Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Construction of Three New Fazana Hotels Planned, Locals Displeased

April the 5th, 2022 - The construction of three more brand new Fazana hotels are planned as this beautiful part of Istria is set to place itself even more firmly on the tourism map. Some, however, are far from pleased with the plans.

As Morski writes, there could be three more new Fazana hotels constructed within a distance of 200 metres. The third hotel is planned on a municipal plot spanning 2,200 square metres located on the very waterfront. That plot is set to on sale next year at a starting price of 1,200,000 euros.

''SDP councilors are the ones who bear full moral responsibility for these apartments and hotels that will irrevocably change everything that makes us love Fazana today,'' said opposition councilor Lidija Udovicki.

A few days ago, we reported that two new Fazana hotels with a total capacity of up to 350 beds are planned to be built on the very waterfront, but it was established that this was incomplete information. Readers of the local Istra24 portal warned that, after the latest changes to the spatial plan and right in the centre of the waterfront, the construction of another hotel which would be 15 metres high and with a capacity of 75 beds was planned.

This allegation about the existence of the third plot on which the hotel is planned, was also confirmed by the mayor of Fazana himself, Radomir Korac.

''Next to Badel is a municipal plot which spans 2,200 square metres in total. In the earlier plan, there was an activity called K1, which is a market or something very similar. However, we estimated that there was no place for a market there. The sixth amendment adopted by the municipal council was also marked T1, which is a hotel,'' Korac went on to explain.

The plot will go on sale next year at a very high price of 550 euros per square metre, and Korac expects that there will be a huge interest in that plot as well, and that it could achieve a higher price than this one in the tender. In the calculation, the starting price for a plot of 2,200 square metres would be the aforementioned 1,200,000 euros.

That would mean that, on a mere 200-metre stretch, Fazana would have three new hotels in the near future: one boasting 195 beds owned by Aleksandar Dzombic, one of 75 which would be mostly on the municipal plot, and a third, boasting 150 beds, which would also be on a municipal plot that will soon go on sale for at least two million euros.

''Six changes to the spatial plan in a very small area next to the old town and on the first row to the sea, enabled the construction of as many as 120 apartments and three new Fazana hotels. I'd like to point out that all SDP councillors voted for this megalomaniacal and devastating plan without any discussion. They're the ones who bear the full moral responsibility for all these apartments and hotels that will radically and irreversibly change everything that makes us love Fazana today. The entire opposition voted against these plans,'' said Udovicki in protest.

''When looking into the minutes of the aforementioned session, it's evident that the SDP councillors didn't participate at all in the discussion on any of the changes to the plan that are evidently and extensively in favour of the investors,'' she added.

''Many key things were agreed upon and then changed behind the scenes. The public debate didn't accept the peoples' remarks on the oversising of these hotel projects, but the numerous and extravagant demands of the company "Terra-Rex", represented by Nebojsa Dzombic, the brother of Aleksandar Dzombic, were readily adopted. For example, one such request concerned the closure of an unclassified road leading to what is currently a car park. Dzombic cited the need to secure and close the whole area for himself in order to develop the tourist complex,'' concluded Lidija Udovicki critically.

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

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

San Canzian - A New Boutique Hotel and Restaurant in Istria

We have seen significant investment in the development of high net worth tourism in Istria, with a proper eighteen hole golf course in Savudrija, San Rocco hotel and restaurant in Brtonigla, the new Roxanich hotel at Motovun and many gourmet level restaurants. Some of the finest wine in Europe is produced around here.

The latest boutique hotel to grace Istria, San Canzian/Noel, from the same people who have the Michelin starred Noel restaurant in Zagreb, combines all of these quite wonderfully. 

The hotel itself comprises a number of beautifully restored stone buildings either side of its own village street, in a sheltered lush green valley that looks out towards the sea, just South of the hill town of Buje, off the old Trieste-Pula road.

As I drove into the car park, I was greeted by a member of staff who phoned through to reception to announce my arrival and take my bag. We walked across to the main building into reception, where I was made welcome and given my contact-less key-card. The bedroom was more like the floor of a cottage, opening out onto the street, albeit decorated and fitted out to a standard that the previous owner of the building would not have recognised!

There was a spacious sitting area, which gave out onto its own private terrace, from which to sit and watch the setting sun. The air conditioning,  LED satellite TV, safe, well stocked minibar, lavish snack box and fluffy dressing gowns(ideal for the infinity pool) were all of a high standard. The large double bed was set in its own area and had pillow options including cooling (a NASA design), memory and aromatherapy ones. This area included a work table with convenient power points for a laptop (WiFi is complimentary) and on which could be found a half bottle of the excellent award winning Fakin Teran, glasses, a kettle and a Nespresso coffee machine with a selection of capsules, teas and crockery to restore the weary traveler. 

The bathroom was no less spacious, with a large walk in shower and had a wall hung WC, wash hand basin, hair dryer and a complimentary selection of Molton Brown toiletries.

On returning to the main building, I was offered chilled flannels, which were most welcome on a hot evening and a cocktail on the bar terrace. 

Dinner was due later, but in the meantime we were given a series of gourmet bonne bouches, including spiced beef on bone marrow, deep fried cod balls with scampi and truffled cream cheese with beetroot, interspersed with glasses of Prelac's Blanc et Noir Brut and Kabola's Re Brut sparkling wines. 

Noel has been fortunate to secure the services of top sommelier, Filip Savic, and his wine choices were extremely good. Instead of just serving up the usual suspects, he has reached out to other lesser known local wine makers, all of whom produce very good wines and carefully selected memorable wines from each of them. Most of the wines served were from grapes grown within 10km and only one more than 20km from the restaurant.

Dinner was served in the restaurant, on the floor below. The building is on a hillside and both bar and restaurant open on to terraces with wonderful views. The atmosphere was relaxed and casual, complimented by well trained and attentive staff.

The menu claimed six courses, but extra ones also appeared, as Chef Daniel Tschachler and his equipe showed off their talents, and the presentation was impeccable. The olive oil was a blend of Leccino and Buza and came with Welsh salt and Szechwan spices. The resident baker did us proud with a variety of breads. We started with foie gras, sweetbreads, rhubarb and cherry accompanied by the Fakin 2018 Malvasia that had won a gold at Decanter, in London.

Next came Frankovic's 2018 one, which went well with the bacon, caviar, beurre blanc and lentils.

This was followed by cuttlefish, lardo and a smokey bouillon acompanied by Degrassi's 2015 Terre Blanche, from his vineyard down the road. We then had a vegetable course, of mixed sauted and pickled vegetables, which had an oriental feel, paired with Valenta's 2018 Sauvignon Blanc.

Ivan Damjanic's 2013 Clemente cuvee made the most of the Scottish lamb, clams and salty herbs.

The next course was described as tomato,black olive and strawberry. The tomato was actually a crisp red shell, inside which was a mascarpone cream containing the other elements. It made for textural interest and Georgio Clai's 2017 Tasel cuvee was a good choice.

By this time it was midnight and after a final glass of bubbly on the terrace, it was off to bed. I was glad I didn't need to drive home!

In the morning, there was breakfast and I enjoyed freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice, from fruit that I had selected, fresh apricot yoghurt and scrambled eggs and bacon, although I could have had egg in glass with smoked foie gras or boiled egg with truffle with prosciutto crumble, but you can have too much of a good thing!

Overall, I was impressed by the attention to detail and the enthusiasm of the staff who were all keen to make the hotel and restaurant a success.

Sonja Jelaca, the Manageress, Filip Savic, the Sommelier and  Daniel Tschachler, the Chef, have created a good team to make the most of this stunning new establishment in gorgeous Istria.

For more on establishments in Istria, wine and food from Istria and travel tips for destinations across the country, follow our dedicated travel page.