Last month, my boyfriend and I visited Croatia for the first time! Spending the week in Dubrovnik had to be one of my favorite, most memorable birthdays ever. (You can check out the vlog of the trip here.)
Since Dubrovnik hotels can be kind of expensive, today we’re breaking down the nitty-gritty deets on how we stayed in a gorgeous, European, magical spot without breaking the bank. Hint – it’s with points! And before you say you’re not a points person- neither am I. But I promise you it is not as confusing as it seems!
We stayed at The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik which was this gorgeous hotel with the most romantic lobby and restaurant. The first night we arrived, we ate dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, The Imperial Terrace, outside under trees and twinkly lights. (More on the vegan food in Dubrovnik coming soon.) It was the most magical night. We split some Croatian wine, ate delicious veggies, and just enjoyed the beauty around us.
I was in for an even bigger surprise when I woke up the next day because that same restaurant is where we also grabbed breakfast- and oh my gosh it took my breath away in the daytime. The restaurant is so light, airy, and bright, while also feeling fancy and European, which I am all about. And – breakfast was actually free each day, as a Hilton Honors Diamond member (I’ll break that down in a second).
Our actual room was comfortable, beautiful, and the design aesthetic was on point! Lots of blues and lots of light gold touches. It had windows that you could open and get an awesome view of the Dubrovnik Walls, which felt so special. I love that we had a little love seat situation and a table so that we could post up and do a little work here and there. I also really appreciate the closet space too.
The only caveat with the room was that the tub was set super high- I had to remind myself each time getting out of it that there was a little bit of a drop. Overall, it was a gorgeous place to stay for a few days. I did a mini room tour in this Dubrovnik vlog:
The hotel also had a gym where we were able to get some workouts in. I mainly did on-demand workouts (I am loving a mix of the JaimeFit app, Melissa Wood Health pilates, and BohoBeauitful yoga currently), and just pulled a mat up close to the mirrors.
Ok, something else we have to discuss- the bar/lounge area. Oh my god. It was so beautiful. The aesthetics were on point and it felt just so incredibly nice to sit there and chill. There is this beautiful light that streams in during the day from these massive double doors that lead out onto a beautiful terrace.
The Hotel Details
On average, this hotel usually goes for $280ish a night – and that price can spike in high season. Not too crazy, but it can definitely add up. We ended up booking the room using Hilton points, which is something we do for properties that are more expensive (this is how we booked our stay at the Conrad Maldives).
Hilton also has this great benefit for stays booked with points- buy 4 nights, get the 5th night free, which we definitely take advantage of. 5 nights is kind of the perfect length too, right?
Another benefit with Hilton is that if you are a Hilton Honors member with a certain status, you receive free breakfast at some properties and also become eligible for free room upgrades. Which is pretty freaking great!
We started using Hilton frequently because my boyfriend used to travel all the time for work. And if you travel a lot, it’s smart to pick one hotel chain (and also airline) to favorite and frequently use, so you can accrue points with a single brand. The more points/miles/stays you accrue- the higher the status you will have. And with status comes benefits, like some of the ones I mentioned above.
But, if you don’t travel a lot, you can still get status! Some credit cards even gain you automatic status with certain hotel chains upon signing up, like the American Express Platinum card.
Benefits of Traveling with Hilton Honors Points:
- You can take advantage of points sales and instead of paying one cent per point, you can buy points at a half cent per point. This allows you to stay at luxury properties for hundreds or even thousands of dollars off the retail cost.
- Points are usually refundable so if you need to cancel your stay, it is easy to do so. (But always check first!) This comes in pretty handy in the times we are living in when traveling can be a little bit iffy, especially internationally.
- Taxes are already figured into the points cost when booking with points- which means you only pay the points rate. If you’re paying on the dollar- taxes are applied and the stay can sometimes end up being hundreds, or thousands of dollars more than the original room rate cost.
Benefits of Traveling with Hilton Status:
- You can take advantage of booking with points and get stays at much cheaper rates than booking with USD.
- You can get perks depending on your status tier, including free breakfasts, happy hours, and potential room upgrades. I know free breakfasts don’t sound that exciting, but honestly it really can be. The breakfast buffet at The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik is gorgeous with so many fruit options, and almond milk cappucinos at the ready! Free breakfasts also save you from waking up in your hotel room and having to figure out what, where, and how you’re going to find breakfast that morning.
- Status can be pretty easy to get. Many credit cards acutally offer you Hilton status, like any of the Hilton credit cards and the American Express Platinum card. And, if you know any Hilton Diamond members- they also can gift you with status! Which is super cool.
But back to The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik. We chose this place as an option after checking out the reviews (I love to look at Tripadvisor and check out the ‘Traveler Photos’ for a real idea of what the spot looks like) and figuring out if we could use points to book it.
To get enough points for the stay, we took advantage of Hilton’s points sale. (Just like a clothing sale where you can buy something at 50% off- you can do it with points too!) I know this is probably starting to sound complicated, so I’ll break it down clearly:
How to book The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik with points:
- Join Hilton Honors.
- Whenever you stay at a Hilton, be sure to add your Hilton Honors number to get credit.
- Opt in for the Hilton Honors emails.
- When Hilton has a point sale and you’re able to take advantage of it- do it! A standard room at the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik is going for 70k points a night right now. If you’d like to stay 4 nights and take advantage of the 5th night free, you’ll need 280,000 points to do it. A point typically is around one cent, so if you take advantage of a 50% off sale, and buy points at a half cent per point, a stay at The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik for 4 nights (and one night free) would come in at around $1400. This is awesome because this includes all taxes and fees, whereas the USD rate does not.
- Search you desired travel dates and The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik on Hilton’s site and opt to search by “using points.”
- Book the stay with points and enjoy the trip!
This trip was a special one for us, in part because the place we stayed at was so nice and comfy. And what’s so super cool about it is that there are ways to make the whole thing more cost-effective.
If you’ve been to Dubrovnik- what did you love about it? I’d love to know!