No Ritz Carlton in Kupari, New Partner Wanted

Lauren Simmonds

Russian investor Sergey Gljadelkin and his company Avenue Group will not build the prestigious Hotel Ritz Carlton in Kupari.

Although it was announced last year when signing a long-term concession agreement with the state, the Russian investor will no longer be constructing the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Kupari, reports Poslovni Dnevnik on the 10th of August, 2017.

It is not yet known how a potential new tourist complex would look in the abandoned former military resort located just outside of the City of Dubrovnik, and the concept should be clearly defined in any agreement with a new hotel operator way in advance.

As it is well-known, after Sergey Gljadelkin’s prestigious Avenue Group was selected as the highest bidder in the international tender, last year’s contract was signed on the new Kupari project, and at the beginning of last August the Municipality of Župa Dubrovačka (Parish of Dubrovnik) issued a decision on the development of the Urban Planning Plan (UPU) Kupari I.

Operatively, the project is currently in the phase of preparation of the UPU in cooperation with the Župa Dubrovačka Municipality, and in this very delicate phase between the municipality, state and the investor, there is also a future operator, ie hotel management company to be taken into consideration, whose new criterion will be to build a new concept of Kupari, an area which has otherwise been ”left to rot” for want of a better expression. Ivan Paladina, CEO of IGH, owned by the Avenue Group, confirmed to Poslovni Dnevnik that talks with other hotel companies had indeed been taking place, but that no specific names or identities could be mentioned until the contract is concluded.

”The procedure for selecting a hotel operator in the final phase is followed by detailed negotiations on management contracts, which will certainly take some time, and this process is also related to the design and appearance of the future tourist complex. I can only confirm that all the companies with whom we are in the final stages of talks, are from the circuit of ultra-low-cost hotel operators” stated Paladin.

This causes issues because a partnership with a first-class hotel brand was one of the key requirements in the competition for Kupari.

”The Ministry of State Property and the Ministry of Tourism are in constant communication with the investor, primarily in the terms of signed contracts, and accordingly, we have the knowledge that the hotel brand involved in the project will change. What we’ll be sure to insist is that the project must include a first-class hotel brand of the highest category regardless of the brand name,” states the Ministry of Tourism.

The debate surrounding Kupari isn’t a new one, and Dubrovnik architects with the support of the Association of Croatian Architects seek the urgent adoption of a lawsuit on the protection of the Pelegrin Hotel, which, by the adoption of the new UPU, could be demolished completely.

At the Kupari location, there are the hotels: Kupari, Pelegrin, Goričina I and II, as well as two other facilities, all of which are planned for demolition, with only Hotel Grand left to remain. Although it is no longer under any form of proper protection as a cultural monument, Hotel Grand will be kept standing for a purposeful renovation. Under such conditions, the Russian investor originally entered the project.

In a letter sent a few days ago to the Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen, the Dubrovnik architects explained that the Pelegrin Hotel was an extremely valuable architectural achievement of the modern corps of Dubrovnik back in 1964. The Ministry responded by telling them that they needed to react earlier regarding spatial planning documentation and reminded them that Pelegrin was never protected as a cultural asset.

Talks continue.


Excerpts taken and translated from


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