It's hard to beat the unique local charm of a B&B and it's even harder to beat Fresh Sheets Kathedral in Dubrovnik because, well, it has charm by the bucketload. Perfectly located, perfectly personal and perfectly welcoming – get ready for Fresh Sheets to feel like a home from home. Fresh Sheets state that they are the place for you "If you are a traveller at heart but can no longer handle dorms and want to stay somewhere comfortable with air-con and nice beds yet still appreciate the opportunity to be social and meet new friends." Sounds like it's right up a Woman Gone Wandering solo traveller's street, doesn't it? And believe me, it doesn't disappoint.
Dubrovnik is a popular place, which means it can get crowded and expensive – and even more so when the cruise ships roll in – so it would be understandable if you immediately dismissed the idea of staying solo in the Old Town centre. However, to do so would be a mistake, because Fresh Sheets not only offers a spot right in the heart the Old Town for a reasonable price, it goes one step further in its uniqueness. This quaint B&B is located in non-other than a UNESCO world heritage building next to the Cathedral and Rector’s Palace, meaning you can open your window first thing in the morning, breathe in the fresh sea air and gaze out at all of the architectural beauty Dubrovnik has to offer. It's location is perfect for solo travellers because even though Dubrovnik is safe, nobody enjoys walking down narrow dark streets to get back to their accommodation at night. At Fresh Sheets it's so central that you can get back home with ease – and always through well lit and well populated areas.
It's also worth mentioning that Fresh Sheet's little green entrance door is also right next to Dubrovnik's famous Troubadour jazz cafe, which means that in the evening you get your own free private performance as smooth jazz sounds float up the staircase to you room. If you're in need of bit of peace though, don't panic, just let the Fresh Sheets team know and they will do their best to pop you in a room that's not overlooking the jazz action.
Speaking of the Fresh Sheets team, they are the magic ingredient that make this place like no other. Jon and Sanja are the couple owning Fresh Sheets and the wonderful Alex is the one managing the day-to-day. All are evidently travellers at heart – passionate about discovering new places, meeting new people and introducing visitors to all of their favourite local spots. Upon arrival you're greeted with genuine warmth, an array of delicious local snacks and drinks and priceless local knowledge. In fact, don't be surprised if your check-in ends up taking longer than the norm and ends up feeling more like meeting old friends, as you trade travel and life stories while handing over keys. Upon first sitting down with Sanja I was reminded of myself when giving travel tips – she started off circling only a few places on the map, but soon enough her passion for Dubrovnik took over and the whole map was covered with endless little local spots to discover. Perfect.
Now to the rooms, there are various options on offer to please everyone. Some overlook the cathedral, others the jazz cafe or the market (oh yes, didn't I mention that Fresh Sheets is also next to one of Dubrovnik's best Farmer's markets on Gundulic Square?), but they all have one thing in common: each is just as gorgeous as the next. Stylish and minimalist, whilst still retaining that cosy feeling, they are the perfect place to come back and lay your head after a long day of sightseeing. Although breakfast is no longer offered on-site, guests are encouraged to use the kitchen as if it were there own, and there's enough fresh fruit and hot drinks on hand if the midnight munchies or pre-breakfast hunger hits. And, thanks to its location, there are several breakfast spots only a stone's throw away (and I mean this literally, you could throw a stone out of your window and hit one below! Obviously don't try this out...)
There aren't many hidden travel gems left – particularly in Europe – but Fresh Sheets is certainly one of them. The combination of a passionate team, amazing location and attention to details makes it a haven for solo travellers in particular. And, if visiting in the shoulder season, it can all be enjoyed within a solo traveller's budget too (I paid 79 euros per night). What are you waiting for? Get planning your trip before the rest of the world discovers this spot!