He is the guy pulling the strings: On the Croatian island of Lošinj, at the shores of Čikat bay, it’s the CEO of luxury brand Lošinj Hotels & Villas Peter Schoch, who is in charge of the quality of the lifestyle with a twist of swissness. Five questions with the Swiss Peter Schoch (63)
Luxury Topics: Peter, please explain, what Čikat bay is all about. What makes this place so special?
Peter Schoch: It´s the organic mix of crystalclear water and the smell of pinetrees. Views that are out of this world, the discreet luxury of this place and the warm-hearted people, who live and work here.
Luxury Topics: How does the perfect day on the island look like for you?
Peter Schoch: The first thing in the morning has to be a swim in the sea for a quick refreshment. Afterwards some culinary surprises for breakfast on the terrace of the Alhambra Boutique Hotel. Before noon Veli Lošinj – a sweet and quiet village with a small harbour – is the perfect place for a walk through the tiny streets of the old town. For lunch I´d recommend some seafood under the pine trees of the Taverna Cigale, where a nice soft brease from the sea is constantly blowing through your hair. If there is time for it, you should go for a nap in the shade on one of the sunbeds at the Bellevue Hotel. In the afternoon there is nothing better than going out for a sail and enjoy winds and water and explore some previously undiscovered bays and beaches along the coastline. Fancy a sunset drink before dinner? A lovely place is the terrace of the beach bar Borik, before enjoying Alfred Keller restaurant, where the ambitious and talented Austrian chef is serving a collection of interesting Croatin wines, along with the best five course menu on the island.
Luxury Topics: What makes this place so luxurious and classy?
Peter Schoch: Nowhere else you can find so many mansions and villas from the times of the Habsburger, surrounded by pine tree forests and along the shores of the sea. The highsociety from Vienna used to come here and spent their freetime and celebrated in an extravagant way. During the socialism in Yugoslavia those mansions were turned into simple hotels. We have spent millions of euros to renovate these houses and make them shine in their former glory again. Interior designers created a luxurious enviroment. Classy, but yet modern. And our food is outstanding, creative and awarded.
And: What we have learned over the years is that guests always remember the experience. So what makes an experience great? It’s partly the hotel, partly the location, but the most important part is always the hotel staff. They are the ones who directly affect the quality of the guests' experience and their satisfaction with their stay at the hotel. The warmth of our staff make the guest feel at home from the first second.
Luxury Topics: What is the key to your success?
Peter: The key to the success of any organization is to have a clear corporate culture, vision, and mission and to communicate with the employees, so that everyone together strives towards the same goal. And the goal of all here at these beautiful hotels in Čikat bay is to be the best in Europe.
Luxury Topics: Is there something that you are missing here, that you would like to add to Čikat bay?
Peter Schoch: The name recognition of this place! Sure, people know of Croatia, they know of Istria. But not a lot of people have heard of Lošinj or Čikat bay. It’s still a hidden treasure. But that’s also what makes it so special, isn´t it?