New tourist products

How to attract guests throughout the year

Author:Alma Radoš

Even though family and small hotels have a flexible system that adapts more quickly to market trends and demands, the biggest problem in family and small hotel businesses refers to a much shorter season of the necessary six to eight months of work annually for business to be profitable.

Therefore, along with the new types of promotions, it is very important to create new tourist products. This is particularly true for hotels in the continental part of Croatia where the season is not based on the sun and sea, and their innovative offer does not demand only imagination and marketing skills but serious investments.

Villa Magdalena in Krapinske Toplice

The unique wellness & gourmet hotel Villa Magdalena is located in the centre of Krapinske Toplice, at a distance of some forty kilometres from Zagreb, and has imposed itself as the indispensable destination of Croatian Zagorje. Each apartment of this magnificent architectonic construction has been integrated in the mild hills and equipped with thermal water Jacuzzi where the water comes directly from the source and is reputed as one of the best world quality.

After relaxing in the swimming pool and the panoramic wellness centre on the highest floor with a free of charge sauna, whirlpool and relax zone for hotel guests, be sure not to leave out the unique gastronomic experience in Villa Magdalena restaurant. Its “New Zagorje creative cuisine for all five senses” has won the biggest number of gastro acknowledgements and awards in this part of Croatia, and it is, for the time being, the only restaurant in Zagorje to be included in the prestigious international gastro guide Gault Millau. The menu is inspired by seasonal foods and is continually complemented with new ideas for servings. Besides complete relaxation and a new oenological and gastronomic experience, Villa Magdalena offers a new experience of Zagorje, and it is an excellent starting point for exploring this region.
“I consider the wellness offer to be of exceptional importance due to the present pace of life where guests look for a quick break to gather energy for new challenges. We hope that our example will be followed by other hotels in continental Croatia for the competitiveness of the destination is not achieved individually” emphasizes Ivan Petrović, the owner of Villa Magdalena.

Korana Srakovčić and Srce prirode

A few years ago the well-known hotel-keeper Ivan Srakovčič, owner of the awarded Karlovac Hotel Korana Srakovčić, opened the doors to a rural tourism village Srakovčić Srce prirode in his place of birth Gorica Lipnička,at a distance of only ten kilometres from the Slovenian border and 17 kilometres from the Novigrad junction to the Zagreb-Split highway. With this, he not only expanded the hotel offer but also realized his life dream. In a five-year period and in several phases, a total of about 1.200 thousand euros was invested. The rural family property of 35 thousand square metres consists of four renewed and autochthonous houses with a total of 26 rooms and 46 beds, a restaurant, wine tasting room with an arbour. Two years ago a new campsite with all facilities, and an autochthonous building with an ethno collection of the region and a swimming pool were officially opened. Srce prirode offers not only a magnificent view from an altitude of 350 metres, but also gastronomy offers based on food of domestic produce, and since July of last year it has become an integral hotel, the first in Karlovac County and the second in Croatia. By definition, such a hotel can be made up of three or more previously categorized buildings in a village which needs to have a reception hall and reception desk and joint hospitality and tourist amenities including a common area, while the accommodation units of an integral hotel can be rooms, apartments, studio apartments or – as in the case of Srce prirode– vacation houses.

Hotel San Rocco in Brtonigla

Even though it seems easier to have a hotel on the coast, but off season the survival battle begins and only the best and most innovative survive. One of these is the luxurious Istrian heritage hotel San Rocco in Brtonigla whose gastronomy offer has placed it among the best restaurants in Croatia. It is located in the shade of the small Church of All Saints, on the southern slopes of a hill, and with its beauty, charm and gastronomy offer Hotel San Rocco outshines the most beautiful buildings in Tuscany and France. The reconstruction work of the complex has used the traditional Istrian property in the best manner where the central villa houses the reception, an elegant lobby, gourmet restaurant and ten rooms. The neighbouring building, a once stable of Istrian boškarin cattle, has a multifunctional area for meetings and tastings, a cellar with respectable wine labels, two rooms and a suite. The once tool room has been turned into a small wellness zone in front of which there is a terrace and an outer swimming pool with a relaxing view towards olive groves.