Hotel Ambasador in Split to be Ready for 2018?

By 7 November 2016

Regina Ivić, widow of the legendary Hajduk coach Tomislav Ivić, had been looking for a buyer for the “Ambasador” hotel for years. This year, German businessman Klaus Alex Birkenstock, heir of the family shoemaking empire "Birkenstock", has taken over the hotel. Could a projected opening now be possible for 2018?

Nenad Kurtović, son-in-law of Regina Ivić, who after selling the valuable building remained in the project as he was hired by Birkenstock for public relations, has said that the new hotel is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.


“Klaus Alex Birkenstock is the manager of the project, with everyone else involved an authorized person from Croatia. The main project has been created, and this summer we asked for and received a change in the location permit. Last week, the assembly of Split-Dalmatia County confirmed a two-year extension of the deadline for the execution of works on approximately 1,350 square meters of coastline in which we will invest 2.6 million euros. We are currently in the process of obtaining a building permit, which I hope we will soon receive,” Kurtović says.


Kurtović explained that the design concept has been amended by the foreign entrepreneur - looking to increase the number of rooms and reduce the number of apartments. Thus, instead of the 78 units there will be 101, of which only 5 will be apartments.


This has been decided based on a study of management and evaluation of hotels that showed Split is missing hotel rooms with 4 plus stars, and that the target guests for hotels are all persons aged 35-55 years from Austria, Germany, Scandinavia and the UK.


He added that the rooms will have an average of 30 square meters, which is larger than that required by the target audience.


“According to the regulation which will come into force on 1 January next year, we could get five stars, but we opted for that categorization, which is now commercially acceptable in our city,” added Kurtović.


He also adds that the hotel will have 59 parking spaces.


“To meet the criteria of the GUP for anywhere in the city of Split, we have to buy 12 more parking spaces at market price, and the administrators of the city will determine what they can sell us.”


There has been more investment…


"There has been a change in the level of investments by the previously announced 14 million euros to 17 million. Furthermore, catering facilities at the hotel will be able to accommodate a total of 640 guests. The restaurant will have 240 seats, and another 400 in the lobby with cocktail and pool bars and a nightclub, which is another novelty of the project. There will be a disco, and fitness and wellness center which will reach out into the daylight through a large atrium on the terrace facing the sea. On the other side of the atrium, you will be able to see walkers on the West Riva."


The Ambasador will have a 120 square meters large swimming pool, which will be partly enclosed by glass so passersby will be able to see the swimmers.


“As soon as we get a building permit, we will start with the demolition of the ‘Ambasador’. I do not want to predict when that will be. We should already have the permission, but it is not in our hands. All that the local authorities have asked of us we have fulfilled,” he says.


So when will the people of Split meet the German entrepreneur?


“The owner of the hotel is with family and does not want to appear in the media. His arrival in Split may change when work begins on the project, but I can not promise anything,” concluded Kurtović.