Interview: Verica Rakočević - I dream about the paradise island of Bora Bora

23. December 2019
Foto: Privatna arhiva
Foto: Privatna arhiva

We think we know almost everything about Verica Rakočević, because she’s into fashion business since 1983, when she opened a boutique “Ella”, and 16 years later, she entered into high fashion business. Audiences at many prestigious domestic and international events have seen her creations – at the Fashion Week events in Rome, Milan, Los Angeles, Vienna, Moscow, St. Petersburg, on Cuba… and of course in Belgrade. She designs and produces exclusive uniforms for Hotel Hyatt Belgrade, Montenegro Airlines, “Aerodrom Beograd”, Madera restaurant, Privredna Bank and Piraeus Bank… And the love of popular fashion designer and composer Veljko Kuzmančević - has stirred the public. For the Turistički Svet she talks about the freedom she has discovered, thanks to Veljko, travelling with a camper, as she goes on a vacation to a distant destination every year in October and admits that it is never too late for the new dimensions of hedonism...

• Thanks to your profession, you travel a lot. Which hotel did you feel best at?

- As a birthday gift, I got a room at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, where Coco Chanel once stayed. The amount of excitement and sleepless night made these moments something most beautiful related to the hotels I have stayed at.

Zero tolerance!

• What is important to you as a businesswoman in a hotel? What do you tolerate at the hotel and what do you never forgive?

- On a business trip it is important for me to have a hotel close to the centre where I have a meeting. I may sound a little grumpy, but comfort, superior service and impeccable hotel organization is extremely important to me.
I try to stay in the best hotels that are very expensive, so I forgive nothing and tolerate nothing!

• As a guest who knows what she wants and does not compromise on the quality of service, which hotel do you recommend? And which one disappointed you the most?

- All hotels within the Leading Hotels of the World group are impeccable.
On the other hand, Danieli Hotel in Venice has priceless historical value, but the size of the rooms and the facilities are not at the level of their price.

• Are visits to wellness centres one of your rituals and prevention for a long and healthy life?

- Of course. While I was living in the city – I went to a gym six times a week and went to sauna, pool and had massages three times a week. All this has contributed to the fact that at my age I have first of all, the strength to work tirelessly, and then the appearance that I am satisfied with.

• What do you expect from a good W&S centre?

- Impeccable hygiene, excellent equipment and helpful staff.

• What do you enjoy the most, what type of massage you like and practice most?

- I like to practice sports and I like a strong, sports massage as well as body detox treatments.

In harmony with yourself

• What does healthy living mean to you?

- A healthy life, above all, involves living in harmony with oneself. A satisfied and happy man is generally healthy. Nutrition, living in nature, physical activity and the absence of any negative emotions are conditions for health and longevity.

Hence my move to the Avala, my escape from the city noise, heated concrete and greedy material people – which significantly affected my mental harmony and relaxation.

• What does travelling mean to you? 

- Always an unforgettable experience, getting to know different nations, cultures, habits and landscapes. The experience in these communications is priceless. Regardless of the way you travel, it is an opportunity to enrich your life with memories that no bad weather or life crises can crush.

• What is your favourite destination in the world, and which in Serbia?

- For years it has been Tulum in Mexico. This year I have visited Holbox, also in Mexico. In our country, the most favourite destination is Tara, the Serbian magical beauty.

• Where haven’t you been yet, but you would love to go?

- Bora Bora! I have to find the way to go to this paradise island. I love high-end accommodation and luxury, and in this case it costs a lot, so I'll wait for that trip for a while.

Sky is the limit...

• Which journey has made you get to know yourself better?

- At the urging of my husband Veljko, I tried camping. Knowing me, he rented a camper for six, so that I would have comfort and not get crazy and wish to return earlier. It was for the first time that I experienced the mornings in nature where you get dizzy from oxygen. You are alone with yourself and your thoughts. I realized then that nature alone gives you the opportunity to face yourself, giving you serenity.

• What did you like most about camping?

- The journey in a camper is such that only the sky is the limit. Endless freedom without restraint set by even the most luxurious hotels. I'm a person in need of action, so my vacation doesn't involve lying on the sand. The camper gives you the choice to conquer new landscapes day by day. Waking up to the sound of the waves on a beach, a morning coffee by the endless sea providing strong inspiration, is a completely new, discovered dimension of hedonism. I am grateful to Veljko who enriched my life with this experience.

Marina Bulatović
Photo: Private archive

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