Friday, 1 July 2022

Bluesun Hotel Chain Renovates Around 800 Rooms in 45 Million Euro Investment

July the 1st, 2022 - The well known Croatian Bluesun hotel chain which is based in Dalmatia has invested an enormous 45 million euros back into its impressive capacities, renovating approximately 800 rooms.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, summer is here and the height of the tourist season is rapidly approaching. As such, Bluesun Hotels & Resorts, one of the leading hotel chains in all of the Republic of Croatia, has invested more than 45 million euros in the renovation of six properties in its portfolio. The investment resulted in the renovation of almost 800 rooms in the Bluesun Hotel Elaphusa, Bluesun Hotel Borak, Bluesun Holiday Village Bonaca in Bol on the island of Brac, Bluesun Hotel Maestral, Bluesun Hotel Soline in Brela and Residence Kastelet in Tucepi.

The Bluesun hotel chain, with more than sixty hotels under its belt, points out that they managed to make the investment in less than half a year, in very challenging times and a during years marked not only by the coronavirus crisis, but also by rising prices owing to inflation and the ongoing horrendous war in Ukraine which broke out earlier this year following Russian invasion.

They also stated that when revamping the Maestral Hotel in Brela, they paid a lot of attention to the preservation of architecture, to the extent that they worked closely with conservators in order to avoid mismatching with the historical and emblematic typical Dalmatian architecture of the area.

All of the investment work, worth more than 45 million euros, was carried out by local construction companies, the Bluesun hotel chain made sure to note, saying they believed it was important to focus on local talent who best understood the environment in which the works are being carried out. Radnik from Krizevci, Kamgrad and Krekic-Avangard worked on the renovation of six of this company's hotels, while the main designer was the company Stabilnost, who also provided their expert supervision of the projects as they were carried out.

"With this investment, we're paying tribute to the people, the local economy, the community, history and the flawless Adriatic coast. We'd like to say a sincere thank you to the partners and our exceptional team who brought us to where we are today. It's amazing what we've achieved,'' said Mubarak Al-Khalifa, CEO.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 30 April 2021

BSH Berulia: Bluesun Opens First Hotel on Makarska Riviera, COVID-19 Testing at All Locations

April 30, 2021 - Just before the May Day holiday, on April 29, Bluesun has opened its first hotel on the Makarska Riviera - the 5-star BSH Berulia in Brela.

Thus, all guests who have booked other Bluesun hotels in Brela will be accommodated in their most sought-after and most luxurious hotel, regardless of the price range. According to Bluesun, other hotels in their destinations will open gradually, in line with market demands, which is expected at the end of May, reports HRTurizam.

Interestingly, Hotel Berulia in Brela is one of the capital works of Ante Rožić, and the famous Bernardo Bernardi designed the interior. The hotel is divided into individual compositional units, which brings the rooms closer to nature, and all other design procedures lead to the fact that architecture and nature permeate as much as possible, from the fact that the body of the building is "broken" and "pierced" by the atriums. The corridors and staircases partly turn into an exterior space that extends to the terraces. The hotel and outdoor facilities cascade down to the intimate beach of Berulia, respecting the morphology of the terrain and entering it minimally invasively.

"Bluesun Hotel Berulia opens its doors on Thursday, April 29, when we expect about 100 guests, while May Day itself will welcome between 200 and 250 guests. These are mostly domestic guests and guests from nearby auto destinations. The exact number of guests, given the situation, is difficult to estimate because they all have flexible conditions for changing and canceling reservations. Still, we do not expect the number to deviate too much from the current situation. Namely, we are in daily contact with guests who confirm their arrival, and we also record new reservations after confirming the opening of the hotel," said Stjepko Šošić, Bluesun's Director of Revenue Management.

Holiday village Velaris *** in Supetar on Brač and Bluesun camp Paklenica **** in Starigrad Paklenica have already been opened.

Bluesun provides COVID-19 tests / Contactless check-in at all destinations.

For guests to start their holiday safely, they have provided contactless check-in at Bluesun this season. The procedure is quick and easy - and the link is sent to the guest by mail after the guest enters all the necessary information, while upon arrival at the hotel, they pick up the key to their room. By ensuring such minimal contact and avoiding gathering people around the reception, the highest safety and health standards are respected.

"For our guests, we will organize RAT (ANTIGEN) and PCR testing for COVID-19 in Brela, Tucepi, Bol, Supetar. Guests wishing to do so should contact the hotel reception. Testing will be performed on Mondays and Fridays for each listed city so that the arrival time is fixed and the results are issued accordingly. The results of antigen tests will be issued during the stay in hotels, while PCR will be issued and sent by the end of the day for Tucepi and Brela and Brač the next day by 12:00. In case of a positive test result - our employees are educated, and our protocols for such situations are carefully developed," said Josip Rikić, Bluesun's Director of Hotel Operations. 

The price of the PCR test is HRK 560, and the price of the RAT (ANTIGEN) test is HRK 200. The Lablus Split Polyclinic will perform testing in all Bluesun destinations:

Tucepi - testing at hotel Alga for the whole destination
Brela - testing at hotel Soline for the whole destination (until the opening of Soline, in hotel Berulia)
Brac - testing at the Elaphusa Hotel and the Velaris Resort

Since the beginning of April, good booking numbers and great interest in the main season have been recorded, according to Bluesun.

At the moment, it is difficult to plan anything and stick to the numbers, both because of the flexible cancellation conditions that everyone had to introduce this year and because of the last-minute bookings that will dominate. Also, precisely because of the flexible cancellation conditions and the uncertain situation, guests book in several places. A few days before departure, they will finally determine which accommodation and destination to choose, which will further disrupt any long-term planning.

Although the state of reservations doesn't mean much right now, it is good that there is interest.

"Through our own sales channels and major OTA partners, we had the same number of bookings for the main season as in the same week of 2019. Vaccination in Croatia and major markets, strict adherence to epidemiological measures, as well as the possibility of testing at destinations, certainly give optimism for this season," concluded Šošić.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Americans Buy Croatia's Bluesun Hotels in 'Tourist Transaction of the Year'

February 2, 2021 – In an incredibly optimistic signal for the future of Croatian tourism, a huge American investment company has bought the sizeable Croatian property portfolio of Bluesun Hotels / Sunce Hotels. They will entrust management of the facilities to highly-regarded local operator Valamar

The acquisition of Bluesun Hotels / Sunce Hotels has been made by an American investment company called KSL Capital. They are investment specialists within the travel and leisure sector. They primarily invest in hotels and resorts, entertainment and sports facilities.

Bluesun_Hotel_Alga_Tučepi_Makarska_Riviera.jpegBluesun Hotel Alga, Tučepi, Makarska Riviera

According to their website, since they established the company in 2005, KSL Capital have raised four private equity funds and three credit funds with over $13 billion in equity commitments. Although not yet officially announced, the sale has already been described by as potentially being “the tourist transaction of the year for Croatia.”

With the global travel and leisure sector currently facing continuing uncertainty due the pandemic, this strong indicator of faith in the future of the Croatian tourism market cannot be taken as anything less than a sign of optimism. An official announcement of the sale should soon be forthcoming.

The_view_from_Bluesun_Hotel_Soline_Brela_Makarska_Riviera.jpegThe view from Bluesun Hotel Soline, Brela, Makarska Riviera

KSL Capital owns the largest U.S. travel company, Apple Vacations, which they took over in 2016, and the luxury hotel group AMResorts, which operates in Spain, the United States and Mexico. Their portfolio includes more than 60 hotels and resorts globally. According to, senior vice president of KSL, Martin Edsinger, spoke about the company's intention to invest in Croatia at the Adria Hotel Forum in Belgrade, held before the pandemic.

For now, details of the acquisition are unknown, such as the price of the purchase and its scope - Sunce Hotels consists of 11 hotels and one camp, as well as the TUI Blue Jadran hotel, which operates through a joint venture, and is also majority-owned by Brac Airport. Bluesun Hotels & Resorts is the name under which Sunce Hotels manages most of the members of its group.

All images © Bluesun Hotels

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Bluesun Hotels Continue Opening Hotels and Offering Guests Discounts

As Jozo Vrdoljak/Novac writes on the 29th of June, 2020, after the Bluesun hotels in Bol, Brela and Tučepi, Elaphus, Berulia and Alga were opened on June the 10th, as were the Amor hotel in Supetar and the camp in Starigrad Paklenica, the largest Dalmatian hotel group Bluesun Hotels & Resorts opened the Holiday Village Sagitt on the 27th of the month.

At the beginning of July, the Bluesun Hotel Neptun in Tucepi and the Bluesun Hotel Soline in Brela will also open. After that, as Leo Urlic, the director of sales and marketing revealed, the company intends to open the Bluesun Hotel Alan in Starigrad Paklenica.

Date adjustments and discounts

"The adjustment of the date and a discount of 20 percent attracted Croatian guests who used the extended weekend to spend their holiday on the Adriatic. The second extended weekend in June gave more concrete results. Considering the fact that the number of guests in hotels is increasing and the demand is growing, we've come to the situation that we're starting to open other hotels in our destinations,'' revealed Urlic.

He explained that in this situation, there is a trend of a large increase in individual guests and online reservations, while, on the other hand, tour operators are activating somewhat more slowly because they are mainly related to the situation in air traffic.

"The agencies announced the beginning of their air programme for mid-July, the largest tour operators from the Scandinavian market. That's certainly good news. The encouraging news is that the number of German guests is also growing. One of the largest German tour operators commented that they're catching up fast, and that their bookings are getting better. They calculate that Croatia will realise 50 to 60 percent of last year's turnover. All these trends, as well as the activation of air traffic, give us some optimism that we'll open our other hotels in our destinations by the end of July,'' assured Urlic.

Trends and reservations for Bluesun hotels

Leo Urlic emphasised that the strong trend of last minute reservations is still very much present, and the real momentum of the season is expected when the school year ends. So, they expect an increased inflow of reservations for families with children soon.

"Our reservation centre has been achieving great growth for the third year in a row now, and that is one of the biggest investments and strides we've had in business. A lot has been invested in people, in state-of-the-art tools, in the system and of course in marketing. Last year, we had an enviable increase and as such we increased the share of individual provisions. We realised that trends are changing. The new client is dynamic, flexible, they've often booked from a mobile phone and we've adapted to that. This situation with the pandemic only further accelerated the continuation of that trend that we started. We've changed the communication towards our clients through activities on websites and advertising. We notice that the number of visits to our website has tripled compared to the same period last year,'' added Urlic.

At the same time, bookings through online travel agencies continue to grow...

"It's an interesting fact that fourteen days ago, the data on reservations showed that we were two months behind where we were last year. In just two weeks, the backlog has narrowed to a month and ten days, so hopefully by mid-July we will reach the figures from that period last year, because for now, everything is going in that direction. Air traffic is slowly returning to its regular frames, so the market is much more dependent on domestic guests and those who traditionally come to Croatia by car,'' he said.

According to Stjepko Sosic, the director of revenue management at Bluesun Hotels & Resorts, after a complete standstill since mid-March, bookings for this particular popular hotel group have been slowly growing since the end of April.

"June showed a concrete recovery in booking. Last week’s inflow of bookings was identical to that in the same week last year. However, of course, the base is smaller because the reservations that should have been booked in the period from March to May were lost,'' said Stjepko Sosic.

Holiday Village Sagitta near Omis, managed by Salva Regina, opened on June the 27th

"The isolation that is possible at this location and accommodation in apartments and bungalows, in this year's new circumstances, has made Holiday Village Sagitta even more desirable for guests to whom such accommodation instills additional security and trust," says Martina Kovacic, director of Salva Regina.

The Bluesun camp Paklenica, which opened on May the 27th, is already well filled

"The beaches are full, we're opening additional outdoor facilities with food and drinks, the a la carte restaurant in the camp is full, and guests from private accommodation are coming to us. The influx of Slovenian guests is noticeable. The type of accommodation also has a significant impact on occupancy, mobile homes and camping give guests a sense of security,'' said Goran Babin, the director of the Starigrad Paklenica destination owned by Bluesun Hotels & Resorts.

For more, follow our travel page.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Vienna to Brač in Just 45 Minutes? A Look into the Brač Airport Transformation

Three years after Brač airport faced closure, with the employees to be left without jobs, the central Dalmatian Airport experienced a business transformation, allowing it to become an indispensable part of the air transport infrastructure for the whole of Dalmatia in 2017.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Jako Andabak Invests 5 Million for Brač Airport

Over the next few weeks, work on the construction of the runway at Brač airport will begin, allowing this small island airport to bring in an increase of traffic, reports

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The First Post-War Hotel Gets a 5-Star Treatment

Built in 1948 as the first post-war hotel in former Yugoslavia, what once was the "Jadran" hotel in Tučepi is undergoing a 12 million euro reconstruction, transforming the hotel with a 5-star facade and completely new facilities and services.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

The Other Great Adriatic Water Attraction in Dalmatia: River Cruising Up the Cetina

(Photo Copyright Romulic and Stojcic: Omis and the gateway to the River Cetina)

Reasons to leave the beach on the Makarska Riviera: river cruising up the mighty Cetina River.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Inland Treasures to Discover from the Makarska Riviera: Imotski Through the Tunnel

The Makarska Riviera is known for its beaches and island-hopping options, but there is plenty going on inland, as TCN discovered on a recent stay at Hotel Berulia in Brela.