After learning about my new book, The Hidden Europe, a reporter from a San Diego newspaper asked me for tips on finding a reasonably priced accomodation in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Because everyone has different definitions of what is "reasonably priced," here are 6 good options to stay in Dubrovnik in 2012:
1. Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik. Five star hotel outside Old Town. 158 rooms/suites. Price $150-350/night.
2. Hotel Uvala. It's a 4-star hotel that has rooms that feel like the Holiday Inn. It's near the beach and not in the Old Town. It's $150-250/night.
3. Begovic Boarding House. They have dorm rooms, singles, and doubles. They have a shared terrace with a view. Prices range from $20 to $60.
4. Youth Hostel. Youth Hostel Dubrovnik resides outside the Old Town. You get there after a 20 min walk from the bus station and it takes you 15min to get to the Old Town. Roughly $20/night per person in a dorm-room arrangement.
5. Be spontaneous! This is what I like to do and it works well if you're not hauling around lots of luggage. Look for homes with signs that say "Zimmer" (room, in German) or "Sobe" (rooms, in Croatian). Knock on their door, negotiate with the owner, and then stay with them. You'll stay in a real Croatian home, and you'll usually have your own bathroom. There are hundreds of rooms available in Dubrovnik, both in the Old Town as well outside of it. So you can almost always find a place pretty easily, even during the high season. If they're full, ask them to refer you to (or call) someone else. Obviously, places outside the Old Town are cheaper than those inside the Old Town. Prices vary: $25-50/night.
6. Stay in the Old Town in a 3-star apartment. Croatians will rent out their apartment, especially during the high-season. Rates vary from $75 to $150/night. The advantage is that you're in the Old Town and the price is a great value.
Then the reporter asked, "So, do you recommend staying in the Old Town?"
I replied: I've stayed both in and outside of the Old Town - they are both good options. As you might expect, outside the Old Town you'll get more bang for your buck, because to stay in the Old Town you're paying for the convenience of being in the thick of it. Still, the Old Town is pretty quiet at night, so don't expect loud noises. If you stay in the Old Town, make sure to find out how many steps you have to take to get to your apartment (sometimes it can be over 100).