Friday - - Get Away - Rooms from about Dh935 per night in­clud­ing break­fast. Call 00385 20 300 300 or email reser­va­tions@alh.hr.

The cel­e­brated Ir­ish play­wright Ge­orge Bernard Shaw gushed about the beauty of Croa­tia’s cap­i­tal, Dubrovnik, de­scrib­ing it as par­adise on earth. Decades later, the coastal city still holds vis­i­tors in its thrall with flam­ing red roofs that flash in the mild win­ter sun against the Adri­atic Sea’s blue wa­ters.

One of the world’ s most well-con­served walled me­dieval towns, Dubrovnik’s charm is best ex­em­pli­fied by the Ho­tel Ex­cel­sior, amere five min­utes from Ploce Gate, the en­trance to Old Town. This once-upon-a-time royal villa has a unique El­iz­a­bethan his­tory – the discerning Queen El­iz­a­beth II and El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor have stayed here and both loved its sea-fac­ing, bright, wood­pan­elled rooms filled with pine-scented breeze from nearby Lokrum is­land.

For lo­cal flavours with a bite, noth­ing beats Croa­t­ian oys­ters. Novem­ber is when th­ese briny del­i­ca­cies flour­ish off the Dal­ma­tian coast and the pic­turesque bay­side town of Mali Ston (a 45-minute drive away) abounds in oys­ter farms and gourmet eater­ies such as Kapetanova Kuća. A trip would guar­an­tee a feast for the eyes and the taste buds!

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