This week we caught up with one of the rising stars of the Dubrovnik tourism industry, Dominik Gustin, the director of Hotel Splendid. This charming hotel, which is part of the Hotel Maestral Group, is a firm favourite with guests from all over the world. And with Gustin now at the helm the future for this iconic hotel looks very bright indeed, as bright as the glint from the sparkling Adriatic.
How has this season been after two pandemic affected years?
We already expected that from the beginning of the year that this season would be significantly more successful than last year. Throughout the winter we were busy organising staff for this year and i have to say that there was a great interest for people to come and work with us, which is always a positive sign. We are very close to the number from the record year of 2019. and we are also seeing an increase in business throughout our outlets, such as the beach bar and Glorijet restaurant. Of course the two-year pandemic has left a influence on our hotel, and indeed the tourism business of the whole country. But it is always positive to see just how resilient and indeed flexible tourism is. We can probably expect that until the end of the year we will see numbers around 80 percent of those of 2019, which is superb.
We can probably expect that until the end of the year we will see numbers around 80 percent of those of 2019, which is superb - Photo - Mark Thomas
What feedback have you received from guests this summer season?
The majority of our guests come from the UK, Scandinavia, France and Germany. Of course our guests are happiest with our location. Hotel Splendid is well-known for its friendliness and we take a lot of time to make sure that guests feel special. As I said the location is important, right on the Adriatic but yet in a tranquil position in the shade of pine trees. It is also very easy to get from our hotel to the historic Old City centre. We see that in the afternoon hours that our guests like to find some shade in the pine trees and wait for the sun to set over the islands.
Hotel Splendid has a truly excellent location, but what do you believe also attracts guests every year?
We have plenty of loyal guests who return year after year. Believe it or not we have a lot of guests who even ask for the same room every year. This can only be a good sign. We've had guests who even say to us, "the grapes have been trimmed since the last time we were here." That's just how much they remember us and our hotel. This for us all is the most important and it's always nice to get that kind of feedback.
What plans do you have for the hotel in the future?
Of course as the competition in Dubrovnik increases we need to keep pace with the market and in fact prove ourselves as market leaders. Investments, creativity and innovation are the key words. We will surely see a cycle of investments at Hotel Maestral, including investments into our Hotel Splendid. I can't say anything concrete at this time, but I'm sure there is something in the pipeline.
You are one of the new, young generation of tourist leaders. How would you like to see Dubrovnik develop in the future?
Sustainable tourism is the way forward, in fact the only way forward. We need to think about a low impact tourist brand that is far away from any kind of mass tourism. This is the route that we will take at Hotel Splendid. We should forget the system of counting tourists and start thinking of measuring success with guest's satisfaction. Quality and sustainability, the key words for our tourism industry.
And finally, what message do you have for potential guests at Hotel Splendid?
We are ready and waiting for you, we look forward to hosting you. Again it is a big plus for us that loyal guests come back year after year, the best recommendations that we can have.