Always looking for the next new playground, I’ve arrived at the fabulous Dalmatian Coast. Attracting everyone from the glitterati and jet setters to the elite intelligentsia, the gorgeous natural light, sun-drenched beaches, and glistening sea are astounding. Basking in the sheer beauty of the Dalmatian Coast, one can be found yachting about the blue Adriatic and lolling in luxurious seaside hotels and villas.
Adding to its cachet, this is also the ideal destination for Game of Thrones lovers. Picturesque Dubrovnik and nearby locales provide many of the evocative settings for the hit HBO series. Its producers and cinematographers found the famed seaside medieval city and dreamy landscapes of lush pine and palm trees pitch perfect for a mythical kingdom in the fantasy TV epic.
What’s more, iconic filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola jets in on his private plane for some R&R in Dubrovnik, you can find him holed up at the luxurious Villa Agave, seeking inspiration for his next film project.
Part of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels group, this posh oasis offers the utmost creature comforts, including butler service and a terrace overlooking the Adriatic Sea and the island of Lokrum. On his first visit to Dubrovnik the director stayed at its sister property – the elegant Excelsior Hotel, just steps away, where he wrote the scenario for Rain Man, while romancing galpal Eleanor who later became his wife. No wonder he returns to this enchanting locale for creative rejuvenation. We hear Sofia is on her way.
Who doesn’t love Consummate Concierge? Coppola’s favorite, Marija Zecevic, did not disappoint when I arrived. No sooner did I appear, than I was whisked away to my glamorous villa abode while the concierge arranged for me a host of activities.
A PRIVATE YACHT EXCURSION
Yachting about is the favorite pasttme here, and is really the only way to truly experience the Dalmatian coast in all its glory. Sail the shimmering Adriatic, exploring the Elephati Archipelago, hidden coves and secluded beaches. Join the yachties and stylish set at Villa Ruza on picturesque Kolocep Island for a lunch of Prosecco and truffle pasta. Then it’s back to your cruise through paradise.
A PERSONAL TOUR OF DUBROVNIK GUIDED BY GOT MAKEUP ARTIST
Since the second season, Dubrovnik has stood in for King’s Landing, home to the Iron Throne, with iconic landmarks like Pile Gate and Rector’s Palace featured in the show. While you meander the gleaming limestone pathways of this ancient walled city, the show’s make up artist will point out the very spots where the kinky action that keeps you coming back was filmed – while she spills some juicy dish. I asked, “Who is the meanest actor off set?” She told me all the characters are cast true to their personalities (wink wink), except for heartthrob Jamie, who unlike his character, is sweet as sugar and even better looking in person…Is that even possible?
AFTER-HOURS ACCESS, STROLLING ATOP CITY WALLS.
I had exclusive access to walk atop the medieval walls after 8pm when the crowds have left, taking in stunning views of the red-roofed city and the sea below. At Minceta Tower, the highest point, you’ll be in the footsteps of Daenerys Targaryan as she tried to enter the House of the Undying to rescue her dragons in Game of Thrones.
BEST PLACE TO SPOT A STAR: EXCELSIOR HOTEL
The stars of GOT and other celebs take up residence at the 5-Star Excelsior while on location in the city that George Bernard Shaw called Heaven on Earth. Luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth and John Paul Sartre frequented this legendary hotel. With stylish suites whose spacious balconies overlook the blue Adriatic, a lovely pool and pampering spa, it’s the perfect refuge to luxuriate in even if you’re not on a shoot. I happened upon Ann Heche lunching at the hotel’s waterfront restaurant while here to film the new mini-series Dig.
Fashionistas will be agog at voguish Maria Store Luxury Boutique where collections of the world’s top designers are housed in a space dating back to the early 16th century. Stop by the immensely popular War Gallery where hauntingly beautiful works by Croatian celebrity photog Zoran Marinovic and others adorn the walls. Tucked away in the ramparts and rocks facing the sea, cliffside bar Café Buza offers spectacular sundowners. While buzzy nightspots 360 and Culture Club Revelin are all the rage, the most fabulous party may well be aboard a super-yacht. Ask the Consummate Concierge.