The villa is a very grand seaside villa built in 1573 for a Dubrovnik aristocratic family as their summer residence. It is situated in the port of Gruz, a large sheltered harbour for local fishing boats and visiting yachts. Over the centuries the villa suffered complete destruction during the Napoleonic wars and eventually fell into a state of neglect. It was even used as a prison in the Second World War, and afterwards as a school. Over the past few years the villa has been carefully renovated to its former grandeur by the new Croatian-Swedish family owners. The villa sits next to similar old Dubrovnik villas some of which are still in the state of faded grandeur, waiting to be modernised inside. All of them are glimpsed through their ancient wrought iron gates from which you can spot large fish ponds and front gardens shrouded in Mediterranean greenery. This whole section of the town has blended into everyday life, but it is a remarkable example of the way the rich old Dubrovnik families used to live in the hot summer months.
The villa operates as a small and very exclusive boutique hotel, with bedrooms rented individually, but can alos be rented in its entirety as a single luxury villa for up to 26 people. In either case a delicious breakfast is included in the price and served throughout the morning. The villa is 30min drive from Dubrovnik airport and guests can be collected at the airport by the Villa’s own transport. Also, a speedboat for 12 people and a sailing yacht for 12 can be hired from the villa for day trips to nearby islands with fabulous quiet coves to swim in and enjoy.
The villa offers several outside seating areas. In the courtyard, paved with the local stone and partially covered with a green leafy pergola, there is ample seating for 26 guests, which can be arranged as individual tables or a single large table – according to the guests’ preference. Here in warm spring, summer and autumn mornings guests can take their meals al fresco. Alternatively, there is a charming vaulted dining room with large windows overlooking the courtyard and the seaside road. This dining room also contains a bar and can be used to order drinks. Another roofed terrace is on the first floor, overlooking the bay of Gruz. The terrace has retained its original medieval Juliet balcony, and is a wonderful and cool place to sit in the evenings looking at the city lights reflecting in the sea. At the back of the villa is a large swimming pool, 14m x 7m, plenty of pool beds with towels, a barbecue and a bar with more chairs and tables. The greenery is typical local Mediterranean vegetation of palms, jasmine, bougainvillea, ferns and cool green leafy plants.
All rooms are air conditioned.
The dining room has a large glass door opening onto the courtyard and picture window ovelooking the harbour. Tables can be arranged according to guests' wishes, individually or in a continuous formation. There is also a bar in the dining room where drinks can be ordered. It is a very pleasant and light room with lots of charcter-period furniture and damask tablecloths, which are illuminated with a large modern designer chandelier hanging form the vaulted ceiling. The contrast of styles seems very pleasing.
An interesting vaulted passage leads from the dining room into the sitting room and the library – all can be used to sit and relax, read, and watch TV. A large fireplace and wood panelling decorate the room.
The reception room can also be used as an additional sitting room with deep comfortable sofas. A ground floor passage leads to the sauna/steam room, and from there onto the secluded swimming pool 14 metres by 7 metres, and outside terrace and covered area with a barbecue.
Bedrooms and bathrooms
The villa comprises of 13 bedrooms, all of them en suite. All bedrooms have air conditioning, satellite TV and wireless internet
A marble and wrought iron staircase leads from the reception sitting room to the first floor bedrooms which are set off the luxuriously carpeted corridor. Most bedrooms have a view of the courtyards and the bay beyond. All bedrooms are furnished in a traditional country house style, with comfortable double beds, or double beds furnished with single mattresses and covers. All are en suite with tasteful modern baths ad showers. The décor is reminiscent of 19th century country house, with good furniture and furnishings, cool curtains and typical Dubrovnik shutters.
Outside there are shaded terraces with relaxing armchairs in the garden and around the beautiful mosaic-tiled pool, 12m x 7m. There are plenty of sun loungers and sun umbrellas around the pool and pool towels are provided. The villa has a walled garden stocked with Mediterranean plants: palm trees, oleanders, bougainvilleas, lavender
Outside the villa is a small one-way street and a parking area for cars, and a couple of hundred metres away are a few street cafes and a small yacht club marina, where the Villa’s boats are moored. The marina restaurant Orsan is delightful and serves simple, reasonably priced domestic cuisine based on fresh seafood, meat and salads. The villa has its own additional private car parking area.