Saturday, 7 August 2021

History of Le Meridien Lav: Luxury Split Hotel Celebrates 50 Years

August 7, 2021 - The history of Le Meridien Lav as the famous luxury hotel near Split celebrates 50 years. 

On August 8, 1971, today's luxury resort Le Meridien Lav opened its doors under the then (temporary) name Kairos in Podstrana near Split, reports HRTurizam.

Two hundred guests from Italy, France, and the United States were greeted by only one of the three hotel buildings planned within the hotel complex. The media reported that "the hotel could not resist the onslaught of tourists and was forced to start work" because the guests themselves "gave up one hundred percent comfort when they saw what kind of environment the hotel is in." It was then one of the largest hotels on the Adriatic and the most modern in the high B category. It had 373 rooms, a hall for banquets and meetings, lounges, a casino, a nightclub, a snack bar, a barber and hairdresser, an infirmary, various sports fields, a bowling alley, its own beach, a winter pool, and other recreational facilities, built by the Split company Lavčević.

However, Lav celebrates three birthdays on dates that, in a way, marked its beginning. That is why the current Le Meridien Lav resort will mark this great anniversary by connecting all these dates, from autumn 2021 to late spring 2022.

Except for August 8, when part of the hotel complex was "opened under the onslaught of tourists," important dates at the beginning of work include October 24, 1971, when the entire hotel complex was inaugurated on the 27th anniversary of the liberation of Split, and March 1972, when the then hotel complex "Kairos" was renamed into the now legendary "Lav."

To mark the 50th anniversary, a series of events and activities will be organized from autumn 2021 to spring 2022. At the very end of the celebration, in the late spring of 2022, a multilingual monograph on this legendary hotel in Split will be published.

Hotel Le Meridien Lav has been owned since 2016 by the private Czech equity fund Odien Group, more precisely its subsidiary, Odien Hotels N.V.

"We have owned the Le Meridien Lav resort for only a few years, but we are looking forward to this anniversary as if we were here from the beginning. Lav has a rich heritage and special importance in the identity and collective memory of residents, so it is important to us, in cooperation with our employees, partners, and associates, and our neighbors from Podstrana, with whom we share the most beautiful memories of our hotel, mark the first 50 years in a quality and interesting way. Furthermore, with our business plans and investments in the last few years, we have shown how important this resort and destination is to us and how we want Le Meridien Lav to continue to be the leading tourist brand on the Adriatic coast," said Mike Saran on behalf of Odien Group, which owns Le Meridien Lav from 2018.

Arnoud Zaalberg, General Manager of Le Meridien Lav Split, does not hide his joy over this great anniversary: “I have been in Lav for almost a decade, and I am sincerely looking forward to this anniversary because it reminds me of all the interesting and beautiful moments I experienced with employees, guests and partners and the stories I have heard about Lav from past and present employees. Furthermore, we are especially proud of the fact that Lav celebrated its 50th anniversary in a new guise with many new and improved, high-quality content, which we strive to preserve the quality and values we have inherited daily."

Le Meridien Lav is a 5-star resort with a total of 378 accommodation units and 12 modern conference rooms in an area of 5000 square meters.

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

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Congress Tourism in Split Stands Out With Le Meridien Lav Renovation

April 20, 2021 - The five-star hotel resort Le Meridien Lav has invested 5 million euros for the renovation of its premises and puts congress tourism in Split in the spotlight.

As reports, Split resort Le Meridien Lav, the only five-star hotel resort in the Split area, confirmed that the crisis should be seen as an opportunity, and welcomes the season with 180 renovated rooms in two hotel blocks and public hotel rooms: lobby, reception, hotel bar in the lobby, as well as at the entrance to the hotel, in which 5 million and 150 thousand euros have been invested so far.

This is only the first phase of the renovation of the Split resort out of three, which will include the renovation of all accommodation facilities, modernization, and expansion of the marina within the resort, additional arrangement of beaches and business premises in the marina, which should be finalized by summer 2022.

‘‘I am proud of the fact that despite the new challenging times, we are following our business and investment plan. At Lav, we look at the challenges with great enthusiasm, so we used this ‘quiet’ period for the first part of the hotel renovation. To many, this investment will seem like an unusual move at the moment, but this is the best way to show how much we believe in our resort and destination”, said Arnoud Zaalberg, CEO of Le Meridien Lav.


Credits: Atellior

This investment is a continuation of the investment in Le Meridian Lav, which began in 2019 with the renovation of the RE: CUPERA spa & wellness center worth just over 2 million euros.

The resort has five thousand square feet of convention space.

In addition to the current renovation, more than two million kunas have been invested in accommodation and public facilities in the congress content - more precisely the renovation of congress halls and meeting rooms, the complete renovation of the tennis center, and the opening of new restaurants and bars.

‘‘Congress tourism, the event industry, as well as the organization of special ceremonies such as weddings are a significant part of our business. Today, the Le Meridien Lav resort has a total of 12 congress halls and event rooms, with two smaller halls on two floors primarily intended for smaller meetings and presentations. At the end of last year, with the conversion of the space, we created three new congress halls. The resort currently has five thousand square feet of convention space that includes a central, largest convention hall with amazing sea views. All halls are equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video equipment”, said Zaalberg.


Credits: Atellior

At Le Meridien Lav, they are especially proud of the fact that despite the pandemic crisis and much weaker tourist results last season, as well as announcements of an uncertain next season, they still managed to keep all employees, and these days are actively working to hire seasonal workers.

‘‘In tourism, the key to success is people! Employees are our greatest strength and we have really made extraordinary efforts to keep all permanent employees despite all the challenges of last year and this year. I am extremely grateful to them that we are all going through these challenging times together with understanding. We are currently, according to the plan, in the process of hiring seasonal workers. My team and I love challenges and share this attitude with our owners from the Odien Group, so we are looking forward to the upcoming season and believe that our efforts will bear fruit’’, said Zaalberg.


Credits: Atellior

Le Meridien Lav is the only 5-star resort in the Split area, located in Podstrana, 8 kilometers south of Split. It has a total of 378 accommodation units and 12 modern conference halls in an area of ​​5000 square meters. Since 2015, it has been owned by the private Czech equity fund Odien Group, more precisely its subsidiary Odien Hotels N.V., whose portfolio this year also includes the Blue Orange Business Resort in Prague.

You can find more information about tourism in Split HERE, and the latest information about flights to Croatia HERE.

For more news about travel in Croatia, check our dedicated page.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Below Deck and Break Time: How Stray Cats Connected US Reality Show and Split Nautical Jewelry

March 8, 2021 - So, how was Split's famous nautical jewelry shop connected with one of the most famous reality shows in the US? Stray cats. A look at the Below Deck and Break Time bracelet story. 

The Croatian National Tourist Board reports that the new season of the highly popular American reality series Below Deck Sailing Yacht, filmed in Croatia last summer, began airing on American cable television Bravo TV, the head of the Croatian Tourist Board in Los Angeles, Iva Bahunek, revealed on Monday. 

"The show will last at least 16 weeks, which is the perfect time to additionally promote Croatia because it is the period when Americans most often book their trips. An additional benefit is that this series is shown in other countries. We are especially pleased with the production team's assessment that, of all previous seasons, the most attractive and interesting season was filmed in Croatia," said Bahunek, adding that the recent Golden Globe Awards broadcast an advertisement for the new Below Deck season, which gave the series, but also Croatia, additional visibility on the American market.

This famous American reality show has been airing since 2013, and the concept of the show includes following the professional and private lives of the crew and their guests on mega yachts. The new season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht 2 - CROATIA was filmed in the Split waters during July, August, and September 2020. During the filming, the 54-meter-long Parsifal III sailboat was used, anchored in front of the Le Méridien Lav Hotel in Podstrana near Split. It is also interesting that this was the first Hollywood production that was filmed entirely and without interruption outside the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, in which a significant contribution was made by the Split Institute of Public Health.


Just how much they liked Croatia and their kind hosts was confirmed by the $40,000 donation from the production company 51 minds and Bravo TV through the Global Giving Charity to help earthquake victims in Sisak-Moslavina County. Furthermore, all fans and viewers will also be able to donate to the same cause.

Namely, during the premiere of the first episode of the series, the show's biggest stars invited viewers to donate, which will be shown during the broadcast throughout the spring and early summer of 2021. Fans of the show will be able to donate through the Ministry of Finance portal, and the entire action was initiated by Iva Bahunek, head of the CNTB in Los Angeles.

But that's not all. 

During their time in Split, Below Deck's main charter guests were connected with one local nautical jewelry shop TCN fans know well - and it was all thanks to stray cats. 

"On August 11th, 2020, a group of cool American tourists entered our shop. If you watched episode 1 and 2 of the Below Deck Sailing Season 2, then you know them: the main charter guests Nikki and Rusty, along with their friends, came to our Trogirska 8 Split Atelier & Outlet Store in Split to leave a very generous donation of 1200 USD on behalf of their ARNI Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida to help with the stray cat situation in the Split area, a donation which was put to very good use by the ladies who run the Macke & Co. Group

They read Daniela Rogulj's article in Total Croatia News about the work that the ladies from the Macke group are doing and about the bake sale we organised in our shop to support the stray cats of Split. They came to us straight after getting off Parsifal III," said the Break Time owners Mirela and Leonard on their blog about the news, which they were only now able to reveal to the public! 

And it gets better.

"Nikki and Rusty had no idea what our shop was actually about, but they immediately fell in love with our nautical bracelets and, besides getting some for themselves and friends back home, they ordered 12 of our Yacht Club anchor bracelets for the crew of Parsifal III, all custom engraved with the message "Live long, sail hard" to honour Nikki's father (you probably say also the Tshirts they were wearing in episode 1 of Below Deck Sailing).


We also made a special Captain by Break Time all-black nautical bracelet for Captain Glenn, engraved with PARSIFAL III (and from what we could gather from the teaser images, he is wearing it)," they added. Being big fans of the show, they decided to deliver the bracelets to the Le Meridien Lav marina themselves. 


While Mirela and Leonard could not meet the crew due to COVID-19 restrictions, the story uncovers an even happier ending. 

"A couple of weeks later, Nikki wrote to us and asked us to make 80 more custom engraved "Live Long, Sail Hard" anchor bracelets from our YACHT CLUB by Break Time original collection for the entire production team of the Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2 Croatia. It was our biggest private order in 2020, and we were happy to oblige. My partner, Leonard, worked non-stop for a whole day to make them and engrave them while I helped packing them nicely."


The Below Deck series is shown on the Bravo TV network, one of the most-watched American cable channels, which in 2020 recorded a large increase in "on-demand reviews," 427 million to be precise, as well as 222 million "live broadcasts." So far, a total of 15 seasons of this TV franchise have been filmed, consisting of Below Deck, which is filmed in tropical destinations, Below Deck Mediterranean, which is filmed in the Mediterranean, and the latest Below Deck Sailing Yacht, which is filmed on large sailboats unlike other variants of the series that are filmed on motor yachts.

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

Friday, 9 February 2018

European Club Association and HNK Hajduk Announce New Two-Day Conference in Split this April

A press release from Hajuk Split on February 8, 2018. 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Meet the Top Luxury Hotels in the Split Region

The Split region is already the picture-perfect destination for luxury - boasting an Adriatic coastline coupled with pebbled beaches, rich greenery, and the carefully crafted culinary creations of the Mediterranean cuisine. As if this area could be any more deluxe, today we bring you some of the best luxury hotels where you can rest your head like royalty.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Le Meridien Lav in Split Awarded Prestigious Eco-Label "Green Key"

While they were awarded the prestigious label of environmental excellence, "Green Key”, Split hotel Le Meridien Lav also announced that they would be joining the global "Earth Hour" movement, reports HRTurizam on March 25, 2017.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Congress of Catering and Tourism Workers to be Held in Split

The guild of caterers and tourism workers in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce is organizing the “Congress of Caterers and Tourism Workers” for the 29th consecutive year. This year, the 29th Congress will be held from 27 to 29 November in Split at the hotel Le Meridien Lav. The host of this year's Congress is the Chamber of Crafts in Split-Dalmatia County (HOK).

Friday, 30 September 2016

Split Becomes a Global Center for All Things Olives Next Month

In less than a month, Split will become the global center for all things “olives”. From October 10 to 14, for the world's largest olive growing meeting, the VIII International Olive Symposium will be held at hotel Le Meridien Lav in Podstrana. The symposium will discuss the most important topics and latest discoveries about olives and olive oil production throughout the world.  

Sunday, 14 August 2016

7 Palms Lounge Bar: Le Meridien Lav's New Retreat

7 Palms at Le Meridien Lav in Split has just gotten a makeover - their new lounge bar is a place where you can enjoy the tastes and smells of summer flavor in a pleasant atmosphere - with cocktails and all the relaxing entertainment you need.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

A New Exhibition at Le Méridien Lav in Split

The eighth solo exhibition called Prozori Hrvatske (Windows in Croatia), will be displayed by known photographer Biljana Gaurina. The exhibit will open on Wednesday, July 6, at 20h at the Le Méridien Lav in Split.

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