‘Do the sunset kyack, walk the walls… oh and visit the abandoned hotel’
As soon as a friend mentioned the ‘abandoned hotel’ in Dubrovnik I was fascinated. Abandoned? Why? And you could explore it?…..
The Hotel Belvedere was a 5-star luxury hotel destroyed in 1991 during an attack by Serbian forces on the city of Dubrovnik during the Croatian War of Independence.
The hotel lies on the corner of the headland opposite the town. If you follow the main road out of Dubrovnik old town you should get there. The walk isn’t quite as long as it looks- probably about 25 mins until you reach the hotel itself.
The main entrance doesn’t really let you in (unless you’re ready for some proper trespassing), with big gates and warnings about trespassing and cameras.
A peek through a window and my levels of fascination were growing. Boxes of wine glasses were stacked, layers of dust accumulated, some smashed from trespassers long gone.
This wasn’t just the shell of a building. This place had stories. This wasn’t a hotel methodically cleaned. This felt truly abandoned…
We took the steps down and again the walk was covered in netting to stop people getting through.
I’d heard the backpacker stories- bottles of wine were the fun discoveries, the unused grenades a more threatening one. My dreams of exploring the ghostly Belvedere seemed to be fading, but I was being far too much of a pessimist- and soon reached a hole in the net.
Ducking through the hole in the netting, we started our first exploration of the Hotel Belvedere….
I won’t lie- it was creepy. What had previously been some kind of club had retained its mirrored ceiling, but the rest had been victim to the hands of time.
Venturing onto the small balcony area, we had an incredible view of Dubrovnik, but parts of the balcony floor had started to fall apart.
It felt haunted- I could almost hear the music and see the lights flashing.
Even now in it’s derelict state the view was breathtaking- how incredible had it been back in its prime?
We didn’t want to venture too much further into this part, having talked ourselves up with stories of broken floors and potential crack heads living the darker rooms ahead. Jake had given me a hush as we ventured in and it had caused a rush of adrenaline. Going back down the stairs, we hopped over a wall to explore the lower part of the club.
There was lots of debris, but you could still tell this would have been incredible back in the day. My mind was torn between imagining it back when, and imagining rebuilding it now. We had been warned the hotel was huge, and we soon found out this was no exaggeration. So far we had only explored a small part.
Wandering further down we stumbled across the pools.
When I say ‘stumbled’, it’s hard to miss them. They’re huge and there was clearly multiple.
A landslide into one of the grander outdoor ones made it clear just how much work would need to be done.
Later on, we found out the hotel has been bought by a Russian. However, previous ownership is complicated and has caused delays in any work starting. Although the government was the main owner of the previous Hotel Belvedere, individuals were involved too.Whoever ends up taking up the throne, there’s clearly a lot of technical work to make it secure before they can make it majestic again.
Finally we made it to the locals beach.
Heading left was best, quiet, with rocks to lie on (and jump off). It was dreamy escaping the hoards on the main beach and to get to relax (and snooze) in peace. We did head to the other beach to grab some food (top tip: don’t- stick to stealing the yummy figs off the trees en route…).
The truth about the Hotel Belvedere? That you don’t want to know the truth. Because exploring abandoned buildings and making up the ghost stories as you go along is part of the fun. Like Goosebumps for grown ups.
DISCLAIMER: exploring the hotel Belvedere is trespassing, and there is risk of prosecution and injury. I didn’t tell you to do it….!