Domagoj Fritz (33) is “Host of the Year 2016”: The “Castle Hotels & Mansions” association, with around 90 member establishments in Austria, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia, honours an ambitious young hotelier in Croatia.
The excited anticipation grows until the very last minute when, on the occasion of the annual general assembly of “Castle Hotels & Mansions” (this year at Schloss Mittersill), the coveted title is finally awarded. This year’s selection went to the director of two small historical houses in Istria.
“Domagoj Fritz is a host and exemplary hotel director par excellence. In his still-young years, he already draws upon an enormous wealth of experience and, with his steadfast dedication, demonstrates impressively how, within small-scale structures and despite being in a summer-heavy destination, through good employee leadership and, last but not least, a commitment to working with new technologies, it is possible to assert oneself year-round,” praises Max Eidlhuber, President of Castle Hotels & Mansions.
Two historical hotel jewels on the Croatian Adriatic coast
As hotel director, Fritz runs Villa Tuttorotto in Rovinj as well as Villetta Phasiana in Fažana, both businesses owned by the Jovanovic family. He was born in Zagreb, attended the school of tourism management in Rovinj, and studied tourism and business in Pula.
After ten summer seasons as a receptionist at Hotel Istria in Rovinj, in 2007, at just 25 years of age, he was appointed general manager of the Villetta Phasiana. At that time, this precious gem in the small, idyllic fishing village of Fažana (around 10 km from Pula) was opening its doors as a lovingly and completely restored 4-star hotel with 18 individually designed rooms, mostly with sea view extending all the way to the nearby Brijuni Islands.
Soon thereafter, the Jovanovic family purchased yet another establishment in need of restoration, in the coastal town of Rovinj. Here, too, through boundless commitment and care, a small jewel was created, the Villa Tuttorotto, opening in 2010. Here, too, the Jovanovic family placed the reins in the skilled hands of young Fritz. Amid its 500-year-old walls, tradition and modern comforts now harmonize in a sensitive way. Valuable antique art objects lend the house a nostalgic flavour, while with regards to amenities and decor, the four double- and two single rooms as well as the suite leave nothing to be desired.