Luxury Hvar hotel receives 5-star status and prepares to open its doors

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A new luxury hotel on the island of Hvar has received its official designation as a 5-star. The Palace Elisabeth Hvar Heritage Hotel is the first 5-star hotel on the island and will open its doors to guests, following two years of work on the premises, at the end of August.

Photos released of the hotel's interior show the extensive refurb to have totally transformed the premises. The building was formerly the Palace Hotel, one of Hvar's most famous landmarks due to its central position in the heart of Hvar town and because of its rich architectural details, a combination of grandiose Austro-Hungarian building styles and well preserved, far older features, which have been carefully retained within the building's use.

What was formerly a 2-star hotel with 78 rooms has been completely reshaped. The hotel now contains 45 much larger luxury rooms and suites. In peak season, it is anticipated that rooms will cost between 500 Euros and 1500 Euros per night, the latter being for the top end suites.

The building's history as a hotel stems back to the late 1800s, when it was constructed in order to accommodate the first wave of international guests of what became the modern-day tourist industry. Back then, such guests came from the upper echelons of European society and as well as restoring the hotel's original name, the new Palace Elisabeth Hvar Heritage Hotel will also position the venue once again as the most luxurious hotel accommodation on the island.

However, some parts of the building predate its function as a hotel. Palace Elisabeth Hvar Heritage Hotel's new entrance is actually the original entry to the Rector's Palace, which was rediscovered during the renovation and restored. This part of the building stretches back to the 13th century at least when that building was incorporated into the medieval town's fortifications.

The hotel's original 130-year old architecture was undertaken by famous Viennese designer Bernard Schwarz. Many of his original features have been respected and upheld in the redesign, which has been overseen by project manager Igor Tomaskovic, architects Zoran and Neda Balog from studio Agro Engineering. Interior design of the project was helmed by Otto Blaha who has also hand-painted some of the intricate work now visible in the hotel, such as the detailed restaurant walls. The Palace Elisabeth Hvar Heritage Hotel is part of Radovan Vitek's Sunčani Hvar group.

The hotel includes terraced balconies, an outdoor garden containing beautifully-scented orange trees, a luxurious spa, fitness studio, restaurant, a lounge bar and a pool with a panoramic terrace and a bar of its own. The renovation has cost in excess of 100 million kuna.

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