Destination Focus: Dubrovnik for meetings and incentive trips

Posted by: Kate Gunn on July 18th, 2014 IN Conferences

dubrovnik for incentive destinations

We think it is vital that we have the latest insights and information at our fingertips when planning events, meetings and incentives. When searching for a destination we like to have first-hand knowledge so that we can create bespoke experiences that truly resonate with the target audience.

Kate Gunn, our head of logistics, recently went to Dubrovnik in Croatia to get a feel for what’s on offer for incentive trips and meetings.

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Overlooking the calm blue waters of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik is quite rightly becoming one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. I had visited this beautiful city – nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ – before on a personal holiday; even though I knew what to expect, my second trip there was equally as awe-inspiring and reconfirmed how much I love it.


As an incentive destination there is plenty to appeal to a diverse range of visitors – history, water sports, scenery, relaxation, excellent food and local wines.

Dubrovnik is also great for meetings, but it doesn’t have a vast array of facilities for large conferences or product launches (although arguably, that is half of its appeal!). For larger groups and meetings, the Valarmar Group has 4 different properties located on a peninsula around 10 minutes from the old town. These properties serve as the largest meeting facilities in Croatia with the largest room taking 1200 people, theatre style.

Radisson Blu also has a resort property around 25 minutes from the old town and with 408 bedrooms and 10 meeting rooms, it would be the ideal venue for a conference.

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We stayed in the 5 star Hotel Excelsior which was located within walking distance of the old town. This central choice of accommodation is excellent for activities and dinners, as we didn’t need to transport guests around in coaches. A plus for people not feeling too herded and for keeping costs down!

For exclusive luxury, Villa Dubrovnik is another good choice (and also incidentally ‘Small luxury hotel of the world’).

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Croatia is not too far from Italy, and so boasts many Italian influences in its heavenly food and wine. A coastal country, it is also unsurprisingly renowned for its good fish and seafood.

Nautika Restaurant is recommended by Condé Nast and is one of the most popular restaurants in the city; the outside terrace is particularly picturesque. Or opt for Restaurant 360 which overlooks the harbour and is at the more sophisticated end of good food with some fabulous experimental combinations. They also do excellent cocktails!

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For something extra special, there are a number of palaces, monasteries and fortresses within the city walls than can be hired privately. We had Gala Dinner at the magnificent Sponza Palace, which could take up to 100 people for a dinner/dance.

But if you’re just popping out for casual drinks, head to Buza bar which is set into the city walls and cliff face, and is a mission to find, which makes it all the more appealing! Or head to East West, a trendy beach style club which is open all day for food and drinks, and turns into a club in the evenings.


The Old Town is the main focus of interest in Dubrovnik – take a walk around the 2km city walls for some fantastic views. For our incentive, we devised a bespoke treasure hunt to encourage people to see the sites and interact with the locals for clues and answers.

There are a staggering 1900 islands along the coast of Croatia and I implore visitors to explore these. The closest one to the Old Town is Lokrum, which is easily accessible by boat from the old port. For our incentive, we had a Dalmatian boat take people around some of the islands and then stop at a private bay for a BBQ and water sports.

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The cable car is also worth a visit for good views across the city and across the whole coast line. Dubrovnik is on the borders of Bosnia and Montenegro, so history buffs will enjoy learning about the history of the whole region.


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Getting to this beautiful city is nice and easy. Both EasyJet and British Airways fly to Dubrovnick from Gatwick, and the journey only takes 2.5 hours. Dubrovnik has an international airport of its own, which is located approximately 12 miles from the city centre. Buses connect the airport with the Dubrovnik old main bus station in Gruž and a network of modern, local buses connects all Dubrovnik neighbourhoods running frequently from dawn to midnight.


The only down point to Croatia is the influx of the cruise ships. As a small old town, when two or three cruise ships arrive at the port in the summer, the town becomes overrun with tourists. They tend to visit in the morning, so if you’re more disposed to a stress-free meander, avoid that time of day and you will be fine.

If you’re thinking about Croatia as a destination for incentives or meetings, then give me a call. Or have you ever considered Japan, Singapore or Paris?

Kate Gunn

Kate Gunn

As Line Up’s Head of Logistics, Kate is a multi-tasker extraordinaire and expert problem solver. Her knowledge of destinations and venues is second to none – the walking, talking Google of the event and incentive world. Her passion for food is right up there with her passion for travel and she claims there is nothing she won’t try!

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