May 9, 2019 – Looking for a luxury holiday in Croatia where all is included so you can literally #LeaveYourWalletAtHome? Meet the unique and innovative The Villa Week.
What is there was the complete holiday package for you and your friends to experience the ultimate in Croatia, where every single detail had been thought out and arranged in advance? So well in fact that all you had to do was show up and enjoy. So all-inclusive that you could safely leave your wallet at home.
Croatia has so much potential as a luxury tourism destination, but the supply of quality options is far behind the demand. But meet one man, whose innovative new concept on the Dalmatian coast, is providing an outstanding luxury tourism holiday which truly encompasses the very best that this diverse region has to off. Meet Grgo Gunjaca, CEO of The Villa Week, a new concept in luxury hospitality, which is certain to soon move beyond Croatia’s borders.
A holiday experience which one guest summed up as “a James Bond lifestyle holiday, but without the stress.”
But before you read our interview with Grgo, I encourage you to check out The Villa Week promo video to put you in the mood:
1. The Villa Week is a very cool new concept for luxury travel. How did it come about?
Obviously, a completely new luxury travel concept based on our motto “Expect Everything, Miss Nothing” couldn’t just pop up out of thin air. I have been working in tourism for 17 as a young med student – running, adapting, renting apartments in our family house. As we provided more and more services beyond the classic villa rentals, such as activities and excursions, I found that although we had a foundation of properties and a network of trusted partners, it was tough to convince people to book holiday upgrades and extras with us as they preferred to trust agencies.
So it became obvious something completely independent from the villas was required to enable such a project to be conceivable in order to catch the entire holiday value under one roof to be able to offer it on the market. Another important consideration in the concept were groups from The Yacht Week who would book villas to get a proper relaxing holiday typically after
The Yacht Week. Clearly exhausted from the previous week, they would always emphasize that they just couldn’t keep up parting with the youngsters and missed real beds and showers to actually get some rest as well as actually get to know the country they’re in. Nevertheless, my personal invitation to a wedding in January 2017 from a former guest of mine Sonia Ramdoo triggered the whole story, as the bride planned out a full packed itinerary in Trinidad (Indian weddings last for several days) with trips and activities and parties at night for her guests who were of all age groups from all over the world.
It was noticeble early on that the 30 year-olds somehow naturally gravitated to each other way more and got along exceptionally well. Now why was that? I would say perhaps this age group is more receptive to meeting their own kind and attend all kind of events unlike, younger that were interested only in partying, whilst the older were not so much up for adventure activities or parties.So I thought, wouldn’t it be great to recreate this again just for this 30-something group who are still young in spirit but seek and require comfort and quality?
And what better way to provide it all than to organize it with accommodation in villas. It should be noted that during recent years typical holiday agency trips focus more and more on specialized narrower groups of people that gather around one certain interests like yoga or party, which are obviously easier to organize than something that includes a lot of diverse activities.
The idea to do something that would include everything instead of just a yoga or fitness workout holiday. Why can’t we get to experience everything that can fit into a week with the flexibility to choose what we like and how much we want to do? Meaning sightseeing the best places, experiencing the greatest adventures, and partying at the best places accompanied with top quality accommodation as a key feature. Accompanying all that with quality cuisine at authentic dining experiences forming modern mainstream lifestyle nowadays are the essential last ingredient in the puzzle.
2. Take us through the concept in more detail.
I really had a hard time explaining the whole project into a sentence or two as less is often more, but in short it is an all-inclusive week in luxury villas boosted with more than 20 different events crafted into one ultimate holiday. Now even that sounds long right? However, once you reach a wider audience people that are not into it but get the whole picture can summarize it like no one from within. Therefore, the most descriptive comment we received on YouTube was “it’s like a James Bond lifestyle holiday – just without the stress”. I don’t know if it’s the best description possible but don’t you just love it? Says pretty much everything.
3. You are starting in your home town of Podstrana near Split. Tell us what is on offer?
Apart from the fact that Split is getting more popular every year as an exceptional destination, the location itself offers much more being ideal to create a week of diversity. We want our guests by the end of the week to feel they like have visited multiple destinations on different continents. There are not many locations in the world that offer caves and casinos, islands and waterfalls, mountain canyons and rivers all within half an hour of your luxury beach villas. So we’ll definitely have a tough time finding new destinations once our customers inquire for them, but we already have something on the horizon starting with Montenegro.
4. Who is the target audience?
Our target audience is business oriented 25-45-year-old people that due to work don’t have time to organize a fully organized holiday in an interesting new destination. Offering a batch of new experiences to blow their minds and Instagram feed while all wrapped into a carefree holiday where they don’t not need to pack and unpack every day in order to reach that new place and meet new people. However, all this is just a subjective starting point as it was easiest for us to create a project based on our personal needs and desires. Looking at the big picture TVW can literally be everything for everyone as we can just create different weeks for different groups of people like gay, parents with kids or pets.
5. What is included and what is not?
Once you think of villas, your first impression must be “oh this is great but how on earth will a gather a group of friends to fill up an entire villa”. Well the beauty of the project is that we offer both rooms and villas in shared or entirely private weeks so you can have your own friends in your villa not mixing with others or go the easier even more fun path to rent a room with a friend or partner or alone just like in a hotel or a cabin in a cruiser to share the experience with new people. And now to finally get to the question – everything is included meaning not just all food and drinks but tours and activities and even massages and 100 euro worth of chips in the casino. So instead of complicated explanations of what’s included, we just use just the hashtag #leaveyourwalletathome.
6. Your promo video is very enticing. Tell us about the making of that.
Well, one would think that a group of people having the fun of their lives just filming from the side would be enough to create some great content, but the reality couldn’t be further from it. Once the camera shows up even the most casual person freezes so the entire video usually comes down to a 2-3 persons typically female true talents that can relax in front of the camera in order to create this level of content. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes as we have just started implementing new ideas as dividing the video in different days of the week as different themes, really so much can be done as the project is so diverse.
7. What has been the feedback been so far?
Feedback has been great from the mouth to mouth advertisement because it is the only true channel that’s founded on trust, skipping a huge hurdle right there. On the other hand social networks and our website people are much more in disbelief as they tag Billy McFarland and the Fyre festival after seeing what we have to offer, and we can’t judge them as this is still way ahead of time – a one-click full-experience carefree holiday.
8. Tell us about the team involved.
Now that’s a colorful bunch of random young people and it just keeps on increasing. Apart from myself who am a GP with 17 years in tourism, our 3 villa hosts who take care of all our guests to 4 developers on working in completely different spheres from E-learning to VR and car rental managing systems, to our newest addition of a young entrepreneur in in Split focused on digital marketing and AI systems in that and our latest member IN our UK office that is doing the social marketing and consulting abroad, not to forget are our partners for photo video content as all the partners that provide the services used in the trips and activities themselves as part of the villa week itinerary.
9. Where do you expect The Villa Week to be in 5 years?
Unlike most of the projects that are based in Croatia the potential of The Villa Week is catchy as theoretically if there would be enough interest any villa in the world could run the program crafted for its destination. However, in the short term we are working on a new very simple addition in parallel called The Villa Weekend – quite a rational offshoot from The Villa Week, themed and suited for pre and post season especially attractive as a jump start for the week as its half the time, half the price so way easier to onboard.
Learn more about The Villa Week on the official website.
That video again…