3 Luxury Hotels We Love in Montenegro
Marvelous Montenegro is one of Europe’s hidden gems. The holiday hordes have mostly ignored this tiny Balkan country in favor of neighboring Croatia and Italy. Those in the know, however, are excited about the renovated and brand new luxury hotels in Montenegro popping up on its sunny shores.
The setting for these luxury hotels in Montenegro is the spectacular Bay of Kotor. Framed by lofty mountains, this submerged river canyon is as vast as a fjord. Think Scandinavia with a Mediterranean climate and cuisine. What could be more enticing?
A Yacht Marina to Rival Monte Carlo’s
With berths for 450 superyachts right outside its front door, the Regent Porto Montenegro in Tivat Marina enjoys an enviable position on the Bay of Kotor, a.k.a. “the Boka.”
The hotel is just a 10-minute drive from Tivat Airport and the bustling nautical village that surrounds it is filled with restaurants, bars, gelato shops, and designer boutiques. Hard to believe that less than two decades ago this area was a military base for the Yugoslav Army!
The Regent’s original Venezia Wing has 87 guestrooms and suites, each with a balcony or terrace offering expansive sea or mountain views. Five-star amenities include a first-class gym, infinity pools, and the Regent Spa. The Aqua Wing debuted in summer 2018 with 62 additional rooms and suites. Water abounds in a 10,000-square-foot complex of four swimming pools, complete with cabanas and a pool bar featuring live DJs.
Dining at Regent Porto Montenegro ranges from the upscale Murano Restaurant to the casual Gourmet Corner deli/bakery and the Library Bar. The chefs take inspiration from the hotel’s prime position next to Boka Bay. Expect lots of fresh seafood prepared with locally-sourced herbs, resulting in delicious dishes like Fillet of Sea Bream with Corn and Young Onions.
A Refined Resort at the Entrance to “the Boka”
One&Only Portonovi, the Dubai-based luxury brand’s first resort in Europe, opened its doors on May 2nd. A wonderfully secluded property, it sits on 60 lush acres, just off the Adriatic coastline where the sea meets the bay. Tivat Airport is approximately 50 minutes by private car transfer. Alternatively, Croatia’s Dubrovnik Airport is only an hour away.
The resort was designed to reflect the architectural style of the region’s old Venetian palaces. This means grand facades, terracotta roofs, and endless private gardens. Guests can choose from no less than six resort pools, while a private sandy beach gives direct access to the sea.
A total of 105 rooms, six suites and two villas have been positioned to enjoy endless views of the surrounding marina, bay and mountains. Each includes fireplaces for when the nights get cold, as well as huge bathrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces.
One&Only Portonovi boasts the world’s first Chenot Espace, a great place to detox. This state-of-the-art spa blends modern science with the best of traditional Chinese medicine and other holistic practices. There’s also a chic new eatery from Michelin-star Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli to explore, as well as tasty farm-to-table Montenegrin cuisine at La Veranda.
A Venetian Sea Captain’s Palace on the Waterfront
Palazzo Radomiri is an intimate, family-run, heritage hotel in the little village of Dobrota. An easy 15-20 minute bike ride from the ancient city walls of Kotor, it’s set far enough away from Kotor’s buzz and bustle to feel like a retreat. Even more so for those who indulge in the hotel’s free morning yoga classes on the terrace overlooking the bay!
The main waterfront building dates from the beginning of the 1700’s when the Bay of Kotor still belonged to the Venetian Republic. Two other buildings house a restaurant and a gym. On the seafront is a garden, as well as a stone jetty where boats are moored and guests can swim or sunbathe. There’s also parking, and several courtyards, including one with a small swimming pool.
The waterfront palace boasts ten traditional rooms and suites featuring antique beds with embroidered throws. Heavy wooden furniture, and a gilded mirror or painted landscape on the wall complete the look. The bathrooms, however, are a more modern affair. Expect sleek designs in soft beige or grey neutrals with fluffy towels and L’Occitaine toiletries.
Owners Zoran and Anna are friendly and engaging. The couple also takes special pride in the hotel’s bar/restaurant, open throughout the day. The menu changes often, but expect fresh fish, mussels in creamy garlic sauce, and homemade ajvar. In the evening, the jetty turns into an elegant, quiet, open-air restaurant. A truly magical dining experience at sunset!
And a Selfie with Sveti Stefan!
Sveti Stefan is one of the most photographed sites along Montenegro’s 184-mile-long Adriatic coast. A causeway connects this fortified island of impeccably restored 15th-century stone cottages to the mainland. The 5-star hotel group Aman Resorts owns Sveti Stefan. Although most of the island is off-limits to non-guests, ogling it from the mainland comes for free!
Montenegro welcomes American tourists who show a negative Covid-19 certificate taken at least 72 hours before arrival, or can prove full vaccination status. That makes it a real contender for your first post-pandemic vacation in Europe.
Which of these luxury hotels in Montenegro is calling your name? (Just so you know “all of them” is an appropriate answer!)