A new look in the works for the Pearl of the Adriatic’s famed Hilton Imperial!
One of the few hotels in Dubrovnik that usually remains open during the winter months, the iconic five-star Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, closed its doors on 1stNovember this year in order to carry out a major refurbishment of the inside of the hotel. It will re-open on 15th April 2018 when it will welcome its guests to the newly revamped interior.
The hotel celebrated its 120th birthday earlier this year, having first opened its doors in January 1897 for winter tourism. Known then as Grand Hotel Imperial, it was the first modern hotel in Dubrovnik, having electric lighting, central heating, an electric lift, hot and cold running water, and professionally qualified staff. It suffered severe damage during the Homeland War following attacks on the city during 1991 & 1992. The hotel was eventually repaired and renovated, and re-opened in 2005 under its new name Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik. It has remained open every day for the last 12 years. You can read more about the history of the hotel here.
The work (which is being carried out by a Croatian company, and local tradesmen whenever possible) involves the full refurbishment of existing rooms, as well as 2 new rooms which will increase the total capacity of rooms and apartments to 149. It will also include moving the Executive Lounge to the ground floor so that it can accommodate more people, and renovations to the reception area, corridors and Lobby Bar. The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik tell us that the designers have followed Hilton guidelines, and have created the new look ‘honouring Imperial history, highest Hilton standards and the expectations of the modern guests today.’ They say that the new reception area ‘will wow our guests from the moment they enter [the] hotel and this wow feeling will be kept in our new Lobby bar that will welcome them with the pampering luxurious look.’ One thing that will not change is the widely recognised high standard of service that the hotel offers its guests, and which they are, quite rightly, very proud of.
The hotel hasn’t forgotten about its highly-valued employees. The Hilton Heart of the House project has seen the re-design of Team Member corridors and back of the house area, to be followed by refreshment of the Team Member restaurant. All members of staff will be kept on by the hotel during the closure. The Sales, Finance and HR departments continue to work regular hours. Some staff members are on secondment to other Hilton hotels (which is by mutual agreement and is seen as an opportunity for their career development and progression), while others are working re-scheduled hours and using holiday entitlements. There is a Team Building trip and a children’s Christmas party planned for December, as well as other community activities.
The current works will only involve the interior of the hotel, which, due to its original 19th century architectural features, is a protected historic building. Residents and visitors to Dubrovnik will be pleased to hear that the outside of the hotel will still be illuminated at night, reminding us all just how beautiful this stunning building is.
I have been fortunate enough to stay at this magnificent hotel twice in the past, and more recently I enjoyed Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Bar during The Good Food Festival. I therefore look forward to seeing the new-look Hilton Imperial Hotel when it re-opens in April.