St Joseph's

Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia Book from

Reviewed by Jane Foster
Stylish hotel occupying a 16th-century building in a peaceful side street of the medieval Old Town
Tucked away in the heart of Dubrovnik, St Joseph's is owned by a charming family who are originally from the region but have spent 2 decades living in London. This means that while they can provide a wealth of local insight into Croatian history and culture, they’re also very sensitive to the expectations of British visitors. They purchased this 16th-century building in derelict condition, and undertook an intense 2-year restoration, assisted by conservation experts. The result is an impeccable example of Dubrovnik architecture from the Baroque period, with beautifully carved stonework and beamed ceilings. And before they opened in summer 2014, they added a few discreet details, such as a coat of arms, to enhance the aristocratic demeanour.

Inside, the furnishing is as dignified as the building, and the service highly personalised - but the atmosphere remains relaxed and welcoming, and never pretentious. This is a place to unwind and reassess the simple pleasures of life - elegant architecture, a car-free Old Town, the glistening blue Adriatic and a balmy Mediterranean climate.

Highs

  • 5 romantic and spacious suites, and an apartment for 2-4, with slick marble bathrooms
  • A gourmet breakfast with invigorating smoothies, delivered to your door at a time of your choice
  • In-room kitchenettes; useful for whipping up light meals
  • Gracious hosts who advise about restaurants and things to see and do
  • Surprisingly peaceful, considering the central location just off Stradun, the main thoroughfare

Lows

  • You'll need to reserve well in advance, especially in high season
  • No restaurant or common areas, and no outside space
  • No kids aged 4+; this is a tranquil hotel, aimed at couples (though they are warmly welcoming to young children)
  • No elevator, so pack light
  • All beds are doubles

Best time to go

For most people, shoulder season (May-Jun or Sep-Oct) is the best time to visit - sunny but not too hot, with all the main attractions open and the sea warm enough to swim. For a lively nightlife, come in peak season (Jul-Aug), but be aware that it will be hot and crowded. For a romantic escape, opt for low season (Nov-Apr); it might be cold and some facilities will be closed, but the Old Town is totally enchanting without the crowds.

Our top tips

  • Pack dressy outfits for eating out in the evenings, but combine them with comfortable walking shoes - the city's cobbled alleys are not suited to high heels!
  • If you're here mid-July to mid-August, you'll coincide with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival; book tickets in advance for excellent open-air theatre and musical concerts
  • Great for...

    City Style
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 5 rooms and 1 apartment for 2-4
    • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
    • 0-4 year-olds 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
    Room: Apartment

    Rooms

    St Joseph’s has 5 suites and 1 apartment, spread over 3 floors and connected by a handsome stone staircase with a wrought-iron balustrade. Expect restored wooden floors, beautiful beamed ceilings and whitewashed walls with exposed stonework, plus furnishing that combines historic references with modern comforts: ornate glass chandeliers, sumptuously upholstered armchairs, and big mirrors with elaborately carved frames.

    The overall effect recalls Dubrovnik’s golden age during the Baroque period, while being brought up to date by 21st-century amenities. So you get a big comfy bed, a sofa, a dining table and a kitchenette, and a spanking clean marble bathroom with a rain shower (Deluxe King Suites also have bathtubs and twin washbasins).

    The Deluxe Queen Suites lie directly below the eaves and have sloping ceilings, making them a little less formal and extra cosy. The Deluxe One-Bedroom Apartment has a living area with a sofabed that can sleep another 2 guests.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Central heating
    • Coffee tea making
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Fridge
    • Hairdryer
    • Hob stove
    • Kitchenette
    • Microwave
    • Satellite tv
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi

    Eating

    Breakfast is delivered to your room at your time of choice, so you’re treated to a relaxed awakening. Expect an invigorating smoothie (made from seasonal organic fruit and vegetables, with a hint of ginger), a lavish selection of oven-warm pastries and squares of tasty pita (filo-pastry pies), and a pot of freshly brewed real coffee. Each suite has a dining table and chairs, if lounging in bed sounds too decadent. You also get a slick in-room kitchenette (a full kitchen in the apartment) for preparing snacks and light meals.

    For dining out, great nearby restaurants include the informal Taj Mahal serving Bosnian specialities and barbecued meats; Bota Sare Oyster & Sushi Bar, and old-fashioned Proto, Dubrovnik’s longest-running and most respected fish restaurant.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Coffee tea making
    • Fridge
    • Hob stove
    • Kitchenette
    • Microwave
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    Eating: Apartment
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Walk a complete circuit of Dubrovnik’s medieval walls (the setting for King's Landing in Game of Thrones)
    • Catch the cable car to the top of Mt Srd for stunning views
    • Watch the sun set over the Adriatic with a glass of wine at Buza bar, on the rocks just outside the seaward-facing walls
    • Go sea kayaking and sailing or sunbathe and swim at EastWest beach club on Banje beach
    • Catch a local ferry to one of the pretty nearby Elaphiti islets - Kolocep, Lopud or Sipan
    • Hire a private guide for a day trip to Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Kotor in Montenegro (St Joseph’s can recommend someone reliable)
    • See our other local tips

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Kayaking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Private guided tours
    • Sailing
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Theatre
    • Windsurfing

    Kids

    St Joseph’s is aimed at couples, though younger children are welcome.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Deluxe King Suites can fit a baby cot. The apartment has a sofabed which can sleep 2 extra guests, and can fit a rollaway bed for a 2-4 year old.

    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    10/
    Rooms
    10/
    Food
    10/
    Service
    10/
    Value
    10/
    Overall

    {{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
    Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

    Rates for St Joseph's