Sunday, 19 December 2021

Split Centenarian Institutions Gather for First Meeting on Hotel Park's 100th Birthday

December 19, 2021 - Numerous clubs, institutions, societies, associations, companies, and individuals have contributed to the development of modern Split, but only a few have worked for more than a century. The first meeting of Split centenarian institutions was held on Hotel Park's 100th birthday this week.

"We will leave the memories that are created with the great festival that befits our jubilee for some safer times, and now in this holiday season, we want to celebrate in a small circle, with 'our generation,' clubs, and institutions celebrating 100 years and more. They are all mostly considered symbols of Split," said Daria Schirmann, director of the cult Hotel Park before the start of the dinner, which symbolically started at 19:21.

Friendly and business cooperation, exchanging experiences, and mutual support and assistance are just some reasons why the meeting of Split centenarians at Hotel Park will become a traditional event.

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"This idea is great, and I'm glad we got together for the first time. Gusar is one of the largest sports clubs in Croatia and the world. The club is a hotbed of talent, and what determines it the most is the upbringing and development of young people, most of whom graduated from college. When they grow up, they always return to their club and help," said Ivica Botica, president of HVK Gusar, which turned 107 this year.

Emin Sarajlić, president of the Cultural and Artistic Association Jedinstvo, which has existed for 102 years, said that the first 100 years were challenging. Then a pandemic caught them and limited their work: "We have a bright future ahead of us, we had a ban on rehearsals and performances for almost nine months, but when everything opened, on the first day of June, 70 members came to us for that first rehearsal, and we were thrilled. Young people are full of enthusiasm, and that is why we can say that Jedinstvo, like Hajduk, lives forever," said Sarajlić.

One year younger than KUD Jedinstvo is the Jadran Sports Association. President Srđan Kovačić pointed out that Jadran has finally returned to where it belongs, considering that it has been playing in the Champions League for the last few years, and reminded of the upcoming anniversary of the first European gold medal in Croatia: "In two months it will be 30 years. The first European medal in Croatia was in February 1992, when we won the European Championship, and Croatia was recognized a month before that," he said.

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At the first joint gathering of Split's 'institutional' centenarians, HNK Hajduk was represented by a member of the Management Board, Ivan Matana, who, after congratulating Park and wishing to remain a recognizable symbol of the city, expressed hope that Split's centenarians, including sports, will bring a lot of joy to Split. "Next year, Hajduk will celebrate its 111th birthday. It is a symbolic number; there are a lot of units, so we'll see, maybe that means something," Matana answered the question about the chances of Hajduk winning the championship next year.

In the company of centenarians is Photo Club Split, boasting 110 years, whose president Maja Prgomet pointed out the merits of great colleagues and a team of people who volunteer on numerous projects for the end of this and next year.

The club of proud centenarians from Split, whose representatives took part in the gathering at the Hotel Park also included the Ethnographic and Archaeological Museum in Split, the Croatian National Theater, and the County Chamber of Commerce, whose official year of foundation is 1852.

The construction of Hotel Park in 1921, according to the project of architects Vjekoslav Ivanišević and Fabjan Kaliterna, coincides with the time when Split became a sought-after tourist destination, and even then, the hotel was an unavoidable place for social events. It has maintained this status and is part of the collective memory of generations of Split citizens. Numerous historical events and meetings have taken place at Hotel Park in the last 100 years, the most famous being the signing of the capitulations of fascist Italy in 1943.

The first meeting of Split's institutional centenarians is undoubtedly an event that will mark the hotel's history. 

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Alongside New Movenpick Split Hotel, More Projects in Works

September the 17th, 2021 - We recently reported on yet another hotel coming to the Dalmatian port city of Split, the Movenpick Split hotel, but that isn't the only thing the company responsible for that has up its sleeve for the Adriatic and the rest of the Mediterranean.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, recent news that the first Movenpick Hotel in Croatia is opening in the second largest city of Split, which is one of the premium brands of the global hotel house Accor, presented a relatively new investor, the development company MPPD, which has great ambitions to develop projects throughout the entire Mediterranean.

Their company, Split Peninsula Properties ,will be in charge of the Movenpick Split hotel project, which is worth 25 million euros and which should be completed by 2023.

After the opening of the MGallery hotel a few weeks ago in the same city, this is Accor's second project in Split. As Andrija Antic, a partner in MPPD and the founder of Split Peninsula Properties explained, the works on the location have only just started.

Business partners

"After we've dealt with obtaining all of the permits and paperwork, we'll be ready to start the work that should get going in a month or two. This partnership with Accor fits perfectly into our vision and philosophy of creating comfortable, exclusive places for guests and the local community. We're proud to be able to bring such a top quality brand to Split and the whole of Dalmatia,'' Andrija Antic said.

On MPPD's website, among current and future projects, only this hotel in Split is mentioned so far, although the company presents itself as a developer in the Mediterranean. Antic's partners in the project are Janko Vrgoc, the former director of GPD Zagreb and the company Arena centar upravljanje (management), and Tomislav Mustapic.

“MPPD is a development company with a number of projects going on throughout the Mediterranean, Greece and Montenegro. These are commercial real estate projects (not residential ones), including logistics and mixed-use projects, but at this moment in time, we aren't ready to reveal any details.

Along with us, several partners from various sectors, from construction, finance and development, the project is accompanied by "High Net Worth" individual investors from outside the Republic of Croatia, who also participated in the Movenpick Split hotel project,'' explained Antic.

Located on Split's very popular Znjan neach, Mövenpick Split will have 156 rooms with stunning sea views, two restaurants and a spa, as well as an innovative workspace and conference facility. It will also have 110 underground and above-ground parking spaces with a large number of e-vehicle charging stations, a rooftop restaurant, a lounge and a terrace with an infinity pool.

The project is signed by local architect Alan Plestina from the Pulsar Architecture studio in collaboration with Accor's design and technical services team. Plestina is, among other things, the author of the projects of the Arena shopping centre complex and the Arena Zagreb sports hall.

Twelve active projects

The Movenpick brand itself is part of the more luxurious part of Accor's portfolio, which was founded back in 1973 and currently manages more than 90 hotels across 25 countries. In Northern Europe, Movenpick is currently implementing a total of twelve projects, and Eastern Europe is considered very attractive for further investment. Accor took over the brand back in 2018 from Arab investors for a price tag of 482 million euros.

"We're happy to be able to present another hotel in one of the most prestigious locations in Dalmatia and thus strengthen our portfolio in the segment of leisure facilities in the region. Movenpick is continuing to grow strongly in Eastern Europe thanks to the continuous expansion of the resort's offer and top facilities,'' said Dilek Sezer, the Accor Group's development director for Southeastern Europe, in a statement.

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

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.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Split Eyesore Almost Gone? Adris Group Could Begin Works on Marjan Hotel in September

July 12, 2021 - Works on Marjan hotel could begin by Rovinj's Adris Group already this September! 

By applying for a building permit on May 3 this year, which was completed on July 5 or became administratively filed, a new important step was made to prepare for the reconstruction of the Marjan Hotel, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

These data were published in the information system of the Ministry of Physical Planning. Slobodna Dalmacija received confirmation from the owner of the unfinished building on the West Coast, Rovinj's Adris Group, who stated that "in cooperation with the City and relevant institutions, they have completed the necessary documentation for the reconstruction of Marjan, after which the works on the facility itself will begin." 

A few months ago, amendments to the location permit to reconstruct a building for catering and tourism purposes, i.e., a tourist facility with 285 accommodation units and a 5-star category, were obtained.

Boris Marelja, the head of the city's Administrative Department for Spatial Planning, Development, and Environmental Protection, said that an e-conference had been launched that will last 15 days, with the participation of public bodies, including HEP, Vodovod i kanalizacija and MUP to make any remarks before confirming the main project. After that part of the proceedings, the neighbors and other parties will have the right to inspect the file, also with a deadline of 15 days.

The speed with which the permit will be issued and become final depends on the possible objections. Of course, Marelja did not want to go into forecasts, and a rough calculation points to 45 days if there are no major objections. According to the information available, there should not be any, primarily because the documentation is well prepared, and it is not surprising if it is known that the Adris Group is a serious and reputable investor in the hotel and tourism industry.

According to the mentioned calculation of 45 days, the first works could follow in September this year. However, it should be reminded that this will not be construction, but the removal of "unwanted" or "superfluous" parts of the building.

Of course, Marjan will not be completely demolished as it was announced in the media, but according to the plans of former owner Željko Kerum and Jerko Rošin, there should be apartments. There is no doubt that the glass will be removed from the facade.

According to the announcement in September last year, the new hotel tower should have a height equal to the previous one after the planned project, but with one floor less as they will raise the individual floors. Raising the floors is logical and necessary to set up installations for various facilities, which did not exist when the hotel was built.

Zagreb-based architectural studio '3LHD' and renowned Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni are working on the demanding project. In a Jutarnji List statement last year, Sasa Begovic briefly commented on the Marjan project: "We are doing a creative reinterpretation of the hotel built by Perković. We are also planning a smaller number of rooms and terraces with a view."

The designer of the first A deluxe hotel in Split, with 220 rooms, was, in fact, done by architect Lovro Perković. Built in 1963, Marjan soon became the pearl of Split tourism and one of the city's symbols.

In 1979, before the Mediterranean Games in Dalmatia, it was extended, and 10 years later, in 1989, it had its last reconstruction. Soon after the start of the Homeland War, displaced persons and refugees moved in. From 1998 until the beginning of the new reconstruction, it operated with only 30 percent of its capacity.

In 2005, Kerum bought it in a tender for 170 million kuna, three times more than the requested 57 million kuna. A period of big plans and optimism followed when, after four years, a 20-year franchise agreement was signed with Hilton.

However, the owner of the facility was soon elected mayor, and the work of building and renovating the hotel was suspended so that in 2015 everything would end with the bankruptcy of the "Adriatic" company. The bankruptcy lasted for several years, and in November 2019, Marjan was sold to an Istrian company for 324 million kuna.

The Adris group refrained from commenting and replied:

"This is a significant project for Split, but also the further development of the tourist part of our company. Namely, this is a demanding project that will contribute to Split's further tourist affirmation and confirm "Adris" as the leading Croatian company in luxury tourism. Furthermore, as the public knows, and your paper has written about on several occasions, we want to thoroughly renovate the Marjan Hotel and join it to the group of luxury hotels ("Grand Park Hotel Rovinj," "Monte Mulini", "Lone", "Hilton Imperial" in Dubrovnik."

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Heritage Hotel Fermai Split: MGallery Hotel Brand Comes to Dalmatian City

April the 17th, 2021 - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has shelved many a previously planned investment, placing business plans firmly on pause and waiting for better times. The Heritage Hotel Fermai Split hotel was just one project which faced delays, but didn't let the global crisis stop it entirely.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the pandemic postponed the opening of a planned new hotel in the Dalmatian city for a year now, the Heritage Hotel Fermai Split, which will open its doors in May, and from July it will operate under the prestigious brand MGallery of the global hotel chain Accor.

This is the result of a long-term franchise agreement between Accora and Quatro Company, a local construction company owned by Ivan Pulic, for whom this is the first entry into the hotel business.

All on their own, they renovated the old rectory building a few steps from Diocletian's Palace, invested a total of 5.5 million euros in a boutique hotel with 35 rooms, a cafe and a garden terrace, and entered the popular MGallery chain. The building itself is the work of architect Petar Senjanovic from back in 1914, and the interior was signed by Studio Franic Sekoranja.

“The designers did a fantastic job and we implemented all their solutions, so the partners from Accor provided us with a contract without any adjustments as soon as they visited the facility, with praise for both the project and the performance, which makes us especially happy. We're in the process of joining and we'll enter the chain on July the 1st, we'll open the Heritage Hotel Fermai Split at the beginning of May,'' Denis Pulic, the sales director of the aforementioned company, stated. The hotel will employ about 25 people, and the name ''Fermai'' was given as an honour to a localism which means "stop, wait".

“Croatia, and especially Split, are the perfect place for all those who want a dream summer holiday. Each MGallery hotel offers its guests unforgettable moments and rituals of relaxation. The Hotel Heritage Fermai Split will provide the most authentic experience of Mediterranean culture to travellers coming to Split from all over the world,'' said Dilek Sezer, Accora's Director of Development for Southeastern Europe in a recent statement.

It's worth mentioning that Pulic started cooperating with Accor a few years ago when they had a plan to build a 150-room hotel in Split that would be carried by the Mercure brand, but this project is still awaiting GUP changes and is not currently in the company's focus.

Collaborating with Accor on the Heritage Hotel Fermai Split project was logical as it fits into the philosophy of the MGallery brand, a luxury 4 and 5 star hotel chain that promotes authenticity and local architecture and heritage, design and history. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, Accor removed Sofitel from the brand name, and their plan is to develop MGallery in new, undiscovered destinations in addition to global capitals.

"Through a franchise agreement with such a global brand, we get their know-how and sales channel, their reservation system, with our own pricing policy and management, which suits us very well," explained Pulic, who hopes that this tourist season the hotel will bring enough traffic at least to cover costs, although it is currently very difficult to make predictions because of the ongoing public health crisis.

Unlike the tourism business, which was devastated by the unrelenting pandemic, the sale of apartments in Split is going very well and the coronavirus crisis is failing to affect the growth of real estate prices, confirmed Denis Pulic.

The company is signing for a number of luxury residential and business projects in Split, including serviced apartments in the Bel Etage project, which worked in cooperation with investors from both Germany and Russia. The successful realisation led them to embark on Bel Etage 2, a similar project in which they entered independently, and the apartments are already sold at an average of 3.5 thousand euros per square metre.

For more on Croatian hotels and other forms of accommodation, from hostels to private houses and everything in between, make sure to check out our dedicated section.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Marvie Hotel & Health in Split Introduces Cryptocurrency Payment 

March 29, 2021 - In collaboration with the Croatian fintech startup Electrocoin, Marvie Hotel & Health in Split has enabled its guests to book and pay for accommodation and other services via cryptocurrencies.

After introducing a new offer for digital nomads in mid-February, allowing remote workers a long-term stay - 28 days or longer - with an all-year-long 50% discount as well as the use of its own coworking space, Marvie Hotel & Health now has other great news to share.

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Namely, in cooperation with Electrocoin, Croatia’s fastest-growing fintech startup, Marvie has introduced the possibility of paying with cryptocurrencies. In addition to booking and paying for hotel accommodation in Split with cryptocurrencies, with the help of PayCek - the electronic payment service for cryptocurrency processing, at Marvie Hotel & Health you can also purchase coffee, lunch, and wellness services by means of this payment method, regardless of whether you are a hotel guest or just a visitor at this destination.

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Marvie Hotel & Health is among the first hotels in Croatia to take a step in this direction, which puts it alongside world-renowned hotels and brands that have embraced this modern payment method, such as the Canadian hotel chain Sandman Hotels Group, the Swiss luxury hotel Grand Hotel Dolder or Japan Railways - the largest railway operator in Japan.

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“We follow digital trends on a daily basis to keep up with technological advancements and a constant wish to meet the needs of our guests. Recently we have received numerous inquiries on the possibility of alternative methods of payment, i.e., the use of cryptocurrencies, and this only facilitated our decision. Our ultimate goal is to raise the experience of staying at Marvie’s to a whole new level – nowadays, via a modern, fast and secure use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, which is a result of our successful collaboration with Electrocoin - one of the leading Croatian financial startups, a pioneer on the national cryptocurrency market,” says Diana Rubić, general manager of Marvie Hotel & Health. 

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Paying for accommodation and other services at this hotel in the center of the city of Split is made available via PayCek, with as many as six types of cryptocurrencies, among which the most popular are Bitcoin and Ethereum. The payment process itself is extremely simple, all you need is a digital wallet and an inquiry sent to Marvie Hotel & Health via their website. Once the hotel staff has received your request, your reservation will be successfully completed in just a few steps via the PayCek service.

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“We are thrilled to witness the number of PayCek clients increasing each day, especially when they are innovative and have a clear business strategy such as Marvie Hotel & Health. They have recognized the potential of cryptocurrency payments and hence gained an advantage over their competitors on the market, particularly with tourists and foreign guests," said CEO Electrocoina Nikola Škorić.

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Due to the global pandemic, attracting guests this season is likely to be an extra challenge, especially when taking into account the extremely high competition. Nevertheless, the introduction of a cryptocurrency payment option, in addition to the already mentioned offer for digital nomads, makes Marvie Hotel & Health an extremely appealing choice for all visitors looking for a hotel accommodation that meets the requirements of the modern guest.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

People also ask Google: Is Dubrovnik or Split Better?

March 4, 2021 - In our latest People also ask Google series, we attempt to tackle the impossible - is Dubrovnik or Split better?

Ah, the tale of two ancient cities, both breathtaking in their own ways. One, the Adriatic Pearl, the other, Dalmatia's bustling capital - but both full of pride that there is no better place. 

Their vibrant history more or less defines them. Dubrovnik's roots trace back to the 7th century when it was founded as Ragusa by inhabitants of the ancient Greek colony of Epidaurus (present-day Cavtat). Split, on the other hand, founded as the Greek colony Aspálathos only a bit earlier, in the 3rd or 2nd century BC. 

Centuries later, both cities are certainly known for their turbulent history and historic cores - Dubrovnik, a town wrapped by medieval defensive walls, and Split, a city that boasts the 1700-year-old Diocletian's Palace, the former retirement home of Roman Emporer Diocletian.

While it may be humanely IMpossible to decide which is better, we do know one thing: these ancient artifacts have turned two coastal cities into tourism champions in much more recent years, where history mixes with the mood of the Meditteranean to make for one stellar holiday. 

Is it better to stay in Dubrovnik or Split?

We recently covered how many days you should spend in Dubrovnik, much like the magic number for Split, but where should you stay in both cities? 

Dubrovnik abounds in 5-star hotels and villas, attracting luxury travelers thanks to its deluxe amenities. From the Excelsior, Rixos, and Sun Gardens to the centrally-located Hilton Imperial and lavish Grand Villa Argentina, tourists with higher spending power really have their pick when it comes to the upper echelon of hotels in the area. And that's without mentioning ultra-luxurious villas, like Sheherezade.

 

Private accommodation in Dubrovnik, however, can get a bit tricky. While basic old-town offers in the summer can cost you an arm and a leg, literally and figurately (remember, endless flights of stairs and NO elevators), apartments outside of the center, while more affordable, are less accessible. Yes, taxis and Uber do exist, but so do narrow roads and summer traffic, both of which plague Dubrovnik in the peak season. 

Split, on the other hand, is still a bit behind in the luxury hotel world. And to compensate for its lack of hotel rooms, the city has seen a boom in private accommodations over the last few years, with things getting a little out of hand.

But there is hope.

The newly-opened 4-star Amphora Hotel has done a significant job adding to the hotel capacity in Split with 206 rooms, while newcomers like briig boutique hotel add flair to the Bačvice neighborhood. The Birkenstock-owned Ambasador will add 101 rooms to the West Coast sometime this year, while the Adris Group will step into the Dalmatian market with the hopeful opening of the 'new' hotel Marjan in 2022.

Lovers of luxury hotels can currently only choose from the 5-star Le Meridien Lav hotel, located about 15 minutes outside of Split in Podstrana, or the beloved Bačvice-based Hotel Park. However, the history-rich-heritage hotels in the center make up for any missing affluence (check out Palace Judita, Heritage Hotel Antique, or Jupiter, for example). 

Does Split or Dubrovnik have better beaches?

Bačivce or Banje? It's unlikely you'll spend an hour in either city without hearing their names. 

Bačivce, Split's public beach, is located about a 10-minute walk outside of Diocletian's Palace. A sandy beach popular for speedo-clad picigin players, Bačivce boasts views that extend out to Brač during the day, while it is the hub of Split nightlife in the evening, where young partygoers let loose until sunrise. Needless to say, things can get a bit messy (and crowded). 

On the other hand, Dubrovnik's public Banje beach is a short walk from the old town, with views onto the city walls and harbor. While you'll be hard-pressed to find a more unique swimming spot, it is penetrated by thirsty tourists in the summertime, making it often impossible to claim a lounge chair. 

 

Fortunately, Bačice and Banje aren't the only beaches in Split in Dubrovnik. Split's coast is decorated with beaches, as is Marjan Hill, where you'll find Kaštelet, situated just below the Ivan Meštrović Gallery, or Kašjuni, boasting a deep bay with the cliffs wrapping around you. 

Šulići is just a short walk from the Pile Gate in Dubrovnik, while the family-friendly Copacabana beach in Babin Kuk offers a restaurant, water sports, and cocktails for the adults. And if you have a car? Head 30 minutes south of Dubrovnik to discover the best beaches in Konavle!

Is Dubrovnik or Split nightlife better?

As someone who just crossed over into her 30s after a vibrant decade of partying in her 20s, the answer to this one comes quite easily. One thing young travelers visiting Dubrovnik often mention is the lack of nightlife in the city. And as it should be, because Dubrovnik's beauty shouldn't be embraced with a hangover. However, you can't deny that people want to let loose on holiday, whether they're at a pub or a club. So, where to? 

 

For those who enjoy partying until the early morning hours, there is one special place to go - Culture Club Revelin. It even made DJ Mag's Top 50 Best Clubs in the World. Located in a 500-year-old medieval fortress, it'll be hard to find another setting as unique. Just like it'll be hard to find another club Dubrovnik. 

And if you're not the clubbing type after all? Dubrovnik flourishes with cafe and wine bars, and there are even a few Irish pubs!

Split, on the other hand, has become a hotspot for Croatian nightlife. After the wine-bar-boom came the craft-cocktail-bar boom, and there is a nightclub for all types of partygoers. Bar crawls also rule summer nightlife, and all roads eventually lead to the Bačvice beach clubs, where you can enjoy a sunrise swim if you stay long enough.

 

Split's live music scene also thrives most of the year; you can catch up-and-coming Croatian acts or touring international DJs if you're lucky!

Are Split or Dubrovnik restaurants better?

Both Split and Dubrovnik have upped their culinary game in the last few years. Dubrovnik currently boasts 10 Michelin-recommended restaurants, while one restaurant, 360, carries a Michelin star. And because it is a luxury destination, you'll notice more fine dining options in Dubrovnik than Split. 

Split cannot currently boast a Michelin star, though it does have five Michelin-recommended restaurants and many trendy newcomers that add flair to classic Dalmatian cuisine. 

 

Long gone are the days of only ćevapi and pomfret (though you'll still find it on most konoba menus), as both cities have become creative in their culinary offers, with many international options on the table too. If you're after the flavors of sushi, Mexican, Thai, or Chinese, or want to keep it traditional with grilled fish, black risotto, and octopus salad, you'll be pleased eating in either city. 

Would you choose Dubrovnik or Split in October?

Ah, the offseason debate is back again!

If you'd like my personal opinion, both cities are a gem in October, that is, if you're not coming to Croatia solely for the sun, sea, and swimming. October weather could also surprise, and you may find that Indian Summer comes out to play.

Best-case scenario - you're swimming in slightly cooler sea temperatures with fewer boats and emptier beaches. Worst-case scenario, you're stuck in the rain and have to schedule your outdoor activities around when it's dry - so you get to sit in a cafe and people watch or enjoy museums to kill time instead. Is that really so bad?

 

Realistically, most everything remains open in both cities throughout October, making it easier for you to enjoy what you'd plan on doing in summer without fighting sweaty bodies wanting to do the same thing. 

October is also a good time to enjoy emptier roads, so why not take a road trip from Dubrovnik to Pelješac for wine tasting? Or from Split to Omiš for ziplining over the canyon? The opportunities are endless. 

In conclusion: Is Dubrovnik or Split better?

The real question is - which city is better for you?

One might suggest that if you're young, looking for vibrant nightlife, good food options, and easy access to the islands, you'll fit better in Split. And if you're a Game of Thrones fan looking to tick tourist attractions off your list? You'll likely choose Dubrovnik. But both cities offer something for all ages and all members of the family, and because they're only 3 hours apart by car, you don't really have to choose at all. 

Illustration by Little Shiva

To follow the People Also Ask Google about Croatia series, click here.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Something New for Split: Znjan Hotel with 156 Accommodation Units Receives Building Permit

October 30, 2020 - A building permit has been approved for a Znjan hotel, bringing new tourism to the Split neighborhood. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the company "Split Peninsula Properties" from Zagreb received a building permit to construct a catering and tourist facility on undeveloped plots in the Znjan area of Split. 

This building permit allows for the construction of 156 accommodation units located on five floors with a superstructure boasting 110 parking spaces.

It covers an area of about seven thousand square meters between Šetališta Ivana Pavla II and the Znjan Road, which is now covered with high vegetation.

The mentioned investor company, "Split Peninsula Properties," is registered as a micro-entrepreneur, with one founder - Andrija Antić.

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Modus.hr

According to the Court Register, the company was founded at the end of 2018, has a share capital of HRK 20,000, and in that year, had a loss of HRK 304,345.

The architects created the conceptual design in 2018 for 170 accommodation units, but the request for a location permit was submitted for 156, covered by the building permit.

According to the information from the "Condo hotel center" page, which advertises this new hotel, it will be a four-plus hotel with a casino, spa and wellness center, rooftop lounge bar, and 24-hour room service. They say that the apartments will range from 328 to 667 square meters, with prices ranging from 216 to 263 and a half thousand dollars.

Supposedly, the hotel's management would be taken over by a big brand, but they would not buy the building, and different owners would buy the apartments. A contract would be reached with them according to which they would use their real estate 14 days a year, and their services would be charged at the minimum price, while the rest of the time, the hotel house would rent their apartments so that the owners would get a refund.

As for greenery, the hotel should preserve some vegetation on the west side and valuable pine trees, if any. The architects created new greenery around the hotel in the simulation, but in them, the entire Znjan plateau all the way to the promenade along the coast is green - and they drew only grass and trees, without cafes and sports fields. According to the Detailed Development Plan, such radical landscaping is not a bad idea, but it is not possible.

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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Split's Divota Opening Yoga and Meditation Center, Open House Tomorrow!

September 21, 2020 - Divota Apartment Hotel in Split is excited to announce the opening of a yoga and meditation center as part of its holistic spa offer!

Namely, in preparation for October 1, 2020, when the new center will be fully operating, Divota will present its holistic programs in an Open House format on September 23 and 24, 2020, according to a special schedule which you can find below. 

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Thus, visitors can enjoy a variety of holistic practices, like Lu Jong Tibetan yoga, ancient Chinese exercises Qigong/Taijiquan, Zen Yoga, Active Recovery/Full Body Flow, Five Elements/Vinyasa, Dharma Yoga, Recreational Gymnastics, and exercises for expecting mothers. 

Divota has been introducing their teachers, as well as the practices they will be teaching, on their Divota Spa Facebook page over the last few weeks. You can get to know more about their unique offer in detail HERE.  

Until Divota's new peaceful oasis in the city center begins work at the beginning of next month, come and try one of the programs or stop by to experience the magical garden, undoubtedly a new pearl of Split's city center!

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Divota Apartment Hotel is an unmatched integrated boutique hotel located in the heart of Split that has added a spark to the Varos neighborhood since it first opened its doors. In 2020, Divota enhanced their spa offer with the introduction of Tibetan wellness practices, many of which will be new experiences to the Dalmatian capital. 

While Divota has used energy work in their spa and their general company culture for the last few years, the opening of the yoga garden and meditation center is the crown of their holistic endeavors.  

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Thursday, 17 September 2020

Adris Group to Demolish Infamous Hotel Marjan in Split, Plans Announced for 2022

September 17, 2020 - Hotel Marjan in Split, which has been out of function since Zeljko Kerum took over in 2006 and was bought by Rovinj's Adris Group at the end of last year, will be completely demolished.

T.portal writes that the investors have hired 3LHD studio from Zagreb and the famous Italian architect and designer Pier Lissoni to lead the new hotel project, and they are currently in the process of obtaining a location permit.

After its reconstruction, the former Split tourist pearl and one of the recognizable city symbols will be equally as tall as the building today, but with one floor less due to the desired higher floor height. According to unofficial announcements, in this renovation, the hotel will be reduced by about 6.5 thousand square meters and for the most part, aim to be closer to the original form from the 1960s, i.e., an attempt will be made to neutralize the consequences of the never completed renovation fifteen years ago, when the investor was Zeljko Kerum and designer Jerko Rosin.

Among other things, two large hotel annexes, which are called apartments, will be removed, and there will no longer be the eyesore that is the double glass facade. A large inner courtyard, or atrium, will be formed, and the facade itself will follow the ideas during the original design of the West Coast, which includes even the color of the stone.

Adris Group said only briefly that in cooperation with the City of Split and the relevant institutions, they are preparing the necessary documentation for the renovation of Hotel Marjan. After the renovation is completed, it will be in the group of their luxury hotels (Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, Lone, Hilton and others). Still, they did not want to reveal the planned amount of investment and completion deadlines.

As it was unofficially found out, the original plan was to complete the documentation by the end of this year and start work next year, in which most of the planned two billion kuna of the company's investment in the tourism sector would be spent. As the decision was made at the group level to postpone it for a year due to the corona crisis, it is realistic that Adris Group will take its first major step into the Dalmatian market in 2022.

"The fact is that the coronavirus pandemic affected the course of our investments, but we will be able to talk about the deadlines and details of the project itself, which 3LHD and the famous Piero Lissoni are working on, when the project is completed," the Adris Group confirmed.

Leading Split conservator Rade Buzancic said that talks had been held with investors and designers and that his service was so far satisfied with what they had seen and heard.

"These are top experts who have set themselves the task of making a serious redesign, but almost reminiscent of the original project. They want to get closer to the original of the Marjan hotel and focus on quality instead of quantity, and that is a novelty in behavior in our area," Buzancic said.

Hotel Marjan itself is not individually protected as a cultural asset. Still, it has become part of the recognizable image of the city, especially from the sea, and an actor of a kind of subtle dialogue with Diocletian's Palace - both in area and height. According to the project of Lovro Perkovic, the former industrial zone with quarries and cement plants on the West Coast has been 'sanitized', and as Buzancic explains, in a successful modern style.

"The recent intervention was not particularly successful, and the construction of the double façade even increased the size of the tower and lost the cantilever, which gave the impression that the tower was floating in the air. Investors are very cooperative and are willing to restore most of the delicate image lost in the reconstruction fifteen years ago, and even balconies with bars. The project is currently going in the right direction," confirms the leading Split conservator.

Hotel Marjan, the former pride of Split tourism, was bought by Zeljko Kerum fifteen years ago for 170 million kuna, paying three times more than the requested starting price. He promised and announced a renovation, even signing a contract with the Hilton chain, but it turned out that this investment ran his entire business empire to the ground. The purchase was guaranteed by his retail chain Kerum d.o.o., which the banks blocked, and he announced lawsuits against them.

At the end of 2017, Adria Resorts from the Adris Group bought receivables secured by mortgages over Hotel Marjan from the Austrian Heta Asset Resolution Group. They previously did the same with receivables from hotel annexes and claims of 72 former hotel employees. Therefore, at the end of last year, Marjan was bought for three-quarters of the estimated value, HRK 324 million, by an electronic auction.

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