Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik has announced it has become a member of The Leading Hotels of the World (Leading Hotels), a prestigious collection of independent luxury hotels.

The Commercial Director for the Management company, Julian Houchin, commented that “We are delighted to officially become a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and sit alongside the many other luxury hotels and resorts recognised around the world for being leaders in the hospitality industry. It is a testament to our commitment to exceeding our guest’s expectations and we look forward to continuing to elevate our guests’ experience together with Leading Hotels and are committed to surpassing the standards by which the company holds its partners accountable to.”

Whilst the Vice President of “The Leading Hotels of the World,” Deniz Omurgonulsen, added that “We are very pleased to welcome Sun Gardens Dubrovnik to our collection of uncommon, independent luxury hotels.”

The 408-room resort, comprising of a five star 201-key hotel and 207 one, two and three bedroom residences, is an established luxury beacon, situated just 11 kilometres from the UNESCO World Heritage city of Dubrovnik, within the community of Orašac. Since it’s opening, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik has successfully positioned itself as one of Europe’s leading luxury resorts attracting families, couples and individuals from over 100 countries. Furthermore, it has firmly secured its place as one of Europe’s leading destination resorts appealing to conference organisers looking for a new and exciting venue for incentives and product launches.

Nottingham has arrived in Dubrovnik. Robin Hood and his band of merry men are riding through the cobbled streets of our city and it is hard not to feel more than a little homesick.

The Stradun and the old harbour have been transformed, with intricate sets and Nottingham green everywhere. It is a little odd, at least for me, to see English flags and “Three Lions” banners hanging from the city walls. If I had a Kuna for every time someone has asked me “why couldn’t they film this in England?” I would be able to take my wife for lunch in Nautika. I have no idea why they didn’t, but to be honest I don’t care either. Surely it is better for us that Dubrovnik has some kind of happening out of the summer season, to kill our winter boredom. And then came the answer, straight from the horse’s mouth, “I spent months looking for a set and a location in England but couldn’t find one,” said the director.

And yes it seems strange that he couldn’t find England in England, or Nottingham in Nottingham, but why people are still getting upset about this I don’t know.

The true answer is that Game of Thrones and Star Wars brought with them more than just global promotion, they also raised the profile of the city in the eyes of film producers. And, if we are being honest, Dubrovnik is much cheaper to film in than England. Money talks. I just don’t get why people feel the need to write comments all over social media about why Dubrovnik is the new home for Robin Hood. Is this filming somehow taking away their salary, their bread from the table or their freedom – no! So why the anger. Come to think of it why would you feel the need to write a negative comment about anything? Unless maybe it is some kind of stress relief, some kind of social media yoga, a way of venting from an otherwise unfulfilled life.

It isn’t just Robin Hood, far from it. I can just publish a photo of Dubrovnik with a witty headline and I guarantee you I will get a few negative comments. Sad. But I digress.
So the actors are here, we have already managed to racially abuse Jamie Foxx, Robin Hood looks like he should still be in school and apparently they are all enjoying Croatian wine...maybe a little too much. I have to be honest I am not envious in the slightest at the life of these actors. Although they are probably living the life of luxury they have lost the one thing that man truly needs – freedom. Locked away in their rooms, surrounded by assistants and security, unable to go for a stroll in the fresh air without being hassled. And not just hassled by the press, but also by the general public eager for selfies.

I remember being told, and even experiencing for myself, that celebrities liked coming to Dubrovnik in years gone by because they were generally ignored by the public and were free to walk without fear. I am here to tell you that those days are gone. Whilst there is still a hardcore of people who will say that people in Dubrovnik will pay no attention to the rich and famous, they are in the minority. Yes, I agree, that it is still extremely safe for the actors and celebrities to walk around without having to worry that some drunken idiot will try and start a fight, they are now a magnet for mobile phone cameras and selfies sticks. Well if you are Jamie Foxx then there is even a chance that some drunken imbeciles will pester you in a restaurant, but doesn’t every place have its own clowns.

Maybe it’s a globalisation thing. Maybe it’s a social media thing. I am not sure but the days that celebrities can walk unabated are certainly behind us. It’s sad but true. Now I have to be honest almost all of the actors in this latest Robin Hood movie could jump into the Jacuzzi next to me and I wouldn’t have the slightest idea who they were. I even had to Google their faces to know who they were. Ok, Jamie Foxx I know him, but all the others, well no. So this could solve their problem of walking around in freedom, if they bump into me, I mean literally bump right into me I wouldn’t dream of reaching for my mobile phone to take a photo. King’s Landing, a far away galaxy, so why not Nottingham.

After the main actors are safely wrapped up in their luxury apartments it’s the time of the hundreds of extras to take to the stage of Robin Hood: Origins in Dubrovnik. This video scenes show groups of knights flanking a procession of priests as they make their way into Nottingham.

This was recorded on the eastern entrance into the Old City of Dubrovnik, an area that has been the concentration of filming for the first few days. Just before this scene was recorded Jamie Foxx (Little John) and Taron Egerton (Robin Hood) were in action leaping out of the way of charging horses, it is unsure whether the two scenes are related.

Jamie Dornan is expected to arrive in Dubrovnik this weekend as filming in Dubrovnik enters its second week.

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It is a day not to without your umbrella in Dubrovnik. The south wind started blowing yesterday afternoon and since then rain has been falling.

Even though the forecast for the rest of the day is for overcast weather the predictions are that tomorrow will see a more stable day with the odd ray of sunshine through the clouds. Presumably the cast and crew of Robin Hood will take a day off from filming today, although it probably rains a little in Nottingham so the weather could add some realism.

Check out the rainy Old City of Dubrovnik today by Niksa Duper

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Day 5 of filming of Robin Hood:Origins can be described as rainy, windy and cold but there is no time to relax in Nottingham. The filming was supposed to take place on the Stradun today, but during our walk through the set it seemed like it's still not ready. People were working hard to assemble it all, but many pieces were just laying on the ground, waiting to be placed on the set. 

However, Pile Park and the entrance to the Old City seemed quite busy, as the crew was walking around and making everything ready for what it seems to be one more long night of filming. Pile Park is full of tents with make up artists and hair dressers, as well as coffee and sandwiches.

Director Otto Bathurst and producer E. Benett Walsh were spotted at the set, but sadly we didn't see any cast members, at least not during the day. However, some extras were waiting for filming. Also, two horses were taken to the Old City, one a bit less motivated to enter than the other. These poor horse seemed to have a great fear of wooden bridge, so it took some time before they were coaxed across it, or to be honest – pulled across.

Rain didn't seem to bother anybody and there were some rumors that the crew wished for this type of day. We heard some people saying that they also asked firefighters to help with some extra water! It seems that filming will again take place until the morning hours. Next week brings day scenes again. Don't miss photos from the set as well as the video for the latest update.

Now here is something you don't see every day, a double size bicycle. This rather strange looking bike caught our eye as it literally towered over the cars that passed it. With a friendly wave and a “hello” the rider was making his way from Dubrovnik towards Montenegro.

There were a few questions that we couldn’t answer. The obvious, why would you want a double height bike, unless you really wanted a better view. And then how do you get on and off this odd contraption. Unfortunately the bike adventurer was moving a little too fast for us to ask, although we did notice he was getting lots of curious stares from drivers and pedestrians.


The leading Canadian leisure airline Air Transat expects even better results on the seasonal service between Toronto and Zagreb this year.

After launching its seasonal direct flight between the two cities last summer and carrying around 5,000 passengers, Air Transat has decided to expand its operations from one to two flights a week in 2017. The air carrier has also announced that it will operate the flights until later on in the season.

"We've increased our capacity on the destination from one to two direct flights from Toronto for our summer 2017 season in order to offer our customers more flexibility in their choices of holiday duration and packages", said Debbie Cabana, the marketing director of Air Transat.

In addition, in its summer schedule 2017 the Canadian airline has announced beginning of the operations to Zagreb on the 30th of May; it will operate flights on Mondays until the 16th of October, whilst the second weekly flight will be operated on Wednesdays starting on the 18th of June until the 3rd of September.

Air Transat is Canada’s leading holiday travel airline which carries 3 million passengers to 63 destinations in 30 countries annually. The Canadian airline company was voted the Best North American Leisure Airline at the Skytrax annual World Airline Awards held in June 2015.

New top list has been published by The Telegraph yesterday with a title '25 incredible streets you must visit before you die'. Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street (and for us the most beautiful street in the world), is placed on the third place just after Champs-Élysées and Ocean Drive. What is interesting, the cover photo of an article shows Stradun and it's a great promotion to Dubrovnik.

- Despite the crowds, a walk down Stradun, the main thoroughfare in Dubrovnik's old town, is a must, especially if you're a fan of Game of Thrones (it's where Cersei Lannister takes her walk of penance) – writes the author of the article. To be honest, Cersei didn't exactly walk on Stradun, but nobody can say that Stradun didn't earn its place on the list.

- Most of the top attractions in Dubrovnik are concentrated in the car-free old town, within the medieval walls - says Jane Foster, Telegraph Travel’s Dubrovnik expert, adding that wo monumental arched gates, Pile (to the west) and Pločc (to the east), serve as entrances to the old town, and they are joined by the main thoroughfare, Stradun (aka Placa). Off each side of Stradun lies a grid of narrow alleys (some involving steep stone steps), harbouring countless cafés, restaurants and apartments to rent – writes Foster.
Stradun is the pride of the Pearl of Adriatic and we are happy that it made this flattery list – although we're not surprised.

Behind the Mask

Feb 24, 2017

Carnival season is upon us and many of my fellow citizens of Dubrovnik are loving it. It's a colourful and interesting local custom and one that is usually seasoned with a healthy dose of criticism towards the local and national government, big businesses or world leaders.

To my recollection, I was involved in the carnival only twice in my life, back when I was in elementary school. However, carnival is far from child's play in Dubrovnik and the rest of Croatia. Serious carnival societies around the country spend much of the year preparing their costumes and props for February shenanigans. Pressing political issue are bound to be on the menu when the carnival procession hits our main street. It’s an ages old tradition, and not a bad one at all. For this brief period, we get to laugh at the problems we worry about for most of the year.

Not everything during carnival season is about serious satire, of course. There are plenty of entertaining options around. Kids are dressing up as their favourite superheroes or princesses and young people are throwing masked parties and running around being jolly without anybody recognising them.

If you think I’m going to be predictable by saying I don’t like dressing up in costumes and hanging around other dressed up people… you are absolutely correct. Before you attack me for being a perpetual party pooper, I must say I have absolutely nothing against the traditional or modern practices of carnival season. I just can’t run away from the introvert in me. Regular carnival proceedings tick all the boxes on an introvert’s list of horrors. You need to dress up in such a way you will automatically draw attention to yourself, you are around plenty of strange people with whom you need to act silly and spontaneous, and you might even end up in a parade down the streets of your hometown. All this is bad enough, but it’s really nothing more demanding than a regular holiday festivity or a night out with business partners.

However, my problem with dressing up in costumes is that there is no real pay-off. I don’t really care if nobody can recognise me. Most of the times I feel I’m wearing a mask anyway. Don’t we all? It’s only normal and practical we don’t show who we are to everybody. It would take too much time. Besides, I’m pretty certain the lady at the supermarket or the mailman don’t care about my world views or why I’m afraid of spiders. It makes sense to keep some of that info to myself. Carnival week seems to simply be an opportunity for putting on a different mask to the one we usually have on. The other potential masquerade pay-off I don’t care for is trying to impress people around me with my clever disguise choice. It’s really not a big “turn-on” in my book. Besides, dressing up like Jack Torrance from The Shinning would probably end up confusing majority of people. They would most likely think I’m going for a lumberjack outfit and failing miserably.

All of you dressing up this or the following week, have a great time and keep the traditions going. Also, please give the government and world leaders one symbolic kick in the butt for me. I myself will be at home, disguised very cunningly as a grumpy workaholic. It works every year, the only problem is… everybody recognises me.


Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

The Dubrovnik Times has teamed up with Break Time in our latest competition. Break Times has recently opened a store in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik featuring unique handmade products. All the Break Time bracelets, necklaces and key-chains are handmade using original yachting rope and nautical-inspired shackles and anchors.

To enter our Facebook competition all you need to do is follow this link to our Facebook page...the rest is easy.

The competition starts on the 24th of February and ends at midday on the 4th of March – Good Luck!

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