Young Couple Opens First Hotel in Požega-Slavonia County

Total Croatia News

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Source: Hotel Pakrac

People around them did not think it was such a good idea, but they were determined to succeed.

Požega-Slavonia County is no longer the only county in Croatia without a categorised hotel. Thanks to the efforts and investments of the young couple Martina and Stefano Terranova, their previous guesthouse in Pakrac has recently been categorized as a hotel by the Ministry of Tourism and obtained three stars, reports Jutarnji List on October 27, 2017.

Until recently, Požega-Slavonia County did not have a single officially categorised hotel, which is almost unbelievable for a tourist country like Croatia. Still, it was true, but fortunately not anymore.

The story about Martina and Stefano’s project is one of those which bring hope and optimism to this somewhat neglected Croatian region. Both are locals from the neighbouring Lipik, and they left the area only for a short time as children, at the beginning of the Homeland War. She lived in Belgium and he in Italy, the homeland of his ancestors. But, even before the war ended, they returned to Pakrac, where they finished elementary and secondary school.

Stefano studied for a chef, and he later worked in restaurants on the Italian coast of the Adriatic Sea, while Martina decided to study English and French languages at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, so now she is a teacher, court interpreter and a volunteer at the Association of Croatian-French friendship. After completing her studies, she returned to her hometown, just like Stefano, who worked in the demining industry. He cleared Croatia from mines for 14 years but then decided to return to his first love.

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“It was his idea to enter the tourism industry because he wanted to stop doing the demining job, and we both thought there was a need for a serious hospitality facility in this area such as a hotel. We believed we could succeed with our knowledge and skills,” said Martina talking about 2015, when they decided to apply to a competition announced by the Town of Pakrac for a lease of the old hotel building, which was first mentioned in history books as early as in 1871. The previous tenant left the building in 2012, and the town authorities converted the facility into a guesthouse in the meantime.

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“We were the only ones who applied for the competition, even though the rent was just one kuna a year. Everyone thought we were crazy, but we had a clear vision. We have managed to receive a grant from the EU funds and invest half a million kunas in order to turn the neglected facility into a hotel. When we started, there were three employees, and today there are eight,” said Martina proudly.

At present, they have ten rooms with 19 beds, but they are preparing to renovate the attic and expand to 50 beds. There is also a conference hall for 50 people. Stefano is a business manager and a chef, and the menu mostly consists of meals from international cuisine. This is not surprising, because for now, their guests are primarily foreign, especially Italian businessmen who come to visit the Pakrac entrepreneurial zone.

Translated from Jutarnji List.


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