We booked the 3-bed apartment ‘Klis’ in Mlini for a week for our family of five as the base for our stay in the Dubrovnik region.
Apartment Klis appears to be available to book on several of the online holiday booking sites, but we found it and booked through Booking.com.
The booking process was smooth and communication with the owner (called Mato) prior to our visit was good. He was able to communicate by email in good English and responded quickly to our questions.
We arrived at the check-in time of 2pm and were greeted by Mato and his wife, who showed us to the apartment. It turned out his spoken English wasn’t as good as his previous email communications suggested it might be, but we got a general idea of what was what as he showed us the apartment.
There are some really great features of Apartment Klis but, unfortunately in our opinion, quite a lot of bad ones too.
In fact the bad ones ended up overshadowing the good points and, in our honest opinion, we wouldn’t recommend anyone staying here – at least not until the owner addresses some of the problems.
First the good points though….
The location is incredible, with views over the nearby sea that are very difficult to ever stop staring at.
From the balcony of our apartment, you had clear views over the bright blue sea and several of the nearby islands. You could sit on that balcony and just stare at the view all day long. It looks different at all times during the day – with sunset being the most dramatic as the sky turns pink agains the unbelievably blue water.
Our apartment was one of about six in the building overall and was on the upper level. Apartments on the ground level don’t have this amazing view.
Also in terms of location, we found it very convenient because we had a hire car. It’s about 15-minutes outside Dubrovnik and conveniently situated close to the airport, large supermarkets (including a Lidl and a Croatian ‘Konzum’, similar to Tesco or Sainsbury in the UK).
Also nearby is the smaller town of Cavtat and various other small village beach resorts including Srebreno, Mlini and Soline.
The closer you get to Dubrovnik town, the higher the costs of everything – including accommodation, food and parking get. Also, during summer, the more hectic and crowded it gets, so we were pleased to be located a bit further away – but still within easy driving distance.
If you don’t have a hire car, you might find it a little too far away from the main action points around Dubrovnik, although there is a regular bus service (the No.10 bus) which has a stop close to the apartment.
Another positive point is the pool and sunbathing area, which is clean and with plenty of loungers. The pool is quite small – smaller than it appears in the photos we saw on Airbnb – but this wasn’t a major problem for us. It just meant there wasn’t much space in it if other guests were in there too but this was rarely a problem.
You have the same incredible view from the pool area as we had from our balcony.
On to the negatives…
To be fair, each of the items on this list of negatives are not particularly major. In isolation, they wouldn’t really have been a problem – but all of them added up together made for a fairly unsatisfactory experience.
Firstly, when we arrived the apartment had not been cleaned very well. One of the first things we spotted was remains of the previous guests’ dinner still on the table cloth, which we had to clean up ourselves.
Looking around, there were lots of cobwebs – something so easily fixed with just a quick bit of dusting or hoovering. Like I say, not exactly a major problem of itself, but it just added to the feel of dirtiness.
The general decor of the place is pretty old fashioned and run-down. It has a tired and dilapidated feel to it, as if it hasn’t been decorated since the 1980s or so.
The main bedroom had a large patch of mould on the ceiling. Again, if this was the only problem, we wouldn’t have cared. Our own bedroom at home has a patch of mould on the walls that I’ve not got round to sorting, so if everything else was good, we could have overlooked this.
It would be so easy to scrub it off or paint over it with some anti-mould paint, the fact it’s just left there creates a bad overall impression and reinforces the feeling that the owners don’t care much for the property or the experience of their guests.
There were two showers but they were a complete joke. There’s no hook on the wall for them so you have to hold them in your hand, making showering very difficult. Several other guests were moaning about these – as indeed are numerous other reviews of the apartment we read. It feels like it would take little more than a few hours work of an afternoon to install some hooks to hold them up and solve the problem once and for all!
Also, there’s clearly a problem throughout the whole apartment block with hot water (or lack of it). As it happens, we did have hot water – although it could be a bit sporadic at times. It was the main topic of conversation amongst other guests around the pool though as several of the other apartments literally had no hot water at all for the entire week.
Towels were provided for each guest but they are just hand towels! It was another running joke amongst all the guests about how you were expected to dry off after a shower using just a hand towel. Again, something the owner could surely resolve with a quick trip to the local shop!
One of the pillow cases on one of the beds had a spot of someone else’s (i.e. a previous guest’s) blood on it. This didn’t exactly fill us with confidence about the general cleanliness of the rest of the place and is a pretty big no-no in the holiday accommodation world! Laying your head down to sleep on a pillow with (albeit a small amount of) some stranger’s blood on isn’t a great experience!
The kitchen was incredibly badly equipped, to the point where it was difficult to function as a normal family of five. All the other guests we spoke to had the same problem, although strangely, different apartments had different mixtures of kitchen equipment and utensils.
We had no toaster, but the apartment above us did, so obviously the owner realises the need for a toaster as he’s supplied one to some of the apartments, but chosen not to in others.
We also had no mugs, no oven glove and no utensils for cooking whatsoever. There were no wine glasses, just some small cups.
Like I say, none of these things are massive issues, but all added together, they make it impossible to recommend staying here. The overall feeling from us – and several other families staying here that we talked to – was that the owners have no real idea how to operate holiday apartments and create an enjoyable experience for their guests.
Perhaps they’re just relying on the incredible popularity of the area and the fact they don’t need to try hard to have their apartments constantly filled.
Annoyingly, the owner is in the middle of building a new bungalow in the grounds. We felt like he should be paying a bit more attention to his existing apartments, sprucing them up and kitting them out better, before investing his time and money in to building a new one.
Finally, although the owner Mato and his wife did seem like friendly and decent people, we found it a bit odd that, several times, we were aware they had been in to our apartment when we’d gone out for the day.
We’re not suggesting they did anything wrong or untoward, but we were aware they’d been in and moved and swapped some things around while we’d been out – without mentioning it or asking about it. Not a major problem for us, we wouldn’t mind it, but it did feel a bit weird and not something we’ve experienced in similar self-catering accommodation before.
The utterly stunning location and views made our stay here bearable – indeed we still thoroughly enjoyed our holiday – but we stayed out of the apartment as much as possible and found the time we had to be in it un-necessarily awkward and unpleasant.
Having said all this, we do realise the cost of staying in these apartments was cheaper than much of the other accommodation around Dubrovnik, so were not expecting amazing luxury. However, we believe most of the negative points above would be so easy and cheap to resolve that they aren’t necessary, however cheap the accommodation might be.
Mato, if you read this please just invest a bit of time and effort in to raising the standard of the property a bit and ironing out the problems above and you’ll have some brilliant apartments which guests will surely love. As it happens, we know all the other guests we spoke to won’t be coming back to Apartments Klis, or recommending them – and neither will we.
We booked Apartment Klis in Mlini, Dubrovnik through Booking.com here
Although we didn’t rate this particular apartment the area was idea for exploring Dubrovnik and the surrounding region. There is plenty of other alternative accommodation in the area available here.