Meet Probably the Best Small Hotel in Slavonia

Total Croatia News

Bankers first laughed at her idea, but now she is the one who is laughing.

The passion and enthusiasm in Jasmina Krkić Poznić’s voice when she talks about her family hotel are intoxicating and make you want try your hand at tourism. Situated in Tvrđa in Osijek, the baroque heart of the city on the banks of the Drava River, the Maksimilian Hotel is an average occupancy rate of almost 70 percent, which is more than the many of the luxurious hotels in Zagreb, reports on May 4, 2016.

She did not finish her medical studies and after 10 years in the non-governmental sector, she decided to turn a new page in her life about a decade ago. “I wanted to start my own business. I would lie if I said that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I always say that tourism has chosen me and not the other way around. I saw the space in Tvrđa and fell in love with it. I knew instantly what I wanted to do”, Jasmina recalls those moments from years ago.

This charming building, more than 150 years old, had to be renovated. She knocked on the bankers’ doors, as they were at the time offering loans as incentives for small family hotel businesses.

“They literally laughed at me. They thought that the inland tourism was not the best idea. They told me that this was not for me, but for the people who live at the coast. After several tries I gave up and took a 30-year housing loan in Swiss francs. I thought, at least I could rent the rooms to students”, Jasmina said.

And she did the right thing. She renovated four rooms and started a business. Later on she got a loan related to incentives for female-run businesses and used it to renovate the ground floor that now consists of 14 rooms. “In the past eight years, I have invested about 4 to 5 million kuna. I invest everything that we earn”, she said explaining that renovation is more expensive than building from the ground up, but they wanted to keep the spirit of the times when Maksimilian was built.

Hotel was named by the Austro-Hungarian officer Maksimilian Rigl who was registered as the building’s first owner in 1861. Jasmina has not registered Maksimilian as a family hotel as of yet, although it meets all the conditions. However, this would raise the costs of their operations, and they could not handle the increase, she said.

“If we were on the coast, I would have done that a long time ago. But, when you are working in the hospitality sector on the continent you have to save every kuna. Also, we do not want to be a classical hotel. In England, we would have been called a guest house. I know the name of every guest, what kind of coffee they like, what they like to eat and what kind of pillows they prefer”, Jasmina said.


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