Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Review
I always knew I wanted to spend my significant birthday somewhere special, however I had long wish list…seaview, warm weather, nice food and good wines, luxurious but with activities for the kids and a bonus would be a new country for us on our 100 country quest. A very tall order or so I thought!!
While researching I came across Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, it ticked all boxed for us so that was our mind made up.
We flew out with Aer Lingus on a 7am flight which actually wasn’t as bad as I feared after hearing all the media coverage about long queues. We flew home with Ryanair on the late flight and I have to say Dubrovnik airport was dream – so efficient.
We were at the hotel by 1 o’clock which was lovely and early giving us plenty time to get our bearings and familiarise ourselves with the resort. We used the hotels transfer service both ways (Korkyra) which was excellent, the vehicle was spotless, luxurious and air conditioned which was very welcomed as we landed to a fabulous 30 degrees. The driver both times was courteous and professional – definitely recommend.
The hotel were fantastic and facilitated us with an early check in which we really did appreciate. We were taken to our two bed residence in a golf buggy which the kids found super exciting.
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is located in Orašac, which 11 km from Dubrovnik city centre and approximately 30 minutes drive from the airport. The resort commands a prime location on the sea front with an unobstructed view over the sea and the ideal vantage point to capture that world famous Dubrovnik sunset. The resort has its own marina and direct access to the sea.
Getting to the UNESCO walled town of Dubrovnik is easy via boat from the hotel, the hotels bus transfer or by Uber.
You will be completely spoiled for choice in terms of eating and drinking at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik and for us 3 nights was simply not enough to experience all this wonderful resort has to offer, the perfect excuse to return!
The first night we arrived we ate at La Pasta and it was a thumbs up for us all. The boys had pizza and both adults had the seafood risotto. The menu is varied and this is probably the most reasonably priced restaurant on site.
We loved the relaxed atmosphere, the view and the staff were great with kids.
The setting of this restaurant is magical, we did book in advance and got the best table at the edge looking over the Adriatic. It really was the stuff of dreams sitting out on the terrace here. The kids menu was good and both adults had seafood dishes.
The Market specialises in seafood cuisine.
The staff here were also excellent with the kids and special mention to the lovely waiter who went out of his way to get an Italian coffee for us at a different establishment on site. Super service and a super setting! The view here really is the highlight, it was bright when we arrived so we stayed to watch the sunset, a memory I will treasure forever.
Origano is located in the hotel building itself with the most incredible terrace and views. It is here that breakfast is served and the morning and I mean what a way to start the day, the view is truly something else. You can also get dinner here in the evening but unfortunately didn’t get to try it on this occasion but I did hear that it was really good.
We did have breakfast here each morning, really great selection and a bonus really was they were serving until 11 so we went after the boys soccer camp each morning and
enjoyed a leisurely breakfast on the terrace. We particularly enjoyed the made to order omelettes each morning washed down with the coffee. I could have wiled away hours looking at that view.
We had hoped to try the Butchers Grill having read great things on line but time slipped away on us.
As well as restaurants there are a number of bars on site. We enjoyed the Barrell Bar from where you can enjoy nice local wines while watching the sunset the perfect end to the perfect day.
- Activities on site
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik really is the perfect family destination with a wide range of activities on site both scheduled camps/kids clubs and a host of amenities that you can use at your own leisure in the Sports Centre. Camps from kids include soccer, water sports, squash, tennis, swimming and badminton.
In addition a number of times a year the Campioni Academy run by a number of ex Premier League players is hosted at Sun Gardens. Its a week long camp that included socialising with the players, my pair would love that. Link for more information on Campioni here.
While at the resort my boys attended the on site Soccer Academy. The view from the pitch is stunning, the facility itself is really impressive. The coach was really excellent, kind and patient with the boys. With 3 years between mine and the difference in performance levels he was able to tailor the sessions to get the best out of both of the boys. The medal and certificate awarded at the end will be treasured forever.
The boys saw their soccer coach teaching swimming at the resort and really wanted to go but having only 3 nights we couldn’t fit it in this time but it is another reason to return.
We didn’t use the kids club but having spoken to another family who did use it they said it was really good and their girls loved attending each day.
We didn’t get to experience the Spa on this visit but we did sneak a peak and it looked heavenly.
- The pools
There are 3 swimming pools at the resort and direct access to a beach. One of the pools is adult only with the other two being for families, each pool has its own bar and snacks. They are really well maintained with plenty sun loungers there was never an issue getting one despite the hotel operating at 80% capacity. It never felt full or crowded.
We spent most of our time at the Lemonia Pool, ideal kids area with slide and it was never crowded – super relaxing.
The beach is a natural pebble beach so take do take pool shoes for walking on it. The beach also has a very nice looking VIP area with loungers.
- The Residence
We were staying in one of the 2 bedroom residence which are located in the resort separate from the main hotel building. The residence was really spacious, the kitchen well equipped, and the view of the sea spectacular. I must commend the cleanliness of the residence it was immaculate and one of the days we said we didn’t need it cleaned and the lady dropped us in some water and chocolates, lovely touch. I have an tour saved to my Instagram Dubrovnik highlights.
The hotel itself has rooms consisting of standard room right up to the presidential suite and the residences consist of one or two bed garden or sea view residences either standard or deluxe.
Mamma F insider Tips
- Take time at the start to get your bearings and get a feel for the resort it is vast with so much to see and explore
- Download the Sun Gardens Dubrovnik app it will help for restaurant bookings and getting around the resort using the built in map
- There is a small supermarket on site with the essentials which opened from 8-8 when we were there
- Definitely recommend the breakfast if not already in your package it makes a lovely treat
- We used Uber to get around, efficient and good value
- Expect 5 star pricing for food and drinks, not excessive but as the old adage says – you get what you pay for and this is a luxury resort
- We took our own trusted suncreams for my pair who burn easily, our go to is always Elave Paediatric SPF 50+ it never lets us down. A few tips that work for us, I apply with a makeup brush 15 mins prior to going out. To prevent stains I apply before they get dressed and I reapply frequently particularly if they have been in the water.
- Don’t forget the bug spray!
- We always take Waterful plastic free wipes with us for the inevitable spills, falls etc
- I have mentioned this in previous post but we take our Super Sparrow water bottles everywhere and especially important to keep hydrated in the heat
- As always once I share pics of my gang in their matching shorts I get lots of queries, they are from an Irish brand called Salty Dudez and im reliably informed that they are super comfy.
- Next time we go it will be for at least a week, there is so much to see and do there
- Make sure to visit the walled city of Dubrovnik, its really lovely
- Book a boat tour with Explore Dubrovnik, we booked the private sunset cruise, you can see highlights on my Instagram but I do have a full blog post on the way. Ivan was the perfect host and tailored the tour to suit having the kids on board. There is something so special about sipping Croatian wines while watching the sun set over the Adriatic. What a special way to spend a
special birthday with my family.
- Book direct for best rates, don’t hesitate to call or email as they are so helpful at reception
Overall Mamma F verdict
My birthday wish list seemed like a tall order but Sun Gardens Dubrovnik ticked every box and then some. It was magical from start to finish, a luxury experience in every sense of the word. As a family we have made memories to last a lifetime. We tend not to visit the same place twice but Sun Gardens Dubrovnik will forever be our exception, it is not if we return its a certain when. From the people to the food to the world class facilities, it is truly the perfect family holiday spot.
Thanks to Iva and the team at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik for their support for this trip. All views my own or the kids where appropriate.
For lots more photos check out our Instagram for Dubrovnik highlights