Hvar Spa and Gourmet Heaven: Hotel Adriana Director Dubravka Novak Interview

Total Croatia News

Sven Veronek

July 2, 2019 – As Hvar continues to move its image and tourist offer from party to more luxury tourism, TCN meets Dubravka Novak, manager of the island’s leading hotel, Adriana.

This is an important year for tourism in Hvar Town. A year after celebrating 150 years of the birth of organised tourism in Europe with the founding of the Hvar Health Society in 1868, 2019 also has some significant happenings which are restoring the island’s standing as a place of culture and tradition. The opening of the oldest public theatre in Europe after a 20-year renovation, as well as the renovated Arsenal and imminent opening of the first 5-star hotel, Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel have done much to restore the focus on the town’s history, heritage and traditions. 


And the hotels are following suit. During a recent stay at Hotel Adriana on Hvar, I had the opportunity to catch up with hotel manager Dubravka Novak on the part her hotel is playing in Hvar’s new direction. 

1. Hvar’s leading hotel Adriana has undergone a facelift over the last year. Can you tell us a little about the changes?

The hotel was revamped last year and received a complete makeover. Refurbishments were done on all public areas, which include the entrance, lobby and lobby bar, as well as Val Marina restaurant, which has a charming outdoor terrace. Top Bar was also refurbished and it now includes a comfortable, modern lounge area with a restaurant that has a most beautiful view of the city and Hvar port. The biggest addition to the hotel are of course its three new luxurious penthouse suites. What I would also highlight is the top quality Gourmet and Spa service that we personalize for each guest. Moreover, our Sensori Spa also received a makeover; now we have four different saunas, eight massage rooms, relaxation room, gym, VIP treatment room and indoor jacuzzi. Our guests are also offered refreshing and healthy drinks throughout their day at the spa. 

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2. You are part of the Stories boutique hotel collection, just 17 small hotels in Croatia. Tell us more about that and what is YOUR story?

We have a beautiful Gourmet and Spa story and offer our guests a unique breakfast experience composed of rich, healthy local food from the island (Hvar honey, goat cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables from the island’s fields) and home-made products such as yogurt, kefir, peanut butter, coconut butter, carrot cake, apple oatmeal muffins, freshly squeezed juices; orange, tomato, carrot, ginger, beetroot and apple. We also have different freshly prepared fruit smoothies, homemade brandies, salt with various herbs such as oregano, rosemary, oranges, etc. What we also offer our guests is detox water – prepared daily with different healthy ingredients.

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3. While hotels often have services open to non-residents, it is not always easy to find that information. What can you offer to Hvar’s guests who are not staying with you?

All non-residents are very welcome at hotel Adriana and often visit our Top Bar and Val Marina restaurant. Also, we have a lot of non-resident guests who enjoy different spa services and treatments that we offer at our Sensori Spa, that spreads across 6 different indoor and outdoor levels. Many non-residents choose to take a whole ‘spa day’ in order to use all our spa services, from the sauna, pool, gym and spa terrace.

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4. You have an interesting concept as a spa hotel, connecting gastronomy and spa. Can you tell us more about it?

Our services are designed to accommodate personal preferences. On check-in we provide refreshing towels with a scent of lavender, so guests can have a feeling of a “spa ambience”, as well as a welcome prosecco in the room. The gourmet experience is defined throughout the hotel as we focus on organic and homemade products. In the Spa we have a so-called refreshment carousel, where our staff can bring you freshly made smoothies, juices and delicious healthy snacks.  

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5. Buying local is becoming more fashionable. How much do you rely on local suppliers, and can you tell us about some of the more unusual things you are sourcing on Hvar. I hear that there is a local perfume, for example.

In our spa we use relax and revive oils that are made in a little village on Hvar called Gdinj. We use these oils for aromatherapy massages. The peelings are also from different locally sourced Hvar herbs. In addition we have Hvar perfumes called Antique Hvar, created by Ela Ivanković from Stari Grad.

6. You have been working for Suncani Hvar for many years. How do you see the direction of tourism today?

Hvar is an elite tourist destination not a party destination. It should strive to have quality accommodation and services in the city; from gastronomy, excursion programs to good connections with mainland and neighboring islands. All of these factors play a large role in what type of guests arrive on the island; and with quality, Hvar will attract more people with higher spending power.

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7. While Adriana is currently the top hotel on Hvar, the opening of the 5-star Hotel Palace Elisabeth this summer will raise the level even more. How significant is this for the island’s tourism?

This is Hvar’s first 5-star heritage hotel, and I believe it is very important for the island as it will raise the bar even higher, surely attracting more high-end hotel guests.
8. And finally, your favourite place on Hvar, and why?

Sveta Nedjelja is my favorite place that is in my heart and where I am from.


To learn more about Hotel Adriana, visit the Suncani Hvar website

To learn more about Hvar, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide.


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