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Treasure island

This summer two multi-entrepreneurs join forces on a special beach club to bring a feeling of the French and Italian Riviera to the idyllic Swedish island of Gotland

Words Johan Magnusson

Shervin Razani came to Sweden from Iran with his mother at the age of 8, and started his entrepreneurial career by selling candy during his school years. Today, he runs five companies, including one working with recruitment, one working with events, and the latest being NOVI Resort. The hotel is situated right by the sea and right outside of Gotland’s biggest city, Visby, and includes swimming pools, indoor and outdoor gym, a beach club and more.

For this summer, they team up with former chef and one of Sweden’s leading restaurant entrepreneur, Pontus Frithiof. He currently runs 18 restaurants, including the best airport restaurant in Europe, and will now be in charge of the mentioned beach club. — NOVI is a tremendous place and very easy to fall in love with, with the hotel, the pool, the beach and the view, he says. Then I met Shervin Razani, who is a really fantastic entrepreneur, and he asked for my help regarding the beach club — it was a very easy decision.

— I hope Pontus’ experience from running great restaurants will improve the food experience, making us a natural choice for tourists as well as locals. Pontus and his team will serve courses with a touch of the Italian and French Riviera, however with a clear focus of using local ingredients from Gotland, says Razani.

Frithiof points out the local onions ramslök and kajplök plus the local asparagus as the musts from Gotland, while Razani’s local favourites are the calmness and a certain light.

— It makes you stop and wait and is perfect both for tourists and stressed business travellers. Those of us who live here all year round loves the mix of the busy tourism in the summer, the beautiful environment during spring and fall and the winter daze. May and September is best for experiencing the island and its history, for excursions, and to take a walk by the sea.

Do you have any hidden gems on the island?

— Fårö is absolutely fantastic. A day in a car on the island — or why not take the bike — is a great suggestion. And, take your time! says Frithiof.

— There are a few small fish shops and smoke houses at the coast. I can highly recommend a trip to the sea stacks with all the blueweed and then have lunch in one of those sheds. And also go to Sudersand at Fårö and finish off with a ”Swedish fika” at Sylvis Döttrar, a bakery that’s been running for generations with the best fika on the island.

What else is coming for you?

— The vision is that Novi Resort shall become a multi-facility where you can spend your entire vacation. That means that we’re constantly looking for new activities, facilities, and services to make that vision come to life, says Ravani.

— In our group it happens a lot all the time, says Frithiof. This autumn, we will launch a new bakery and deli concept, and opening a restaurant at Lidingö right outside of Stockholm. &