D-Resort Šibenik is a marina-side masterpiece in modern design, with a quadruple-height atrium and light-flooded rooms looking out to sea. Two pools and a playground make it a family favourite, but there’s a suave spa with a white marble hammam if you need some grown-up downtime. You’ve got a choice of bars and restaurants specializing in cocktails, coffee and locally sourced seafood to keep you busy, or you can venture off-site. Water taxis will whisk you to the mediaeval charms of Šibenik, or you can charter a yacht and seek out idyllic islands in the Adriatic.
Noon; check-in, 3pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £120.71 (€138), including tax at 13 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.60 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include a buffet breakfast of fresh fruit, cereals, healthy smoothies and hot dishes cooked to order (such as farm-fresh eggs and organic bacon).
D-Resort architect Nikola Bašić won the European Prize for Urban Public Space with his sound-art construction ‘Sea Organ’ in Zadar – it’s an hour up the coast, if you want to go and see/hear it.
The hotel is usually closed from 1 November until 6 April.
At the hotel
Gym, playground, table tennis, basketball, free WiFi. In rooms: TV, iPod dock, minibar, tea and coffee, Etro bath products.
Our favourite rooms
For extra space, go for a Premium Suite, with views of either the marina or the sea from the balcony. If you’re with family or friends (or you’re just set on a private pool), go for an Exclusive Villa – you can even invite one of the hotel chefs to come and cook for you in-house.
There are three pools, each refreshingly unheated. The Yacht Club pool is the headline act, with an infinity edge, Roman steps and adjoining section just for children. Out on the peninsula tip there’s another, this time rectangular-shaped with parasols by the sea. And then there’s the adults-only spa pool – shallow and sheltered, with hydrotherapy jets.
The Yacht Club D-Spa is the place to go for a massage, facial or body wrap; pair up with a partner for the ‘Couple’s escape’, a body scrub and massage with molten candle butter. There’s also a fitness room, and a white marble hammam (no clothes required).
Under no circumstances forget your sunglasses – there’s so much natural light here you almost need them inside.
Wheelchair users can access all areas, and some rooms on the ground floor have adapted bathrooms.
All ages welcome. Extra beds and cots can be added to all rooms.
Go for an Exclusive Villa, which comes with its own pool, kitchenette and nanny room, along with plenty of space.
Sign up to the kids club, which runs an activity programme each morning for ages 4–11 (in summer, there’s also a session from 4pm to 9pm). The outdoor playground has a climbing frame and swings; there’s a basketball net and table tennis table for sporty little Smiths.
Children are very welcome at both the Yacht Club pool and the peninsula pool – at the Yacht Club, there’s also a super-shallow adjoining pool too, especially for petit paddlers.
Highchairs are provided, and there’s a ‘Kids’ Corner’ menu at both restaurants, featuring fish fingers and friends.
No need to pack
If you want to borrow a tablet, just ask.
The restaurant sources organic ingredients from local suppliers, and there are electric buggies for zero-emission zipping around the resort.
Take a table by the windows, for floor-to-ceiling views across the glittering bay.
Nautical stripes, and nothing too tight – you’ll need room to accommodate the generous portions.
For sophistication and skyline views, book in at the Art Restaurant & Bar – the menu is Mediterranean with a Croatian twist, which means you can expect dishes like swordfish steak with polenta, wilted spinach and a rustic tomato sauce, paired with your choice of 180 wines. At the Yacht Club restaurant, you’ll find local meats barbecued on the grill and served on the shaded terrace overlooking the pool.
Both restaurants have bars, and there are two others, too. The Peninsula bar is on-point for cocktails, burgers and tempura, served outside by the pool. Or you can hang out at the Lobby Bar, which specialises in coffee – choose a signature specialty brew, or blend the beans into a creamy coffee cocktail.
At Art Restaurant, the breakfast buffet is open from 7am until 11am, and dinner is from 7.30pm until 10.30pm.The Yacht Club serves lunch from noon till 5pm. The Lobby Bar is open from noon till 8pm, and the Peninsula Bar is open from 9am until 7pm.
Take your pick from a wide range of international dishes on the room service menu.
The resort is built on a peninsula protruding into Šibenik Bay, on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia.
Fly into Split Airport – British Airways flies daily from Heathrow, while Easyjet have direct flights from Luton, Gatwick and Glasgow. The airport is on the Šibenik-side of Split, 50 minutes by car from D-Resort. A resort transfer for up to three people costs £107 each way; for a private van carrying up to six people, it’s £237 each way.
A car will give you the freedom to explore countless fishing villages and idyllic islands up and down the Dalmatian Coast – hire from the airport and park at the resort for free.
If you’re yachting up and down the Dalmatian Coast, you can sail into a spot at the D-Resort marina. There’s also a water taxi service from Šibenik – it’s intended for day trips to and from town, but don’t let that stop you.
Worth getting out of bed for
This is the kind of place where you could spend day after day onsite, alternating between dips in the swimming pools, treatments at the spa, meals in the multiple restaurants, and cocktails in the numerous bars. Heck, you could even just get comfy on your own terrace and bury your head in a book.
Take the water-taxi shuttle from the resort marina into Šibenik, then explore its mediaeval Old Town, a tangle of steep stone streets wedged in on the waterfront. The Unesco-approved, triple-naved St James’ Cathedral is a must-see, as is the central Poljana Square and St Michael’s Fortress, which hosts outdoor concerts in summer. Do as the locals do and explore the Šibenik archipelago – car-free Kaprije (40 minutes by water taxi) is our pick of the nearby islands for its pretty fishing harbour and laid-back vibe. Drive inland to the waterfalls and watermills of Krka National Park, stopping at the island-set Visovac Monastery while you’re there and Bibich Winery (Plastovo) on the way back. The resort also runs boat trips to Kornati National Park(or the team will charter one for you), a group of 140 uninhabited islands lined with snorkel-ready reefs and mysterious sea caves. You'll leave at 9am, sightsee around the park, go swimming off Island Maria, cruise through the archipelago and stop off at Prvić Island before heading back. Or you can island hop through the St Anthony Channel or take a romantic sunset cruise to watch the sun set with a glass of sparkling wine.
She Bio Bistro is the ‘Šibenik Hub for Ecology’, a green-fingered restaurant serving a plant-based menu of locally sourced goodness – go for the gluten-free ‘Persephone’ quinoa with goat’s cheese and walnuts, or the home-made spelt gnocchi with hazelnut pesto. For more traditional tastes, eat at family-run Barun – house recipes perfected over 30 years in business include the shrimp risotto and the Zagreb-style veal cordon bleu. Michelin-starred Pelegrini has a blockbuster location by St James’ Cathedral, and a big-hitting tasting menu prepared by chef Rudi Štefan.
Go back to She, this time for craft cocktails and organic wines at the rooftop bar (the only one in Šibenik); the ‘dalmatinha’, with herbal brandy and local fig liqueur, goes particularly well with the over-city views.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this marina-side resort in Croatia and unpacked their handmade shoes and sugared almonds, a full account of their Dalmatian break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside D-Resort in Šibenik…
If a cruise ship is a hotel on water, D-Resort Šibenik is – in some senses at least – a bit like a ship on land. Fear not, though: we’re not talking tacky casinos, budget cabaret and shoebox-sized rooms here. It’s just that when you stand out on your wood-planked terrace looking down on the yachts in the marina and out over the shimmering Adriatic, it’s easy to feel like you’re out at sea – the four-deck centrepiece of the resort stretches along a finger-like peninsula, and is almost surrounded by water. There are some other well executed cruise-ish elements, too – the ones everyone secretly craves anyway. A choice of restaurants and bars, a popular kids club, a pair of swimming pools… Welcome to a multi-talented destination hotel that’s fit for all the family.