The prettiest hotel in Albania: Our stay at Giulia Albergo hotel, Durres
The final stop on our Albanian road trip was 2 days in the historic beachside city of Durres. We wanted to find a hotel that was central, walkable to both the beach and the Roman amphitheatre, with free parking and a banging breakfast. Giulia Albergo ticks all these boxes, plus it's unbelievably pretty!
Only a few months old, this gorgeous boutique hotel is brand spanking new and we felt incredibly lucky to be among the first guests to stay. Italian owned, the interior is very stylish, with a colour palette of dusky rose pink, copper, soft blue and speckled marble. Giulia Albergo has a bar, a restaurant and an outdoor terrace with a cascading water wall.
Giulia Albergo is just off Bulevardi Epidamn, the busy palm tree lined road that reminded us of Rodeo Drive and South Beach, and right in the middle of everything you want to see. The Roman amphitheatre is only 4 minutes walk away, and we had a view of 5th century walls from our balcony! The Venetian Tower and the Volga Promenade are the same distance in the other direction. Stroll along the promenade and it's only 15 minutes to sandy Aragosta Beach, or the famous 10km long Durres Beach (the longest in Albania!) is about half an hour's walk from the hotel in the other direction, past the port.
We stayed in a double room on the 2nd floor which was large and extremely comfortable with huge pillows and soft thick dressing gowns. We liked how the hotel's colour scheme was incorporated into the decor, such as the pink cushions on the bed and the copper handles on the mirrored wardrobe. White billowy curtains led out onto a balcony overlooking the ancient city walls - 1500 years old! The room felt very calm and luxurious, other amenities included a safe, a flat screen tv and excellent air con. The bathroom was also a good size with a hairdryer and our favourite, a rain shower! I was also impressed by the number of plugs available in the bathroom, including one right by the over-sink mirror, perfect for straighteners.
While we didn't eat dinner in the bar/restaurant, we did had breakfast twice (included in the room rate) which was outstanding: a mix of cooked foods, sausages, eggs, even chips, with cheeses and hams, avocado and hard boiled egg salad, sliced beef tomato (which has now ruined us, as any tomatoes at home will never be as good!), pastries, exquisite home made cakes and rainbow macarons.
We also had an evening drink in the bar twice - very chilled with friendly and knowledgeable staff and a good range. Lots of classic European beers plus some local (all bottled) plus wine, brandy and whiskey.
The hotel has a small manned carpark just behind it and free WIFI in all the rooms.
We honestly couldn't recommend this hotel enough! It's beautiful, comfortable, the absolute dream location and the staff were wonderful. We spoke to the owner during our stay and he is clearly so so proud of his hotel, and rightly so.
Durres is a big half hour's drive from Tirana's Mother Teresa Airport.
You can follow Giulia Albergo on Instagram here
Disclosure: Giulia Albergo hosted us for free visit in return for writing this blog and posting on Instagram, but we were not paid, and as always all opinions are our own and this is an accurate and honest account of our stay!