Šibenik - Made to the measure of man

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»AMADRIA PARK COMBINES OUR LOVE FOR THE ADRIATIC SEA AND HARMONY WITH NATURE« Interview with Katarina Lilić, Executive Director at Amadria Park Šibenik, about the recent rebranding of several hotels to Amadria Park. PHOTO CREDIT AMADRIA PARK

INTRODUCTION Q: The last time we talked to you was in November 2016. In the year since, a new brand Amadria Park was introduced. The Ugo Group hosts many hotels under this new, single brand name. Which hotels exactly? And why? Brand Amadria Park offers the best of our brands Milenij hoteli and Solaris. It includes 4 and 5 star hotels and additional contents that enrich hotel offer. In Opatija, there are five hotels under the new brand - Hotel Milenij, Hotel Sveti Jakov, Hotel Royal, Hotel Camellia and Hotel Agava, and our well-known Gastro World with six different gastronomic points and Royal Beach Club. In Šibenik, we currently have three hotels under the Amadria Park brand - Hotel Jure, Hotel Ivan and Hotel Andrija, accompanied by Dalmatian Etno Village with traditional Dalmatian food and products, En Vogue Beach Club, as well as Galija and Aquapark Dalmacija aimed primarily at our younger visitors. In the segment of congress tourism, we have the Convention Centre Šibenik and Conference park 25/7 in Opatija. Our plan is to upscale the quality of other hotels and contents and include them in the new brand over the next several years. Q: What does the name of Amadria Park stand for? Amadria Park combines our love for the Adriatic sea and harmony with nature, which is visible in the leaf as part of the new logo. For our guests it means a personal approach, choice of a number of high quality options and high level of service. Our goal is to provide a warm, family atmosphere to all our guests. Q: How has the Amadria rebranding changed the hotels, their vision, and their recognition? What is the new brand's impact? What are your observations in regards to a new brand's life? When speaking about observations, first it is necessary to emphasize that we have a very long tradition in hospitality services – since 1904, and we wanted to keep this tradition in the new brand. So, even though it brings many novelties, it also keeps the best of our past. It brings togeth-

"We have a very long tradition in hospitality services – since 1904, and we wanted to keep this tradition in the new brand. So, even though it brings many novelties, it also keeps the best of our past."

er knowledge and continuous improvement in quality. This is why the Amadria Park was firstly extremely well accepted by our employees, who are the key in creating the feeling we want to provide to our guests. Guests’ feedback is extremely positive, and the new brand will additionally develop in the coming years. Q: How does the new brand impact the congress tourism? How much does the plan of prolonging seasons have to do with it? With regard to congress tourism, in 2017 we opened Convention Centre Šibenik, the largest and most modern convention center in Croatia, and in Opatija we presented a completely new concept of conference offer under the name Conference Park 25/7. We made a significant step in upgrading the offer in this segment. Our Convention Centre Šibenik is the only facility in Croatia built specially for congresses, exhibitions, banquets and other types of events. Conference Park 25/7 in Opatija brings a creative concept with nine multifunctional halls, which provide an environment which encourages creativity and development of new business models. Certainly, our plan is to prolong the season. However, that will also depend on support by the destination, e.g. by introducing more direct flights and making Šibenik and Opatija more available to event organizers from abroad. Q: How have the residents of towns, where the hotels are located, accepted the rebranding? What about Croatia in general? Croatia is seeing strong development of tourism, which is to continue in the next year, both by foreign and domestic investments. Upgrade of tourist offer brings benefits not only to companies in the tourism sector, but to local communities and economy in general. Local communities in which we operate recognized Amadria Park as a new opportunity for development and cooperation. Q: How is the Amadria Park Brand impacting the local economy? With its offer and quality of service, Amadria Park positively impacts on attracting the new segment of guests to Croatia, and further development of Opatija and Šibenik as attractive tourist destinations. Likewise, our cooperation with local arts, crafts, food producer and institutions running historic monuments and other contents, gives impetus for enriching the


tourist offer and generating more revenue. Q: How are you promoting the new Amadria Park Brand? We are combining traditional channels, like fairs, catalogues, and advertising with social media and other online channels. We are continuously exploring new ways of communication and adapting the opportunities offered by new technologies. This way we can communicate with a wide range of audiences and present various choices our brand offers.

"Local communities in which we operate recognized Amadria Park as a new opportunity for development and cooperation." Q: What is the future plan for the brand? In the coming years we will gradually upscale all our facilities which are still not part of the new brand, and increase the level of service. Next year, Amadria Park will be richer for Hotel Jakov in Šibenik, which will be completely refurbished. We are also planning to open a heritage hotel in the center of Zagreb. Q: How would you describe the path of the rebranding? Is there anything you would suggest to those who might have been considering the rebranding themselves? There usually comes a point in business when it is necessary to reposition or reinvent the brand to adapt to new market developments or to set a new direction. For us it was a logical step after years of investing in new capacities, implementing new contents and increasing the level of service. We planned it very carefully because we wanted to keep the features that distinguish us, but we also wanted to emphasize forward thinking. The most important is to get support and acceptance of the new brand by those who will communicate it – your people. When they are “on board”, everything else is easier. Q: What do you personally wish for the brand? My wish is that we always remain dedicated to our brand values, because by living them every day, the brand can develop and become stronger. I am confident that Amadria Park will very soon be recognized as one of the best in Croatia.


CROATIA'S BIGGEST ROOM! How do you get 1,500 people into one room? Send them to the Convention Centre Šibenik PHOTO CREDIT AMADRIA PARK The medieval coastal town of Šibenik is not only known for welcoming the Game of Thrones staff, but also for having the largest conferencing facilities on the Adriatic, including the single biggest meeting room. Moreover, if its a number of separate events rather than a single one that is required, then you can distribute up to 3,000 people in 11 meeting halls in total. How might you do that? - you may well ask. Well, you do it in three steps: Firstly, let your delegates be seated throughout the 4,000m2 conference and exhibition event space. Secondly, lavish them with stateof-the-art multimedia technology. And thirdly, instruct the 1,100 on-site staff that organises and executes the project according to your wishes, but most importantly according to the high expectations of your assembled delegates. There is an optional fourth step, which is when you position them next to a window overlooking the surrounding islands, but with this one they might never leave the Convention Centre Šibenik again. For, who knows, they might have spotted a dragon flying over the horizon. And what can beat THAT?

HIGH STANDARD OF ACCOMMODATION Amadria Park: a synonym for class PHOTO CREDIT AMADRIA PARK For incentive programmes one will certainly want participants to be hosted in the best possible conditions, and so Šibenik also offers great accommodation. The Hotel Solaris Beach Resort, for example, provides a four-star experience in its hotels Ivan and Jure that welcome both leisure and business guests. The Mediterranean

heart of the hotels combines the classical, elegant style with modern and hip enjoyment, all topped off with a Wellness and Spa complex for leisure and with easy access to the Convention Centre Šibenik. The rooms are spacious, bright and set at a modern angle pleasant to the eyes. Restaurants at the resort offer traditional Dalma-


tian food infused with a modern approach and using fresh and seasonal produce. For relaxation or fun the alluring swimming pools surrounded by palm trees are available, or for a more spacious and stylish swim one can visit the En Vogue Beach Club – the luxury beach club with a VIP service and perfect, leisurely vibe.



Croatia's coastal town of Šibenik, a medium-sized town that spreads around a hill, offers congress visitors a pleasant sense of cosiness and easy access to any of the town's highlights. Getting around the town on foot is easy, whether to the sea or to the fortress on the hill, and even easier by bicycle, as there is a bike sharing system called »nextbike«. If travelling on water is the preferred choice, however, then the natural parks of the Krka River and Kornati Islands that are in Šibenik's proximity can be accessed by boat. The trips to these beauty spots offer visitors a very

comfortable and scenic journey. The public transport system in Šibenik is also well organised, so one can quickly hop onto one of the public buses to either go around the town or take a trip to other cities. From any part of the town access to Šibenik's centre is easy, making it a very undemanding location for meeting planners: conference delegates can easily be transported to and assembled in one place without the additional trouble of having to transport them to and from an event.


If they aren't entirely what a congress is all about, then at the very least gastronomical pleasures undeniably add to one's experience of the meeting. This particularly applies to Šibenik, where a congress delegate can experience the intersection of medieval surroundings with gourmet pinnacles. With its central position on the Dalmatian coast, Šibenik offers a rich selection of local wines and culinary twists. Its restaurants and »konobas« go a step above the usual regional plates; alongside reinvented seafood


such as octopus goulash, cuttlefish gnocchi, truffle pappardelle, shark and stuffed squid, one can also find delicious burgers and Semifreddo desserts. However, guests preferring traditional Dalmatian cuisine will be satisfied too, as Šibenik is renowned for having some of the best restaurants not just on the Dalmatian coast, but in the whole of Croatia. The young and the young at heart will find their perfect spot for satisfying their soul in the variety of foods and wines on offer. Topping it all off this with beautiful interiors or outdoor terraces with views of medieval walls and crystal clear seas, one will certainly be convinced that this is without doubt the hippest Dalmatian town, and one to return to!


MEETING IN THE RENOVATED 1000 YEAR- OLD WALLS A synergy of the historical, and the contemporary, with spectacular views PHOTO CREDIT FORTRESS OF CULTURE ŠIBENIK

The historic-cultural monument of the oldest native Croatian town Šibenik was first mentioned in 1066. For centuries the medieval town was successfully defended by this imposing tetragon-shaped fortress, surrounded by defensive walls built sixty metres above the ground on a steep rock. Today, St.Michael's (Sv.Mihovil) fortress is a supreme cultural attraction that has been completely renovated for the purposes of hosting top-notch events all year round. St.Michael's fortress is a unique cultural heritage monument that offers an ideal space for a different and more creative approach to event organising.

plete EU co-funded renovation in 20122014 that gave it the modern touch necessary for the today's needs of event organisation. , Since the renovation, St.Michael's fortress has become one of the most prestigous venues in the region. A walk across the renovated walls of the fortress is an opportunity to enjoy the vistas of Šibenik and its surroundings. Depending on the type of event, one can select to host a function on this unique and most prestigous stage under the stars, the more intimate stage made of stones underneath the auditorium, the medieval ramparts and towers, or the underground multifunctional space.

St.Michael's fortress underwent a com-


LOCATION St. Michael's fortress is located above the town of Šibenik, can be easily reached as two of the most prominent Croatian airports are less than an hour away. Events can be set over an area of 2,600 square metres that include an open-air stage with an auditorium level and five other exclusive premises that are multifunctional and have capacity suitable for the organisation of congresses, business or private meetings. It is possible to either reserve the whole fortress or just certain parts. In addition, the fortress' team can take care of the entire organisation, in-

SPECIAL VENUE cluding a musical programme, catering, decoration, PA system, lighting, stage and all other supporting services. One of the premium locations for events in the Adriatic is the open air stage with the auditorium (1,077 seats) oriented towards the sea with a view of Šibenik and its archipelago. The venue even offers a very creative and charming solution for its once empty and forgotten space. Namely, below the auditorium setting it is possible to organise various events, including daytime events, since it is sheltered from the sun. This area is suitable as a separate private or public after-party space and it is possible to set up a seated auditorium for up to 250 people, or for seating dining events of approximately 360 persons, or 1000 standing. In addition, the fortress offers two informational exhibition rooms that can host 130 seated guests, or a total of 220 standing. The exterior wall of the fortress is par-

ticularly special, and is suitable for holding evening events that offer spectacular panoramic views of Šibenik and it surroundings (standing capacity of 200-300 persons). VENUE ADVANTAGES In considering the benefits of St.Michael's Fortress it is essential to point out how visitors become absorbed by its cultural heritage, the spirit of its medieval walls, the creatively and multifunctionally revitalised premises, and, above all, its incredible location with views over the millenial old town and sparkling Dalmatian sea. Without a doubt, St.Michael's Fortres, the Croatian Cultural Attraction of 2014, is one of those most rare and “literally breathtaking” venues that you will ever have a chance to experience. CATERING SERVICES Guests/clients choose their own catering service. Once chosen, the fortress' team takes care of arranging the catering with


the chosen provider. However, if you do not have specific catering preferences, the fortress' team can suggest a local provider who they trust will meet the expectations of every client and offer a professional and excellent service. INCENTIVE ACTIVITIES Several world brands have become aware of the premium location of St.Michael's Fortress, and its suitability for holding meetings and other business events. In 2015, for example, BMW held its annual gathering, that, thanks to a successful collaboration, was later repeated. So, even though St.Michael's Fortress does not yet offer incentive programmes, it still attracts those in the business industry. WHO TO CONTACT: (Tvrđava kulture Šibenik) Vladimira Nazora 1, Šibenik, Croatia E-mail: info@tvrdjava-kulture.hr W: http://www.tvrdjava-kulture.hr/


DALMATIAN ETHNO VILLAGE: THE AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE OF DALMATIA AT ITS BEST When thinking of a programme that would offer a true experience of Dalmatia, you cannot skip the Dalmatian Ethno Village in the very heart of Amadria Park, Šibenik. PHOTO CREDIT AMADRIA PARK The Dalmatian Ethno Village, which has received many awards for its setting, authenticity and offer, impresses with its small stone houses that take visitors into the completely different world of traditions and values of Dalmatia's ancestors. Visitors get a glimpse into the special charm of ancient times through typical Dalmatian village life from the past. In addition to traditional delicacies prepared according to original recipes (home-made bread prepared under an iron bell, homemade proscuitto and cheese, barbequed food, and fresh seafood from the grill etc.), guests can also join a tour of the Ethno Village.

Category: Culinary/Cultural/Historical Best time of the year: April - November Duration: 45 minutes Number of participants: Location: Croatia, Amadria Park Šibenik

A guided tour consists of a visit to all the attractions of the Ethno village. Among the highlights are a visit to Amadria Park's own vineyard, and to the olive park where a 2,000 year-old olive tree stands majestically above the stone paved squares, and the original centuries-old mill for the production of wheat and corn flour. The tour continues to the oil mill and distillery where one can see the production and supply of olive oil, visit the wine cellar, and see how brandy is made. In the the eco garden visitors have the chance to pick their own tomatoes.

WHO TO CONTACT Amadria Park Šibenik Solaris hoteli 86, HR-22000 Šibenik, Croatia T: +385 (0) 22 361 001 E: info@amadriapark.com W: www.amadriapark.com

If your business guests are curious and want to experience even more, they can join a weaving workshop in the village weaver shop, where they will have the chance to see the manufacturing of fabrics and souvenirs, and also have an opportunity to make their own souvenirs using the traditional method of weaving on a loom. And for the 'olive' on top, this experience is accompanied by klapas – a cappella singers of traditional Dalmatian songs. Once in Šibenik, your guests will be able to say that they truly saw the heart of Dalmatia.

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KRKA NATIONAL PARK: A VISIT TO THE STUNNING CROATIAN KRKA NATIONAL PARK When holding a meeting in Šibenik, one of the 'must see' incentives is a visit to Croatia's Krka National Park, located just a few kilometres northeast of the city. The national park covers more than 100 square kilometres along the Krka River. PHOTO CREDIT KRKA NATIONAL PARK The walking trails and the stunning viewpoints are the best way to see the landscape and wealth of flora and fauna of the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and to get a true experience of nature that encompasses all the senses. At the same time, the trails and viewpoints offer spectacular visits and views of historic cultural monuments: water mills with ethnological/ethnographic presentations; Visovac Island with its 15th century Franciscan monastery and church; Krka monastery and church of the Orthodox faith with Roman catacombs; the Oziđana pećina cave with its recorded continuous human presence from 5000 to 1500 B.C. The trails are equipped with educational panels providing detailed information about the flora and fauna in the park, and the cultural and historical points of interest. There are three circular trails, a walking/cycling trail, and even a forest trail down to the park's longest waterfall. The shortest trail is 300m long, while the longest covers 8.5 kilometres. The trail with a viewpoint leads to the tallest (59.6m) waterfall surrounded by mist and rainbow colours. Another way of seeing the park is by taking a boat excursion that also offers stunning views. All in all, an incredible incentive that participants not only 'feel' with their feet, but also with their eyes, heart, and soul. Category: Active/Cultural/Historical Best time of the year: All year round (except for certain parts closed during winter - details at the Krka National Park) Duration: according to the group's choice; 2.5-3 hours on a 8.5 km trail, or a full-day if preferred Number of participants: Min. 20 Location: Krka National Park

WHO TO CONTACT Public Institution "Krka National Park" Trg Ivana Pavla II br.5, HR-22000 Šibenik, Croatia T: +385 (22) 201 777 E: info@npk.hr Website: http://www.np-krka.hr/en/ Šibenik: https://www.sibenik-tourism.hr/en/



ŠIBENIK TOURIST BOARD Fausta Vrančića 18, HR-22000 Šibenik, Croatia Phone: +385 22 212 075 E-mail: tz-sibenik@si.t-com.hr Website: www.sibenik-tourism.hr/en


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