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Feb 28

Sveti Stefan: the island-hotel of beautiful Montenegro

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Many remote islands of singular beauty are home to exclusive resorts and as such can only be admired by those who actually arrive. Sveti Stefan which sits just 5km from the beach city of Budva, Montenegro is at least viewable from the shores as it is an island just a few hundred feet out from the public beaches and trails of the suburbs.

 

The island is connected to the shore by a land bridge and it is a recently restored entire fishing village with centuries of history. There are whole houses, churches, shops and village squares which pack every inch of the town. The town fell into disuse in years past and has reopened entirely as a property of Aman Resorts, a Singapore based hotel chain. Access to the island is only for hotel guests, but passers by can get a great view from the beach or even nearby elevated landscapes.

 

The Montenegro Riviera is not short on hotels, especially in this more scenic section of Budva. It is hot and happening in summer, but rates skyrocket and rooms are hard to find in this high season. It is recommended to enjoy the locale in Spring or Fall while many places are still open but have better rates. Even the peak of winter is a good time since weather is mild, but the available hotels and apartments tend to be further inland.

 

For residents of the hotel prices can be well, pricey. It is a novelty to enjoy an island hotel, set in a restored village. All the “rooms” are different since they are original houses restored to masterful beauty. The alleyways, sea views and restaurants are all raved about by guests. Service is immediate and it comes off as quite surreal, staying in an island town with staff and service all around. Three churches also make up some of the island’s architectural charm as well as a royal palace chamber and other suite-like medieval urban attractions.

 

The dated environs don’t stop the efficiency of modern amenities. There are six spa cottages spattered around the island, a main Aman Spa, a cliffside swimming pool overlooking the Adriatic Sea and a modern gym. Overall there are 6 rooms, 8 suites and 36 cottages. Rates in high and low season vary and included services can change depending on the high occupancy, but overall they try and make singular gifts and experiences the norm. No matter what time of year, the cost is substantial. The island hotel is certainly a one of a kind experience with a modern twist on a classic attraction, and it certainly belongs in Montenegro the land of wild beauty.

 

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