Which Hotel Groups Dominate the Adriatic Coast? A Look at the Top 10

Daniela Rogulj

2014 valamar zagreb hotel exterior
Valamar Riviera

A record number of arrivals and overnight stays confirm that this year, tourism is the most profitable part of the fragile Croatian economy. Although private accommodations still dominate the tourist offer, hotels best foster the tourist potential of the Adriatic coast.

Over the past few years, the leading hotel groups in Croatia have launched a wave of investment that has led to a rise in the quality of accommodation and a significantly larger number of four and five-star hotels. Modernization has brought higher service standards and many additional attractions for the more demanding tourists.

With the development of tourist services in the Croatian market, there are also first class hotel brands – currently 12 global and six European brands – with 46 hotels and a total of 9,500 rooms.

Croatia is characterized by a very high level of consolidation in the hotel market, as is evidenced by the fact that 10 of the largest domestic hotel and tourism companies manage more than 40 percent of the total hotel rooms. The lion’s share of the market is occupied by two leading groups: Valamar Riviera and Lukšić Group, which unites three major hotel companies.

Here’s a look at the ten leading hotel and tourism groups on the Adriatic Coast, as reported by t.portal on August 7, 2017. 

1. Valamar Riviera 

Valamar Riviera is currently the largest tourist company in Croatia, which can accommodate 48,000 guests in its hotels and summer resorts from Istria to Dubrovnik. Thanks to organic growth and acquisitions, Valamar has recorded high growth rates. In the past year, their revenue grew by 23 percent, and the profit, to the satisfaction of the shareholders, has more than doubled.

2014 valamar zagreb hotel exterior

Valamar Riviera 

By 2020, the company plans to invest up to two billion HRK. This year, the biggest investment was made in Rabac where two restored summer resorts were opened. Valamar employs 4,800 employees seasonally.

The largest share of ownership (44 percent) is by a group of Austrian investors headed by Eltz, and the remainder is in the hands of the pension and investment funds and small shareholders. Thanks to excellent business results, the shares of Valmar have become one of the most attractive investment opportunities on the Zagreb Stock Exchange.

2. Maistra

Rovinj and its surrounding areas are dominated by Maistra, the main tourist branch of the Adris group, which, after the sale of the tobacco business, turned towards tourism. This hotel has ten high-quality hotels, eight tourist resorts and six campsites located in the prestigious locations of Rovinj and Vrsar – two Istrian tourist centers of exceptional natural, cultural, and historical values.

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Maistra’s total capacity is almost 34,000 guests, making up about five percent of Croatia’s tourism achievements and just over 15 percent of Istria’s tourism results. Maistra is oriented to luxury tourism, which implies substantial investments with the aim of raising most accommodation capacities to four and five-star categories.

At the moment, the luxury Park hotel is being built, which should be opened in 2018 and will finish the arrangement of the exclusive zone of Monte Mulini, where the hotels Eden, Park, Lone and Monte Mulini are all located. Last year, Maistra achieved a substantial revenue increase of 8 percent, with somewhat slower profit growth.

3. Plava Laguna

From 3rd to 5th place on the list are three tourist pearls of the Lukšić group. The largest is the Plava Laguna in Poreč with an annual income of 545 million HRK. In their accommodation capacity, over 20,000 guests can be accommodated daily, of which more than 8,000 can stay in hotels and apartments, and over 12,000 in autocamps – providing over 2.3 million overnight stays annually. They also have 360 berths in two marinas and a range of catering and sports facilities that complement the core offer.

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Lukšić recorded a slower growth in revenue compared to their main competitor Valamar. Last year, traffic grew at a modest 3.9 percent, but that is why it has increased by as much as 50 percent.

4. Istraturist

Umag’s Istraturist has been in the hands of the Lukšić Group since 2014 when it bought Plava Laguna from Zagrebačka banka. All Istraturist facilities, including the nine hotels, are located on the northwest coast of the Istrian peninsula along the 40 km long Umag Riviera. Intensive investments have provided Istraturist and the city of Umag with a respected position in the Croatian tourist offer.

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Umag, after Istraturist completed its offer with three wellness facilities, is marketed as one of the most desirable wellness destinations in Croatia. After many years of hosting the international tennis tournament the ATP Croatia Open, Umag has been ranked as a top tourist destination with a top sports offer.

Last year, the Umag company suffered a slight decline in revenue, but their profit rose nearly 80 percent. The biggest investment of Istraturist this year is the renovation of Sipar hotel (10m EUR).

5. Adriatic Luxury Hotel

A part of Lukšić’s empire is made up of hotels on the southern Adriatic coast that were purchased by Goran Štrok, who joined Cavtat Hotel Croatia in 2014. Exclusive hotel accommodations combined with top service for organizing congresses and business meetings are located in the esteemed locations of Dubrovnik, Cavtat and on the island of Mljet.

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Adriatic Luxury Hotels 

Significant investments have been made in the last two years. The hotels Kompas and Excelsior have been renovated, and this year, Hotel Croatia is one of the largest hotels in Croatia with 500 rooms and one of the biggest hotel congress centers. Last year, the largest hotel in Dubrovnik achieved revenue growth of 14.2 percent, with twice as much revenue growth.

6. Arena Hospitality Group

In the sixth position is another Istrian hotel group – Arena Hospitality Group (formerly Arenaturist). The Pula tourist group last year went to the ownership of the Dutch company Euro Sea Hotels, part of the PPHE Hotel Group. In addition to changing the ownership of hotels in Istria, the Pula company has also entered hotels in Germany and Hungary under the renowned Park Plaza brand.

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This year, a successful public offer of shares was collected, which raised 788 million HRK of capital. This was intended to accelerate the implementation of the capital investment plan to renovate many accommodation facilities in Croatia and finance the group’s business expansion in Central and Eastern Europe.

The company has 27 properties owned, co-owned, leased or managed with more than 10,000 rooms and accommodation units. Revenues grew by 8 percent last year and reached 392 million HRK, and due to the alignment of the property value, the group operated with a loss of 135 million HRK.

7. Solaris

Šibenik’s Solaris is the strongest hotel group based in the central Adriatic. The majority is owned by Ugo group, a company by the self-employed entrepreneur Veljko Župan, which combines eight luxury hotels in Sibenik (Solaris Beach Resort) and Opatija (Milenij hotels) under the brand name Amadria Park.

Solaris Villas kornati


Solaris Beach Resort is home to 16 villas, camps and marinas. In the renovation of the hotel and the many attractions (beaches, clubs, aquapark), Ugo group invested tens of millions of euros.

Solaris achieved revenue of 354 million HRK last year, with a substantial 14 percent growth. Unlike other leading hotels, Solaris has had low profitability for years. Thus, last year it recorded only 3.8 million HRK in profits.

8. Liburnia Riviera Hotels

Eighth place is held by Liburnia Riviera Hotels, which consists of 14 hotels and five villas on the Opatija Riviera, two hotels in Dubrovnik, and a hotel complex in Portorož. After numerous ownership transformations, the principal shareholders of Liburnia are the companies that are divided by SN Holding and the City of Opatija, which holds 25 percent.


Liburnia Riviera Hotels 

80 million HRK was invested to modernize the capacity in 2016. The renovation of the Remisens Hotel Palace-Bellevue was completed, and at the end of the year, the reconstruction of the hotel Ičići began.

Last year, the company recorded a growth of 6 percent for 294 million HRK, with a profit of 17 million HRK.

9. Grand Hotel Lav

The hotel complex Lav near Split has 382 accommodation units for 1,000 guests. The luxurious complex features a marina with 80 berths and a wellness center of 5.000 m2.

Le Meridien lav Split Panoramique suite terrace view

Le Meridien Lav

The complex is owned by the Dutch company Odien Hotels and is managed by the Le Meridien S.A., one of the global brands of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

The Grand Hotel’s total revenue rose last year by 125 percent, but primarily due to the sale of part of the property. At the same time, sales revenues only recorded slight growth.

10. Jadranka Group

Jadranka Hotels is the largest tourist group in Lošinj, which operates under the brand name Lošinj Hotels & Villas. The complex has six hotels, restaurants, villas and apartments located on one of the most attractive locations of the island, with a total accommodation capacity of around 3,500 guests.

Part of the extensive investment cycle over the last decade completely renewed hotels Aurora, Vespera, Punta and Bellevue, bringing the first five-star hotels to Lošinj. They also lead the development of the luxurious Cikat Bay, which houses the Hortensia boutique hotel, and the Alhambra boutique hotel with Augusto, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group.

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Bellevue Lošinj

The campsite segment is comprised of four camps in the Cres-Lošinj archipelago, which, like the hotel, are highly categorized and have a place for 9,300 guests – they also have the only aqua park on an island in Croatia. Three years ago, Jadranka moved to the ownership of Beta investment behind Russian capital. Last year, revenue grew by almost 20 percent to 263.6 million HRK, with a loss of 54.6 million HRK. 

Translated from T.portal.hr


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