There are some really cool people in Split, and one of the things I enjoy most about running the Total project is the access it brings to the city's most interesting people and projects. Yesterday, for example, I had meetings with one of the top restaurants, another great wine bar, a lawyer, travel agency, some students and the boss of the hydroplanes project. All quality and unique individuals, who make up the spirit of this fabulous city.
I would like you to meet some of them, as I think it will help you understand a little more about what makes Split so special. We start with a rather dynamic young lady who is definitely living life to the full.
Jacine Jadresko is a Canadian-Croatian from Victoria, Canada who first relocated to Split in December 2006, and again in July 2013. She runs Jadresko Nekretnine, which in turn controls and undertakes the management and day to day operations of multiple properties and businesses in Split, including Palace Suites and Adriatic Hostel. She is extremely passionate about physical activity and the outdoors, and is an avid hunter and fisher. Jacine is currently single and hoping to meet the Croatian cowboy of her dreams on one of her field trips into the forest.
1. Tell us a little about your relationship with Split, and how you came to live here permanently.
My family has roots here. I am a second generation Croatian –Canadian. My Dida is from the island Pasman, and my Baba is from Split. Her maiden name is Roje, which is one of the oldest local surnames in Split. I always knew i was Croatian and i grew up hearing the language around the house all my life, but i never actually visited the motherland. After my son was born, at 20 years old, I felt the need for adventure and change (as if having a baby wasn't change enough haha). At the time, I had just made friends with a guy from Montenegro that only ever spoke about home and life on the Adriatic. Within a month he had me convinced that it was the life for me. So without googling it, or doing any other research, I simply booked a ticket and moved a week later with one suitcase and my 8 month old baby in tow. The rest is history.
2. Palace Suites is one of the premier luxury choices in Split, and the new-look hostel is definitely the funkiest. Tell us a little more.
Palace Suites is an exclusive boutique hotel in Split with 10 luxurious rooms, and 4 additional penthouse suites currently under construction. Our suites have been designed for the elite guest and provide an ultra modern and luxurious design with contrasting exposed old stone walls, reminding guests they are in a 1700 year old palace. The hotel started as a 700yr old residential building. Being located directly in the center ˝pjaca˝ of Split, the project required historic conservators to work closely with our crew; ensuring renovations were completed to proper heritage standards. This makes Palace Suites a true gem in the heart of Split’s old town.
Adriatic Hostel was my first project in Split. It is a 42 bed, ultra modern hostel that boasts chandeliers, exotic hardwood floors, stylish bathrooms with custom glass showers, flat screen TVs in each room, and much more . It was one of the first handful of hostels to open in Split and has been a town staple over the years. Since then, however, hostels have appeared in nearly every corner of the town. To keep up with the growth and continue to thrive in today's market, Adriatic Hostel is receiving a fresh and creative facelift for this season. Part of this transformation includes a massive graffiti project on the interior walls of the hostel, all done by a local artist. It is truly a work of art and blends perfectly with the young, vibrant aura of today's backpackers.
3. What makes Split special for you?
For me, the culture here is truly something heartwarming. People are friendly and helpful, family is highly valued, and children are cherished. Split is a safe and nurtuing environemnt for me to raise my son in. Although we are here alone, with all our family being back in Canada, we rarely feel alone in Split. Everyone is quick to offer their help with whatever we may need, or include us in the little things and open their doors to us for a family lunch. Being an avid hunter and fisher, i have even quickly been accepted into the local hunting club and fishing community!
4. Any exciting plans for 2014?
As i mentioned before, Palace Suites is currently under renovation for 4 new penthouse suites, 2 of which will be 2 level lofts. This is very exciting! It will push us even higher up the level of elite accomodation in Split and will be a perfect expansion to our hotel.
Another large project that is currently underway for me is a new restaurant/bar in the center of Split. The space offers exposed stone walls, 2 different indoor seating areas, and even a selection of outdoor seating options. The details are still being kept a secret so you will have to wait to hear more. I can tell you that it will be like nothing else currently in Split and will bring something new and unique to the town!
On a more personal note, i am extremely excited to explore more of the hunting and fishing that Croatia has to offer. I have joined Dinara Hunting Club and have been on some successful hunts through the winter, but am looking forward to the coming deer season and have been planning a ram hunt for the very near future. I have also recently been introduced to some great people in the fishing community and have been in some local competitions, including the Big Game world championship qualifying event out of Komiza last year, and more recently, a jigging competition out of Vodice last weekend. Im beyond thrilled to see what adventure this season will bring out on the water!
5. Favourite place in Split and why?
I would have to say my favorite place in Split is the Marjan. Coming from British Columbia, Canada, home of the Rocky Mountains, i am a huge fanatic of the outdoors and nature. The Marjan has something for everyone. I personally like to go there for long jogs, or i hike the stairs from Varos to the very top of the hill. There is a circuit for people to exercise and train along, tennis, and of course many nice places to swim in the summer. With all these activities set on a backdrop of trees, shrubs, flowers, and the sea, i get a taste of that nature I've grown so accustomed to.
6. Tell us about your favourites - favourite restaurant, bar, thing to see, place to escape in Split.
Without a doubt, my favorite restaurant in Split is Zrno Soli in ACI marina. The chef Tanja is incredibly talented and has a knack for creating perfect pairings. Add in the large terrace, fabulous view, and impecible service, and its a no-brainer. Being that I live in the center, however, when i want to go somewhere closer to home, Apetit is always my first choice! They have such a great menu and, in my opinion, the best steak salad in town. The staff are also incredibly friendly and accomodating and always make me feel at home. In the evenings i usually head over to Zinfandel for some vino. They have the perfect post-work ambiance to unwind to and forget the day's troubles. I am not big on night clubs, so later in the night my one-stop-shop is definitely Charlie's bar! Charlie's is a home away from home for many people in the old town and never fails to have a good-time vibe, smiling staff, and bar full of happy guests!