Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Maestral Hotel Group Investing 150 Million Kuna in Dubrovnik Hotels

February 15th, 2022 - Hotel Adriatic in Dubrovnik is to be transformed from a two-star facility into an elegant four-star hotel

The Maestral hotel group from Dubrovnik has announced a major investment cycle. Over the next few years, the group is planning to make significant investments in its hotels in order to become a luxury hotel chain of the highest category, reports Morski.hr.

Hotel Adriatic is the first announced investment of the Maestral group. It’s to be transformed from a two-star facility into an elegant four-star hotel, retaining the same capacity of 140 luxury accommodation units that offer a beautiful view of the sea and the Petka forest park.

The five floors of the hotel will host a shopping promenade and a modern restaurant with a spacious terrace offering a superb gourmet experience, among numerous other facilities. The hotel will also have a beach and its own parking garage.

A spectacular infinity pool on the rooftop is another attraction the group has planned for Hotel Adriatic, along with a sunbathing area and an exclusive rooftop bar offering a spectacular view of the Elaphites.

Hotel Uvala, a four-star hotel with 51 accommodation units, will undergo an adaptation as well. Remodelling is planned for the interior of the hotel, the accommodation units, the wellness and spa centre, and other hotel facilities.

Together, the reconstruction of Hotel Adriatic and adaptation of Hotel Uvala amount to an investment of 150 million kuna in total.

'We are raising the bar of Dubrovnik's tourist offer with another luxury hotel that will directly contribute to economic growth of the destination as a whole, as well as the Maestral Hotel Group', said Maestral's president of the board Joško Prkačin.

A construction permit has already been obtained for the reconstruction of Hotel Adriatic, and the investment planning will begin immediately after the permit becomes final. Work is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2022, after the tourist season; the new Hotel Adriatic will welcome its first guests at the end of 2023.

Once the works on the two hotels are completed, the investment cycle of the Maestral hotel group is planned to continue with the reconstruction of the Wellness Hotel Vis, for which the necessary permits are currently being obtained. Maestral is planning to turn Hotel Vis into a superb five-star facility from its current category of three stars.

Hoteli Maestral d.o.o., a hotel group owned by PND Strategija d.o.o., consists of five hotels: Uvala, Splendid, Komodor, Vis and Adriatic, ranging from two-star to four-star categories, and with a total of 482 accommodation units. All hotels are located in the Lapad bay, 4 kilometres away from the Old Town of Dubrovnik.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Over 8,000 Tourists in Dubrovnik Recorded During First July Weekend!

July 6, 2021 - Things are finally picking up in the Adriatic pearl, with over 8,000 tourists in Dubrovnik recorded during the first weekend of July!

According to the eVisitor tourist check-in and check-out system, 40,038 tourist arrivals were recorded in Dubrovnik in June 2021, while 13,297 arrivals were recorded in June last year, with 135,895 overnight stays in June 2021, while there were only 43,795 in June 2020, reports Dalmatinski Portal

Most guests who stayed in Dubrovnik during June were from the USA, Croatia, Russia, Germany, France, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Slovenia, and Austria. According to the Croatian National Tourist Board's report for nautical activities, 2,223 arrivals and 16,337 overnight stays were recorded in June, which confirms the growth of the nautical season compared to June last year, when 859 arrivals were recorded, with 5,704 overnight stays, Dubrovnik.net reports.

Excellent tourist results, as well as intensified tourist traffic, were recorded during the first weekend in July, when 8,199 guests stayed in the city, compared to the first weekend of July 2020, when 2,778 guests stayed in the city. Most guests currently staying in Dubrovnik come from the USA, France, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Russia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ukraine.

Currently, 32 hotels have been opened in Dubrovnik, and the opening of more hotel capacities has been announced by mid-July. Dubrovnik Airport is directly connected to about 40 destinations until mid-July, and direct flights with the United States began last weekend, a big step in recovering Dubrovnik's tourism.

According to the Visitor, from 1 January to 3 July 2021, 79,433 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik, and 256,821 overnight stays were realized. Most guests were from Croatia, the USA, Germany, France, Poland, Russia, BiH, Ukraine, Serbia, and Slovenia. From the total number of tourists from 1 to 3 July 2021, 43,767 guests stayed in Dubrovnik hotels, where 122,161 overnight stays were recorded, while 26,409 guests stayed in private accommodation in the stated period of time, achieving 98,010 overnights.

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

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

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Guest Delight in Dubrovnik Hotels Should be Strengthened

June 1, 2021 - A recent study shows that guest delight in Dubrovnik hotels should be strengthened and an extra effort should be made with luxury hotel guests. 

A recent study conducted by RIT Croatia’s hospitality instructor Domagoj Nikolić and graduating student Andrea Mitrović checked to what extent upscale Dubrovnik hotels delight their guests and whether guest delight affects their rates. In a theoretical nutshell, guest delight is about exceeding expectations and equals the personalization of standard services. It thus depends on the empowerment of staff and their soft skills.

Fifteen hotels in Dubrovnik were checked through data mining of TripAdvisor reviews which were subsequently analyzed with sophisticated statistical tools. The findings show that overall guest delight, on a scale from 1 (“neutral”) and 2 (“absolutely delighted”), is around 1.20 implying that upscale hotels in Dubrovnik are good in providing guest satisfaction, but they rarely make an extra effort to delight their guests. The factors corresponding with staff professionalism and empathy are rated the highest (1.50 – moderately delighted), but problem-solving and surprise attributes are the lowest and literally non-existing (1.00 – no delight), which shows that Dubrovnik hotel staff have the necessary soft skills, but are not empowered. In other words, this is a management, not a staffing problem.

Since there isn’t much going on in terms of guest delight in upscale Dubrovnik hotels, it is not surprising that the statistical analysis showed that guest delight did not affect Dubrovnik hotel rates before COVID-19, nor it does now. This all leads to a conclusion that Dubrovnik upmarket hotels cannot qualify as luxury, because in the luxury segment, service without delight is literally nothing from the point of view of extractable value. On the other hand, guest delight ensures repeat business and higher rates, which in Dubrovnik, as high as they may seem for Croatia, are not luxury, with a few notable exceptions.

At the least, the findings imply that reasons why guests come to Dubrovnik are not related to hotel experiences, but should be sought in other attractors, such as natural beauty, cultural heritage, fair infrastructure, etc. It would seem that the lacking guest delight negatively affects the hotels’ ability to charge, costs, guest loyalty, and year-round occupancy, because the outside attractors fade outside of the season. This seems particularly important in the present COVID-19 crisis because many hotels try to compensate for the failing occupancy with lower rates which can put them into a tailspin. 

The said research was rated the best at the recent MakeLearn international conference and will be published in a prestigious scientific journal, which serves as another encouragement to the management to pay closer attention to guest delight. A delightful destination, such as Dubrovnik, deserves delighted guests who deserve to be delighted, too. 

To follow the latest on travel news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Thursday, 4 March 2021

People also ask Google: Is Dubrovnik or Split Better?

March 4, 2021 - In our latest People also ask Google series, we attempt to tackle the impossible - is Dubrovnik or Split better?

Ah, the tale of two ancient cities, both breathtaking in their own ways. One, the Adriatic Pearl, the other, Dalmatia's bustling capital - but both full of pride that there is no better place. 

Their vibrant history more or less defines them. Dubrovnik's roots trace back to the 7th century when it was founded as Ragusa by inhabitants of the ancient Greek colony of Epidaurus (present-day Cavtat). Split, on the other hand, founded as the Greek colony Aspálathos only a bit earlier, in the 3rd or 2nd century BC. 

Centuries later, both cities are certainly known for their turbulent history and historic cores - Dubrovnik, a town wrapped by medieval defensive walls, and Split, a city that boasts the 1700-year-old Diocletian's Palace, the former retirement home of Roman Emporer Diocletian.

While it may be humanely IMpossible to decide which is better, we do know one thing: these ancient artifacts have turned two coastal cities into tourism champions in much more recent years, where history mixes with the mood of the Meditteranean to make for one stellar holiday. 

Is it better to stay in Dubrovnik or Split?

We recently covered how many days you should spend in Dubrovnik, much like the magic number for Split, but where should you stay in both cities? 

Dubrovnik abounds in 5-star hotels and villas, attracting luxury travelers thanks to its deluxe amenities. From the Excelsior, Rixos, and Sun Gardens to the centrally-located Hilton Imperial and lavish Grand Villa Argentina, tourists with higher spending power really have their pick when it comes to the upper echelon of hotels in the area. And that's without mentioning ultra-luxurious villas, like Sheherezade.


Private accommodation in Dubrovnik, however, can get a bit tricky. While basic old-town offers in the summer can cost you an arm and a leg, literally and figurately (remember, endless flights of stairs and NO elevators), apartments outside of the center, while more affordable, are less accessible. Yes, taxis and Uber do exist, but so do narrow roads and summer traffic, both of which plague Dubrovnik in the peak season. 

Split, on the other hand, is still a bit behind in the luxury hotel world. And to compensate for its lack of hotel rooms, the city has seen a boom in private accommodations over the last few years, with things getting a little out of hand.

But there is hope.

The newly-opened 4-star Amphora Hotel has done a significant job adding to the hotel capacity in Split with 206 rooms, while newcomers like briig boutique hotel add flair to the Bačvice neighborhood. The Birkenstock-owned Ambasador will add 101 rooms to the West Coast sometime this year, while the Adris Group will step into the Dalmatian market with the hopeful opening of the 'new' hotel Marjan in 2022.

Lovers of luxury hotels can currently only choose from the 5-star Le Meridien Lav hotel, located about 15 minutes outside of Split in Podstrana, or the beloved Bačvice-based Hotel Park. However, the history-rich-heritage hotels in the center make up for any missing affluence (check out Palace Judita, Heritage Hotel Antique, or Jupiter, for example). 

Does Split or Dubrovnik have better beaches?

Bačivce or Banje? It's unlikely you'll spend an hour in either city without hearing their names. 

Bačivce, Split's public beach, is located about a 10-minute walk outside of Diocletian's Palace. A sandy beach popular for speedo-clad picigin players, Bačivce boasts views that extend out to Brač during the day, while it is the hub of Split nightlife in the evening, where young partygoers let loose until sunrise. Needless to say, things can get a bit messy (and crowded). 

On the other hand, Dubrovnik's public Banje beach is a short walk from the old town, with views onto the city walls and harbor. While you'll be hard-pressed to find a more unique swimming spot, it is penetrated by thirsty tourists in the summertime, making it often impossible to claim a lounge chair. 


Fortunately, Bačice and Banje aren't the only beaches in Split in Dubrovnik. Split's coast is decorated with beaches, as is Marjan Hill, where you'll find Kaštelet, situated just below the Ivan Meštrović Gallery, or Kašjuni, boasting a deep bay with the cliffs wrapping around you. 

Šulići is just a short walk from the Pile Gate in Dubrovnik, while the family-friendly Copacabana beach in Babin Kuk offers a restaurant, water sports, and cocktails for the adults. And if you have a car? Head 30 minutes south of Dubrovnik to discover the best beaches in Konavle!

Is Dubrovnik or Split nightlife better?

As someone who just crossed over into her 30s after a vibrant decade of partying in her 20s, the answer to this one comes quite easily. One thing young travelers visiting Dubrovnik often mention is the lack of nightlife in the city. And as it should be, because Dubrovnik's beauty shouldn't be embraced with a hangover. However, you can't deny that people want to let loose on holiday, whether they're at a pub or a club. So, where to? 


For those who enjoy partying until the early morning hours, there is one special place to go - Culture Club Revelin. It even made DJ Mag's Top 50 Best Clubs in the World. Located in a 500-year-old medieval fortress, it'll be hard to find another setting as unique. Just like it'll be hard to find another club Dubrovnik. 

And if you're not the clubbing type after all? Dubrovnik flourishes with cafe and wine bars, and there are even a few Irish pubs!

Split, on the other hand, has become a hotspot for Croatian nightlife. After the wine-bar-boom came the craft-cocktail-bar boom, and there is a nightclub for all types of partygoers. Bar crawls also rule summer nightlife, and all roads eventually lead to the Bačvice beach clubs, where you can enjoy a sunrise swim if you stay long enough.


Split's live music scene also thrives most of the year; you can catch up-and-coming Croatian acts or touring international DJs if you're lucky!

Are Split or Dubrovnik restaurants better?

Both Split and Dubrovnik have upped their culinary game in the last few years. Dubrovnik currently boasts 10 Michelin-recommended restaurants, while one restaurant, 360, carries a Michelin star. And because it is a luxury destination, you'll notice more fine dining options in Dubrovnik than Split. 

Split cannot currently boast a Michelin star, though it does have five Michelin-recommended restaurants and many trendy newcomers that add flair to classic Dalmatian cuisine. 


Long gone are the days of only ćevapi and pomfret (though you'll still find it on most konoba menus), as both cities have become creative in their culinary offers, with many international options on the table too. If you're after the flavors of sushi, Mexican, Thai, or Chinese, or want to keep it traditional with grilled fish, black risotto, and octopus salad, you'll be pleased eating in either city. 

Would you choose Dubrovnik or Split in October?

Ah, the offseason debate is back again!

If you'd like my personal opinion, both cities are a gem in October, that is, if you're not coming to Croatia solely for the sun, sea, and swimming. October weather could also surprise, and you may find that Indian Summer comes out to play.

Best-case scenario - you're swimming in slightly cooler sea temperatures with fewer boats and emptier beaches. Worst-case scenario, you're stuck in the rain and have to schedule your outdoor activities around when it's dry - so you get to sit in a cafe and people watch or enjoy museums to kill time instead. Is that really so bad?


Realistically, most everything remains open in both cities throughout October, making it easier for you to enjoy what you'd plan on doing in summer without fighting sweaty bodies wanting to do the same thing. 

October is also a good time to enjoy emptier roads, so why not take a road trip from Dubrovnik to Pelješac for wine tasting? Or from Split to Omiš for ziplining over the canyon? The opportunities are endless. 

In conclusion: Is Dubrovnik or Split better?

The real question is - which city is better for you?

One might suggest that if you're young, looking for vibrant nightlife, good food options, and easy access to the islands, you'll fit better in Split. And if you're a Game of Thrones fan looking to tick tourist attractions off your list? You'll likely choose Dubrovnik. But both cities offer something for all ages and all members of the family, and because they're only 3 hours apart by car, you don't really have to choose at all. 

Illustration by Little Shiva

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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Dubrovnik Gets Yet Another Five Star Hotel in Babin Kuk

If there's one thing Dubrovnik isn't short of other than crowds and Game of Thrones tours, its luxury. The Pearl of the Adriatic, known worldwide as Croatia's most famous tourist destination, the country's southernmost city has gained yet another high end, luxury hotel, situated in Babin Kuk.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija CrnjakCrnjak writes on the 3rd of June, 2019, following the expansion of the trade and the renovation of the Gallery in Zagreb, tourism is now the focus of Ciril Zovko, the owner of Importanne Hotels and Resort.

The Dubrovnik-based firm Importanne Hotels and Resort, owned by entrepreneur Ciril Zovko, opened its fifth hotel in a row in the city, with which it rounded up an investment cycle which had the aim to build five five star hotels in Babin Kuk on the Lapad peninsula.

The hotel has 81 luxuriously decorated rooms with panoramic views of both the sea and the Dubrovnik archipelago, as well as two a la carte restaurants, Castille and Zoë. and the only open rooftop pool in the whole of the City of Dubrovnik.

The company has chosen not to reveal the figures involved in what is obviously an enormous investment.

Importanne Hotels and Resort consists of five hotels in Croatia's top tourist destination, Neptun, Ariston, Royal Palm, Royal Princess and Royal Blue. As for resorts, this also includes the Villa Elita.

As stated, after the company's expansion in the trade industry as well as the renovation of the Importanne Gallery in Zagreb, Zovko and his firm are now mainly focused on investments in tourism, and not only in Dubrovnik, but for now it remains unknown as to where any news investment in tourism will eventually be realised.

For a while, Zagreb was supposed to be involved in the company's ''game'', more specifically the building of the Croatian Music Institute, but this project ultimately failed.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow or check out Dubrovnik in a Page.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Dubrovnik's Belvedere to Bid Farewell as New Luxury Hotel Project Begins

Dubrovnik's Hotel Belvedere was once the symbol of luxury of the Pearl of the Adriatic, boasting incredible views over the sparkling Adriatic sea, the emerald island of Lokrum and the UNESCO protected Old City. Sadly, Dubrovnik's former top hotel, once one of the most luxurious on the Adriatic coast, fell victim to JNA shelling during the Homeland War, an attack from which it never recovered. 

Today, the Hotel Belvedere stands cold and dead on the very outskirts of the eastern part of the city, emerging from a rock formation facing out towards the open sea. Clinging to the rocks as a stark reminder of what occurred so recently, the hotel has become the home of a collection of stray and feral cats, a few birds, and the deafening sound of almost total silence. As the city around it continues to move forward, Belvedere is stuck in a time warp, offering a glimpse of the harsh reality of the war in Dubrovnik, while the rest of the city's scars are less visible.

Belvedere's time, however, is now finally up.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of January, 2019, Dubrovnik's city council will need to adopt some modified planning solutions on Wednesday during this year's first session, as has been planned for the upcoming construction of the new hotel "Belvedere" in the place of the present, abandoned one.

To briefly recall, the up and coming luxury new "Belvedere" hotel is owned by the wealthy Russian citizen Viktor Vekselberg, who instead of a huge hotel complex, decided to build a smaller facility, while making sure it is the most luxurious hotel in the whole of the Republic of Croatia, just as Dubrovnik deserves.

The new "Belvedere" should boast as many as 600 beds and 500 parking spaces, as well as a congress hall and concert hall. Everything Dubrovnik's brand new Belvedere will boast is enough for it to be classed as a 7-star complex, Slobodna Dalmacija writes.

If Dubrovnik's city council undertakes what is needed on Wednesday, we will see the brand new spatial documents for brand new "Belvedere", and next year will come all of the necessary permits, after which, the demolition of the existing hotel and the building of the new one in its place will begin.

Stay up to date by following our dedicated business page. If it's just Dubrovnik you're interest in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Investment in Tourism: Cash Injection for Dubrovnik's Hotel Bellevue

Investment in tourism is a machine boasting many wheels which must keep turning and following world tourism trends on a constant basis.

Stagnation in the tourism sector has been threatening Croatia following a few record tourism years, and while many expected such a drop as more of the country's older tourism rivals recover respectively, just how can Croatian hotels keep their rooms full and their offer hot in the face of strong competition from long-time tourism kings like Spain and nearby Greece?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of November, 2018, over the now rapidly approaching winter period, the well-respected Adriatic Luxury Hotels hotel group will continue its massive investment cycle and focus on properly restoring and redoing some of their highest category hotels located in one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, southern Dalmatia's Dubrovnik area.

After the luxurious ''doing up'' of two top Dubrovnik hotels, Hotel Kompas (Lapad) and Hotel Excelsior (Sveti Jakov area), Adriatic Luxury Hotels have announced that the same will be done to another of their high-end hotels, Hotel Bellevue, which closed its doors to guests on October the 31st this year, in order to prepare for the huge renovation works of the hotel's accommodation facilities and part of the hotel's interior which are due to begin during the winter.

Adriatic Luxury Hotels will invest more than 400,000 kuna per room in the upcoming complete re-doing of the top hotel's rooms and apartments, representing the first significant investment in Hotel Bellevue since its inauguration over a decade ago, back in 2006.

The Portuguese design studio Tereza Prego is heavily engaged in the project, specialising in the interior design of exclusive hotels and other high-end residences.

As things currently stand, it seems that the redesigned Hotel Bellevue will be ready by the spring of 2019.

Click here to see just how the hotel will look upon opening its doors early next year.

Want to keep up to date with Croatia's investment in tourism and see if any hotels in an area you're planning to stay in are about to undergo makeovers? Make sure to follow our business page.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Dubrovnik's Hilton Imperial Gets A Makeover Ready for April 2018!

A new look in the works for the Pearl of the Adriatic's famed Hilton Imperial!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Nominated at 2017 Family Traveller Awards

Will you be voting for Dubrovnik Sun Gardens? Find out why you should here!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Valamar Riviera Hotels Awarded Prize for Engagement in Field of Sustainability and Environmental Protection

The popular Valamar chain steps up the game when it comes to being environmentally friendly!

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