Eighty years ago, on July 16, 1939, the Avala Hotel in Budva was inaugurated. For a small pre-war Budva, this was a grandiose event. The main guests at the opening were residents of Belgrade, local media say.
At the same time, electric lighting appeared in the Old Town, which was one of the conditions for the construction of the hotel. As well as the creation of a water supply system, a public toilet and a driveway to the hotel.
“The old“ Avala ”was built of stone from the island of Brac. The hall was seven meters high. The evening lasted from seven to nine o'clock, when the waiters served the guests. Live music played. After nine o'clock it sounded on the large terrace, which was separated from the hall by a glass partition. The official evening ended at 11 o'clock. Fans of nightlife continued to walk in the bar, ”recalls the stories of senior colleagues Lubo Markovich, a former employee of the hotel.
The founder of Avala is Radomir Stojich. He came to Budva in 1933. There was a large vacant lot on the site of the hotel - the land belonged to wealthy local residents. Stojic was able to negotiate the purchase of the site. And after the deal he started to work. Construction took about two years.
To attract tourists, Stojic, a pharmacist by profession, organized the Budva Friendship Association in Belgrade, Prague and Paris. During the Second World War, the hotel wanted to blow up the German troops who entered the city. However, the Raikovichi brothers, co-owners of Avala, were able to save the building. They managed to take out the planted explosives.
The hotel served for some time as a hospital for the Yugoslav partisans. Soon, during the times of Socialist Yugoslavia, the hotel was nationalized.
“17 years after the war, Stojich came to Budva. Nobody recognized him. Later Radomir said that he did not want to take anything from "Avala" for himself. He hoped that the hotel would open the doors for tourism in Budva, ”says Lubo Markovich, who has worked at the hotel for 30 years.
The dreams of the founder of "Avala" have come true in many ways. There are now dozens of hotels in Buda and in the vicinity of Becici. Every year they receive hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world.