As Marina Jurkovic/Novac writes on the 7th of September, 2019, the hotel rated by Booking.com’s users as the highest rating by all criteria in Dalmatia’s Šibenik-Knin County is “King Krešimir”. This beautiful four-star heritage hotel has been earning compliment after compliment, and its terrace on is often a destination for the people of Šibenik as well as tourists.
Fabiano Baranović, the leading man of a ten-member hotel “crew”, isn’t even trying to hide his satisfaction and is successfully navigating the sometimes choppy tourist waters, according to Slobodna Dalmacija. Since they started work on March the 15th last year, certain types of comparisons with this season would not really be all that realistic.
”This is actually our first season. We had some more time to contract with agencies, plan sales, better arrange our business and procurement, and we’ve been doing well. We’re pleased and flattered by what we’ve seen on Booking.com. All seven rooms were well filled, and the eighth, which houses a valuable, restored fresco, was opened a little later on. I have to say that we adjusted our prices to the market and the current situation, so that, unlike some of the hotels that persist with their set prices, we’re ready for corrections,” says Baranović.
Given the relatively small number of rooms, there are of course only a few guests. For the time being, there can be a maximum of 14 guests. This is a great advantage for tourists, since its employees are able to be much more dedicated to individual needs, from the moment they park at one of the two rented hotel parking spaces to their departure. Parking is, in fact, the only actual problem with the entire facility.
”The situation will hopefully change with the opening of the car park in Poljana, and until then, we need to just endure things as they are. The hotel is actually better reached by foot, and when bags and luggage are taken into account, it could be an aggravating factor. Still, it’s not. We turned it all to a positive thing. We welcome our guests much like our own relatives, whom we have not seen for ten years.
We turn the walk to the hotel into a kind of mini tourist route. We stop to show them the rebus on Dobrić, we tell them that Šibenik is the city with the most steps in the Mediterranean.
These details intrigue and delight them. Of course, we stop at the replica lamp, which was part of the first public lighting in Šibenik from 1895, we mention Nikola Tesla… Then comes a welcome drink with cookies, and a little story about the history of the palace itself in with photographs of what it once looked like, then we tell them about King Krešimir… We also make sure that each guest can see the fresco in the former music salon. And so, they reach their room, forgetting that they have has to climb up so many steps. They like everything because it’s so small, intimate and full of history. They often say that they feel the palace has a soul, especially in the lobby on the ground floor,” says Baranović.
”As for the country of origin of our guests, there are no real rules. They come from everywhere – from Scandinavian countries, France, Spain… Interestingly, the Germans may be the least numerous. And they all have one thing in common – even though they’re in the busiest part of town, they never complain about the noise. They like to be in the centre, they don’t come to us because of the extra content, but because of the interior and the location. From the city centre, they love exploring the forts, alleys, shops, restaurants and everything else. They like it all very much,” he added.
The guests are also satisfied with the hotel staff, especially the kind and polite Filipino employees who, in this time of crisis in the tourism and hospitality industry, have shown themselves to be extremely diligent and dedicated to their jobs.
”It took some time for them to adapt to our customs, especially the habit of drinking coffee. We told them that for Dalmatians, if the first morning coffee is no good, then the whole day is a bad one. So we advised them to ask the guests a hundred questions, if necessary, but in the end, to make sure they bring people that perfect coffee. And really, people love them, accept them, and keep coming back…”
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