The Hotel Adriatic originally opened in 1892 – it served many drab functions before its rebirth under Maistra’s ownership
The big idea came over drinks at a bar – a hotel filled with original art, created for the hotel itself hotel in 1913. During WW2 it become a German command centre. In 1952 tourists returned to Istria and Jadran – a city-run hospitality company – reestablished the Adriatic as a 45 room hotel. This was short-lived, as after just two years Jadran made the building their offices. It was not until the late 1970s that it returned to being a hotel becoming a focal point for artists, writers and poets throughout the 1980s. Recently, Maistra decided it was time to bring the Hotel Adriatic back to life. “We had a vision for the Adriatic but it was blurry and took time to crystallise,” explains Tomislav Popovic, president of the management board of Maistra Ltd. “Together with architects 3LHD we brainstormed. The ideation process took almost two years and then the big idea came over drinks at a bar – a hotel filled with original artworks created for the hotel ©cybertrek 2018
itself. The reaction of many in the industry was cautious and and there were a lot of raised eyebrows. “Our intention was to create a hotel that would make guests aware of the vibrant arts history of the town. At the beginning we didn’t want to take risks with the hotel but we actually ended up doing something very risky. The result is amazing and it proved how important it is to have an open mind during the creative process.”
THE RESULT This is more than a hotel with an outstanding art collection; it’’s a hotel where the art fashioned the whole experience of the hotel. “It was the rebirth of the hotel that gave birth to the art,” explains Popvi. The art collection was curated specifically for Maistra by Croatian art specialist Vanja Žanko, who
commissioned 14 visual artists to create Adriatic-specific work, ensuring that each of the hundred in-situ installations are organically tied to the buildinga and the location. With the original detail and spirit of the hotel being maintained, the interior has been reinvented to create 18 luxury bedrooms and suites, along with contemporary bars, restaurants and outdoor spaces. “We needed to create an experience,” says Silvije Novak, partner at 3HLD . “We decided to play with the paradigm of the hotel, creating a different type of space – in this case a gallery allowing us to treat guests to an experience they typically wouldn’t expect at a hotel. The idea was to transform the everyday into an illusion; a place of metamorphosis.” Professor Terry Stevens is managing director of Stevens & Associates
Read online leisuremanagement.co.uk/digital
Leisure Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global leisure industry.