A Year of Grand Unveilings
This year Croatian tourism can boast the highest level of investment in the past decade. Although the overall structure and capacity of hotel accommodation remains generally unfavourable in relation to private accommodation and camping, hoteliers have decided to uplift the image through investments of around half a billion Euros in the renovation of existing hotel facilities and the construction of new ones.
A large number of either new or fully refurbished hotels are opening this year along the Adriatic coast and here we present some of them, with a special emphasis on hotels with congress facilities.
DUBROVNIK AND THE DUBROVNIK RIVIERA
One of Croatia’s oldest hotel companies, HUP Zagreb, which has been operating on the Dubrovnik Riviera as well as in Zagreb, this year invested 80 million Euros, the highest single figure amongst all of the investments being made! After years of bureaucratic delays they have been able to announce this summer’s opening of brand new hotels in Mlini and Srebreno, half way between Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik airport. The Sheraton Hotel Dubrovnik Riviera, the second Sheraton hotel in Croatia, has now taken the place of the former Orlando Hotel in Srebreno that was demolished.
In addition to its 250 rooms and a range of other facilities, this hotel will have one of the largest congress centres in Croatia, with a hall capacity of 900 seats alongside 4 smaller halls. In the neighbouring town Mlini has opened the doors of the smaller, 4 star boutique Hotel Milini, with its 85 rooms. Hotel Astarea, which is also located in Mlini, was last year renovated by the same owner and there are now approximately 750 rooms and suites available along a several-kilometre long promenade.
From beginning of this year several hotels in Dubrovnik have been thoroughly refurbished. The luxury Rixos Libertas invested in the modernisation of its 190 rooms, which have now become “smart rooms”. A new look was also given to the restaurant, reception, lobby and piano bar. A large congress centre is equipped with the latest technological innovation and a central motif runs through the new rooms with panelised photos of the Old Town.
The popular Hotel Neptun, set in the Impotanne Resort in Babin Kuk, has this season received a complete revamp that has brought innovative technological solutions, such as energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and cost-effective lighting. Importanne Resort continues its multi-year investment cycle; after the construction of the luxurious Royal Princess hotel, guests now have 14 multi-functional congress rooms at their disposal.
Laying out 104 million Kuna the biggest investment of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels Group will be on the opening of the renovated Kompas Hotel in late August, with a completely new look as a sophisticated 4-plus star hotel. The new hotel wll feature 173 sophisticated bedrooms and suites with elegant décor and unique styling details, as well as a hall for 400 persons with daylight for business guests.
The leading Hotel Company on the island of Marco Polo, HTP Korčula, has together with their strategic partners invested 50 million Kuna in the recently opened refurbished hotels in Korčula – Hotel Korčula De La Ville, Hotel Liburna and Korkyra Gardens apartments. The Korčula De La Ville hotel has an esteemed history, built in 1912 and with a lengthy list of famous guests who have rested their heads on its pillows.
There is a special view from the Liburna Hotel that has encouraged many travellers to write about it – it is a depiction of Renaissance Korčula as a dream rising from the sea mist. This hotel fully refurbished its 112 rooms in modern style to acquire 4 stars and there is a conference hall with 100 seats and 2 smaller meeting rooms in the neighbouring Hotel Marko Polo, with another of up to 350 seats in the town conference centre (at a distance of 500m away).
ISTRA AND KVARNER
The second largest investment, worth 250 million Kuna and coming from the company Valamar, has produced the new complex of Valamar Isabella Island Resort on the island of St. Nikola across Poreč. The entire 1,200 square metre islet was fully revitalized with new infrastructure, as well as the old Hotel Fortuna and a once noble summer retreat, the castle Isabella.
The resort also has an apartment building, Miramare, and several villas, swimming pools, spa, sports facilities, beaches, restaurants, bars and other facilities, with a total of 334 accommodation units to choose from. The resort offers interesting incentive and teambuilding opportunities to complement its four meeting rooms, the largest of these having a capacity of up to 400 people.
Rovinj’s Maistra recently transformed the oldest Rovinj hotel, Adriatic, which now has four stars. In addition to the new rooms, special attention has been paid to the stylishly designed restaurant and a coffee shop. Further south, the company Arenaturist in Pula renovated the old Hotel Park, which has come under the Park Plaza brand and is now the Park Plaza Pula Arena. A 50 million Kuna investment saw the arrival of new and upgraded rooms offering a variety of amenities.
Hotel Omorika in the city of Crikvenica was re-opened in late May with 115 renovated bedrooms and a new congress hall for 250 people. This hotel belongs to a government Hotel Company, Jadran d.d.
Lošinj Hotels & Villas is continuing the investment cycle it started in 2007. They have invested 25 million Euros into the renovation of Hotel Alhamber along with Villa August in Čikat Bay and Villa Hortensia.
ŠIBENIK AND SPLIT
Both of these destinations have recorded record tourism growth and are now approaching the levels of popularity of Dubrovnik and Zadar. In July, the opening of a brand new D-Resort in Šibenik Marina Mandalina is anticipated, a property being delivered by the Turkish Dogus group. D-Resort has hired one of the leading Croatian architects, Nikola Bašić, to create a modernist masterpiece, brilliantly embedded in the environment of the peninsula and the marina. The hotel has 69 luxury rooms, 3 exclusive villas and a congress room for up to 160 people, which is divisible into three smaller rooms.
In Split everything is prepped and ready for the opening ceremony of the cult Hotel Park. The hotel, which has hosted all of the important events to take place in Split, is today a meeting place for many people from Split and their guests. The hotel terrace is particularly popular, with its access to Split’s most popular public beach, Bačvice. Ptestas company, the hotel owner, has invested 100 million Euros in the renovation, of which the lion’s share was obtained from EU funds. With this work Hotel Park becomes a five-star hotel with 73 luxury rooms, a large conference hall for 250 people, a winter garden, an outdoor swimming pool and many other facilities, not to forget the first charging station for electric cars in Split.