It is a love affair that started more than 50 years ago, when a young English student followed a pretty young lady from Yugoslavia, who was also studying in London. What was meant to be a short holiday in Orebic to woo her turned into a lifetime passion for both the Peljesac town, but also the magical island across the channel and birthplace of Marco Polo himself – Korcula.
Little did that young student know back then that he would go on to marry the girl and still be humoured by her half a century later, but that he would leave an indelible mark on the island that was to become his second love.
There is so much that one could say, but the simple facts say it best – and Michael Unsworth is a very modest man, who will probably be upset at all this attention. For that reason, I decided to leave his photo in the body of the text, so that the lead photo could showcase the very latest addition to the incredible Lesic Dimitri Palace, the first 5-star boutique hotel on a Croatian island, where every room is themed to the Silk Road of Marco Polo, the latest being the Sumatra Residence pictured here (more details in the press release below).
The hotel and restaurant scene when Michael started was average at best, with pizza and other faster foods the common fare. Walking around the old town these days is a gastronomic delight, as the standards have been raised considerably. It all started with Lesic Dimitri Palace, which has never compromised on quality. And there is a good reason why Lesic was the first island hotel to be awarded the prestigious Michelin Star, thanks to magician chef Marko Gajski, who has blossomed under Michael’s guidance.
If there is one place on the coast that I had to spend the rest of my life, it would probably be on the LD Terrace, the gentle afternoon breeze from the water cooling the air, listening to Michael’s stories from around the world, while sampling Marko’s latest creations washed down with the best Korcula wine pairing.
Several people have told me over the years that they have never met a foreigner who loves an island as much as I love Hvar. That is perhaps because they have never met Michael, who has Korcula in his veins.
Congratulations to you, Sir, richly deserved and fully fitting. I look forward to toasting you with a glass of Posip or six the next time we meet.
You can learn more about LD Palace on the official website.
Korčula’s Lešić Dimitri Palace has been synonymous with high-quality tourism experiences – both on the island in Croatia – on the global luxury tourism map for over a decade. The oldest part of the palace (dating back to the 15th century), which received the World Architecture Community Award back in 2010, got an additional accommodation unit this season – the Sumatra Residence. Sumatra’s interior draws inspiration from Marco Polo’s Silk Road, which is also the focal point of what the Palace has to offer, and excellence as the core business principle. An open space attic with one of the best views of the ancient walls, islands around Korčula and the blue waters of the Adriatic, is a new luxury heaven for romantic couples and anyone who identifies as such. Sumatra completed the story about the famous place in Korčula that stood out from the beginning as a rarely successful example of conversion and restoration of cultural monuments into a cultural good that the entire town can be proud of. With his forward-thinking planning and tireless efforts, Lešić Dimitri Palace owner and director Mr. Michael Anthony Unsworth has managed to prove that Korčula can be and is a world-class exclusive tourist destination. Thanks to his outstanding business results and years of wholehearted enthusiasm for the benefit of society, he received the Town of Korčula’s Person of the Year Award.
Learn more about Korcula in the Total Croatia Korcula in a Page guide.