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

Luxury villas vs Luxury yachts

 

For some the world of luxury often gives out a sense of snottiness. It need not be. Google trends is this amazing mechanism showing the importance of certain key words popularity which is the most useful tool when you set out to choose your blog post topic. In a way, it does help out your website page optimization.

To the extent, I was amazed to learn that luxury villas are trending as Villa Sheherezadehigh as three times better than luxury yachts. This phenomenon known already to countries such as Portugal, Spain and France is spearheading faster than expected in Croatia as well. An exceptional few can call themselves villas in a true sense of a word and they are mainly constructed in the last century. However, the remaining summer residence houses have views to die for and a large number of them are ever so close to the sea. Price wise these summer residence houses represent a true value for money as during the peak season they go at tops Eur 1500 for a day for a five double bedroom, en suite bathroom house.

The yachts remain a true part of the luxury world. For instance, Sunseeker Camargue 50, cosy array of luxury to cruise the Adriatic, Sunseeker Camargue 50sleeps 6 people and has a early bird booking price of Eur 1600 per day, depending on the availability and time of the year. The fuel is never included in the price of the charter but then again if you are to have this amazing exploration cruise of the Adriatic, then you are not going to look after your pennies because simply it is priceless. You have to live this experience to believe it. For more info on early bird yacht charters e-mail our team Kristian or Darijan to get more information.

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 Dubrovnik – Croatia

Have you ever heard of Batakovina and Cajkovici, I have asked our American friend. Of course I knew the answer would be no but then again a lot of natives who travel on daily basis from Dubrovnik’s sleeping dormitory read the suburb of Mokosica to the place they work, would not know why the ruling aristocracy of Dubrovnik built their summer residence houses then and there.Villa Dubrovnik

The answer lies in the magic of a word “shade”. I do not know what was the climate of the 15th century Dubrovnik but truly during the summer months that strip of road that leads you to the ACI Marina in Komolac is in constant shade.

These days the villas are springing in Dubrovnik like mushrooms after the rain. The villa must be self-contained house with all the modern day facilities and amenities. None of this decorative pools pilava. In my eyes if it does not have self contained landscaped garden and a house with a view and guaranteed privacy then it is not a villa but a mundane summer residence house. And for me the beauty of the villa lies in the indoor pool.Villa Dubrovnik

Well, I have started joking with my friend that Ploce quarter of Dubrovnik apart from being the most luxurious place for your choice of Adriatic Luxury Hotels but it is also villas row with Villa Agave, Villa Sheherezade, Villa Orsula and last but not the least, privately owned, five double bedroom Villa Dubrovnik with 8000 m2 of privately landscaped garden, indoor and outdoor pool and pergola with a view to die for. The rumor goes that one Russian oligarh fell in love with this villa instantly and as it goes with Russians, money was not an object, but the villa is not on sale.Villa Dubrovnik Quite rightly so!

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!!!

Croatia 365 – opportunities beckon!!!

This morning I have red an interesting article in Croatian daily newspapers “Jutarnji list” which quite rightly examines the opportunities in congress tourism. Interestingly enough it is Croatia’s most photographed city of Rovinj which comes on the top rovinj the largest conference center townof the list. Rovinj has a capacity to host some 20 000 business delegates and it is his proximity to five international airports that makes him popular with the businesspeople from around the world. Next on the list is the Croatian business most favorite: Opatija which is close to Rijeka and is also quite well connected via the motorway with the capital Zagreb. However, I have learnt myself a new “hotspot” word which is Green Riviera, in other words Zagorje region hills which not only offer the opportunities in congress but also in wellness tourism. Add to that sporting activities and gastro-enology offer of Zagorje region, proximity of four Middle Ages renovated castles, ideal for banqueting and incentives, this could be a right new hotspot for the business visitors. But others as well, all those tourists who seekZagorje Green Riviera quiet, relaxing breakaway weekends in one of Zagorje wellness centers and “termes”. Not being far away from the capital Zagreb is yet another advantage why people would choose this region.

Coming back to the Adriatic coast again, Sibenik is stealing the limelight of the congress tourism industry and its favorite hotspot of Vodice.

Last but not the least, it is Dubrovnik and that picturesque hamlet of Cavtat and it is Adriatic Luxury Hotel’s Croatia who is an absoluteHotel Croatia Dubrovnik leader in the congress tourism branch in the area with the capacity to host some 1200 delegates. Proximity of the new Tuscany; Konavle region which offers a great deal when it comes to sporting and incentive activities such as biking, quadding, four wheel vehicles driving or simply lounging back in one of its traditional cuisine restaurants and sipping your “vino” and enjoying your food, “peka” being my favorite.

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 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.

Luxury services in Dubrovnik