A remodelled 1960s stay that’s ditched retro vibes for modern minimalism, Hotel Kompas, a stroll from Lapad Bay beach not far from Dubrovnik’s terracotta-topped old town, is a wallet-friendly pad from the same stable as Smith-approved Hotel Bellevue and Hotel Excelsior, with balconied rooms and suites – topped by a sea-facing bar, and tailed by a pine-shaded pool and restaurant terraces. Dine on seasonal Mediterranean fare at Sphere restaurant or, when you fancy a change of scene, head out to the esplanade lined with bars and restaurants.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £154.21 (€180), including tax at 13 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-in.
Rates include buffet breakfast.
With all room types, ensuites have either a walk-in shower or bath tub, so if you have a strong preference, add a request when booking. The playful textile motifs in all rooms are by artist Saša Šekoranja, who’s also responsible for the pendant-light installation straddling floors five and six.
The hotel closes annually from November to February, reopening in March.
At the hotel
Pools, spa, gym, bars, restaurant, boutique, beach loungers and parasols; currency exchange, laundry and dry cleaning (extra cost). In rooms: free WiFi, minibar, free tea and coffee.
Our favourite rooms
Sleek monochrome interiors vary little in kit, differentiated by size and views only. Premium Rooms have the most generous footprint, some with a corner position affording two balconies. Executive Suites come with a separate living room and sofa bed. All rooms have balconies, but opt for a Superior Room or higher to secure a sea view.
Indoors, there’s a modest, freshwater pool with stepped entry and a stone-clad wall that adds cave-like calm. The hotel’s main sun terrace has a large, freshwater pool to one side, leaving plenty of room for ranks of sunloungers and parasols. A broadly countered bar serves drinks and ice-cream, poolside.
The hotel spa is a serene sanctuary in neutral hues of treatment rooms, a Finnish sauna and steam room, and a gym with weights and cardio machines – all neighbouring the indoor pool.
In this ancient city where there’s so much to see, you’ll need shoes made for walking and a light shawl or wrap to counter evening sea breezes.
Four rooms and the majority of communal areas are wheelchair accessible (there are steps down to the roof bar).
Indoors, tables by the wall, which is lined by one long, upholstered bench keep you away from diner traffic but offer the best restaurant views. Outdoors, a table shaded by the tree canopy feels winsome, even after sunset.
Cover-ups to take you from pool to lunch; something white or light and glamorous for evening that can take you from dinner on the terrace to a post-prandial stroll along the prom.
Sphere is the hotel’s all-day restaurant, serving a buffet breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt and pastries, eggs, bacon and sausages. Lunch and evening bring a menu of Mediterranean dishes such as pan-fried salmon fillet or grilled steak with chanterelle sauce. The dining room of pale wood, dove-grey upholstery and white walls is light and airy, but it’s the vast dining terrace (which also has low sofas and chairs for drinks) that steals the show here – by evening, lit with lanterns and catching the buzz from the esplanade below.
Luna Bar, by the pool, serves coffee, soft drinks and cocktails by day to swimmers and sun worshippers. Top-floor Zenith Bar, tucked away off the lobby and dressed in white, has floor-to-ceiling windows with sea views, statement globe pendant lights and sofas to sink into – just the spot for fine wines, draught beers and cocktails, or even a coffee.
Sphere serves breakfast, 6.30am–10.30am, and stays open for the rest of the day until 11pm. Luna Bar is open from 11am until 6pm; Zenith Bar, 7am–midnight.
A dedicated menu of light bites, snacks and sandwiches is yours to order from, 24/7.
Seafront Hotel Kompas is in the Lapad neighbourhood, a 20-minute cab ride north of Dubrovnik’s old town.
Dubrovnik Čilipi airport is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Staff can arrange private transfers (at extra cost) on request.
Split is the nearest train station, from where you’ll need onward transfers or a bus to take you the three-and-a-half-hour drive to Hotel Kompas.
There’s a car park at the hotel with free parking.
Hotel Kompas is 10 minutes from Gruž ferry port, for boat connections to the Elafiti islands, Mljet and Korčula.
Worth getting out of bed for
Lapad peninsula comes with walking trails and jogging paths, although you may feel a stroll along Uvala’s tree-lined promenade is all you need. Lapad Bay beach is shallow and family-friendly for swimming. The sights of Dubrovnik’s walled Old Town are a 40-minute walk or 15-minute drive away. A day trip by boat to the Elafiti Islands offers a bucolic change of scene.
The food is fancier than the name at Pull Over Bistro (also on the esplanade), where you can dine on elaborately presented plates of pan-European fare such as roasted poussin on spiced cabbage or slow-roasted lamb shank with polenta with tables indoors and out. At Tuttobene, the menu’s printed on a paper mat and the interior’s chrome details say “diner” – this is fast food, but good: its pizza, pasta and burgers attract brisk trade with an outlet in the Old Town as well as here on Lapad’s esplanade.
When the seafront puts you in the mood for a piled-high cone of small-batch gelato, head to Lapad ice-cream institution, Koogla – by the sea and only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.
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 beachfront hotel in Croatia and unpacked their travarica and vintage ceramics, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel Kompas in Dubrovnik…
Some beaches in Dubrovnik lead to questions of definition: does a heap of boulders with swimming-pool steps into the sea really count as a plaža? Is a narrow strip of steep shingle really somewhere to spread your towel? Leave others to ponder such pedantry while you pull up a sunlounger on the sweep of pebbles lapped by sun-warmed shallows that is Dubrovnik’s Lapad Bay beach. You’ll find it just to the side of Hotel Kompas – a contemporary stay of minimalist interiors in monochrome hues that places you handily close to Dubrovnik’s old town, throwing in one of the city’s finest beaches as a cherry on top. Balconied rooms, many with sea views, are sleekly dressed; Sphere restaurant and top-floor Zenith bar mean there are options for evenings a casa, and the hotel’s spa and pools are a boon to weary sightseers. Throw in friendly, attentive service worthy of a five-star stay and this wallet-friendly option makes a convincing case that it’s Dubrovnik’s shore thing.