The Hotel History & Architecture
In the picturesque Venizelosova Street in Dorcol, the oldest part of Belgrade, there is a beautiful Villa whose first rock was laid down in 1927, and which marks a very important part of the Belgrade history. The owner of this exceptional villa was Vlada Ilic who was born in the late 19th century, the most prominent Yugoslav industrialist at the time and was as well the President of the Belgrade Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Central Industrial Corporation of Yugoslavia.
During his tenure as Mayor of Belgrade he achieved milestones remembered to this day for the industrial capital of the region. He made major reforms in the urban municipality, reduced the price of electricity and thus influenced the development of craft workshops, or rather set base for support of small enterprises – which to this day remains a strategy for cities across the globe. On the other hand, he enabled large scale public works within the municipality and brought major corporations of the time that created employment and economically developed the city and its inhabitants. Finally, he is remembered as a humanitarian as well who focused much of his time to solving social problems, constructing workers' housing, health care institutions and children's shelters, schools, and urbanization of the city by building beautiful parks and removing swamps – half of modern Belgrade was a swamp – and this project remains to this day a stepping stone for engineers across Europe in development of urban land with natural surrounding obstacles to infrastructure.
He was one of the wealthiest citizens at a time and did a lot for Belgrade, created a business empire, which had in its possession seventeen factories mostly from the textile industry which affected on raising hiring rate. At the beginning of his mandate he officially opened a new bridge over the Sava River, which bore the name in honor of his best man “The bridge of King Alexander I”, one of the most beautiful bridges built in Yugoslavia in the 20th century. Also the bridge over Danube was opened which was merged Belgrade and Pancevo, railway bridge which bore the name “King Peter II”.
During his tenure began the construction of Church St. Sava now the biggest Orthodox Churches in the world and ranks amongst the ten largest church buildings in the world. He also established a Belgrade Zoo in 1936 on his estate and out of his funds – today a landmark as it is located in the city center of a metropolis.
The ceremonial entrance porch, adorned with classic columns, ionic capitals, balustrades in wrought iron and tile ornamentation windows and sculptural ensembles – by sculptor Živojin Lukic, are the lavish decor of this harmonious and representative villa. All these features have determined this villa as one of the outstanding achievements of Belgrade interwar architecture. In addition to the exterior of the building, which is reminiscent of a medieval castle, the club features a central hall, which was built in the style of greenhouse gases. While walking through its premises we travel back in time and imagine extravagant galas and feasts held here which were considered one of the main gathering places for the crème of the Belgrade social circles at that time.
If the walls of the villa could talk, they would also tell us that they were the location of the making and initial headquarters of one of the first regional corporations – Genex, as well as home and lodging to various dignitaries and celebrities across the globe. At the dawn of the new century, the villa was totally renovated in 2006, and finally in the late summer of 2014 when Admiral Club Hotel became Allure Caramel Hotel by Karisma.
The air of prestige set, Allure Caramel will maintain, and thus continue to be a part of history in making.