Lešic-Dimitri Palace is a beyond-luxurious new, family-run boutique hotel on the Croatian island of Korcula, just a short ferry hop from Dubrovnik.
The newly-resorted 18th-century palace and adjacent medieval buildings have just been renovated, and transformed into a unique property boasting just six exquisite bedrooms. A spa and restaurant will open at the end of the year.
BTN met the palace’s general manager Toni Lozica
BTN: How would you describe the Lešic-Dimitri Palace experience?
TL: As the only luxury property on the island, Lešic-Dimitri Palace provides a unique experience, offering wonderful exterior and interior design in the very heart of the medieval Korcula Old Town. Our guests can experience life in this small but great city, with its unique architectural features, friendly local people, warming charm, wines, fine foods, culture, music, history and natural beauty.
BTN: What was the motivation behind creating the hotel?
TL: The motivation behind Lešic-Dimitri Palace was to create luxury accommodation which matched the island’s beauty, attracting and accommodating a discerning clientele which Korcula didn’t previously cater for. The island’s lack of high-end accommodation often meant that Korcula, despite being one of the most beautiful areas in Croatia, was overlooked – we’re proud to bring Lešic-Dimitri Palace to the market and showcase Korcula as the wonderful destination it is.
BTN: How would you describe Korcula?
TL: Korcula is one of Croatia’s undiscovered gems. It’s a peaceful, beautiful, intimate and friendly island with a charismatic culture, fascinating history, great food and outstanding wine.
BTN: What can we expect from the spa?
TL: The spa is being developed by a leading Asian SPA specialist who has taken inspiration from the places along the Silk Road and developed signature treatments exclusively for the Palace. Our therapists have been recruited from Thailand to offer the highest level of quality and authenticity. It will be an extra drop of relaxation on top of everything we offer and, of course, highly luxurious.
BTN: And how about the restaurant?
TL: We are really looking forward to opening the main restaurant early next year and hope it will put Kor?ula on the gastronomic map. With such fantastic local produce and a rich culinary history in the region we will offer a menu rooted in Dalmatian tradition, but which incorporates some influences and flavours from the places along the Silk Road. This summer we are operating a wine bar which offers guests a walk through Croatia’s best wines with light dishes to accompany. All our produce is locally sourced, organic, fresh and seasonal. We buy from small family producers where possible.
BTN: Where are your key markets?
TL: The whole world is our market in the long run. For the time being it is mostly British, American and Croatian with increasing interest from the French. We plan to extend this all other European countries – Eastern Europe, including Russia, offer great potential, as well as the Far East, Middle East and Australia.
BTN: Describe your management style.
TL: Relaxed, friendly, sort of unconventional, but thorough without putting my employees under unnecessary stress. Stressed employees would never be able to offer our guests the high level of service as we insist upon – we want our guests to live in luxury, but feel at home. Maybe the fact that I am a trained singer plays a major role in that. A singer gives all he has to his audience and now my guests are my audience and my team is my ensemble!
BTN: What excites and motivates you?
TL: When I see our guests enjoying themselves and what we’ve created for them and watching them forget about the stresses of work or whatever they’ve left behind. I enjoy watching our guests leave with a smile on their faces, knowing they’ll come back and we’ll welcome them as old friends.