Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Jadran Lazić: '50 Years of Photography' Opens at Palace Elisabeth Hotel on Hvar

July 27, 2022 - From Split to Los Angeles, world-famous photographer Jadran Lazić will open an exhibition at Palace Elisabeth in Hvar town tonight, showcasing 50 years of his work. 

The exhibition opening of the world-famous Split photographer Jadran Lazić, entitled 'Jadran Lazić: 50 Years of Photography', will open on Wednesday, July 27, at the Palace Elisabeth hotel, in the hotel's Red Salon, starting at 8:00 pm. 


The exhibition includes photographs taken across fifty years of intensive and dynamic work shooting actors, singers, football players, and others whose lives gained mass popularity in international media. The exhibition will also present a monograph of Jadran Lazić's photographs, which come in two volumes of 900 pages, offering a visual time machine of 20th-century glamour. 

This year, for the first time, the Red Salon, which is part of the Palace Elisabeth Hotel, was transformed into a unique gallery that offers visitors a special cultural experience. The space is ideal for events, conferences, and events for up to 80 guests. As an integral part of the Palace Elisabeth Hotel, the space is recognizable by its authentic atmosphere and high ceilings, which sets it apart from other event venues.

The exhibition 'Jadran Lazić: 50 Years of Photography' will be open until October 20, and visitors can see it every day from Monday to Sunday. Jadran Lazić will officially open the exhibition tonight! 

Lazić was born in Split in 1952, where he started working as a photojournalist as a high school student and then as a photographer of pop stars, actors, and athletes of the time. He then headed to Paris and secured an engagement with the reputable Sipa Press agency. From being a paparazzi, Lazić quickly became a professional photographer that covered numerous important events. His photos were published by elite magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Paris Match, Hello, Gale, Stern, People, and Style.

Today, Jadran Lazić lives half the year in Los Angeles and half in Zavala, Hvar. Lazić has not stopped as a photographer, either, and owns a photo agency in Los Angeles, where he has lived since 1987. 

Lazić's portraits of film, music, sports, art and other stars are collected in his monographs, including Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Penn, Mila Jovovich, Jean-Claude Van Damme, David Bowie, Sean Connery, Faye Dunaway, Jodie Foster, Bianca Jagger, Jimmy Carter, Chuck Norris, Shanon Doherty, Brigitte Bardot, Sofia Loren, Richard Gere, and more.

The two-volume edition was printed in a thousand copies, of which 750 in Croatian and 250 in English. The deluxe edition allows buyers to choose one of Jadran's ten best photos, signed and numbered. The monograph price is HRK 2,000 for the standard edition and HRK 4,000 for the deluxe edition.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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.


Saturday, 9 April 2022

Condé Nast Traveler 2022 Readers’ Choice Award: Vote for Palace Elisabeth, Amfora, and Hvar Island!

April 9, 2022 - The island of Hvar was voted the #1 island in Europe last year and has a chance to defend its title in the Condé Nast Traveler 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards! But some of Hvar Island's best hotels are taking the spotlight this year, too. 

The Condé Nast Traveler 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards have opened the polls for their annual survey, which includes two famous Hvar hotels Palace Elisabeth and Amfora, as well as the island of Hvar itself in the choice for Best Hotels & Resorts and Islands!

The Reader’s Choice Awards rank the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines, airports, and cruise lines in the world and it is Condé Nast Traveler’s biggest yearly travel award. 

“The last two years changed how and where we all traveled, but also the trips we’re booking now. That makes it more important than ever for you to weigh in on the places getting you excited to travel again—from your all-time favorite hotels, cruises, and beach resorts to the countries, cities, and islands you're escaping to in 2022 and beyond. Plus, we want to hear all about what your last travel year looked like. So please vote, share, and tell us everything," writes Condé Nast Traveler.  

Receiving this recognition of excellence is highly valued in the travel industry.

So, how do you vote? 

Step 1: Visit

Step 2: Log in with your Facebook account or ‘Register’

Step 3: Click on the “Islands” and/ or "Hotels and Resorts" category

Step 4: Search - Hvar / Palace Elisabeth / Amfora / and vote

Share your travel experience by voting in the 2022 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards by June 30, 2022.

And don't forget...

Sunčani Hvar Hotels Spring Specials are here, with enticing offers at two of its most in-demand hotels - Adriana & Amfora!

Spice up your Easter break with a minimum 2-night stay at Adriana spa hotel, with prices starting from 59 EUR per person and breakfast included! But that's not all. Adriana guests will receive a bottle of house wine and a 10% discount at its restaurants and bars during their stay. This offer is valid for the month of April with a free upgrade upon availability. 

And if you can't make it in April but still want to explore the charms of Hvar this preseason? 

Amfora resort has also announced a Spring Special during one of the most beautiful periods to visit the island. From 51 EUR per person with breakfast included (and a minimum 2-night stay), guests also receive a bottle of house wine, a 10% discount at its restaurant and bars, and a free upgrade upon availability. This offer, however, is valid from April 20 to June 1, 2022! 

For more, check out our travel section.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Croatian Hotel Included in Architectural Digest Best 2020 Hotel Designs

December 20, 2019 - Architectural Digest highlights some of the world's top hotels at the cutting edge of architectural design, including one from Hvar in their 2020 list. 

Leading architecture publication, Architectural Digest, has published its annual list of the best-designed new hotels for 2020, including Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel, on Croatia's sunshine island. 


Palace Elisabeth, part of the Suncani Hvar Hotels group and the first 5-star hotel on Hvar, opened its doors in September and has already become a member of the illustrious Leading Hotels of the World. Here is what Architectural Digest had to say:

A slice of royalty comes to Hvar Island in Croatia in the summer, when the former duke’s palace (dating to the 13th century), formally reopens its doors. Forty-five rooms and suites with Venetian and Austrian elements offer views of the Adriatic Sea; each room has murals hand-painted by the designer Oto Blaha—a rare touch. In 1899, the edifice was rebuilt for Empress Elisabeth, “Sisi.”

You can see the full Architectural Digest list here

The level of detail in the design is very impressive, and designer Oto Blaha explained the project in much greater detail in an interview with TCN earlier this year


The luxury hotel has made an impressive start since its 100-million kuna upgrade from the previous Hotel Palace and delightful opening party in October, and the international media are beginning to notice, with The Daily Telegraph the latest international media to endorse the historic hotel


That media interest is set to intensify across the Atlantic in January, as Suncani Hvar takes its message of luxury acccommodation on Croatia's premier island to the important North American market at the New York Times Travel Show in January. 

To learn more about Palace Elisabeth, visit the official website

To learn more about the island of Hvar, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Palace Elisabeth: Inside Hvar's First 5-Star Hotel (Picture Special)

December 14, 2019 - Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel opened its doors in September, the first 5-star hotel on the island. A photo tour of a luxurious step back in time. 

It is a very strange experience being a tourist in the place you live. After ten years living on Hvar, I had that first experience a few years ago when the foodie media experts from Gastronaut came to visit. Accommodation in Hotel Riva, dinner at Garful, a speedboat transfer to taste Zlatan Otok wines before another speedboat transfer to Palmizana and lunch at Meneghello - top Hvar experiences form the viewpoint of the tourist. 

It was a life I could get used to... 


Such occasions are rare for a blogger of course, but I was delighted to accept an invitation to the opening of one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year on the island - the opening of Palace Elisabeth, the first 5-star heritage hotel on Hvar, and only the third 5-star hotel on a Croatian island. It was quite a night, and having covered tourism on Hvar for 8 years via Total Hvar, a particular honour to witness the start of the latest initiative to move the Hvar tourism story in a more elite direction. You can read a report of the opening party here.  

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So how does Palace Elisabeth look close up? Well, as you can see from the photo above, there are worse places to be sitting to take in another breathtaking Hvar sunset over the Pakleni Islands than on the balcony of the Penthouse Suite.

The hotel is a gorgeous mixture of modern luxury with intricate heritage detail. And it has quite a history, located on the place where organised tourism began in Europe back in 1868 and opposite the oldest public theatre in Europe, just across the main square, a theatre which also reopened this year after a 20-year renovation. 

Take a tour of Palace Elisabeth below, and learn more about it from the official Suncani Hvar website

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Sunday, 22 September 2019

Hvar's Luxury Tourism Renaissance Continues: View from Opening of Palace Elisabeth Heritage Hotel

It has been quite a year for Hvar heritage and the realigning of tourism on Croatia's premier island, with the official opening of Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel on September 21, 2019 the latest jewel in its crown. 

It is a very strange feeling being a tourist in the place where you live. 

Of course, coming from Manchester, that feeling would be all the more strange, but after living on Hvar for 11 years, I had the opportunity to be a luxury tourist on the island back in 2014 as I joined a group of international foodie journalists from Gastronaut on a 3-day tour of the finest food and wine experiences on offer on Hvar, staying at swanky Hotel Riva on the fabled Hvar waterfront. It was quite a trip and opened my eyes to how the island was experienced by discerning guests expecting top quality. 



And although I swapped the sun and charms of Hvar for gorgeous Varazdin a couple of years ago, I left my heart on that idyllic Dalmatian island and am a regular visitor. I have watched Hvar's tourism story progress over the years, celebrating its many successes and highlighting its mistakes (at least in my opinion) and moves in the wrong direction. 

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A particular battleground for the future of tourism on Hvar has been the rise of party tourism on the island at the expense of a more elite tourism based on culture and heritage. Several factors have combined in the last year or so to help refocus Hvar's tourism once more on quality and a higher-end offer. 

And the first results are already in evidence. 

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Among the most important changes has been a stated change in direction of tourism strategy by official bodies, as well as an agreement between the nightclubs and the town on how best to co-exist to ensure the best tourism experience for all guests, as was explained earlier this year by new Hvar Tourist Board director, Petar Razovic in a TCN interview. While there is still work to be done, the results have been noticeable already in the first year. 

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A second key factor in Hvar's change of direction has been the resurgence of flagship hotel group, Suncani Hvar Hotels, the biggest and most influential company on the island, whose domination of the hotel scene on Hvar makes them a key player in the town's tourism fortunes. After the initial investment by ORCO group back in 2006 after its takeover of Suncani Hvar Hotels, the town enjoyed a return to the pre-war glory days of tourism, and Hvar was once more a chic destination frequented by the rich and famous. 

(The renovated Hvar public theatre - a video tour)

Financial difficulties by the hotel group and the rise of party tourism in recent years has brought Hvar's luxury and elite image into question, but the acquisition of, and considerable investment in Suncani's hotels by CPI Property Group, has coincided with the new official tourism focus on quality tourism. As the town was finalising high-profile and important heritage renovations such as the Arsenal and the Hvar Public Theatre, the oldest public theatre in Europe (opened in 1612, then reopened after a 20-year renovation in May this year), so too was Suncani Hvar investing heavily in its own heritage project. 


(The renovated Arsenal, one floor below the theatre)

Right across from the Arsenal and Europe's oldest public theatre, a short walk across the largest square in all Dalmatia, lies the latest piece of outstanding heritage, fully renovated at a cost of 100 million kuna (14 million euro) on the very location where organised tourism in Europe began back in 1868 - Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel, the first 5-star hotel on this exclusive island. Last night was the official opening, and I was fortunate to be invited to be a tourist on my adopted island once more, complete with complimentary overnight stay in one of the lovingly renovated 45 rooms and suites. Palace Elisabeth had been transformed from a 3-star hotel with 78 rooms to 5 stars with 45. In an era of tourism where more is increasingly bringing less, it was refreshing to see a company investing in quality and an approach to exceed guests' expectations. 

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And exceed expectations Palace Elisabeth certainly will in its first full year of operation in 2020. 

Having heard about progress throughout the summer, expectations were high. Palace Elisabeth was already a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World Group, only the 5th hotel in Croatia to be included in the elite list. Its outstanding architectural design and adherence to heritage had been recognised by Architectural Digest, as Palace Elisabeth was included in its feature on why the Mediterranean is the destination of the year for design lovers. Apart from Mali Losinj, this was the first 5-star hotel on a Croatian island.

And it exceeded expectation. You can take a tour above in this video which I filmed about midday the following morning, which takes you through most of the public spaces on the first three floors. 

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As a local being a tourist in his own home, it was a strange feeling entering the hotel. It was as though I was leaving Croatia and going back in time to an age gone by, a golden age of Hvar culture. Empress Elisabeth was everywhere. The aristocratic benefactress of the original hotel which opened after her death on the same spot back in 1899 had been honoured more than 100 years later with her name given to the new luxury hotel. 

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The hotel is GORGEOUS. So much attention to detail, so many tiny touches of the past, it is truly an island experience on another level, and one which is set to meet the need of the luxury Hvar tourist in search of that little extra. The hand-painted murals, the individual hand-painted room names, the tiny reminders at every turn of an era gone by, it was delightful. 

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Time will tell, of course, whether or not the staff of Suncani Hvar can make the transition to 5-star level, but the initial signs are encouraging. In addition to using current staff, there has been widespread recruitment of hospitality specialists from abroad with the 5-star experience necessary to deliver the quality of service that such a hotel demands. We will soon have an interview with Palace Elisabeth manager, Deni Ohlsen-Dukic, with more on the running of the hotel. 


It was an honour to stay at the hotel, as well as a surprise given there were only 45 rooms in all, and while most were enjoying sea views, there was certainly nothing wrong with our fabulous view of the Spanish Fortress above the town, see above. In terms of media interest, it extended far beyond our little blog - writers for the New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and The Daily Telegraph were either in attendance or were recent guests. 

The opening party was quite an event, with a serious buffet and the wines of Zlatan Otok more than doing justice to the occasion (top tip - find out where to get the lamb chops with truffle sauce, absolutely outstanding. There were 150 guests in all, including Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, State Secretary for Tourism Tonci Glavina and Central Dalmatia Tourist Board Director, Josko Stella. 


A lovely evening on the Palace Elisabeth hotel terrace overlooking the harbour and the oldest public theatre in Europe. A truly gorgeous hotel, I concluded over the breakfast view above, and a VERY bright future for the direction of Hvar luxury tourism. 

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To learn more about Palace Elisabeth, visit the Suncani Hvar dedicated page.

To learn more about the island of Hvar, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide

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Monday, 2 September 2019

Palace Elisabeth, Hvar's First 5-Star Hotel, Opens Its Doors

Croatia's premier island of Hvar opens its first 5-star hotel on September 1, 2019 - Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel.

A significant day for the island of Hvar yesterday, as the island's first 5-star hotel opened for business. Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel has undergone a complete overhaul and luxury upgrade from the previous 3-star Hotel Palace. 


Located on the spot where organised tourism in Europe began with the founding of the Hvar Health Society back in 1868, Palace Elisabeth completed a trio of important heritage upgrades and renovations around Hvar Town's historic main square this year. 


Back in May, the oldest public theatre in Europe reopened after a 20-year renovation period. On the floor below the theatre, which was built in 1612, the imposing Arsenal, which guards entrance to Dalmatia's largest square, also reopened after renovation. With the opening of Palace Elisabeth, one can now have a cocktail on the terrace of the hotel where organised tourism in Europe began, before enjoying a performance in the oldest theatre in Europe. You don't get THAT opportunity in many places... 

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The 78 rooms of the former Hotel Palace has been reduced to 45 rooms and suites, adding a lot more space to each room. As befits such an historic building, there has been an extraordinary amount of attention to detail to capture the magic of Hvar in a previous age. Palace Elisabeth is already a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World group. 

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The completion of Palace Elisabeth is the latest upgrade by Suncani Hvar Hotels at a cost of 100 million kuna, and it is the latest piece of good news for the flagship Hvar hotel chain which has seen an upswing in its fortunes in recent years. 

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There will be an official opening party on September 21, where partners, friends and media will be invited to experience the hospitality of the new luxury hotel. TCN will be in attendance to road test the new hotel and report back on the evening's festivities. 

Enjoy more photos of the newly-opened hotel on its first day, and learn more about Palace Elisabeth on the Suncani Hvar website

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(Photo Anita Koledic)

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(Photo Anita Koledic)

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Sunday, 18 August 2019

Palace Elisabeth Hvar Heritage Hotel Opening Its 5-Star Doors Within 2 Weeks

August 18, 2019 - Palace Elisabeth, the first 5-star hotel on Hvar will open its doors on September 1 for a soft opening - the new flagship hotel of Suncani Hvar.

I have been following the story of Suncani Hvar Hotels ever since I moved to the island permanently back in 2003. As the biggest employer on the island with the most hotels in the main tourist town, they have always been an important part of Hvar's tourism story. The takeover by ORCO Group and the big renovations of 2006 certainly helped raise standards in the post-war era, but the real change and addition of quality is happening now. 


Three years ago, I was a guest at the opening on the first millennial hotel on the Dalmatian coast, Pharos bayhill hvar. As I wrote at the time, I was struck by the sense of achievement and team spirit of those who had managed to transform this two-star hotel into a funky 4-star equivalent, the latest investment in the Suncani Hvar brand. 

Upgrades in quality and luxury followed in both Hotel Adriana and Hotel Amfora, but the next big project was perhaps the most ambitious yet. Not only the first 5-star hotel but one oozing history and heritage right in the heart of the town. Hotel Palace, a 2-star hotel with the most gorgeous heritage details, had been screaming out for a refurb for years. 

And her time has come. 

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As previously written, the 5-star Palace Elisabeth hvar heritage hotel has already announced that it is open for bookings from September 1. An article in Jutarnji List today (which I encourage you to read if only for the gorgeous photos of Palace Elisabeth) provides an even better update. Suncani Hvar has received the final documentation required and so no more bureaucratic delays, and Hvar's first 5-star hotel will have a soft opening within 2 weeks (sadly not quite as soon as tomorrow as Jutarnji had reported).  

It has been quite a journey with a significant investment of 100 million kuna in total, as the hotel's previous 78 rooms were turned into 45 more luxury and spacious accommodation units. 

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The hotel is located on the same spot where organised tourism in Europe began back in 1868 with the founding of the Hvar Health Society. The Society catered to the needs of the sick aristocracy from the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy, who found the temperate and excellent Hvar climate very much to their taste. The island was known as the 'Austrian Madeira' and Empress Elisabeth 'Sisi' provided the funds for the first hotel which opened in 1899. 

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The opening of the hotel comes just months after the reopening of the oldest public theatre in Europe after extensive renovation spanning almost 20 years. Built in 1612, the Hvar Public Theatre is located right across the square from Palace Elisabeth, making the hotel's terrace the only place in the world where you can enjoy a cokctail on the terrace of the site of the oldest organised tourism in Europe, before strolling across the largest square in Dalmatia to take in a performance at the oldest public theatre in Europe. And then back to Palace Elisabeth for dinner. 

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The hotel has a rich crew of highly qualified staff from a number of countries, and it will be run by Deni Ohlsen-Dukic. Ohlsen-Dukic is an experienced hotelier, whose experience is largely with Hyatt Hotels, for whom he worked in Chicago, New York and Seoul, before running the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo in Sri Lanka for two years. He joined the Suncani Hvar team in February this year, and TCN will have an interview with Ohlsen-Dukic soon after the opening on September 1. 

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Exciting times for Hvar and a good season for the island so far. It has done much to return the narrative to its roots of heritage and an elite destination after a dalliance with party tourism. 

To learn more about Palace Elisabeth, check out the official website

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Saturday, 10 August 2019

Palace Elisabeth, Hvar's First 5-Star Hotel Now Open for Booking

August 10, 2019 - With renovation almost complete, Suncani Hvar Hotels opens bookings for Hvar's first ever 5-star hotel, Palace Elisabeth.

These are exciting times for the island of Hvar.  

Last year, Croatia's premier island, which has more UNESCO heritage than any other island in the world and also the birthplace of organised tourism in Europe, celebrated 150 years of the founding of the Hvar Health Society. 


And 2019, the 151st year of organised tourism in Europe, is also not without its highlights. 

On May 1, after a period of about 20 years of renovation, the oldest public theatre in Europe, reopened on Hvar's main square. 

The Hvar Public Theatre opened in 1612 and it has proved very popular since its reopening, hosting plays, concerts, ballroom dancing and a fashion show. 

And it is not the only historic building which has undergone renovation in the town centre. The main Arsenal building on the floor below has also been renovated and is functioning as an excellent multi-purpose entertainment centre. 

Meanwhile, across the square, another piece of European history is putting the finishing touches to its own luxury makeover. 


The site which started organised tourism in Europe all those years ago will reopen imminently with a touch of class such as Hvar has never seen before, as Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel, will open its doors in a few weeks as the first 5-star hotel on the island. 

The 45 rooms and suites are now open for booking from September 1 (you can book them here). a fabulous opportunity to immerse yourself in traditional Hvar with modern luxury and some of the finest views on the island.  And as you can see from the painstaking work of designer Oto Blaha, there has been no compromise on attention to detail, as he explained in a recent TCN interview.


Palace Elisabeth promises to be a fantastic addition to the quality Hvar tourism scene. 

To learn more about the island, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide.  


Saturday, 1 June 2019

Hotel Palace Elisabeth, Hvar's First 5-Star Hotel, Approaching Completion

June 1, 2019 - The eagerly-awaited opening of Palace Elisabeth, Hvar's first 5-star hotel, is getting closer, with the external renderings now complete. 

Some nice things are happening on the island of Hvar. 

The island with the most sun in Europe and the most UNESCO heritage of any island in the world, is focusing more attention on its rich cultural heritage, and 2019 has already seen some significant milestones.


Having celebrated 150 years of the oldest organised tourism in Europe last year (after the founding of the Hvar Health Society in 1868), last month saw another significant event - the reopening of the oldest public theatre in Europe. Built in 1612, the Hvar Public Theatre had remained closed for almost 20 years for renovation. Since its reopening, the theatre has already hosted a range of cultural and fashion events, as TCN reported recently. 


Looking to put the location of the theatre in context? Check out this excellent drone footage by Jaksa Kuzmicic, which starts overlooking the main square of Hvar Town, below.  

But while much of the attention so far this year has been focused on the theatre and the imposing Arsenal building where it is housed, there is another fantastic heritage story unfolding just across the square. 


The former 2-storey Hotel Palace is undergoing a total transformation and will reopen later this summer as the luxury 5-star Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel, the first five-star hotel on this elite island. 


Palace Elisabeth takes its name from Empress Elisabeth 'Sisi', a benefactor of the original hotel which is located on the spot were organised tourism in Europe began way back in 1868. And there are not many places in the world (actually only Hvar!) where you will be able to enjoy a pre-theatre cocktail on the terrace where organised tourism began in Europe, before strolling across Dalmatia's largest square for a performance at the oldest public theatre in Europe. 


As you can see from the lead photo, the exterior facade has now been completed. Work is ongoing inside (the above pictures are renderings of how the hotel will look), and things are on schedule for an August opening. 

You can learn more about this luxury addition to Hvar tourism on the Suncani Hvar website

To learn more about Hvar, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide


Palace Elisabeth is not the only luxury upgrade Hvar's hotels have seen in recent times. For arguably the best views of all, the three penthouse suites of Hotel Adriana, above, take some beating. 

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