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Hot List 2006

Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik 
$$$$

Marijana Blazica 2

Dubrovnik
Croatia

Tel: 385 20 320 320

Fax: 385 20 320 220

They don't make hotels like this one anymore, but they can renovate them. Built in 1895 just outside the old city walls, the Imperial entertained visiting royalty, plutocrats, and celebrities for nearly a hundred years. Then, following the Serbian shelling of Dubrovnik in 1991, it abruptly became a refugee shelter, remaining so for a decade. Hilton reopened it last May after refinishing and modernizing every square inch, but it's impossible to fake those royal proportions, from the semicircular terraces to the deep balconies—which, while big, don't overwhelm. The service is unobtrusive and magnificent. For instance, since you can't get a same-day edition of a British or French newspaper in Dalmatia, the Imperial will supply guests with a full-size computer printout.
When to go: Late spring and early fall, when the weather is at its best.
Which room to book: Nos. 132 and 134 are blessed with balconies and a view taking in the whole sweep of the old city and the Adriatic Sea beyond (doubles, $250–$380).
Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym, Pool
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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