Chinese investors to honour Tito with Kumrovec hotel purchase

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Time Out contributors

Chinese investors look set to buy the Hotel Zagorje in Kumrovec. Chinese businesswoman Yu Jiang, head of Zhongya Nekretnine real estate company who are behind a bid for the hotel, has said they would like to renovate the building into becoming a fully modern hotel as well as create a memorial park honouring former Communist-era Yugoslavian leader Tito.

Kumrovec, a small village north-west of the capital city Zagreb, just by the Slovenian border, is famously the birthplace of Tito. The family of Tito's Croatian father Franjo lived in Kumrovec for over three centuries. Zhongya Nekretnine's offer of over 14 million kuna is the only bid for the property and is expected to pass.

The disused Hotel Zagorje, which is currently state-owned, is a former Communist Party political school which covers 27,000 square metres. It is not yet known whether the new hotel project will retain the Yugoslav Communist theme as it does not always fit comfortably with the contemporary Croatian hospitality model.

For instance, most hotels in Croatia offer a variety of room standards, whereas Communist theory aims to treat everyone equally and would, therefore, suggest proletariat grade accommodation throughout. Most contemporary Croatian hotels also aim to stay open throughout the year, although the new Kumrovec hotel could potentially be closed between the end of winter and the start of summer as Tito was famously not a fan of the Croatian Spring (Hrvatsko proljeće). Twin, family and single room occupants are expected to be catered for, although it is suspected the new hotel could specialise in group bookings as separatism is seen as an activity threatening to brotherhood and unity.

It is not yet known what kind of food the hotel restaurant will specialise in, although a fusion of Chinese and Croatian would not be a complete surprise; Tito's Yugoslavian economic strategies, where healthcare, holidays and education were available to all, ultimately proved massively unsustainable, introducing sweet and sour to the populace long before many of their European neighbours. Some commentators have debated whether the hotel bar will try to encourage good and honest behaviour by offering only fruit teas alongside the regular alcohol options, as under Communist theory proper tea is theft.

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