When in Dubrovnik I rested my head in a cute Air BnB – nothing was wrong with it but for one special day I just had to go luxury at a 5 star seaside hotel to the east of the city, home to some of the most expensive places to stay. After some deliberation, I picked Hotel Belvedere, known for its breathtaking views of Old Town and Lokrum Island, their private beach where you get more rays than a 100 sunbeds, and where no one would raise an eyebrow at bringing my own lunch and drinks … literally no one … because it’s been abandoned since 1991.
After running around an abandoned amusement park and a former US listening post in Berlin I checked in at the abandoned hotel in Dubrovnik. The complex is huge (we are talking about more than 200 rooms/apartments, a cafe, a restaurant, a swimming pool and a recreational area) and you can easily spend an afternoon walking around, hoping you won’t run into anyone in the next room, and wondering what’s behind that one closed door – is it an axe murdering hobo, a rival blogger or that waiter you never tipped? If you survive, between all the shattered glass, rubble and dust you’ll come across notepads with the hotels logo, old decorations and remarkably intact furniture – I guess it’s like IKEA with cheaper prices right?
On its lower levels is an amphitheatre-style open air patio, a great place to sit and just stare at the surrounds. But if you feel chills down your back at the whisper of “Winter is Coming”, get all fired up over dragons and can’t get enough of John Snow’s beard, then you’ll have more to enjoy….This is where THE ‘eye-opening’ battle scene between Oberyn and The Mountain was filmed for Game of Thrones. Now, that’s something to tell everyone you meet in the next month of so, friends, colleagues, even people in the bus queue.
And all the way down is the beach, well a rocky outcrop, which seems to be a bit of a secret, even among locals. It was a lot less crowded than the beaches around Old Town (ssshhh don’t tell them I told you). I laid there for a few hours and the only people who came to the beach were a couple and their Maltese dog. Medo (which means bear) was not a fan of one half of the couple and got very scared every time the guy took a dive in the sea. Oh and there were a few tourists boats which sailed past with passengers who looked puzzled as why there were so few people on the beach.
Some boring, but essential info: It’s a 40 – 50 minute walk from Old Town, all you have to do is follow the main road and go past the fancy hotels. Make sure you don’t wear sandals or flip flops as there is a lot of shattered glass and be careful climbing through fences.
Do you like exploring abandoned places?