In Croatia, a hotel tries to heal the wounds of war

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Local produce can also be found in Lyra’s restaurant: much of its food comes from family farms in the area, and local cooks prepare homemade recipes for guests. And that’s just one of the ways the hotel is fulfilling its sustainability mission. Others include the use of 123zeroall-natural, vegan and plastic-free toiletries; and a pledge not to serve beef in the restaurant. “Covid means we haven’t done as much as we would like,” Bubalo said. “Our priority now is to install solar panels.”

Through all of these efforts, the hotel team hopes to forge a deeper connection not just with visitors, but with the history and future of the area. “We want our guests to understand the unique place they are staying,” Bubalo said. That understanding will likely start with a taste of locally made plum brandy, a custom Lyra’s team learned from their neighbors. “A traditional welcome consists of bread dipped in salt, of course sprinkled with silovica,‘ Henka said.

In July 2022, the village celebrated its 230th anniversary. It was an event that brought everyone together for a celebration outside of the Orthodox Church. According to Henka, “Five years ago it was a ghost town, it is starting to come back to life. We are proud of our past and have hope for our future.”

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