A new lease of life for St. Nicholas Monastery in Zadar.
In the complex of the former St. Nicholas monastery at the top of Zadar peninsula, Almayer Hotel should be opened by the middle of next year, reports Zadarski List on November 6, 2015. Irina Bakija and Vjekoslav Bobić and their Pelagus Company are building there a 4-star hotel. “The most important thing for us is not profit, but for our hotel to become a meeting place not only for tourists, but also for citizens of Zadar. Within the hotel, we plan to have a gallery and a multimedia centre so that the hotel would have its own special identity”, Bakija said.
The hotel is being built thanks to a loan from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, under the watchful eye of conservators with whom the investors have excellent cooperation. It was expected that, due to the bombing in the World War II, the stability of the building might be problematic, but it turned out that it was suitable for adaptation. The old monastery wall from the Middle Ages will be left in place and will accommodate a wine garden, since the investors have decided against building a cellar. Although the building is not under any special protection, archaeological works would make construction longer and more expensive.
“The hotel will be housed in a 440 square metre building which was constructed in 1863 as an annex to a military hospital. We plan to have nine rooms, four double rooms and five suites. It will simultaneously be a 4-star hotel and a heritage hotel. The hotel will be really high class, but not as luxurious as hotels from the Hilton Group. As far as gastronomy is concerned, we want to offer regional food, ham, cheese, wine. We want to present it as a story about gastronomy, and revive some forgotten traditions and present them to our guests”, say the owners.
Although Bobić and Bakija did not want to talk about the money, the investment is reportedly worth around half a million euros. They would be satisfied if they return their investment within 10 years, since for this type of hotels the period is usually between 20 to 30 years. Investors expect the first guests to arrive in May or June next year. However, Bakija and Bobić hope their hotel will not depend on Ryanair’s flight schedule, but will instead become a meeting place for artists and other creative local people. For now, it is the only investment in a hotel on the Zadar Peninsula, right next to the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology.