I stayed at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Resort in Croatia with my husband and kids for a week during the Easter holidays. We were at the resort as guests of James Villas. I’ve already written about the lovely apartment which we stayed in here, the inappropriate-for-kids Game of Thrones preview which we unwittingly attended here and our off-road Buggy Safari adventure without a sports bra here. Now I want to tell you more about the resort itself.
Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Resort
Dubrovnik Sun Gardens is a luxury resort which is around nine miles along the coast from the beautiful city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Sea. The resort has a 5-star hotel as well as eight apartment buildings, known as ‘Residences’ (we stayed in Residence number 5). The resort has a private beach, three outdoor pools, a spa with an indoor pool, a sports centre, various restaurants and bars, shops and a marina. When we visited in April some of the facilities weren’t yet open for the summer but we were very impressed by what we experienced.
Easter Monday turned into a kind of family sports day for my husband, our son and me while our daughter worked on an extended essay for school. The weather wasn’t great when we woke up so we decided to spend the day trying out some of the many sports facilities and activities which are on offer at the resort free of charge to guests.
First up was football. My son and I headed for the astro-turf pitch behind the sports hall having borrowed a football from the sports hall reception. I was in goal while my son practiced shooting and I pretended to try to save his shots while actually dodging the ball. He has a powerful kick.
My husband then joined us and we moved to the indoor sports court which we’d booked for an hour. We played badminton and then switched to basketball. Next my husband and I joined in with an archery session outside led by one of the sports staff. You had to be at least 14 years old to take part in the session so our son, who’s 12 years-old, went inside to watch football on one of the screens in the comfortable lounge area of the sports hall while I made my fingers sore learning how to use a bow and arrow. My husband’s hands were tougher and he was a better shot than me.
Straight after the archery there was a climbing session at the indoor climbing wall for anyone of at least six years old. I was very proud of myself when I managed to climb to the top and abseil back down but I failed to inspire my son to have a go.
There were various other activities on offer which we didn’t get around to trying including squash, Pilates, yoga, and table tennis. My husband tried out both of the gyms (there’s one in the sports hall and one at the spa) and said that they were very good. There’s a playground for younger children and in the summer there’s a kids’ club by one of the outdoor pools.
In the summer there are also water sports on offer at the resort and boat trips to the surrounding islands and to Dubrovnik. The resort has a private beach which we couldn’t access as there was some construction work going on in preparation for the summer season.
Spa and swimming pools
Only one of the three outdoor pools was open when we visited and the weather wasn’t warm enough to make us want to swim in it, although it looked very inviting.
We enjoyed using the indoor pool at the spa though. The first time I went there was on the afternoon of the day that we arrived in Croatia, after a horrifically early flight from Gatwick. We were all feeling tired and spaced out and I left the others resting at our apartment while I went to check out the spa. I ended up relaxing in the warmth of the enormous hydrotherapy pool for a while. I then moved on to the steam room for a bit before finding a comfortable lounger to stretch out on. I was so relaxed that I nodded off, marooned in my towelling robe. After that I went to the spa at some point on most days with either my daughter or my husband, although we didn’t try out any of the treatments. My son would have enjoyed the indoor pool but he had a perforated eardrum at the time and so wasn’t allowed to swim.
There are 16 different bars and restaurants at the resort. They’re all open in the summer but only a handful of them where open when we visited.
We had a superb breakfast every morning at the hotel’s Origano Restaurant overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Guests are invited to help themselves from a generous breakfast buffet of hot and cold fresh dishes at the restaurant. On Easter Sunday we were offered these traditional painted eggs for breakfast.
The food on offer at breakfast was excellent and I’d definitely recommend booking breakfast as part of your package if you stay here.
On the day that we arrived we had lunch at Maraska Lounge Bar at the hotel. My daughter and I each had a grilled vegetable and mozzarella panini and my son had pasta with tomato sauce. The food was very good and the portions were generous. My husband didn’t eat anything because he had already eaten at 4am that day, he said. (I think that he’s actually a camel disguised as an Italian).
We ordered lunch from room service a couple of times and the menu was the same as the Maraska Lounge Bar. It took about half an hour for the food to arrive.
We had dinner twice at La Pasta Italian restaurant near our Residence building. The pizza and pasta dishes that we tried were good and the restaurant has a cosy welcoming atmosphere.
We weren’t so keen on the meal which we had at the formal Giardino Winter Garden restaurant at the hotel. It was a windy evening when we ate there and it was actually quite cold in the restaurant despite the gas heaters which the kind staff were positioning between the diners. I ordered asparagus risotto in the hope that it would warm me up but it was so salty that I couldn’t eat much of it.
I think that Dubrobnik Sun Gardens Resort is a lovely place for a family holiday. There are many different things to do at the resort, the accommodation is excellent and the location is perfect if you want to visit Dubrovnik and the surrounding area and islands.
Family travel lowdown
We stayed in a two-bedroom Sea View Residence at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens for seven nights during the Easter holidays. The cost of this accommodation ranges from £1,206 to £3,593 for seven nights through James Villas. You can read my review of the apartment here.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing more about what we did in Croatia. You can read about why we wanted to go to the city here.
Disclosure: Our accommodation at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens was provided by James Villas for review purposes but all opinions are my own.