in the heart of Dubrovnik. Instead, it’s southeast of Dubrovnik, and roughly halfway between DBV airport and Old Town Dubrovnik. It’s a little over 7 miles from the airport to the hotel, and then another 5-6 miles to reach Old Town Dubrovnik.

Here’s a map showing the location of the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera in relation to DBV airport and Old Town Dubrovnik:

We worried whether the hotel’s location would be an issue. Would we be disappointed to be staying outside the heart of Dubrovnik? As it turns out, no.

We were very happy with the location of the hotel and with the area surrounding it. For one thing, being out of the heart of the city meant being away from the heart of the summertime crowds there. The city was accessible via Uber. Vehicles were readily available. The cost each way was about $14 for a regular vehicle and about $20 for an UberXL that could transport 5 of us. And beyond that, we didn’t want or need to go into the city every day, as we took several day trips to different locations while staying at the Sheraton.

Continuing on location, the hotel has Riviera in its name for a reason – it’s almost right on the coast of a bay that juts in from the Adriatic Sea, and the hotel sits adjacent to a medium-sized area. There are a few eating and drinking places along the beachfront, and water activities are also available there. Middle Age Miles kids KB and Andrew loved spending our down time at the beach and at the hotel’s nice pool.

The hotel sits a couple of hundred yards off the main highway, and along the road between the highway and the hotel are some other restaurants and a small shopping mall that includes a H&M store and a supermarket. We truly enjoyed having these conveniences nearby. All of us shopped at the mall at some point, and we especially enjoyed eating at the TuttoBene restaurant nearby, which had pizza and other American-friendly foods.

Here’s a map of the area around the hotel, including the mall, TuttoBene and the beachfront:

And here’s the satellite view of roughly the same area, which may give you a little better perspective, especially of the beachfront:

Entrance, Lobby, Check-In and Concierge

The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera has a large, open lobby, tastefully decorated with new, modern furnishings and lots of natural light from the windows overlooking the pool. As you enter from the main driveway, you’ll find the front desk to the right and the concierge desk on the left.

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – lobby – front desk
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – lobby – concierge desk

All of the front desk personnel and concierge staff were friendly and helpful throughout our stay. The hotel was completely full for at least a couple of our nights there, so we didn’t receive any room upgrades despite having SPG Platinum status. And the hotel staff was very kind to provide us with an extra rollaway bed for one of our rooms. We had called the SPG Platinum line to ask for this in advance, but we had to remind them when we checked in. We were worried about getting a rollaway bed at all in a European hotel, but they provided it with no issues and didn’t even charge us extra despite the website suggesting there would be a fee.

The concierge staff was also invaluable in helping us get a rental car. We had originally reserved a car with Sixt in Dubrovnik, but that was going to require us going into town (and out of our way) to pick up the car and return it, plus we’d be keeping the car for extra days when we wouldn’t be using it. We noticed a sign on the concierge desk for rental cars, and indeed the concierge helped us arrange two separate rentals from Mack Car Rental. We were to get a car on the exact days we needed, it was delivered to us at the hotel, and it was picked up from the hotel parking lot after our return. It wasn’t cheap (but not much more than our Sixt rental would have been), but it was incredibly convenient. We would definitely arrange car rental with Mack through the hotel again if we returned.

Back to the hotel lobby itself – once you passed the front desk and concierge desk, the lobby opened up with the elevators to the left, the entrance to the main restaurant (where breakfast was served) past the elevators, the main lobby area with seating and big windows overlooking the pool area, and the bar area to the right. Once you reached the middle of the lobby, the space opened up into a large atrium, open to the top of the hotel’s 4 floors.

Here are the pictures:

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – main lobby area
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – looking down into the lobby from above
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – looking from the lobby into the bar area
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – bar
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – seating area inside the bar

Passing through the lobby and exiting on the other side put you on a large terrace patio overlooking the pool area:

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – terrace patio seating
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – view of the pool area and mountains from the terrace patio
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – view from the terrace patio looking toward the beachfront and bay

There was one other area downstairs that we haven’t touched on – if you took a hard right immediately after entering from outside, you’d find a hallway between the entry door and the front desk. Down this hallway was an ATM machine, a small business center with a workstation and printer, a small gift shop that was never open, some seating, and some bookshelves stocked with a variety of books you could borrow during your stay.

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – small business center
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – bookshelves and seating

Room

Our standard King Classic Guest room was plenty nice. It’s listed at 334 square feet. It includes a balcony, which for our standard room overlooked the hotel entryway (not the water, and with only a glimpse of the mountains, unfortunately – but for the redemption price this was quite fine!).

Given that the hotel was built so recently, in 2015, all of the room furnishings were new and modern. Importantly, the hotel has good air conditioning, which provided a very welcome treat when we returned each day from adventures in the August Balkan heat.

We were assigned to Room 252. When you entered the room, the closet was immediately on the left and the bathroom on the right. Once you passed through the short entry hallway, the room opened up to a king bed and nightstands to the right, with a small sitting area past the bed, consisting of 2 padded chairs, a small table and a floor lamp. Straight ahead were floor-to-ceiling windows with a sliding glass door to the balcony. And to the left were a work desk and chair, a wall-mounted flat-screen TV, and below that, the mini bar.

Let’s take a tour of the room in pictures:

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – bed and nightstands
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – small sitting area
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – complimentary water bottle with some sweet bites and a nice note, on the sitting area table when we arrived
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – desk and wall-mounted flat-screen TV
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – coffee pot and complimentary water bottles
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – nook with glasses and coffee cups
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – closet with safe
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – closet – iron and ironing board
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – card key slot for lights and air conditioning
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – digital thermostat and other controls

The bathroom included a two-sink vanity with storage space underneath, a large mirror with my favorite type of perimeter lighting, an enclosed shower stall with both a rain shower head and a hand-held shower head, and a separate tub. Toiletries were the new Sheraton in-house Canadian-made-but-French-sounding Le Grand Bain brand, which boasts a citron and vetiver scent. I don’t know what “vetiver” is, but I like the scent of these products just fine.

Here are a few pictures from the bathroom:

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – bathroom – double-sink vanity and large mirror with perimeter lighting
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – bathroom – shower stall and toilet
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – bathroom – Le Grand Bain toiletries
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – bathroom – tub

Outside the room, on the balcony, were 2 chairs and small tables. As you can see we overlooked the hotel entryway and had a glimpse of the nearby mountains. We didn’t spend any meaningful amount of time on the balcony, as it was far too hot during our stay. But if we’d visited at a more temperate time, this would have been a nice place to relax in the mornings and evenings.

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – balcony – chairs and small tables
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – balcony – view to the north, overlooking the hotel entryway and with just a glimpse of the mountains
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – King Classic Guest Room – balcony – view to the west

And here are a couple of final pictures from outside our room, in the interior hallway:

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – Room 252 – note the exterior panel with “do not disturb” and “service needed” icons
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – interior hallway outside Room 252

Breakfast

The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera had an extensive breakfast buffet with several different stations, and a very large dining area. We enjoyed breakfast every day, and there was enough variety that you could try something different each day. The buffet included an omelet station, along with lots of fruit, breads, meats, cheeses, and hot items such as bacon and potatoes.

Breakfast was included for us. Philly and I received complimentary breakfast by virtue of my then-SPG Platinum status. The hotel was also kind enough to extend the complimentary breakfast to our entire party, which we very much appreciated.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story here, while noting that somehow I didn’t get a picture of the drink stations, which included a large coffee machine along with tea and juice selections. I was also able to special-order a diet soda to drink with my breakfast.

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – bread selection
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – more bread and a toaster
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – things to put on bread
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – cereal and yogurt
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – salad for breakfast?
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – meats and cheeses
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – hot items, including bacon!
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – more hot items
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – oatmeal
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – special Halal section
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – lots of fruit
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – more fruit, and smoothies
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – even more fruit, and yogurt
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – breakfast buffet – large breakfast seating area

Bar and Other Food

The bar at Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera served food as well as drinks. The menu was limited, but it includes staples like burgers that could get you through the day as needed. We ate there once, and the food was solid and satisfying. It’s certainly convenient if you’re hungry.

In addition, we had drinks at the bar on a couple of evenings and enjoyed it. Both bartenders who served us were friendly and engaging, which was nice. One of them, Josip, introduced us to the popular Croatian drink Pelinkovac. It’s a bitter liqueur based on wormwood (same as absinthe). It really doesn’t taste that great (unless you really like Jagermeister, perhaps). But, when in Rome, right?

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – bar – Josip the bartender introducing us to the Croatian national drink, Pelinkovac

Beachfront

As we mentioned earlier, the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera hotel is adjacent to an easily-accessible medium-sized beach. This is a beautiful area, seemingly popular with locals and tourists alike. It was busy at all times, and somewhat crowded on Sunday afternoon when we arrived – none of which is surprising given the hot August temperatures during our visit.

Along the beachfront walk were a few restaurants. We ate an afternoon snack and had a cool, refreshing drink at one of them, Vertigo, after we arrived at the hotel mid-afternoon on Sunday. The rooftop patio at Vertigo was still warm, but at least it was shaded and had awesome views of the beach and the surrounding mountains.

Here are a few pictures from the beachfront:

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – beach/riviera adjacent to the hotel
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – beachfront walkway, including some restaurants
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – beachfront – Middle Age Miles at Vertigo
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – tennis courts, as seen from the rooftop bar at Vertigo (we believe these are part of the hotel, but we never asked; it was too hot to even think about playing tennis during our stay!)
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – beachfront – rooftop bar at Vertigo
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera – beachfront – pretty sweet view from the rooftop bar at Vertigo

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Hotel Review of the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera. It’s really a terrific hotel and a great place to stay on a Dubrovnik vacation – especially if you can book on points when paid rates would otherwise be high!


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