Rixos Hotel Libertas, Dubrovnik, Croatia $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
This hotel is ingrained in the Dubrovnik landscape, both physically and culturally. The 14 floors of terraces dramatically stagger down a steep hillside toward the sea, giving hotel guests breathtaking sunrise views. And since it's right on the Adriatic and an easy 15-minute walk from Old Town, the hotel has been a standard meeting place for locals since it first opened in 1971. Oligarch-favorite Turkish hotel chain Rixos took it over in 2007, transforming the once small hotel into a luxury resort with 300 new rooms (for a total of 315), three restaurants, and five bars and cafés, one of which maintains "local" prices in an effort to keep its place in city resident's hearts. The Turkish chain also added a spa with a Turkish bath (of course), indoor and outdoor pools, and a cigar bar patterned after an English gentlemen's club that is stocked with Cuban Cohibas, Montecristos, and VSOP cognacs. (We've heard reports that this is all a bit too much for the staff to handle and leads to a flustered wait-staff and unanswered requests) The rooms themselves have a sleek, neutral design and all the amenities now de rigeur among hotels going after a high-end clientele (plasma TVs, whirlpool tubs). Though the basic rooms are small and narrow, be sure to book one with an Adriatic-view balcony positioned to capture the morning's first rays.