Saturday, 23 July 2022

The Rise of Quality Hotels in Hvar Town and Stari Grad

July 23, 2022 - The Four Seasons may have never opened, but that didn't affect the quality of hotels in Hvar town and Stari Grad over the last few years. 

International media has not been shy about Hvar as the hotspot of summer, but that's to no one's surprise. However, instead of praising Hvar Island as one of the best in Europe (well, it was named that again, too), a different aspect of Hvar is in the spotlight this time around, outside of the sun and sea - its hotels.

Hvar Island has seen its accommodations enhanced to another level in the last few years as the rise of quality hotels have taken the front seat - and Hvar Island is now the only Croatian island with three 5-star hotels! 

So, who is international media raving about?

A look at the quality hotels in Hvar town and Stari Grad. 

Let's kick things off with Hvar town jewel Palace Elisabeth, a 5-star heritage hotel and historic landmark that opened in 2019.

With a vibrant history that dates back to the 13th century, Palace Elisabeth was rebuilt in 1898 and renamed Spa Hotel Empress Elisabeth, after the Austrian Empress Sisi, a crucial asset to its construction. Hvar's oldest hotel and Empress Sisi inspired Sunčani Hvar's 100 million kuna investment to transform the 3-star Hotel Palace into Palace Elisabeth, the first 5-star hotel on the island. Costing nearly 300,000 euros per room, Palace Elisabeth was also one of the most significant investments in the Croatian hotel industry. With 45 rooms and suites, Palace Elisabeth offers refined luxury and timeless design and is a member of the prestigious The Leading Hotels of the World. And things have only gone up from here. 


Suncani Hvar

Sunčani Hvar continued their investments to heighten Hvar town's hotel accommodation this year, also recognized by American business magazine Forbes

Namely, the newly refurbished 4-star Beach Bay Hvar Hotel opened earlier this month as Hvar town's first-ever sustainable hotel, located just around the bend from the busy town harbor. The hotel's renovation revamped 21 rooms with many eco-friendly features for guests to enjoy an interpretive travel experience inspired by sustainable development and care for the environment. All rooms and suites also have a sea view! 


Suncani Hvar

Sunčani Hvar also pumped 40 million kuna into the newly renovated Riva Marina Hotel, one of the first hotels in Hvar town, which opened in 1914, or 15 years after Palace Elisabeth. Targeting guests primarily from the British and American markets who are after superior service and high-quality accommodation, Riva Marina offers 50 new unique rooms and suites and an upgraded restaurant and bar concept. And it's pretty hard to beat its iconic outdoor terrace with a view of the Hvar town's yachts and marina.


Suncani Hvar

Conde Nast Traveller also couldn't forget to mention the family-friendly Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort as one of the best hotels in Croatia this year, another product of the Sunčani Hotels brand. 

Newcomer Moeesy Blue & Green Oasis Hotel was also applauded by Forbes as Hvar town's newest 5-star hotel just 10 minutes from the city center. With foundations dating back to 1929 (formerly known as Hotel Croatia), Moeesy has 37 rooms and four suites, pools, and a beautiful garden, spa, and Mediterranean restaurant. Its green area spans approximately 5000 sqm! 

And that's just Hvar town. 

The Daily Mail recently revealed it was smitten with Stari Grad, especially the 5-star Maslina Resort, a Relais & Chateaux hotel that opened in August 2020. Applauding its 'Mindful Luxury' philosophy which is seen at first glance as the facade 'blends seamlessly into the pine-tree-clad hillside,' Maslina Resort has revived Maslinica Bay with 50 rooms & suites and three villas, a standout spa, Michelin-recommended restaurant, beach bar and beach area where high-end hospitality is king. Conde Nast Traveller also named Maslina Resort one of the best hotels in Croatia this year, where Hvar's history as a well-known healing destination (since 1868) is reflected in its philosophy. A savvy, safe and serene choice away from the hustle and bustle of Hvar town. 


Maslina Resort

But Maslina Resort isn't the only newcomer to Stari Grad. The Valamar [PLACES] lifestyle hotel brand launched last year with the opening of HVAR [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar, designed for travelers seeking "freedom of choice and a vibrant Mediterranean holiday in a hotel by the sea." Taking over the former hotel Lavanda, HVAR [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar welcomed a 53 million kuna investment to reinvent accommodation suitable for the millennial generation. Offering 179 rooms, a pool complex, bars, DJs, modern design, and smart features like cashless payment and contactless check-in, this hotel is also only 50 meters from the sea.  

And all this without the Four Seasons ever opening.

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


Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Revamped Beach Bay Hvar Hotel Opens on Friday, July 8!

July 6, 2022 - Summer continues to heat up in Hvar town with the opening of the Beach Bay Hvar Hotel on Friday, July 8!

The newly refurbished 4-star Beach Bay Hvar Hotel is the latest show-stopper by Sunčani Hvar. Located in Hvar town just around the bend from the busy Hvar harbor, Beach Bay Hvar Hotel is tucked into a tranquil area by the sea for those looking for a peaceful and rejuvenating holiday on the island.


And while its beachside location is one of the hotel’s many benefits, we'd like to argue that its redesign also takes the cake. Namely, the Beach Bay Hvar Hotel's renovation included many eco-friendly features so that guests can take part in an interpretive travel experience inspired by sustainable development and care for the environment. Better yet - all rooms and suites boast a sea view! 


"Our mission is to provide sustainable practices so that our guests can have enriching and authentic experiences at our hotel. We encourage responsible travel and provide responsible vacations in order to achieve a negligible carbon footprint. That is why we created a concept that is perfectly aligned with the hotel's natural surroundings," announced Beach Bay Hvar Hotel before its opening on Friday. 


It's also no surprise that Hvar is one of the sunniest islands in the Adriatic, bringing in around 2843 hours of sunshine a year, which made it easy for Beach Bay Hvar Hotel to incorporate solar power as a natural solution and the best renewable energy source into the hotel's redesign.


"The hotel features a solar power system on the hotel, with energy-efficient equipment such as programmable thermostats and energy-efficient lighting. The focus is in its entirety on nature and sustainability. The hotel also features locally sourced ingredients and foods in order to support the local community and tailor to guests who favor locally authentic experiences," added Beach Bay Hvar Hotel. 


Beach Bay Hvar Hotel is also running a special pre-opening deal with 10% off for the first guests at the newly renovated property this summer! Don't miss out on Beach Bay Hvar Hotel's stunning sea-view guest rooms and suites, ready to welcome guests this Friday, July 8! 

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

Saturday, 4 December 2021

2022 Sunčani Hvar Season Preparations Underway, 500 Seasonal Workers Needed

December 4, 2021 - The 2022 Sunčani Hvar season preparations are already underway, as the famous hotel group launches their recruiting program for the next season.

Next season, Sunčani Hvar will employ 500 seasonal workers as waiters, receptionists, chefs, assistant chefs, bartenders, and maids. In addition to several various benefits, this year, they also guarantee each employee a minimum salary of HRK 5,500 net, and during the high season, HRK 6,500 net, reports HRTurizam.

In recent years, Sunčani Hvar has been investing heavily in raising workers' living standards. Special attention is paid to the quality of accommodation units and common rooms to have comfortable and pleasant living conditions while working. In addition, employees are provided with accommodation in double rooms in attractive locations by the sea, free Wi-Fi, hot meals, and various education and training programs with stimulating monthly bonuses, Christmas bonuses, and more, according to Sunčani Hvar.

Their human resources development strategy stems from its focus on sustainable long-term development. It continuously invests in human resources - improving conditions and ensuring stability for seasonal workers through permanent seasonal contracts and opening opportunities for permanent employment and career building. This year, Sunčani Hvar is hiring 20 workers permanently.

"Sunčani Hvar bases its success on highly motivated and productive human resources. Every year we work to improve material conditions, provide better accommodation and food, and financial stability for our seasonal workers. In principle, most seasonal workers return, recognizing Sunčani as a desirable employer. On the other hand, the possibility to advance and permanent employment are extremely motivating factors for those individuals who want to develop a career in tourism," said Director of Human Resources Blaženka Tomičić, adding that new programs and plans for recruiting seasonal workers are developed every year.

Thus, the ‘Recommend a Friend’ Campaign, launched several years ago, is recognized by employees who actively participate in the selection process and offers everyone financial incentives for each recommended worker. More information about open positions and job applications in Sunčani Hvar can be found HERE.

Next year, another newly renovated hotel will grace the center of Hvar - boutique hotel Riva Marina, an exclusive 4-star hotel, also part of Sunčani Hvar.

Sunčani Hvar is the leading hotel company on the island of Hvar and also one of the largest hotel houses in Croatia. As a leader in quality and innovation in the hotel industry, it owns ten hotels and one campsite located in the most attractive locations in Hvar.

Hvar as a destination also won the title of the best island in Europe for the second time, according to the prestigious magazine Condé Nast Traveler, thus reaffirming its position as one of the most desirable destinations in the world.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Hvar Becomes New Territory for Valamar Riviera Hotel Company's Plans

July the 22nd, 2021 - The beautiful Central Dalmatian island of Hvar, known as Croatia's premier island, appears to be some new territory to conquer for the well known Valamar Riviera Hotel company. But that isn't all that's on the horizon.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, the Valamar Riviera Hotel company seems to have selected gorgeous Hvar to be its latest lucrative field - after the existing one hotel and two apartment complexes, a new hotel of the lifestyle genre was opened on the island back at the end of May this year, and it was the first to be adorned with the new Hvar brand (Places Hotel).

In addition, the offer for both tourists and residents alike has been supplemented by two new restaurants - Craft Beer & Grill and Grano Duro Pizza & Pasta have been operating on the waterfront for two months now.

These are independent facilities, and a massive 8.4 million kuna was poured into their renovation. Dario Kinkela, the director of the food and beverage sector at Valamar, will say that they belong to an already very well-established concept:

“We conceived the concepts a few years ago and implemented them in Rabac (as part of another restaurant) and Porec (Camp Lanterna, and Camp Istra in Funtana). Every year we improve them and adapt them to a new destination.

Grano Duro is based on top-quality pizzas, pasta and summer salads at affordable prices, and Craft Beer & Grill is focused on a rich offer of grilled meat and beer, with an emphasis on the best Croatian and world craft breweries,'' says Dario.

The move highlights the excellent relationship with local food suppliers, which is something that is in the interest of just about everyone of late, especially since the pandemic struck and issues with imports and exports became apparent.

“Cooperation with them is integrated into the Valamar Riviera Hotel company's very business policy. Wherever possible, we work with the local community, and this is reflected in the satisfaction of our guests who appreciate these high-quality groceries. They like to explore the tastes of the destinations they choose more and more, to taste something indigenous, and this isn't only a trend but is also a conscious focus on sustainability, which is an essential item when it comes to our business.

Hvar has a great wealth of flavours to boast of, from aromatic herbs, fruits and vegetables to wine. In these restaurants, we've adjusted our offer accordingly. Examples are Hvar oregano and capers on our pizzas, and Hvar lavender and bitter orange in cocktails, and we also offer pasticada with Hvar-sourced ingredients,'' says Kinkela.

Up in Istria, more precisely in Porec and Rabac, Grano Duro and Craft Beer & Grill had, he adds, excellent results, so they hope for something similar in Stari Grad on Hvar.

His hopes are especially high in this regard because these niches, as they claim from the Valamar Riviera Hotel company, otherwise aren't so present on the island. Regardless of the fact that Hvar has a reputation as a destination for wealthier guests, it targets different categories of consumers: Grano Duro is for families and young people, and Craft Beer & Grill attracts boaters and guests from private accommodation,'' says Kinkela.

These restaurants are far from unimportant, they've been designed to remain in operation even in the colder months so they have the potential to work all year round, not just in the summer. They stated from the Valamar Riviera Hotel company that this will not happen for now, noting that the move depends on several factors.

Judging by the fact that Valamar guarantees a minimum salary of 5,000 kuna to all of its workers, as well as secured accommodation and food, they didn't have any difficulties in finding staff in Stari Grad.

"Specialists from our F&B team trained our employees on Hvar, and went through all segments. Managers and key employees were trained in our similar facilities in the north. The training sessions have been carefully developed within our sector and I'm very proud of our educators,'' says Kinkela.

One year ago, the Valamar Riviera Hotel company launched the Valfresco Direkt service, as an online store that gives small producers a space to list and market their products. It is available to citizens and tourists alike in Istria.

"The good trend in this regard has continued, Valfresco Direkt delivers its products to camps in Istria and Krk every day. We've additionally adjusted our offer to the camps, guests can order groceries before leaving for their trip, in order to be that they will have arrived in their accommodation when they get there.

Guests of the camps in the area of ​​Labin and Porec use the delivery of ready-made local dishes from Valfresco cuisine. For some dishes, the delivery is done on the same day,'' concluded Dario Kinkela.

For more, follow our business section.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Second Phase of Investment for Lavanda Sunny Hotel in Autumn

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 12th of August, 2020, despite earlier negative projections for the tourism sector due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Valamar opened 21 hotels and resorts and all 15 of its camps in June and July, and the first phase of the investment in Lavanda Sunny hotel by Valamar on the island of Hvar near Stari Grad has been successfully completed.

The successful completion of the investment poured into the Lavanda Sunny hotel was a move which marked the beginning of a wider investment cycle from the Helios Faros facilities in partnership with PBZ Croatia osiguranje, OMF and Valamar Riviera. In the next phase, which is due to take place during the autumn, the company will invest a total of 43 million kuna in the Lavanda Sunny hotel's 179 accommodation units. The Sunny by Valamar brand has taken over the refurbishment of the former Lavanda Hotel, which has a lot to boast of and offer to guests today.

Valamar Riviera says that their guests recognised what there is on offer given the high occupancy of the hotel after the opening on July the 15th, and this investment will, they believe, contribute to the repositioning of higher value added services and the further development of tourism on the wildly popular Central Dalmatian island of Hvar. The Lavanda Sunny hotel stands out with modern rooms, a lobby, a kitchen and restaurant, its aesthetic design, its lifestyle elements of relaxation, an impressive a la carte offer and a new concept for its restaurant and bar.

The hotel also introduced a new IT structure, implemented the HACCP food safety control system and a digital facility management system, as well as the V Health & Safety programme according to health, safety and environmental standards. It seems that while the global pandemic continues to throw proverbial spanners in the works for a great many companies, particularly those in travel and tourism, this company is continuing to go from strength to strength.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Helios Faros Company from Hvar to Leave Receivership Status

The Zagreb Stock Exchange reported today that Helios Faros, a hotel company from Stari Grad on Hvar was allowed to leave the receivership status it had, as Valamar Riviera and PBZ Croatia Osiguranje will invest 650 million kuna into the reconstruction of the company's hotels.

After that investment, Valamar now owns 23,61% of the stocks of the Helios Faros company, and PBZ Croatia Osiguranje owns 70,83%. At the same time, the capital stock of the company has been increased to 96,56 million kuna. During the receivership process, all creditors were paid, which allowed the Commercial court in Split to finish the receivership, Goran Rihelj reports for

Through the partnership between PBZ Croatia Osiguranje and Valamar, who will manage the hotels and other facilities owned by Helios Faros, a new phase of tourism in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar will start. For decades now, the company has been the leader of Stari Grad's tourism, and it has been in receivership since February 2016.

There are currently 1,465 beds in the company's two- and three-star hotels Arkada and Lavanda (both located in the so-called Helios neighbourhood on the northern side of Stari Grad bay) and the Jurjevac camp.

The proposal of a takeover by PBZ Croatia Osiguranje and Valamar Riviera detailed the five-year plan of investment into the tourist properties, worth 650 million kuna.

Two resorts will be completely reconstructed and newly built, of a high category, with a capacity of around 700 units. That will reposition the portfolio of the company towards the premium sector, which will add to the attractiveness and recognisability of Stari Grad as a destination. According to this plan, after the reconstruction of the hotels Akrada and Lavanda, the company will employ 500 workers.

For more news on Hvar, follow our destination site - Total Hvar.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Olive Bay (Coming Soon)

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Four Seasons (Coming Soon)

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Heritage Villa Apolon

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Hotel Lavanda

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