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.
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.
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. Quite rightly so!
In the previous blogs we have written a lot about Srđ Portolan and his viewpoint on the development of the nautical tourism in Croatia. Srdj for his part was fascinated by the so called “French” model who were among the first who have recognized the need for the construction of mega yacht marinas like the example of “Billionaire Dock” in St Tropez which Portolan Srđ in his capacity as a member of Dubrovnik Luxury Travel management board visited
back in March 2013 on the incentive trip Srđ took part in together with Portolan’s colleagues from DLT and its sister company Adriatic Yacht Services. Talking to some of the yachts’ captains Srdj was perplexed by the lack of the knowledge captains had about the Albanian, Montenegrin and Croatian side of the Adriatic and marina facilities that were available to them on their trajectory to Venice.
The importance of branding was another issue Srđ Portolan stressed about when Srdj talked about the development of luxury tourism in Dubrovnik as Croatia’s top destination within the destination itself. As Portolan Srdj junior learned from Portolan Srđ senior the recognition of the moment like in any business cycle curve prove to have been the secret ingredient in the winning formula of success in the story of Dubrovnik and for that matter in the wider context of Croatia’s tourism as well. Portolan Srđ prompted that the saturation of the rent-a-car market simply strengthen his belief that the servicing of luxury clients within the destination, providing that this service is of the highest possible quality, is the future of his brands positioning within the luxury segment of the market.
Even within this particular segment, Srđ sees the future in the close co-operation of the owners of luxury villa accommodation and the providers of the luxury services. For instance as far as Dubrovnik is concerned, the Old City will always attract visitors for its preserved beauty. However, for the luxury guests who are accustomed for the high level of service facilities Dubrovnik is not in the league of the top French Riviera destinations. On the other hand many would argue that it is not cost effective to invest in the so called additional value determinants. Portolan Srđ understands why entrepreneurs are discouraged to invest in the high class luxury villa accommodation
because it is difficult to achieve ROI let alone its reasonable rate. Portolan Srđ believes that this is due to short length of the season. That is why Srdj states many opt out to restoring residence houses and present them on the market as villas. We support Srđ’s theory as generally speaking everyone works in its full capacity in the tourism sector in Dubrovnik for the period of 60 days which is not enough to make it till the end of the year. Srđ is a firm believer that the short duration of the season is off putting the investors in general as for starters the opportunity cost is high. We understand Srdj’s statement as it does not make sense to open a luxury restaurant which is going to remain empty for the rest of the year.
Portolan sees strong MICE sector in Dubrovnik as Croatia’s top destination as something that might save the day. Furthermore, Portolan Srdj sees marketing issues as many travel agencies lack the adequate marketing funds to promote themselves on the exhibitions around the world. Srđ for his part realizes that the support of the airline industry plays a pivotal role in making the MICE story a success.
Watch out this space for Portolan Srđ views on the current developments in Dubrovnik and Croatia luxury travel market news.
Could you tell us more about Dubrovnik Luxury Travel and your role as Operations Manager?
Dubrovnik Luxury travel has been a market leader in the luxury segment for the past 15 years, here in Croatia and in the region. We are proud that we have served the world’s most powerful clients. Each year our base of luxury clients is growing.
If I were a VIP client, what would be your best recommendation to explore Dubrovnik and Croatia?
Croatia is a country of over 1300 islands. There are many National Parks like the world renown Plitivce Lakes, Krka waterfalls, National Park Brioni, president’s Tito ex-residence, National Park Kornati, an ideal destination to charter a yacht or perhaps do a spot of sailing. In one word, Croatia is a country of many beautiful spot. My recommendation to explore Croatia is the sea way from Dubrovnik to Split. I would charter a yacht from Dubrovnik, I must say that the both, Dubrovnik airport and Split airport are well connected with the rest of the world. En route from Dubrovnik to Split there are many beautiful towns like Cavtat, picturesque Mediterranean town close to Dubrovnik Konavle wine region. The next one is the medieval town of Korcula on the island of Korucla, a birthplace of Marco Polo. I must say that Korcula has excellent gastronomy and white wines, Posip. I like diving and the island of Vis is my favorite. There are so many wrecked ships from the Second World War and would you believe sunk airplanes. Sea next to the Blue Cave just like in Capri, has the best sea visibility in the whole of the Adriatic. There are no sharks.
What about this island of Hvar. Is this a must see island?
Oh, Hvar is simply amazing! This is a must visit destination for all those chartering yahct, sailboats, catamarans and this is also party island, it’s Croatian version of St Tropez. Carpe Diem, Croatian best known night club and lounge bar.
Tell me about this upcoming destination, Split?
Split is originally a Roman city, the remains of the Diocletian palace are still there. It is the second biggest town in Croatia. What I like about Split that its Old City is quite unique, good choice of restaurants, good shopping. Transportation wise, it’s a hub for islands, ferries run from Split port to the islands of Hvar and Brac. Split Airport is well connected to all European destinations. Krka National Park is nearby and the towns of Sibenik and Skradin.
Where do you see the development of Croatian luxury market ?
I see Adriatic as a destination not only Croatia, but Montenegro as well. Adriatic has a pristine clear sea, islands, it is only two hours away from London and Istanbul. Top investors have recognized this. Dubrovnik is building a golf course and luxury villas. At the moment there is a shortage of luxury villas in Dubrovnik and the whole of the Adriatic. I have clients contacting me on daily basis to enquire about the hire of luxury villas. Luckily I have few on the books. Continuing on this subject of investing, in Montenegro for instance, there was a British-Russian investment into marna project Porto Montenegro. There is even bigger marina being planned. Montenegro will be a starting point for the luxury yacht cruises and this would include Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik, Zadar. I really see the future of the Croatian tourism on the whole and in particular the luxury market segment in the nautical tourism.
When I, Srdj Portolan and Darijan Portolan went for a business trip in France we saw a true example of nautical tourism model with a supportive infrastructure and this is what we lack.
Mr Kristian Vrbanic, thank you very much for taking your time to talk to us.
Come July 10 and Dubrovnik summer scene becomes really heated as this is the opening night of Dubrovnik Summer Festival. For many of us who are associated with Dubrovnik Luxury Travel, this is when really things get to start crazy and our sister company Adriatic Yacht Services gets inundated with various queries from yachts and mega yachts ranging from clearance and provisioning to off shore concierge services which are naturally provided in the most efficient way by Dubrovnik Luxury Travel team.
The beginning of July marks the arrival of rich and famous in Dubrovnik. And one thing is for sure that luxury villas in Dubrovnik with top notch amenities and by this I mean the close proximity to the Old City with the pool facilities and the view over the Old Harbor and the island of Lokrum are difficult to get by. However, we at Dubrovnik Luxury Travel have worked hard to offer you the most exclusive villa in Dubrovnik and the whole of the Adriatic.You think we exaggerate. This is where the writing stops as photo speaks thousand words. Ladies and gentlemen may we proudly present you the world of luxurious bliss, style and everything which is in the slightest way associated with a word luxury in Dubrovnik in the range of luxury private accommodation in Dubrovnik.