Friday, 25 November 2022

Esplanade Hotel General Manager Ivica Max Krizmanic Wins Award

November the 25th, 2022 - The general manager of Zagreb's well known and very popular Esplanade Hotel, Ivica Max Krizmanic, has won the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Award for 2022.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the general ,anager of Zagreb's Esplanade Hotel, Ivica, Max Krizmanic, is the winner of the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2022 for the best general manager in all of Southern Europe. This is otherwise a very prestigious award that is traditionally awarded to the absolute best in the demanding hotel industry.

The press release stating that Ivica Max Krizmanic had received this year's prestigious award was signed by Sanda Sokol, the PR & Marketing Manager of the Esplanade Hotel, stating that "this significant international success is the crowning achievement of the impressive career of the general manager of the Esplanade Hotel, Ivica Max Krizmanic and is a great honour for the hotel itself, as well as for the City of Zagreb".

"I can say that I'm surprised, I didn't expect that this great international recognition would go to me. This is a special honour and certainly a motivation to achieve even better results in my future work. I'm glad that I built my career here at the Esplanade Hotel, which is the pride of Croatian tourism. And I'd first of all dedicate this award to my colleagues, who are the main link in the overall work and successful business of the hotel,'' said Krizmanic when receiving the award. It's worth noting that this year, he'll mark around 30 years of work at the Esplanade Hotel and exactly one decade in the position of its general director. The above makes him one of the longest serving directors of the Esplanade Hotel in history.

"The merits for his work have been recognised at the international level, where he has already been awarded for his success in the past. Back in 2018, he received the prestigious international Five Star Diamond Award for excellence in the hotel industry, and in 2021, the Fest - Antonio Conte Charter award, which was awarded to him for his professional excellence, creativity, achieved results, exceptional contribution to the promotion of Croatian tourism and the improvement of tourist cooperation,'' it was stated in the press release.

It's worth noting that Ivica Max Krizmanic also holds many other important positions: he's a member of the Council of the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb and the Assembly of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), he's an honorary member of FIJET (Croatian Association of Travel Journalists and Writers in Tourism), a member of SKAL, as well as a member of the international gastronomic society Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and the organising committee of AmCham Talents. On top of that, he also acts as a mentor to future professionals. He is also an Ambassador of Knowledge at the Life Learning Academy and a long-time prominent member of the prestigious European Association of Hotel Managers (EHMA).

Ivica Max Krizmanic grew up in the City of Zagreb, and is a mechanical technician by profession. He was educated at the management schools of the Rezidor hotel group, as well as at Cornell University, Ithaca NY, in the USA. In 2012, he took over the management of the Esplanade Hotel and year after year since, the hotel has recorded constant growth and quite significantly increased revenue.

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

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Movenpick Hotel Zagreb: Accor Hotel to be Constructed in Capital

March the 30th, 2022 - The brand new Movenpick Hotel Zagreb is set to become a favourite place for business travellers looking for a modern and well-equipped space in which to hold their business meetings, according to the Accor Group's development director for Southeastern Europe.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, even before the announced opening of Accor's hotel under the Movenpick brand in Split in 2023, Accor will open its first hotel with the brand's signature right here in the City of Zagreb this June. The new hotel will be located in the business zone of Novi Zagreb, less than five minutes drive from the City Island project and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and is a continuation of the collaboration between Accor and MPPD.

“I'm pleased to announce the opening of the first top Movenpick Hotel Zagreb in a prestigious business location in this part of Europe. This will become the third hotel from the Accor group to open its doors in Croatia. Last year, the FERMAI hotel in Split joined our MGallery collection, followed by the Möoenpick hotels in Zagreb and Split. I'm more than convinced that the new Movenpick Hotel Zagreb will become a favourite place for business travellers who, with this perfect location, are looking for a modern, well-equipped space in which to hold their business meetings, as well as a unique place to relax, unwind and enjoy some fine food,'' said Dilek Sezer, the Accor Group Development Director for Southeastern Europe.

The up and coming Movenpick Hotel Zagreb will be located in a new building which was constructed back in 2019, next to the building which, among other things, housed the editorial offices of Vecernji list and Poslovni dnevnik. The hotel boasts 104 smart rooms and suites, and each room will be named after another city elsewhere in Europe and the world and will offer guests a personalised experience, as well as a stylised map of the city after which the room was named, which will be an integral part of the decor. The building is inspired by the life and work of the genius Nikola Tesla, and a special addition for business guests is a private room with direct access from the garage, in order to provide customers with complete discretion.

"After cooperating with Accor on the development of the Movenpick Split project, we believed that Movenpick would once again be an ideal brand for this location in Zagreb. Accor's global reach, as well as the attention it pays to sustainable development and ESG criteria, are decisive factors in our partnership. We believe that Accor is the leader in Europe in the category of premium hotel brands, especially in the business segment. As the world returns to business travel being normal once again, we're convinced that Accor is the right partner that will bring the Movenpick Hotel Zagreb to the top of the local hotel and catering and hospitality market,'' said Andrija Antic, the director of MPPD.

The position of General Manager of the Movenpick Hotel Zagreb will be taken over by Mincho Pachikov, who has been with Accor since back in 2012 and has more than 20 years of experience in management positions in the hospitality sector and in real estate investments.

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

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Adris Investing 200 Million Kuna into Renovation of Zagreb Hotels

October the 31st, 2021 - The well known Adris Group is set to invest a large sum into the renovation of several Zagreb hotels, as well as into the famous Hotel Marjan down in the City of Split.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, the Adris Group's net profit reached a massive 605 million kuna in the first nine months of this year, compared to a considerably lower figure of 141 million kuna last year, and total revenues rose to 4.51 billion kuna (marking a significant increase of 23 percent), they announced from Adris.

At the same time, the income from the sale of goods and services increased by a quarter, reaching a staggering 4.18 billion kuna. Consolidated profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also stands at 1.065 billion kuna, three percent below the pre-crisis levels of 2019. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to leave its traces on the results of the tourism business, Maistra, although a recovery was recorded in the main part of this year's main tourist season which is promising.

The company recorded 1.2 billion kuna in revenue from sales of goods and services, 79 percent of the figure recorded from back in 2019. EBITDA stood at 602 million kuna, reaching 85 percent of what was realised before the global pandemic struck, as well as net profit 360 million kuna in total. The Istrian part of the tourism business accounted for 86 percent of sales realised back in 2019, Zagreb hotels reached 36 percent of the same, and those down in Dubrovnik reached 44 percent of 2019's results.

Adris has also recently announced 200 million kuna in investments this year, with the continuation of preparations for the renovation projects of Zagreb hotels and the Marjan Hotel down on the coast in Split.

Croatia osiguranje's net profit amounted to 320 million kuna, 9 percent more on an annual basis, with 2.27 billion kuna of total gross premiums written in Croatia (a marked increase of 5 percent).

Cromaris' EBITDA profit also jumped up by more than a quarter, reaching 52 million kuna, while the net result was 12.3 million kuna.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Westin, Sheraton Zagreb Also Create Version of "Hotel Office" Offer

November the 15th, 2020 - As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to cause enormous issues for travel and tourism, several Croatian hotels have turned to ''hotel office'' offers. Two popular hotels here in the capital, Westin and the Sheraton Zagreb, have decided to dip their toes in such an offer.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, through active participation in the global programme of the world's largest hotel group, Marriott International, under whose brands the Westin and the Sheraton Zagreb operate, HUP Zagreb's hotels have joined the growing trend of supplying ''hotel offices''. Specifically, Westin and the Sheraton Zagreb offer two options, Stay Pass and Day Pass, as part of Marriott's "work anywhere" programme, as has been found out from HUP Zagreb.

The Stay Pass programme includes bed and breakfast in one of the rooms or suites, early check-in (06:00) and late check-out (18:00), free access to a small meeting room, a welcome coffee, tea or fresh organic juice, a private workspace (desk and chair), enhanced Wi-Fi and connectivity, as well as credit for consumption in restaurants and bars. Under this programme, guests also have free access to the pool, spa and fitness centre at the Westin.

Both of these Zagreb hotels also offer a Day Pass programme, they also offer packages which will cover several days, with free parking, use of the hotel's business centre, lunch and refreshing healthy juices and snacks throughout the day to boost immunity. The total price of the Day Pass package is HRK 560 for 1 day, HRK 1,400 for a three-day service and HRK 2,600 for a seven-day service, with the proviso that the Day Pass which covers several days doesn't need to be used continuously.

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Friday, 23 October 2020

Zagreb Westin: Hotel Opens Studio for Virtual and Hybrid Events

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 21st of October, 2020, the Zagreb Westin Hotel, which operates within the Rovinj-based Maistra, is the first hotel in Zagreb to offer the market an audio-visual studio, in response to all the challenges of organising events, conferences and congresses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As has since been learned from Maistra, the Zagreb Westin Hotel, in cooperation with the local company Ivas Group, conceived, designed and equipped an audio visual studio that has all the necessary equipment and technology (stage, speaker, LCD screens, smart flip chars, sound system, recording service and live broadcast) for the successful maintenance of virtual and hybrid events. The new visual studio is part of the Maksimir Hall, which can accommodate about 30 participants, while other participants get involved through online platforms. A coffee break, as an always desirable option, is also available.

With this studio for virtual and hybrid events, the Zagreb Westin Hotel has fully responded to what are currently highly specific, safety-oriented market demands, Darko Radetic, the director of the hotel, pointed out that this is also the only hotel in the City of Zagreb that remained open throughout this entire difficult year, despite the pandemic and the earthquake which struck back in March.

"In addition to fully aligning our business with all of the epidemiological measures, we have taken it a step further and designed this product. Although there's still interest in organising MICE events in the classical sense, there are more and more inquiries for holding virtual or hybrid events, so we expect that this, a unique product on our market, will attract many partners and guests,'' said Radetic.

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Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Zagreb Hotels at 14% Capacity, Can Skiing Season Save Them?

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of September, 2020, hotels on the Adriatic may be able to relax because they have finished with their season with higher-than-expected traffic, which could cover part of the costs and, with the help of state aid, ensure survival until spring. However, the agony for those of us in Zagreb and Zagreb hotels continues, which could be stopped by the reopening of borders within the EU, which is being intensively supported by the European Commission.

The current statistics of Zagreb hotels in September are sad to say the very least. In the period from the 1st to the 24th of September, there were 16,915 arrivals and 29,750 overnight stays realised, ie 19 percent of arrivals and 21 percent of overnight stays realised in the same period last year. So far, the leading market for Zagreb hotels is domestic, followed by Germany, Italy, Israel and the United States. Out of 71 hotels in Zagreb, 59 hotels currently have tourist traffic, 12 are closed, and the occupancy rate is currently at a rather miserable 14 percent. As of Friday, there were 1253 guests staying in Zagreb hotels, according to eVisitor. The Palace, which needs to repair the consequences of the earthquake, is not open, and the famous Hotel Dubrovnik is working at half of its normal capacity.

The Sheraton was recently opened which had several prom dinners and has some guests, but not all rooms are open. Apart from the Sheraton and the Westin, the largest hotelier in Zagreb, HUP Zagreb, as part of Maistra, opened the Zagreb, International and Jadran hotels, and Panorama was closed.

It has been briefly stated that "in these uncertain times, the hotel's operating plan depends on booking and their profitability", which means that any of these hotels could close again if there is no demand. The result is weaker than in the summer months for a number of reasons.

"Most of the hotels that opened in the summer were counting on guests passing through on their way down to the Adriatic, but they were waiting for the autumn in which they hoped for at least a somewhat increased traffic of the business segment and events. Then, at the end of August, the borders were closed, ie Croatia was put in the red zone, and the decision of the Medical Chamber that no rallies or training would be held, which is a segment that was our leader in the autumn months,'' explained Josipa Jutt Ferlan, the director of Zagreb City Hotels.

If this situation lasts, the winter will be difficult for Zagreb hotels, but the opening of the first hotels and resorts at European ski resorts, they hope, could start the opening of borders, flights, traffic and some sense of normality.

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Monday, 28 September 2020

Businesswoman Irena D Stays in Two Zagreb Hotels, Refuses to Pay

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of September, 2020, rising entrepreneur and financial manager, 36-year-old Irena D., used the services of two Zagreb hotels - the Esplanade Hotel and the Jagerhorn in Ilica - on two occasions, and for 14 nights with the services of a minibar and restaurant food and drinks, she spent but still owes as much as 12,887 kuna, as Jutarnji list writes.

From the 23rd to the 30th of December 2019, she stayed in room 239 of the Esplanade Hotel, where she ate and drank in the Le Bistro restaurant, and approved each expense with her own signature on the account of the room in which she was staying. She damaged the company Esplanade Oleander for 10,288 kuna.

After that, she checked in on January the 18th at the Jagerhorn Hotel in Ilica, where she stayed until January the 23rd, 2020. She gave the employees a bank card, and when entering the PIN, she entered the wrong one twice. The third time she refused to enter it for fear of the bank blocking the account, so she promised to run to the bank and withdraw the money.

However, she refused to hand over an identity document to the receptionist as a guarantee and entered into a verbal conflict with the hotel director. She escaped from the hotel without paying the bill, and damaged the company Ilicki rog for 2,599 kuna.

Both Zagreb hotels have filed charges for fraud, and the Municipal State Attorney's Office is demanding 11 months of community service from the entrepreneur, who has already been criminally reported and convicted.

Irena also commented on the whole case, saying that as far as the Esplanade was concerned, there was confusion because they got her credit card on display during the check-in, and when she left, she did a physical written check-out and left.

"They noticed a problem, to which I told them that there were no problems and that they should send me a written invoice. After that, they started falsely accusing me. I don't accept the charges and I don't intend to pay anything. And it’s not the first time I’ve stayed there privately and on business. I've suffered damages and I don't want to pay anything, not because I wasn't there, but because no one has the right to accuse me of anything because I duly handed over my documents and cards to them,'' said Irena D. to the police.

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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Zagreb Sheraton Hotel Reopening Doors, But Only Temporarily...

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 13th of July, 2020, given the scale of the economic crisis caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the huge damage caused, especially to tourism, with estimates of falling revenues of up to 80 percent, Maistra says that it is difficult to say anything definite about the outcome of this tourist season. Despite that, the Zagreb Sheraton Hotel is opening its doors...

After almost four long months of forced break from operations due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the workers of the Zagreb Sheraton Hotel started preparations to reopen at the end of July. As has since been learned in Maistra, which includes the hotel company HUP Zagreb and Sheraton, the opening will most likely be only temporary, in order to host a group from the United States.

''Back at the end of May, we opened all of our camps in Istria, and during June, the Rovinj hotels Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, Lone, Eden, Amarin, Istria were opened, and on Friday, the Monte Mulini hotel started operating again.

The Westin and International hotels are currently open in Zagreb, while the opening of the remaining part of our Zagreb portfolio will depend on the demand for that. The Zagreb Sheraton Hotel will be temporarily opened to accommodate guests from the United States. In the destinations of Vrsar and Dubrovnik, we've also started with the gradual opening of hotels and facilities,'' they explained from the aforementioned hotel company.

Croatian tourism is an incredibly important part of the domestic economy, making up 20 percent of the country's GDP and generating enormous profits throughout summer. The previous record summers Croatia experienced merely by lying on its laurels seem a distant memory when compared to the current virus-dominated situation.

"Reservations for July, August and September are encouraging so far, but it all depends on the epidemiological situation in the countries that are our main emitting markets, the border crossing regime, the recovery of airlines, which is especially important for bringing guests to the south of Croatia,'' they stated from Maistra.

For more on travel during the coronavirus era, follow our dedicated section.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Zagreb Esplanade Hotel Offers Guests Ability to Download Menu and News

The popular Esplanade Hotel in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb is experiencing a massive drop in bookings, but has taken it upon itself to offer its guests the ability to download its menus and newspapers via their smartphones, safely and in a contactless way.

Croatian tourism has taken a very heavy blow thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has reared its ugly head once again following a couple of weeks of peace after the questionable holding of a tennis event in Zadar. As such, Croatian hotels have little choice but to try to ride the storm during which the waves keep getting higher.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of June, 2020, Zagreb's Esplanade Hotel currently has an occupancy rate of just 20 percent, which, although low, is much better than it was back in May, but the situation is unpredictable because reservations are being made from today to tomorrow.

The above was revealed by the hotel's director, Ivica Max Krizmanic, on the occasion of the presentation of the hotel's new promotional film.

''Last year, we had more than 3000 overnight stays in this period, and this year we've only a little more than 400 of them. In the last month, most of our guests came from Croatia (28%) and neighbouring countries, Serbia (12%), Germany (10%), the US (5%) and the UK (4%), and those who came were here mainly for business.

The rest of them are tourists, individuals, and there are currently no groups, there probably won’t even be any soon, either,'' Krizmanic pointed out.

The Esplanade Hotel has offered guests the contactless ability to download the hotel's menus and daily newspapers via their smartphones, and the hotel’s own mobile app allows for possible room service orders.

The Health Club and limousine service are running but continue to take very strict precautions in their operations, and the rooms are thoroughly cleaned, ventilated and placed in 48-hour isolation.

"In these uncertain times, we shot a promotional video in which we're trying to bring potential guests closer to what we offer, and that's a combination of a sense of security, luxury and the Esplanade Hotel's special charm," said Krizmanic.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Zagreb Westin Hotel Still Operating, What Are The Special Measures?

The few people who do not live here in Zagreb but who have somehow found themselves travelling through the city during these strange days can count the hotels that remain open on their fingertips. One of them is the popular Zagreb Westin Hotel.

As Dora Koretic/Novac writes on the 12th of April, 2020, there are exactly seven of them, and the largest among them that, despite the coronavirus pandemic, is keeping its doors open to travellers is the aforementioned hotels on the once busy Savska cesta.

Until recently, it was central place for travellers who have somewhat deeper pockets, boasting a bar in which a good part of the Zagreb business scene was arranging various jobs. These days, however, it is eerily quiet, witha reduced workforce twiddling their thumbs and wondering when the epidemic will pass.

Otherwise a member of the Marriott Group, the Zagreb Westin Hotel has remained open as the only facility belonging to a major hotel chain in the Croatian capital city, following the announcement of the closure of hotel facilities, mainly to accommodate guests arriving in Croatia on a mission, such as medical staff, European and international officials, and of course - scientists.

According to the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), there are so few people in Zagreb at the moment who don't actually live here that they would not be able to fill a single floor of the Zagreb Westin Hotel.

As touched on before, at the moment, there are seven open hotels in Zagreb. Although they didn't want to disclose how many guests are currently staying at the Westin, it has since been learned that during the pandemic, the hotel is mostly occupied by individual guests from Croatia and a small number of foreigners, mainly guests from the USA, and special measures have been introduced due to these unprecedented circumstances in accordance with the recommendations of Croatian health institutions, and especially with regard to the restrictions imposed by the Civil Protection Headquarters throughout the country.

Thus, we've learned that all of the Zagreb Westin Hotel's catering facilities are closed, so there is no hotel bar or dining at the hotel restaurant. However, in order for the hotel guests to be able to receive food normally, all meals are prepared in the hotel kitchen and delivered directly to people's rooms.

"We're always focused on the well-being of our guests and employees, even in these unexpected circumstances," a statement from the Zagreb Westin said.

Interestingly, despite the fact that there are no guests, nor is it likely that there will be any soon, they say from the Zagreb Westin Hotel that they didn't significantly change the hotel's pricing policy at the time of the pandemic.

"The overnight rates have not changed significantly due to this new situation. In particular, an overnight stay in a double room from April 8-9 amounts to €91, €122 for bed and breakfast,'' it was revealed.

Maistra hasn't disclosed what additional services are available to guests during these special circumstances, but given the regulations and the special regime, the spa and wellness centre are not currently available at the hotel, and from Maistra they advise that, in accordance with the recommendations of health institutions, they provide guests room service and food delivery services exclusively, with all staff equipped with the proper masks and gloves.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for more on coronavirus in Croatia.

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