Category Archives: Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Luxury Travel offers advice on multi days customized tour from Zagreb to Dubrovnik

Zagreb is already an established European metropole with a number of airlines flying to it from European capitals and those destinations who are a hub, linking North and South America to Croatia via Zagreb. As a result, I would suggest you start your tour from Zagreb. Zagreb Croatian capitalAim to get to Zagreb in morning, so that you profit from sightseeing The Upper and Lower Town. If you are coming as far as Asia and Australia, I would suggest that you spend your second day in Zagreb by a day outing in a nearby hamlet of Samobor or you go on a daily tour of Zagorje so called Green Riviera and visit Trakoscen Castle. From Zagreb you would normally proceed to Plitvice, which are a must visit. This magical National Park of cascading lakes and waterfalls is a true natural wonder and a

Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice Lakes

day well spent.

From here you are descending down to Split and after spending a day here sightseeing you either go to islands Hvar then Korcula, Mljet and end up in Dubrovnik or you choose the road route via sleepy yet interesting villages of Makarska Riviera to Dubrovnik. Personally, I prefer to get on a sea route to Dubrovnik, because this tour is really is a true opportunity to explore Croatia by both road and sea. Once you reach and explore Dubrovnik it is advisory you book one of DLT’s one day shore excursion from Dubrovnik to Mostar or from Montenegro town of KotorDubrovnik to Kotor so that you can visit neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Visiting cultural heritage of Croatia

The Croatian Tourist Board has conducted a survey which concluded that visitors to Croatia put culture before active holidaying and the tourists have stressed the importance of wellness when choosing the destination within Croatia. We at Dubrovnik Mali Ston BayLuxury Travel have recognized the importance of not only Dubrovnik cultural heritage but that of our neighbors in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result we have on offer a serious of one day shore excursions, individually tailored where our clients can combine the cultural aspects of Montenegro by visiting the town of Kotor but at the same time they can seek sun on one of Monenegro’s popular beaches, for instance Sveti Stefan beach. When it comes to discovering the rich cultural trails of Bosnia and Herzegovina where there was a strong legacy of the Ottoman rule, displayed in the architectural aspects of towns like Pocitelj and

Mostar tour from Dubrovnik
Mostar tour from Dubrovnik

Mostar, then there is a shame not to visit those as this can be pleasant outing for a family or group of friends where a lot can be learned. Not forgetting of course the religious richness of Herzegovina as thousands of pilgrims frequent Medjugorje whereas those of Muslim faith are invited to visit the mosques of Mostar.

Gastronomy came third on the list of tourist priorities and one day excursion to Korcula is an excellent way of combining a good food, Mali Ston Bay offers some of the best oysters in Europe, good wine, Peljesac region offers some of Croatia’s best red wine sorts Dingac and Plavac mali, and all this by visiting Korcula, a birthplace of Marko Polo.

For more offers please visit us at www.dubrovnikluxurytravel.com

Dubrovnik a winner in the Europe’s MICE destinations category.

 

Prague, Istanbul, Dubrovnik. This last has won indeed the third place in the MICE destinations category. We have written before about Croatia as a MICE destination and have recognized Rovinj and the so called Green Riviera, Zagorje Hill Region. However, it is the setting of Dubrovnik’s Old City that keep attracting the Dubrovnik MICE settingbusinessmen from around the Europe. Dubrovnik’s gastronomy and in particular enology offer is second to none. After all what better than to visit Konavle and Peljesac wine region and enjoy the oysters from Mali Ston Bay after a hard day of conferencing. The global climate change has affected Dubrovnik’s tourist season for the better, hard to believe that a negative can turn to positive. Now it is perfectly normal to organize a dinner for conference people in October at sea, hiring the imposing 15th century replika Karaka boat. Twenty years ago this Karaka shipwould have been unheard of as the beginning of September really meant the end of the season for that year. These days the cruisers are known to have docked in November. I personally OK this phenomenon despite the fact that I would imagine that these type of package deals in November are cheap and perhaps do not attract the luxury destination clients.I would love to see more small cruisers companies with luxury ships visiting destination in the same way as I see the development of the golf project as an ideal opportunity to attract businesspeople with deep pockets.

I would also like to focus a bit on the domestic clientele. During the off season time would it not be profitable to offer a month stay in the luxury hotels on full board. I guarantee that this would attract Zagreb’s creme de la creme to Dubrovnik who perhaps would become new Biarritz.

Srdj Portolan

Hopes for 2015 for Dubrovnik tourism industry

The new sunny day is here, the boreas wind is gone and great hopes for the luxury segment of Dubrovnik tourism industry are ahead of us. What Dubrovnik needs is to enter the new era of investments in this sector. The great news is that Sheraton chain is entering the market but in order to attract the guests with the deeper pockets, more needs to be done to improve Dubrovnik’s tourism offer. Yacht moored near DubrovnikProject Golf Dubrovnik promises to do so as we have discussed it in our earlier posts. However, the much anticipated change needs to happen in the nautical sector where mega yachts need to be offered the adequate facilities for mooring in the Gruz marina. This part of the Mediterranean is not frequented by mega yachts for the lack of information captains receive but then again for the lack of facilities. We do not have Porto Montenegro here in Dubrovnik, such project would be the next yachting stop for all those yachts whose first port of call is Montenegro.

But what would happen in the longer run is that the building of a marina for mega yachts would keep the former moored there during Dubrovnik from birds eyethe winter time, this would create jobs for the local industries at the time when Croatian economy performance indicators are gloom for the year 2015.

When I spoke to a owner of a Turkish luxury chain of hotels, he could not believe it the sluggish reaction of the Croatian government when it came to attracting new investments in the tourism sector. He told me that Turkish government would do almost everything to grant building permissions to serious investors, in certain cases the land is offered free in exchange for employment quotas. I wonder would this be the case here in Croatia. Having read that the Croatian ministry of employment urgently needs more than 300,00 workforce to sustain the pension system, perhaps the answer lies in the government measures of this kind that is of course if they are approved by Bruxselles.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

The luxury round up of 2014 in Dubrovnik and Croatia

2014 has been yet another successful year in the Croatian tourism industry and once again the Croatian tourism has been a shining star of the Croatian economy. Dubrovnik has performed rather well thanks to the influx of tourists from Great Britain and the Far East, in particular from South Korea. Apart from the fact that Dubrovnik is on everyone’s must see list because of its astounding beauty, it is amazing to learn the fact that the filming of Game of Thrones in the city is also to”blame” for the increase in popularity of this unique city.Game of Thrones film location

As for the luxury segment of the market the new trends contributed to this sector’s good performance, particularly villa rentals. I am extremely glad that this trend is rising and more and more quality villas both in design and decor are being built. This trend has complemented the increase in yacht charters and exclusive private excursions.

The Russian political crisis has partly this season affected Dubrovnik and Istria’s luxury markets but not to the extent of 2013 when some of the Istrian top luxury hotels were half empty during the peak season. Also, Croatia’s joining the EU has to my disappointment shut its door to the Turkish market due to the visa regime. Well, I have also heard this silly unbelievable story that if you are from Dubai and you are willing to come to this beautiful country of ours that you need to apply for your visa in Cairo, Egypt as Croatia does not have a consulate in Dubai.

However, I would like to end this post on the positive note and as I write these sentences, boreas is blowing the sunny streets of Dubrovnik and I am getting warmed up for the celebration of the stradun dubrovniknew 2015 in the most stunning open stage in the whole of the world; Stradun.

Forget Times Square, Trafalgar Square,Red Square, come to Stradun and shout Celebrations after all Let’s celebrate and have a good time!!!

The author of this article is Srđ Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

Villa Sheherezade – the Taj Mahal of the Mediterranean

I cannot count the number of times when my British friends visiting from London would ask me, Oh what is that blue thingy building over there. And I would proudly answer to them that that is Croatian Taj Villa SheherezadeMahal. There is something romantic about the fact that a foreign wealthy industrialist of unknown Eastern or at least Centrally European roots decided to built this imposing villa for his mistress, supposedly exotic dancer who went under the name of Sheherezade, back in the late 20’s.

The truth about this soppy romantic story will be sealed forever and would stay Prague’s best kept secret. ( Oh dear I just revealed his origin ) as for the fact that the poor mistress never trespassed the villa’s threshold.

Interior designed is impeccable, its furnishings are rich in textureVilla Sheherezade and colour and I am glad that this has worked perfectly well for this villa and its five luxury bedrooms. However, the point that I would like to make, if I worked 24/7 in a high flyers position for bank,blue chip company or government I would opt out for this villa because of its exterior. It has 4000m2 of pine forest, cypress trees and palms, excellent for devising Villa Sheherezadetakeovers, foreign policies or new business strategies, if you catch my drift, during early morning and early evening walks.

Some people would argue that it does not have fine sand beach but amazingly this villa has a swimming pool inbuilt in the terrace yet close enough to smell the Adriatic. After all, this place has a pier that can get you to your yacht in no time. And it is so secluded that is ideal for all those seeking privacy. Yes it is indeed glamorous but do not let this be off putting so grab your phone and call Darijan or Kristian, experts from Dubrovnik Luxury Travel to get the best available quote for summer 2015.

In the meantime guess what I’ll be doing. Watching “Play it again Sam” in Villa Sheherezade media room right under the blue dome. I Villa Sheherezadeonly wish!!!

Dubrovnik and its future perspective in tourism industry.

Before I embark on writing these lines I would to point out that by no means am I an expert in the field that is to say that I hold no masters degree in tourism management. What I do have is first class information, gathered through association with people who work in Dubrovnik tourism industry, present and those who have done so for the past 30 years.

The so called new economy has developed at the speed of light, accompanied with the new technologies and the internet has made the planet Earth a rather small globe.

As the author of these lines, throughout my life, I have lived in London, Barcelona, Aix en Provence and Moscow at the end of the last century. Every time when I was asked where did I come from and when I answered Croatia what would follow would be that famous question which would resonate for me in the annoying way : “where was that?”. On the contrary, when the answer was Dubrovnik what would follow were the nods of approval and smiles on people’s faces with that famous sentence.” Oh I was there”, “Beautiful city”. Say noDubrovnik Old City Carmen more I thought to myself as I was admiring the power of panel advertising on London Underground tube stations. Only these days at the beginning of the 21 century there are millions of Dubrovnik panels on the internet and with direct channels of selling planes, hotels, villas for holidays, the scopes are enormous up to the point that the people as far as Brazil jump on their planes and come holidaying to Croatia and Dubrovnik.

The opinion of the locals regarding the future of their city is divided. While some recognize the need for progress and see imminent the construction of new five star hotels, real estate villas and apartments others strongly oppose it. A typical example was a golf project on Srdj Hill overlooking Dubrovnik when the calls were being made that this was an eco genocide which had the makings of a luxury villa real estate project. For all I know the owners of the “pastures” were paid promptly, in other words someone invested their time and money and personal reputation not only to earn money but to bring money to Dubrovnik. Golfers are people with huge disposable income and they choose to stay in modern urban accommodation. Now when I think that there are only six golf courses in the whole of Croatia and four of them are in Istria my maths is telling me that we are lagging behind. Golfers are also highly educated business people and they more often than not choose to host their incentives and business conferences in places where they can play golf. I am not a member of golf lobby but I just follow the logic that arrival of rich clients would make space for quality content in the Old City. Think of all high quality restaurants, Dubrovnik Old City St Mary'sart galleries, clothes boutiques, jobs in the construction industry, jobs in the service industry. And let me get this straight to you. If anything we need high quality real estate projects if we are to sustain the development of our tourism industry in the future. As I have outlined above, times have changed. With the arrival of globalization and new technologies the competition has increased and people with high disposable income got used to being “pampered” around the globe. So even if they are to fall in love with views over the island of Lokrum and the Old city while they are staying in the hotels such as Excelsior, Argentina or villas such as Victoria, Agave, Glavic,Dubrovnik and Sheherezade these rich clients cannot purchase a modern urban villa so that they can repeatedly return to Dubrovnik and Croatia.

Dubrovnik Luxury Travel  has teamed up with Spes Estate, Dubrovnik’s most reputable real estate agency.

Srđ Portolan, DLT’s member of the management board has signed business co-operation agreement with Mr Frano Bezić of Spes Estate Dubrovnik. Mr Bezić stressed out that luxury travel and real estate go hand in hand as they complement each other. Clients arriving to view houses on sale and apartments on sale in Dubrovnik are serviced by the likes of Dubrovnik Luxury Travel and vice versa. Currently there is a huge land development in Dubrovnik’s most favourite quarter Ploce on sale, 52 000 m2 with planned construction of modern day villas. Mr Bezic stressed out that among luxury travel holidaymakers there are always successful businesspeople, potential real estate buyers and investors alike.

Welcome to Bollywood, Welcome to Dubrovnik – Croatia

After the HBO’s cult series The Game of Thrones, hugely successful Indian film industry Bollywood which hails its name from its center Bollywood Empire studiosof Mumbai and makes the important piece of the Indian Hindi language based industry is coming to Dubrovnik. According to the article which has been written in today’s Croatian daily “Jutarnji list” one of India’s most popular actor Shah Mukr Khan is set to star in the movie titled “Fan” The shooting has already started in Mumbai and is set to continue in Dubrovnik in the year 2015. Indian outbound tourism industry is becoming increasingly popular and this move will boost Croatia as a destination onto the Indian Travel market. The sources from the Croatian daily “Jutarnji list” claims than on every one hundred employees from the movie industry comes another two to three hundred in the building, travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.The film segment of the tourism market itself is set to net 60 million HRK alone in the forthcoming year and this is without extra revenue generated from tourism and hospitality sectors.

Only HBO’s new production of the Game of Thrones with filming taking places in Dubrovnik, Split and Sibenik is set to bring 43 millionGame of Thrones film location HRK.

We at Dubrovnik Luxury Travel welcome the arrival of Bollywood glamor and look forward to service Bollywood film crews be it regarding their Dubrovnik accommodation, Dubrovnik transportation, Dubrovnik yacht charter needs or perhaps finding new exotic Dubrovnik film locations.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

How to book an apartment in Dubrovnik Old City?

If you are decided to book an apartment inside the city walls then dubrovnik old city mapyou have decided to be the part of the local experience although you have to bear in mind that out of 4000 citizens who lived in the Old City before the war, there are only 1000 remaining. This means that your neighbor might easily be a fellow tourist like yourself. First and foremost it’s the timing of your holiday. The most ideal timing for families is the end of May because  the school holidays have started, the Old City is relatively busy during the day because of the tourists from cruisers but it is peaceful during the evening hours which is great because it allows you to dine quietly al fresco in one of many local restaurants with your family. The only drawback is that sea is still a bit chilly so swimming as option might be ruled out although the recent climate changes have warmed the sea quicker than before.
In my opinion early September is the best time to enjoy the Old City as there are less crowds in the city, there is plenty of sun, sea is excellent for swimming. Needless to say that price wise you can get a better deal. Couple of things to consider when booking your accommodation. The Old City is pedestrianized zone. There are two main entrance gates: The Pile Gate and The Ploce Gate. In 90% of the cases is that you will end up at the Pile Gate which is also considered to be the main entrance. Make sure your luggage suitcase has wheels. In my opinion any accommodation booked as you enter the main street Stradun and you go in the first and second street on the left around caffe bar Festival will suit you perfect, in other words beginning of Prijeko Street as you enter Stradun. Also anything north of Ulica od Puča my favourite corner being around St Rocco church, this is where you will find the best pizza in the town in pizzeria Mea Culpa. If you prefer lively yet placid atmosphere then I suggest anything around Bunićeva Poljana. For your sunbathing and swimming I suggest Lokrum, 15 minutes ride by boat from the Old City port. You can read my blog on the island. Enjoy!!!

The author of this article is Srđ Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.

Dubrovnik as bachelor and hen parties destination!!! Why not???

Dubrovnik Croatia is considered to be one of the world’s hotspots for the weddings because of its unprecedented beauty. It is not by chance that American socialites Fabiola Beracasa chose Dubrovnik srđ portolan bachelor and hento “fortify”her love to her husband Jason Beckham. We at DLT have been thinking of starting a new trend, organising bachelor and hen parties in some of our summer residency houses, setting everything up from catering to DJ entertainment. The idea as such sound appealing because in the post season months weather permitting you can still enjoy Dubrovnik Riviera and have a bit of fun. The idea started rolling out as some of our international investment bankers clients were so amazed by Dubrovnik and its Riviera beauty that they enquired regarding a possibility to organize a bachelor’s party in the summer residence Srđ Portolan summer residencehouse in Konavle region of Dubrovnik Riviera. We are hoping to attract the right type of a client who will not solely indulge in large quantities of alcohol ( no one wants the remake of the Hangover film scenes ) but who would also appreciate the cultural aspects of the region and even the neighboring countries, going on the individually tailored tour from Dubrovnik to Montenegro.

Dear blog and social media readers we would like to hear your ideas as well, how would you imagine your bachelor or hen night party. Perhaps you are put in charge of organizing someone’s party and right now you have come across this post. The idea of Croatia and especially Dubrovnik as bachelor or hen night party host is attractive because it combines culture,nature and fun. All you need to do is to sort out your getting to Dubrovnik transport issue and we would take care of the rest.

The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.