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Celebrating 20 years of Red Ant with sun, sea, sand and speedboats

Last week, we went on an amazing journey to the Croatian island of Hvar to celebrate 20 years of progress and success at Red Ant.

Last week the Red Ant team went on an amazing journey, departing an unexpectedly sunny UK for the Croatian island of Hvar, which, having claimed the title of ‘the sunniest spot in the country,’ was of course forecast for rain when we arrived. But our spirits were high, because we were there to celebrate 20 years of progress and success at Red Ant.

Thursday

The Red Ant team hit the road early, travelling from far and wide to meet at Gatwick Airport at 4am. Despite the early hour and a definite lack of sleep, not one of us napped on the flight, too excited for our island adventure ahead. From Split Airport, we jumped in coaches to the port, took a bumpy ferry ride to Hvar, and finally made our way on foot to Amfora, Hvar Grand Beach Resort.

The incredible 360 degree view from Amfora, Hvar Grand Beach Resort, in Croatia

We enjoyed a delicious Mediterranean lunch with an incredible 360 degree view of the island, then it was time to get to work. The Ants gathered in the resort conference room as our CEO Dan Mortimer took the stage. Dan talked about our successes so far and the exciting projects we have ahead; gave us a sneak peek at an exciting product launch; presented plans to invest even more in employee wellbeing and development; and held an open discussion on how we can continue to contribute to our community through our PhilANThropy programme.

CEO Dan Mortimer talks success and future plans at the annual Red Ant conference

With the team amped about the year ahead, it was time to relax. We took full advantage of the resort’s water slide before settling down poolside with a few cocktails. Then it was time for a short walk along winding marble streets and past Gothic palaces into Hvar’s enchanting old town for a candlelit dinner overlooking the sea at Park Restaurant. Once dinner was devoured, we headed to the harbour to dance the night away.

Red Ant enjoys a few drinks and a beautiful sunset at Hula Hula beach bar in Hvar

Friday

After a buffet breakfast in the resort restaurant, the Red Ant team assembled at the port to meet Amazing Hvar for what was to be the highlight of our trip. We split up into teams – Dolphin, Octopus and Swordfish – and piled on to three speedboats to start our day exploring Forski škoji, the islands of Hvar.

Amazing Hvar took us on speedboats to explore the Croatian islands, Forski skoji

Our first stop was in the beautiful deserted bay of Malo Zaraće, where the team quickly jumped overboard into the warm, clear waters to snorkel with schools of blue fish. At Velo Zaraće, our boat drivers collected sea urchins so that we could sample the caviar, a delicacy of the Dalmatian coast. We moved on to Dubovica for another swim, before exploring the beautiful Crvene Stijene (Red Rocks), a natural phenomenon of vertically disintegrated red cliffs. Some of the braver Ants climbed the steep cliffs, while others swam into the caves for a closer look.

The Red Ant team climbs the red rocks at Crvene Stijene

Our final stop was the coastal village of Sv. Nedjelja, where vineyards could be seen on steep slopes at the highest points of the island. This was the home of the famous Zlatan Otok winery. We were shown into an underwater wine cellar with wooden barrels big enough to sit in and windows looking out into a seaside aquarium. But the best part was, of course, the wine – we were treated to five of Zlatan Otok’s premium wines and a feast of local seafood, prosciutto and cheese.

The seaside aquarium viewed from the underwater wine cellar at Zlatan Otok winery in Croatia

Finally, it was time to head home to Hvar. To make the most of the last sunshine left in the day, the team headed straight to Hula Hula beach bar for a few drinks before dinner. Dan, Red Ant CEO and multi-dog owner, made friends with a Border Collie at a neighbouring table, who happily demonstrated ‘shake’ and ‘sit’ in exchange for a few snacks. We watched the sky change to a spectacular purple and gold before making our way to La Bocca for dinner, then ventured out for another night of drinks and dancing to celebrate our success.

The Red Ant team made a furry friend and enjoyed a beautiful sunset at Hula Hula beach bar

Saturday

Saturday was a day to rest and recover. We had time to relax next to the pool and make one last trip to the beach before it was time to pack up and head to port.

We have more exciting adventures ahead in 2019 and beyond – both in and out of the office. To keep up with them, follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram. And if Red Ant sounds like the kind of place you’d like to call home, keep an eye out for open roles. We’re always looking for talented, curious and passionate people to join our team.

The Red Ant team at our 2019 Conference in Hvar, Croatia
Amanda Preston, Marketing Manager at Red Ant
Amanda Preston, 26th September 2019

This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

Celebrating 20 years of Red Ant with sun, sea, sand and speedboats

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