Seducer Of Both Heart And Mind
Until recently Šibenik would have been considered somewhat off the beaten MICE track, but in recent years it has been rapidly developing in the right direction. Where a former navy military barracks once stood, today a luxury resort owned by the Turkish Dogus Group company stands as part of the new Marina Mandalina. The investment has radically changed the city’s panorama, a city timelessly linked with the Krka River famous for its majestic waterfalls and the magnificent lake with an island that flows into the sea right at the place where the entire city of Šibenik was established.
The location is perfect and also surprisingly favourable for congress tourism, although at the moment it is simply being overlooked. Access via the motorway is smooth and easy. Nearby there are two sufficiently serviced airports in Split and Zadar. What is really attractive is the fact that the city is located within a triangle of three exceptional national parks – Kornati, Krka and Paklenica – and that nearby there are also the Plitvice lakes and North Velebit. There are sufficient parking spaces in the garage and in the surrounding area. Access to the romantic city centre is either by road or sea taxi.
COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics
The famous Croatian architect Nikola Bašić is behind the organic, elemental resort architecture that fits nicely within the Šibenik skyline. The promenade laid out in solid wood and set on the roof of the hotel, one of the most special venues available for an event, is an outstanding feature. Then there is the interior, designed by architect Marko Murtić and that has an innovative way of softening the concrete structure of the hotel by engaging pleasant colours and designer furniture. Every last detail of the resort is sophisticated, even down to the grounds and the preserved, centuries-old pine trees.
WARM APPETIZER - Staff and catering
Guests can enjoy a plentiful hotel and catering offer with a Wellness centre, restaurants and bars, and a small shop that stocks different brands. The entire resort team generate a consistent, youthful and fresh attitude, with their quaint uniforms also adding to the sense of wellbeing. All of this is complemented by superb cuisine, right from breakfast through to the fusion of Mediterranean cuisine at other times of the day. A hotel of this category also, of course, includes a very thorough wine list.
MAIN DISH - Conference hotel service
There is ample space in the rooms, with a lot of space available for both large and small items, and a big plus is the wonderful views from the balconies towards the old town and the marina. The furniture is modern and nicely complements the rough concrete structured walls. The pieces of furniture also have a sense of floating in space that has been achieved through an interesting technique of attaching the furniture. On top of all this, the superb bed offers a wonderful night’s sleep.
The congress centre and spa are in a separate annex. The multi-functional hall can accommodate up to 160 people and can be divided into three smaller halls. It can be increased by the use of an outdoor amphitheater as a specialty.
DESSERT – The extras
Besides Kornati, the Šibenik archipelago is a paradise for nautical incentives. The pretty wild islands, such as Kaprije, Krapanj, Prvič, Zlarin and Žirje, are part of the most remote and detached section of the Adriatic coast, which is considered an exceptional area for lovers of sailing.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
The capacity of the otherwise top class Wellness Centre can appear too small at full occupancy.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
Three exclusive villas for VIP guests, each with its own swimming pool and views of the Marina Mandalina.
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
Architecturally the hotel is highly impressive, yet at the same time remains completely personalised. The decision to reveal the natural concrete skeleton of the building is exceptional and throws up new architectural surprises. The youthful and inspired personnel and this amazing city with its urban culture and very special joyfulness really stand out.
FINAL GRADE: 4.82 GOLD RESORT MEETING HOTEL
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60