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.
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.
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.
Coombe Mill - Fiona Cambouropoulos says
Looks lovely and clean and welcoming, shame about the one meal.
Coombe Mill – Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Exploring Avignon as a Family
Fun Havens Domain says
I remember 6 years back, I went for a 1 week holiday with my family. There I forced my husband to teach me archery…We enjoyed a lot. This blog has refreshed my old memories. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
This is an enchanting place perfect for rest.
katja - globetotting says
16 bars and restaurants?! I don’t think I’ve stayed anywhere that has so many different eating and drinking options (and I love eating and drinking so this is a good thing!). I visited Dubrovnik years ago (pre-kids) and fell in love with the place, I’d love to go back with the kids and this place sounds like a very good option.
Gretta Schifano says
It’s a lovely place and very family-friendly.
Cathy Lavictoire says
Wow it looks amazing, we have just come back from a lovely resort in Pula South of Croatia I will be blogging about it over the next few days. So glad I found your blog – so many great travel tips 🙂
Gretta Schifano says
Thank you! I’ll be interested to read about your trip to Pula.
Ickle Pickle says
This looks such a fantastic place. I would love to visit. Kaz x
Ickle Pickle recently posted…Gumbies Flip Flops Review
How amazing!! That pool looks divine with the view out to the sea and hills 🙂
Stephs Two Girls says
That shot of the pool could definitely be in a travel magazine! Stunning.
Stephs Two Girls recently posted…Pathological Demand Avoidance Awareness Day and Born Naughty?
Victoria Mylittlel says
this pool looks lovely, I have never been to Croatia, but my mum was several times and and this sounds like a perfect destination
Victoria Mylittlel recently posted…Days out: Bluestone National Park Part 1 #bluestoneblogger
It looks as if all those sports kept you all busy – and that pool looks divine, even if it wasn’t quite warm enough to get into! And lovely to see the traditional eggs too. #timetraveller
stephanie recently posted…Sun on Saturday: Tintagel Castle and 148 steps for starters…
What a stunning view of the pool and those decorated eggs are just beautiful, I wouldn’t want to eat mine!
There seems such a lot to do, a family would be fully entertained for their entire break wouldn’t they?
Thanks so much for linking up to Time Traveller
Mari recently posted…Win the chance to go on an adventure with Steve Backshall: The Brave Bones Club
Aaah a trip to the spa most days – that sounds divine! It sounds as though there’s an awful lot to do here, for everyone. We’re rapidly discovering that’s the key to a successful family holiday.
Nell@PigeonPairandMe.com recently posted…Canvas map for our hallway
Nayna Kanabar says
I love all the pictures, what a lovely place to visit.
Nayna Kanabar recently posted…Keys-To -Go portable keyboard.
Sarah Christei says
This looks os amazing, it was somewhere I had never thought of visiting but it looks so lovely and oh that pool i could just sit by it now x
Sarah Christei recently posted…My Captured Moments, The Apple Store NYC
Croatia is only a few hours drive from us. We were going to go this year, but we have decided to go next as it sounds completely doable with a small baby. Will be referring back to this post later on! 🙂 #timetraveller
Emma recently posted…Castles, Bears and Candlelight – Cesky Krumlov
Clare Nicholas says
It sounds amazing but wow to that swimming pool
Clare Nicholas recently posted…Giveaway: Win a Standard Merlin Annual Pass
VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood says
Oh my goodness! I so want to go here right now. Pinned for inspiration x
VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood recently posted…Bella Italia – a Restaurant Review
Stephen - BeautykingUK says
I really want to go to Croatia and this sounds perfect, especially if I manage to convince my dad to come and bring my small (much smaller) sisters. Beautiful view and it looks so relaxing (even with the kids lol). Stephen :o)
Robert Mills says
This resort looks great, I really like that there are diverse activities for everyone to enjoy. What attraction in the resort you would recommend the most?
Gretta Schifano says
It depends what you enjoy doing really. I thought that the sports hall was great. The facilities were excellent, there was a full activities programme and it was all free of charge.
I spent a few days in Dubrovnik a few years ago on route to Sisak and it is a place I would love to go back and visit x
Rachel recently posted…Nip + Fab Skin Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Mask
My kids would love the archery and I would just hang around in that pool – it is so beautiful
Kara recently posted…Fun at Avon Heath Country Park
Sarah Bailey says
Wow what an amazing sounding place to go and visit! I love the look of the swimming pool. x
Sarah Bailey recently posted…Getting ready for Uni
That resort looks amazing – the pool is gorgeous and I imagine in the heat of the summer is perfect to cool off in. What a lovely setting too. I really want to return to Dubrovnik, such a great city.
Globalmouse recently posted…A (slightly chilly) spring trip to the Netherlands
Mellissa williams says
You had me on the archery and spa 🙂 what a lovely place and I heard Croatia is cheap as well
Mellissa williams recently posted…Skechers GOWalk at Brantano
Gretta Schifano says
It is good value there, you’re right.
mama syder says
That pool looks totally amazing! What a view x
mama syder recently posted…Homemade Treatments for Frizzy Hair
I remember having some building work done once and the builder was a huge fan of Croatia, I think he spent more time talking about his holidays than actually doing any work 🙂 I’ve still not been though. I have to say it does look nice and it’s a shame it wasn’t warm enough for that pool.
Anne recently posted…My Life and Pain
Ooooh I would love to stay some where like this.
Ninjacat recently posted…My View On Things
This looks like a great place to go in the summer when it’s warmer! Between all the activities and the 3 pools they’ll never get bored!
Shobha recently posted…Under The Languedoc Sun, Another Side to the South of France
Jen aka Muminthemadhouse says
I am green with ency. I have never been to Croatia and it looks amazing. I love the views and the pool
Jen aka Muminthemadhouse recently posted…15 Stunning suncatchers for kids to make
Erica Price says
It looks like a gorgeous resort – very relaxed and serene, but plenty to do too.
Erica Price recently posted…Holiday Reads
lisa prince says
oh this looks a fantastic resort something for everyone
angela hamilton says
wow it looks absolutely stunning! I need a holiday badly lol x
angela hamilton recently posted…Mental Health Awareness Week Day One