Cult Hotel Bellevue in Split Closing until Further Notice

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Milan Sabic/PIXSELL
Milan Sabic/PIXSELL

Another former pride of the city is closing its doors. The famous Hotel Bellevue, restaurant, and cafe will remain open until the end of this week before closing until further notice, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

“It’s true. We were told to work until April 30, and then we would all go to the bureau. This agony lasted too long. We signed contracts indefinitely so no one would get severance pay. We have a colleague who is only three years away from retirement, and here she is, going home without any compensation. We can’t tell you anything anymore. Contact the bankruptcy trustee. Just write that workers are unprotected. And that we will all be at CES,” Slobodna briefly heard from Bellevue employees, where there are about 15 left. Bankruptcy was declared at the hotel back in 2001, and it became one of the longest in the history of these legal entanglements.

The Slobodna Dalmacija team tried to book a room after May 1 this year, but no dates were available. Bellevue’s description on reads: 

“Hotel Bellevue is set in a historic building and enjoys a central location in Split. It features a restaurant with a spacious terrace and air-conditioned rooms. Free WiFi access is provided. All rooms are individually furnished and have a TV, a work desk, and a private bathroom. Room service is available on request. Guests can enjoy regional dishes in the restaurant and bar. A covered terrace and seating possibilities on the large terrace are provided. Hotel Bellevue has a 24-hour front desk and laundry facilities. The bus and train station, as well as the ferryboat harbour are a 10-minute walk away. This is our guests’ favourite part of Split, according to independent reviews.”

The bankrupt company “Laurus Bellevue” operated in the building, which intervened in the endless court proceedings, and the City of Split was also considered a co-owner.

Late last year, after an eight-year dispute, the High Commercial Court upheld a February 2013 ruling by the Split Commercial Court that “Laurus” d.d. acquired ownership of almost the entire hotel “Bellevue,” a total area of 2209 square meters on the ground floor one and two, first, second, third floor and attic. It was announced then that the hotel would be put up for sale in an international public tender.

In March, Slobodna contacted the bankruptcy trustee:

“A decision on the sale of the hotel has not been made yet, nor has an assessment been made. I hope that this will happen during the summer,” said bankruptcy trustee Maroje Stjepović about the final settlement of Bellevue, including 150 former employees of 16 subsidiaries of “Laurus,” who have been waiting for years to resolve this dispute. The “Laurus” company employed 1,200 workers in about 60 facilities back in 1990!

As one of the oldest Croatian hotels, Bellevue was first mentioned around 1875 under ‘Hotel de la Ville’. It was run by Spiridone Tocigl and was famous for its cafe and healing baths under the supervision of a hotel doctor.

In the early 20th century, when tourism became “in” among gentlemen, the hotel changed its name to the Grand Hotel Bellevue. Historical sources say that the first major refurbishment was carried out in 1933 when the hotel received heating, hot water, an elevator, and en-suite bathrooms.

Many famous and unknown people stayed at the hotel, including Jacques Anatole François Thibault, better known by the pseudonym Anatole France, a French writer and Nobel laureate. The famous Agatha Christie even wrote that she spent a wonderful honeymoon at a hotel in Split – Bellevue – in her memoirs! the 

The building was also the backdrop for Miljenko Smoje’s “Velo Misto,” as well as the main base of the Split Festival in its golden times, and more recently, a great location for “Pričigin,” a festival of storytelling. 

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