Palace Elisabeth Hvar Heritage Hotel Opening Its 5-Star Doors Within 2 Weeks

Total Croatia News

Sven Veronek

August 18, 2019 – Palace Elisabeth, the first 5-star hotel on Hvar will open its doors on September 1 for a soft opening – the new flagship hotel of Suncani Hvar.

I have been following the story of Suncani Hvar Hotels ever since I moved to the island permanently back in 2003. As the biggest employer on the island with the most hotels in the main tourist town, they have always been an important part of Hvar’s tourism story. The takeover by ORCO Group and the big renovations of 2006 certainly helped raise standards in the post-war era, but the real change and addition of quality is happening now. 


Three years ago, I was a guest at the opening on the first millennial hotel on the Dalmatian coast, Pharos bayhill hvar. As I wrote at the time, I was struck by the sense of achievement and team spirit of those who had managed to transform this two-star hotel into a funky 4-star equivalent, the latest investment in the Suncani Hvar brand. 

Upgrades in quality and luxury followed in both Hotel Adriana and Hotel Amfora, but the next big project was perhaps the most ambitious yet. Not only the first 5-star hotel but one oozing history and heritage right in the heart of the town. Hotel Palace, a 2-star hotel with the most gorgeous heritage details, had been screaming out for a refurb for years. 

And her time has come. 

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As previously written, the 5-star Palace Elisabeth hvar heritage hotel has already announced that it is open for bookings from September 1. An article in Jutarnji List today (which I encourage you to read if only for the gorgeous photos of Palace Elisabeth) provides an even better update. Suncani Hvar has received the final documentation required and so no more bureaucratic delays, and Hvar’s first 5-star hotel will have a soft opening within 2 weeks (sadly not quite as soon as tomorrow as Jutarnji had reported).  

It has been quite a journey with a significant investment of 100 million kuna in total, as the hotel’s previous 78 rooms were turned into 45 more luxury and spacious accommodation units. 

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The hotel is located on the same spot where organised tourism in Europe began back in 1868 with the founding of the Hvar Health Society. The Society catered to the needs of the sick aristocracy from the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy, who found the temperate and excellent Hvar climate very much to their taste. The island was known as the ‘Austrian Madeira’ and Empress Elisabeth ‘Sisi’ provided the funds for the first hotel which opened in 1899. 

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The opening of the hotel comes just months after the reopening of the oldest public theatre in Europe after extensive renovation spanning almost 20 years. Built in 1612, the Hvar Public Theatre is located right across the square from Palace Elisabeth, making the hotel’s terrace the only place in the world where you can enjoy a cokctail on the terrace of the site of the oldest organised tourism in Europe, before strolling across the largest square in Dalmatia to take in a performance at the oldest public theatre in Europe. And then back to Palace Elisabeth for dinner. 

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The hotel has a rich crew of highly qualified staff from a number of countries, and it will be run by Deni Ohlsen-Dukic. Ohlsen-Dukic is an experienced hotelier, whose experience is largely with Hyatt Hotels, for whom he worked in Chicago, New York and Seoul, before running the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo in Sri Lanka for two years. He joined the Suncani Hvar team in February this year, and TCN will have an interview with Ohlsen-Dukic soon after the opening on September 1. 

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Exciting times for Hvar and a good season for the island so far. It has done much to return the narrative to its roots of heritage and an elite destination after a dalliance with party tourism. 

To learn more about Palace Elisabeth, check out the official website

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