Fresh* Sheets

Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia Book from

A friendly base in a hidden historic townhouse, right next to Dubrovnik’s cathedral and 2 stunning palaces
There’s a reason Dubrovnik is referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic - your jaw will drop as you enter its pedestrianised old town and weave your way down cobbled streets, along the medieval city walls, to emerge onto the Stradun, which glistens hypnotically in the sunlight. Veer away from the main drag and you find yourself in an elegant maze of streets and squares lined with terracotta-topped townhouses. We got totally lost but fell head-over-heels in love with the UNESCO-listed city, and didn’t want to find our way back out.

Deep in the middle, hidden between 2 piazzas and behind the cathedral and Rector’s Palace, is an unassuming wooden door. Through it, and up a flight of uneven stone stairs, lies Fresh* Sheets, a chic guesthouse-hideaway that feels as much home as hotel. The stylish design and relaxed feel come from Croatian-born Sanja and her Canadian husband Jon, who rent the historic building from the Vatican (previous tenants: Sisters of Mercy). They wanted to create a really special base for visitors to this bustling city - a 'fresh' take on the Dubrovnik hotel experience, that offered a sense of escape from the crowds, along with comfort, style, and the local knowledge of actually living here. They have more than succeeded.


  • The warm welcome from Jon, Sanja and manager Alex: a platter of cheese, bread and olives, a cold beer, and masses of tips on cafés, restaurants and untouristy day trips
  • Beautiful décor, including huge mirrors, black and white photos and upcycled furniture, which reflects the building’s heritage
  • Just 6 light-filled bedrooms, all with high ceilings and fabulous, unobstructed views over the Old Town
  • A superb central location above Gundulic Square yet little noise; we slept undisturbed with the windows open
  • The option of triple rooms and a Family Suite, meaning this suits friends, families and couples


  • No meals served but there's a communal kitchen/sitting area for guest use, and cafés and bakeries nearby, plus a daily market
  • Not cheap, but the location is unbeatable
  • As with most accommodation in the old town, you need to climb a few flights of stairs to reach your room
  • Room 8 has an external (but private) bathroom
  • No toiletries are provided

Best time to go

April-June and September-October would be our recommended times to visit. We came in late April, and though we got caught in a few rainstorms, it was warm and peaceful. In the 4 days we were there, we enjoyed both an oyster and a wine festival! The city gets incredibly busy - and hot - in high season (July-August). Autumn and winter can be cold but atmospheric.

Our top tips

Croatia’s coastline is dotted with awe-inspiring islands. Lokrum (open April-October) is coated in deep-green forest, its surrounding waters a mesmerising blue. Get up early, pack a picnic (manager Alex makes divine ones for a small charge; just ask), and get one of the first ferries over (a 10-minute ride). Spend your day in the botanical gardens, exploring the Benedictine monastery and lazing by the natural salt-water pool.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 6
  • No meals served; restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Communal kitchen/sitting area


The 6 thoughtfully put-together bedrooms have unobstructed views over 3 of Dubrovnik’s key landmarks - the Rector’s Palace, Pucic Palace and the cathedral - which is a real rarity. Design is simple but effective: a palette of soft greys and clean whites produces a feel of tranquility and escapism from the bustling city; quirky lighting and individual antiques give each room a unique personality.

As we sat in armchairs in our Double Room (Trubadur), we peered over an old Singer sewing machine table topped with a single cala lily, and looked out at the statutes and intricately carved pillars atop the cathedral. Such an amazing view. We were even treated to live jazz, which drifted up from a bar below.

Things to note: Katedrala (Superior Double) can be booked alone or with a small twin room, Palace, to form a Triple Suite or Family Suite, with 1 shared bathroom. Room 8 has an external private bathroom. Dubrava (Studio) has a small kitchenette.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Tv
  • WiFi


There are no meals served at Fresh*, but you're treated to a welcome platter of homemade bread, local cheese, olives and cured meats. For breakfast, the morning market, Gundulićeva Poljana, is right on your doorstep: pop down to pick up pastries and takeaway coffees, or whip up something fancier in the communal kitchen.

There are excellent restaurants and cafés all around, including those with outdoor tables in the square by the cathedral. Our favourite was Azur (a 4-minute walk), which serves Asian food with a Mediterranean flair. The spicy and creamy vegetable Thai red curry was a real winner, especially followed by the refreshingly light coconut pudding. Head to Restaurant Dubrovnik just outside the city walls for brunch or dinner with breathtaking views. Just avoid the restaurants on Stradun; they rely on their location, and the food tends to be bland and overpriced.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Restaurants nearby


  • You’re in the heart of Dubrovnik’s old town; we loved exploring once the day tourists had left. Saunter along the city walls, check out the 15th-century Rector’s Palace (housing the City Museum), and admire the cathedral and the Franciscan monastery
  • Buža is a tiny bar that clings to the cliff face just outside the city; go for an early-morning swim and orange juice, or a sunset drink
  • Jump in the cable car and ascend Mount Srdj for exceptional views of the old town, Lokrum, the mountains, and out along the coast
  • If you’re in the city for more than a few days, do something unusual: kayak around the old town or try a local cooking lesson
  • Extend your trip and visit Kotor in Montenegro, or Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Jon, Sanja and Alex can help you arrange it

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting


Children of all ages are welcome, though it's best suited to babes in arms or older kids/teenagers. Parents will find the communal kitchen useful.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Studio (Dubrava) can fit a baby cot, or its sofabed can be made up as an extra bed; parents will find its kitchenette useful too. The Family Suite is Katedrala and Palace, a connected double and twin bedroom with a shared bathroom. Trubadur (Double Room) and Dubrava (Studio) can also be connected to form a Family Suite that can sleep up to 4 adults and 1 child (book both rooms separately)

Baby equipment:

Baby cot and high chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking


  • Airport: Dubrovnik (20 mins' drive)
  • Shop: 1 minute walk
  • Hospital:
Kid Friendly: Family Suite (Palace)

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