Sunday, 24 January 2021

PHOTOS: Incredible Seaside Opatija Villa Design For Sale

January 24, 2021 – With breathtaking views of the Kvarner Gulf and island Cres, Opatija Villa Design is an award-winning triumph of contemporary architecture, its purchase a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Sitting on the coastal road to Rijeka, only around one and a half kilometres northeast of Opatija, the village of Volosko has almost been consumed by its famous and opulent neighbour. Indeed, many today refer to Volosko as a neighbourhood of Opatija. But, that wasn't always the case.

volosko.jpegThe beautiful seaside village of Volosko and its harbour © Visit Opatija

With its own micro-climate and its own distinct bay within the Kvarner Gulf, Volosko is one of the best places in the region for windsurfing. Taking advantage of the best conditions in the very early morning, as dawn spreads a brightening light over Volosko, surfers get a great view of its harbour. Before the village became regarded as part of Opatija, it was actually tied to the great walled town of Kastav, located some five kilometres above on the mountainside. Volosko was the town's port.

Surfers eyeing the Volosko shoreline might also get a glimpse of the incredible Opatija Villa Design, sitting in the foothills above Volosko. Once you see it, it's tough to miss. It looks like literally nothing else within eyesight. An oblong box with glorious sea-facing windows, truth be told, you have to get much closer to Opatija Villa Design to fully appreciate all of its award-winning design.

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While instantly noticeable because it extends out diagonally, leaving half of the dwelling floating in space, this prominent rectangular box is actually less than half the story of Opatija Villa Design. The part you can't spot from the surf is another whole half of the property - a brick-walled structure lies beneath, built into the hillside like a cave, covered atop with gardens and grass. There's also a sleek outdoor swimming pool.

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Opatija Villa Design was commissioned back in 2010 and was originally called Nest and Cave House. In 2012, the villa earned architect Idis Turato the national Drago Galić award as part of the Annual Realization Exhibition for the most successful achievement in residential architecture. Later that year, Opatija Villa Design was nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe International Award.

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However impressive its upper floor may look from the sea, that's nothing compared to the view of the Adriatic gifted by the positioning of the Opatija Villa Design. Stretching out before you in widescreen is the entire Kvarner Gulf – to the left, the buzzing city of Rijeka, less than 20 minutes by car, similarly perched in the rising foothills. In front of you, the island of Cres floats on the waves, beneath you the Austro-Hungarian grandeur of Opatija proper, between them the speeding sails of the windsurfers. To grant maximum time before this breathtaking view, the living space is located on the upper floor, the bedrooms hidden from the intense heat of midsummer in the cavern below.

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On the upper floor's 100 square metres are a living room, dining room, kitchen, storage and toilet, beside a garage of 35 square meters. Beyond the driveway and upper lawns lie solar panels which top up the Opatija Villa Design's electricity.

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An open staircase leads to the lower floor - also around 100 square metres - which contains a more formal living room for entertaining plus a double bedroom and another bedroom. Outside of the cave's patio doors lie a large outdoor dining area (shaded from the sun by the floating part of the upper floor), extensive lawn space and the pool. The entire property is surrounded by hedges or walls to maintain privacy.

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Ten years after its inception, the property is once again in the spotlight because it has come up for sale. Its price tag? A not inconsiderable 3,011,806 dollars, or 18 million kuna. According to great regional portal Fiuman.hr, the property is listed on the pages of luxury real estate agent Croatia Sotheby's International Realty. For someone who can meet the asking price, Opatija Villa Design offers the chance to turn dream living into a reality.

All images © Croatia Sotheby's International Realty unless otherwise accredited

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

PHOTOS: Incredible Makarska Villa Kuk Immersed In Natural Rock

January 20, 2021 – One of Croatia's current most-adventurous architectural projects, the incredible Villa Kuk near Makarska, actually takes advantage of one of the area's most striking features – the natural rock of the Dinaric Alps foothills almost completely encases its hidden luxury

A villa or apartment on the Dalmatian coast is a dream for many. If not forever, then just for a little while. But, in the race to throw up new builds to satisfy demand, some older tricks can be lost. Some new buildings seem to seep heat in through the very walls, demanding the use of the air conditioner to keep you cool. In older buildings, that's rarely a problem. Built with thicker walls, from older stone, the time-honoured dwellings of Dalmatia are often cool enough without the klima.

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Perhaps this was a point taken into consideration by architect Branka Juras, whose latest project, Villa Kuk near Makarska, has walls broad enough to shelter from even the strongest sun. Her plans for Villa Kuk see the luxurious villa encased in the karst rock of the Dinaric Alps foothills. Sandwiched between two giant slices of rock, Villa Kuk's inner luxury will be all but hidden from view.

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As detailed by journalist Anita Budimir in Jutarnji List's feature on the Villa Kuk project, Branka Juras of the Faculty of Architecture and a former employee of regarded Croatian architectural studio Randić & Turato architects. Her latest project, Villa Kuk, is being undertaken by Juras and the team she has assembled within her own practice.

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Villa Kuk will be situated at 110 metres above sea level in the Velko Brdo area of Makarska, in the foothills of the Dinaric Alps immediately to the north of the city centre. Its west and east walls will be comprised of the huge, natural boulders between which the villa will sit. The villa will only be visible from the north and south, which will hold its constructed facades.

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The south façade will use large glass walls, gifting a widescreen view of the open sea. A minimalist but luxurious contemporary design is planned for the interior. The project is actually a radical overhaul of a building that previously stood in the plot – a restaurant.

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The villa will consist of a basement, ground floor and a roof area, which was used as a terrace by the restaurant. An atrium has been added to the dwelling's redesign, affording additional light and the basement space extended to accommodate extra living space. Though radical in design and ambition, the height of the building does not extend beyond the height of the rocks between which it is sandwiched, ensuring Villa Kuk will have minimal impact on the area's natural and existing aesthetics.

All 3d visualisation images of the completed Villa Kuk project by Marijan Katić

Monday, 14 September 2020

PHOTOS: Luxury Villas Croatia - Breathtaking Views in Makarska's Foothills

September 14, 2020 – 10 minutes from the centre of bustling Makarska, blending traditional Dalmatia with incredible 5-star facilities, My Home Adriona is a blissfully secluded paradise and one of the most singular luxury villas Croatia has

_DSC0210.jpegMy Home Adriona sits in the foothills of Biokovo mountain, just 10 minutes drive from the centre of bustling Makarska

Not everyone knows exactly what kind of holiday they want. Taking to the crystal clear waters on a pristine beach and soaking up the atmosphere of winding old town streets and their taverns are essentials of every holiday in Dalmatia. But, sometimes you need to break off from the crowds. They are not who you chose to spend your precious holiday time with. Neither are the all-too-near neighbours in the crowded apartment complexes or the town's full capacity hotels.

20200809_155449.jpegViews from the first-floor bedrooms show the wild nature which surrounds the custom-designed pool, the Adriatic close by and Brač island is the distance

IMG_5694.jpegA handful of houses are the villa's only neighbours, the only sound you hear all day is the crickets in the trees and the splashes you make in the pool

Luxury villas Croatia are the best way to make sure you and your fellow travellers get the most out of your vacation, and each other. Located in Kotišina, a small village in a Makarska neighbourhood, My Home Adriona is one of the most singular luxury villas Croatia has. Balancing traditional Dalmatian architecture with 5-star luxury, the villa is surrounded by the indigenous flora of the region and breathtaking views of the Adriatic and Brač island. Out of sight, but less than 10 minutes drive by car, the beautiful beaches and vibrant tavern and town life of Makarska await. Like the salty waves, they are on your doorstep any time you feel like dipping in.

myhomeadriona-7_R.jpegOlive, citrus, fig and pine trees surround the villa.

The scent of wild rosemary, lavender, citrus and other Mediterranean plants and herbs fill the air on the ample terrace of My Home Adriona. Gazing across the custom-designed pool and down into the tree-filled valley below, only the sounds of crickets fills the air. The village is quiet. Many of its quaint, traditional houses lie empty, used for a week or two as holiday homes. A car or moped might travel through the single road in the village once every hour. Or maybe none will pass through all day.

20200709_195651.jpegThe 17th-century Kotišina castle is carved into the mountainside, just 10 minutes walk from the villa, before it, the Botanical Gardens, dedicated to local plants and herbs

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IMG_5713.jpegShade from the sun by the side of the pool or soak up the rays in the morning or late afternoon

Sitting elevated from the shoreline, in the foothills of the mighty Biokovo mountain, it's all too easy to become captivated by the seascape from Adriona. But, of all the coastal luxury villas Croatia boasts, this is one where the breathtaking view surrounds completely. Olive and fig trees line the property boundary. Beyond them, the handful of traditional dwellings sit on gentle slopes before, suddenly, the karst rock shoots up towards the sky. At dusk, you can watch the colour shadings on the mountain change spectacularly every minute in response to the waning sun. Carved into the mountain, 10 minutes walk from Adriona, a 17th-century castle dominates the view behind. Below it, 300 wild plants grow in the Kotišina Botanical Gardens, each of them indigenous to this specific area, just like those surrounding Adriona.

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_DSC1295.jpegThe spacious open-plan living room and dining area sit next to a monster-sized, modern and fully-equipped kitchen. There's an additional eating area on the terrace, perfect for dining in the evening

IMG_5792.jpegBedrooms come with king-size beds and ensuite bathrooms. Each double bedroom is individually named after locally growing fruits and herbs - the natural bathroom products of each room hold a corresponding scent

crop_9999_666_My-Home-Adriona-Dalmatia-Olivers-Travels24.jpgThe games room and its bar are a proper man cave, with snooker table and poker table. Like the rest of the villa, it is furnished with fully restored antique furniture

The traditional white stone of Dalmatian houses forms the exterior to Adriona. Inside, restored antique furniture maintains the authentic feel, but it's combined with jaw-dropping luxury features that are wholly contemporary. On the ground floor, a spacious living room and dining area sit next to a fully equipped kitchen. A games room comes complete with snooker table, poker table and a fully stocked bar (although it's not as well-stocked as the wine cellar which, like the rest of Adriona, displays exquisite taste). In the basement, a spa and wellness area boasts a gym, sauna and a jacuzzi. Each of the four double bedrooms is huge, with kingsize beds, ensuite bathrooms and incredible views which perfectly welcome each day. All floors are accessible by lift and one bedroom is designed to accommodate those with disabilities or mobility issues.

20190927_162108.jpegThe wine cellar is stocked with exemplary Croatian wines. Some of the best red wine from the country comes from this region and all feature within this connoisseurs collection

IMG_5719.jpegWhat a view to wake up to in the morning!

When it comes to luxury villas Croatia has more than a small share. But, among them, Adriona is quite unique. Neighbourless and remote, yet just 10 minutes from the centre of a town brimming with people, beaches and nightlife, it's a luxurious base perfect for exploring the Makarska riviera and wider Dalmatia. Beautiful beaches, the Biokovo nature park, islands Hvar and Brač, adventure sports on the Cetina river, traditional taverns and Michelin-starred restaurants are all within very easy reach. This is a luxury villa at which every day can be different, and at which you can take your holiday at your own pace.

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IMG_5739.jpegThe view of Biokovo mountain and the castle from the upstairs terrace of My Home Adriona. The colours of the rock face seem to change every minute at sunset

All photos © Marc Rowlands / My Home Adriona

You can check out more photos of My Home Adriona on their Instagram page

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Friday, 15 May 2020

Renters of Croatian Luxury Villas Express Enthusiasm for Tourist Season

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 14th of May, 2020, right up until the beginning of March this year, it seemed that Croatia could safely expect yet another excellent tourist season. The market for renting Croatian luxury villas with swimming pools was booming, putting everyone into a false sense of security before the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe.

The market for the renting out of Croatian luxury villas has been growing unstoppably in recent years due to better and better tourist seasons with the rolling around of each and every summer. The beginning of 2020 also promised the continuation of this positive, encouraging and directly upward trend, but with the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, everything simply came to a halt. Tportal talked about this topic with Daniel Prebeg, the owner and director of Klick and Book platform. Prebeg rents about 200 Croatian villas, and they're mostly located in Istria.

''There were so many bookings that I was expecting another record year. In the first two months of 2020 alone I made half my earnings from all of last year, and then the pandemic broke out. Over the past two months, I have received only two inquiries, and otherwise there'd usually be hundreds of them. We have a prime time for reservations after Easter and for last minutes, when we earn the most,'' Prebeg told tportal.

His clientele is mostly made up of wealthy guests from Germany and Austria, for whom it's not a problem at all to set aside anything from 500 to as much as 4000 euros per week for a stay in Croatian luxury villas in the interior of Istria or in the vicinity of Croatia's southernmost city and longstanding tourist Mecca - Dubrovnik.

Thanks to decent early bookings, all of his villas currently have reservations. Of that, about 30 percent of arrivals were postponed to later dates or to next year.

''I crossed May and June off because no one will come then. As long as the rule is in force that a German or an Austrian must spend fourteen days in self-isolation after returning from abroad, no one will bother travelling. Now we're all waiting for an official decision to open the borders back up again in Europe. If that happens, I'll fill the villas. There will be no problems then, but if July fails, we're going to have a fight on our hands for survival,'' Prebeg warned.

''In Istria, but also in Dalmatia, we could have a boom if the borders are opened. Croatia is a car destination. Many airlines have failed. It's unsafe for people to fly to Greece or Turkey, for example. And that's why we will be the first choice for many for this summer,'' Prebeg concluded optimistically.

For more on Croatian luxury villas, follow our travel page.

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