Will an Overhaul of Split’s Ambasador Hotel Finally Begin Next Week?

Daniela Rogulj

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Brace yourselves for some (hopefully) good news…

Exactly 20 years after the late football legend Tomislav Ivić bought the building of the former hotel “Ambasador” on the West Coast, an overhaul of the famous (and derelict) building is finally on the horizon, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on September 24, 2017. 

If you recall (and if not, you can read more here), the Ambasador complex was bought by Ivić’s successor Klaus Alex Birkenstock, heir to the Birkenstock shoe empire, back in April 2016. The man of the famous German brand announced that he would invest 100 million HRK in his rebuild of the hotel.

Before the construction of the “new” hotel can begin, the old building will have to be completely demolished, and works on the removal of the building from 1937 will begin on October 2, 2017, by the company “Dal-Kon ing”. 

“Well, exactly twenty years ago, we needed to get a valid building permit, otherwise we would have gone ahead with the entire project much earlier. The value of the investment, i.e. the investments from now until the completion of the hotel is worth 17 million EUR. What makes it harder and more expensive for us is the depth of excavation. We have to dig around seven meters below sea level or make a basement section under the sea-side terrace. Just this investment is around 20.2 million HRK. For the permanent part of the concession we will allocate around 150,000 HRK a month, and for the variable part we will still pay around 225,000 HRK per year (all without VAT),” explains Nenad Kurtović, former director of “Retoi” who is now engaged as the public relations advisor.

The designers of the new “Ambasador” are architects Neno Kezić, Emil Šverko and Nora Roje. The project leader is Ivmar, the contractor is “Dal-Kon ing”, and “Meritum Engineering” is in charge of the supervision.

The “4+” star hotel will have 101 accommodation units (rooms and suites), a capacity of 240 inside the restaurant, 120 on the terrace, a swimming pool on the third floor, a meeting room, a spa, a gym, a 59 car garage with the purchase of 12 more places from the city at another location in order to meet the provisions of the GUP for new hotels.

“The hotel will permanently employ a minimum of 50 people and 40 for seasonal jobs will be added. The target group is our individual holiday guest, and we will mostly count on middle and higher class married couples from urban areas of Western Europe to visit the hotel. The primary markets are London, Manchester, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Stockholm and other destinations that are connected with Split by direct flights,” explains Kurtović.

When the hotel will open is in question because of just one thing – will the city administration allow the construction to go on during the summer?

“Next week, we will have a meeting with Mayor Andro Krstulović Opara so we will try to arrange the deal as soon as possible. In any case, there are two options for the completion – if the City permits construction during the peak season, the hotel will be ready by summer 2019, and if not, then by 2020. We are counting on cooperation with Banovina because we will make the utmost effort to ensure our activities do not interfere with the surrounding areas and for those who live on tourism,” says Slobodna Dalmacija’s source. 

Translated from Slobodna Dalmacija 


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