11 July 2019 – HBA London has completed the first phase of a total refurbishment of Camellia Hotel in the elegant Croatian coastal resort of Opatija.
It was here in the 19th Century that Adriatic tourism was born and the Hapsburg villas that still characterise the town were built, helping to make Opatija one of the most fashionable destinations in the region. Today, the town retains its elegance with graceful buildings, beautiful gardens and a cache of hotels, chief of which is Camellia Hotel, named after the camellias which flourish in abundance around the town. The hotel is directly on the Adriatic, offering lovely views to the far horizon, and has its own private access to the rocky seashore as well as to Lungo Mare, the enchanting and historic promenade which wraps around the coastline.
The first phase of HBA London’s work has involved the redesign of 80 guestrooms, transforming them into serene spaces that flow towards their outdoor terrace and look towards the magnificent views of the Adriatic dappled in sunlight. Their colour palette is natural – belonging to the pale stone of the coastal location, enlivened with the russet tones of terracotta – which is synonymous with rooftops in this part of Europe. Timbers are predominantly pale with wide Požgaj planks – a nod to Opatija’s shipbuilding heritage – used to clad the floor, and fabrics and materials are all textured and natural woven.
A standout feature of the rooms are the custom-designed wardrobes and wall panelling finished in lattice worked painted timber, a nostalgic touch that evokes Opatija’s golden era when the Hapsburgs came to holiday here. Leather details, brushed brass fittings and crafted door knobs add further layers of refinement while folk artwork and ceramics curated by the designers serve to raise a smile.
The rooms have been carefully re-planned to achieve a sense of spaciousness on arrival. To one side, the bathroom has been separated into two glazed spaces, one accommodating the WC, the other a generous walk-in shower by Grohe, with the vanity area in between. Ceramic tiles, custom designed by the designers in collaboration with Porcelanosa, clad the floor of the entrance lobby and extend through the bathroom pods serving to unite this area while separating it from the sleeping/living spaces and providing a lively, geometric counterpoint to the rest of the room. The nautical touches continue into the bathroom where plank cladding to the walls is combined with Ritsona Red marble. Fittings and details are in patinated bronze.
Guestroom corridors display similar aesthetic values. They are light and pared back with contemporary detailing to the doors and stylish framed door signage. The outdoor terraces feature elegant furnishings in prevailing tones of terracotta and white.
“The redesigned guestrooms belong to Opatija, reflecting the style of this intimate and sophisticated coastal resort,” says Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director of HBA London. “We want guests to feel completely at their ease. They have chosen to holiday in one of the loveliest parts of mainland Europe and their room should be a quiet but integral ally in the experience, allowing them to fall asleep to the gentle sound of the waves and with a feeling of calm and serenity.”
The hotel will be refurbishing the remaining 60 plus guestrooms in time for the 2020 summer season and the public areas for 2021.