Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Draga di Lovrana: The Haunting of Hill Hotel at Foothills of Učka

The renowned Draga di Lovrana is located at the foothills of the Učka mountain range, just above the eponymous municipality of Lovran. Built on the edge of a cliff, it overlooks the entire Bay of Kvarner, and the view is nothing less than spectacular. To get to the hotel, you have to drive up the serpentine road to an elevation of about 380 meters – for those who don't speak metric, that's a little over 1200 feet – but Draga di Lovrana is indeed "worth every curve," as their motto says.

Draga di Lovrana 1908

With an eerie history of mysterious accidents, lightning strikes, fires, and other unfortunate events, the hotel had become notorious for its macabre past and tragedies that have haunted its halls for over a century. In fact, the locals often say that the entire estate is haunted, and that ever since it was built in 1908 by a Viennese entrepreneur Anton Urm, and then intentionally burned to the ground in 1923, it's been as if the house itself had been choosing its new occupants while the ghosts of old ones still roamed around, keeping company with the living.

So is it really haunted? – I asked Dragan, the charming hotel manager, jokingly stating it was only logical that the house named Draga would choose to be managed by someone bearing the same name. And he does take good care of the classic-looking beauty, together with the rest of the personnel, because Draga di Lovrana is in mint condition. It has a special kind of energy, Dragan said to answer my question, and I immediately agreed – its aura is almost tangible.

Draga terrace foto Damir Fabijanic

And even if numerous stories about Draga had some truth to them, it seems the bad luck had turned around in 1978, when the Nikolac family bought the place, with the intention of restoring it to its original splendor. In 2005, the hotel underwent a complete renovation, retaining its historical design.

Tuna sous vide 2

Over the following years, the owners' vision and hard work have transformed Draga di Lovrana into what it is today – a successful boutique hotel whose restaurant received the Michelin Plate designation in this year’s guide; the newest hallmark of fine dining quality.

 Chef Deni Srdoc Sanja Nikolac

Under the creative guidance of chef Deni Srdoč – Gault & Millau Young Talent of the Year 2018 – the restaurant offers mostly seasonal food, combining gourmet cuisine with traditional flavors, using only top quality, hand-selected local produce, while all the fish comes from the Nikolac family's fishing business.

Kvarnerski ceviche

Apart from the amazing lodging options and an outstanding cuisine, with such a romantic setting suitable for the most intimate celebrations, Draga di Lovrana is also known for organizing weddings and various other gala events.

Draga pool view

Today, this magical place seems to be haunted only by good spirits, and it stands there proudly defying time, inviting anyone to visit and experience their own kind of happy ending.

Keep up with our lifestyle page for more.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Eat Like a Local: A Guide to Buying, Cleaning and Cooking Fish

Travelling to Croatia? Food will be as much a part of your travel experience as the picture postcard images you post to Instagram. If you don't eat like a local you are doing yourself a disservice. Don't shy away from getting your hands dirty, dive in, you may just surprise yourself.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Gourmet Croatia: Michelin Guide to Split

On the 1st March 2018, the highly-esteemed Michelin announced their 2018 Guide for Croatia. They have awarded two new restaurants a Michelin-star and 5 restaurants in Split have been recommended.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Fine Dining on a Budget in Hvar Town

As the popularity of Hvar and the Dalmatian islands increase, so too it seems, do the prices. However, it is still possible to have a fine dining experience without breaking the bank; Giaxa is a restaurant in the heart of Hvar town offering a set-lunch menu for an incredible price.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Flavours of the Adriatic: Crni Rižot

Continuing our flavour-filled look at Croatian cuisine, this week we present you with crni rižot, or 'black risotto' one of the least attractive (but oh, so tasty) dishes on the Adriatic.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Restaurant of the Week: Konoba Maha, Korčula

Konoba Maha is the definition of hospitality, one night in the company of brothers Ivan and Jakša and you will feel like family. If travelling to Korčula, put this on your list.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Bokamorra; More than just Pizza and Cocktails

Bokamorra Pizzaurant and Cocktails, quietly opened their doors in Split on July 14, 2017, the newest addition to the growing Split gastronomy scene. Sister restaurant to Bokeria, we were expecting big things from this concept pizza + cocktail restaurant and, we weren’t disappointed.How many pizza restaurants in Split (or Croatia), do you know have travelled to Naples for their oven and inspiration? Read on.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Sometimes You Just Need a Burger Fix!

Nikola Karabatic, Croatian-born, French Handball player gets his burger fix in Hvar town!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Lucullus, A Luxurious Dining Experience in Hvar

The name Lucullus has ties in legends to luxury and gourmet, which in essence, sums up Lucullus restaurant in Hvar.

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