Aman Sveti Stefan
Montenegro Magic at Aman Sveti Stefan
Looking for some first-class R&R? Planning to pop the question? Or maybe you’re newlyweds looking for the ultimate spot after tying the knot. Look no further than this high-end hideaway, situated on a stunning islet simply oozing style, history and romance…which also happens to be magnificent Montenegro’s most iconic site.
By Angela Sara West
You’ve seen those postcard-perfect TV ads promoting the gorgeous hidden gem Montenegro, arguably the last of Europe’s undiscovered treasures, but where exactly is that idyllic–looking spot famed for its unspoilt beauty and breathtaking views? Back with a bang following decades of upheaval, it’s the fairytale Aman Sveti Stefan Resort, an awe-inspiring restoration project of a 15th-century fortified village with a glorious past…
The islet sizzles in a uniquely-historical sun-drenched setting on south-eastern Europe’s alluring Adriatic coastline. Attached to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, creating Montenegro’s most famous view, it’s a spectacle that really needs to be seen to be believed! Two historic sites comprise the resort, which is dotted along 2km of Montenegro’s most renowned stretch of coastline: the protected rocky outcrop of the island itself and Stefan’s stately Villa Miločer (Queen Marija Karadordevic’s former summer residence), situated on the beach opposite on the mainland and enjoying breathtaking views out to sea and across the bay to the island.
Having evolved from an ancient fortress for 12 families to a village supporting 400 inhabitants in the early 1800s, it was in the ‘50s that the tiny island of Sveti Stefan made its mark when the last of the villagers moved to the mainland. The islet became a high-profile hotel for big names in the fashion and entertainment worlds and, along with royals and politicians, was graced by Hollywood sirens such as Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren. The break-up of Yugoslavia in the early ‘90s marked the end of this glamorous era but, 50 years after its initial renaissance as a luxury retreat, thanks to Aman Resorts’ magic touch harmoniously blending the regal grandeur of old Europe to retain the island’s historic ambiance, Sveti Stefan once again reigns supreme and is firmly back on the map with today’s global jet-set.
One of the secrets to the resort’s successful renovation is the retention of its historic exterior, which remains largely unchanged, paying homage to its fabled past whilst ensuring the interiors have been meticulously-restored and updated to a super-high-spec to meet contemporary comfort and ‘wow factor’ expectations. Original interior walls have been expertly preserved and many fixtures and furniture manufactured specifically to match the island’s original style. Soak up centuries of history in its clusters of rustic red-tiled-roofed original stone buildings and intricate cobbled lanes crisscrossing quaint courtyards, indelibly infused with its tempestuous past, but blissfully bathed in peace and prosperity today.
Where to Stay…Where to Play…
The islet boasts 50 unique rooms and cottages and suites on the island, plus eight scrupulously-appointed spacious suites at Villa Miločer. Accommodation’s divided into Village Rooms, Cottages, Deluxe Cottages, Grand Suites and the Sveti Stefan Suite which sports its own private pool, all offering sea/rooftops or quaint courtyard or piazza views. Overlooking the island from the mainland, Villa Miločer’s surrounded by hundreds of fragrant ancient cedar and pine forests and olive trees. Built between 1934 and 1936, the former summer residence of Queen Marija, the great granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the Queen Consort of King Aleksandar of Yugoslavia, later became a home for the former leader of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito. The graceful stone villa comprises a 32-hectare estate set on the famous horseshoe-shaped pink-sand Queen’s Beach, fringed with fragrant fig and olive trees. Enhanced by subtle luxurious touches, the sumptuous suites enjoy free-standing bathtubs in stunning stone bathrooms and Juliet balconies with sea views to the island or the gardens.
The spa cottages offer a range of refined massage and body treatments. Indulge yourself at the Queen’s Beach state-of-the-art spa after a leisurely workout in the gym or a cooling dip in the cliffside swimming pool. A second tempting pool entices on the upper terraces on the south side of the island, or guests can bask on one of the resort’s inviting beaches.
Fine Wining & Dining
From tasty tapas to rustic fare and world-class seafood given haute-cuisine treatment, the pulsating Piazza is the exclusive enclave’s atmospheric heart and soul, featuring a number of stunning al-fresco venues for sampling the very best of local cuisine complemented by premium wines, all topped off with stratospheric standards of service. The shady open-air square’s various dining venues include a cellar-style enoteca, a convivial antipasti bar, a buzzing taverna and a wood and leather-bedecked cigar room offering fine Cuban cigars, vintage Armagnac, rare cognac and single-malt whiskeys. The main restaurant, Aman, serves international cuisine and modern interpretations of Montenegro’s culinary heritage. Breakfast like a king, gazing at the sparkling Adriatic on one of the panoramic terraces. With its dramatic views, the Cliff Pool and Bar’s the place for ideal sunset cocktail spots. On the mainland, you’re also spoilt for choice with a selection of eateries dishing up superb cuisine. Miločer Villa’s The Dining Room, wisteria-clad seafront Loggia and the Living Room (great for afternoon tea or evening cocktails) offer elegant menus bursting with fresh produce and locally-caught seafood. Perched high on a rocky precipice, drink in the Queen’s Chair clifftop restaurant’s mind-blowing panoramas and Italian-influenced pan-Adriatic gastronomy. For beachside brasserie-style fare, take your pick from The Olive Tree’s menu of cut-to-order meats and seafood prepared on wood-fired grills and the aromatic olive-wood-fired rotisserie. Alternatively, tucked away in a nearby cove shaded by cypress trees and century-old olive groves, the Beach Café’s a casual spot for informal dining.
Activities for Action-lovers & Culture Vultures
A honeymooners’ fave, if you’re after that ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime experience, a time to spoil yourselves and unwind after all the hectic excitement of the wedding, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you picture turn-up-and-flop out island idyll indolence, walking hand-in-hand along sweeps of empty beaches lapped by pristine emerald green waters in total seclusion, or you’re adventure-seekers after activities-a-go-go, the options for a low-profile or exciting experience in this blissful haven are here.
The resort offers bespoke, personalised guided excursions to dizzyingly-mountainous Montenegro’s scenic and cultural attractions along the Montenegrin coast and into the country’s spectacular interior. Visit the old town of Budva, the wonderfully-preserved baroque city of Perast or go further afield on guided expeditions, discovering the stories of centuries past in a rapidly-changing land of rugged snow-capped mountains surrounded by ancient forests and pristine waters, remote cliff-top monasteries and imposing stone churches clinging precariously to rocks. UNESCO World Heritage sites include the Bay of Kotor, with its medieval walled town of narrow, cobbled pathways and church-clad squares against a steep mountain backdrop. A crumbling castle offers phenomenal vistas of bobbing luxury yachts and the fjord. Activities for the adventurous include setting sail on the Adriatic, cycling plus an array of water-based activities including waterskiing, kayaking, big game fishing and diving. Ski bunnies can even hit the nearby slopes. Bird lover? Grab your binoculars and flock to remote LakeSkadar, home to 280 species, including endangered varieties. Wine o’clock? Learn about regional wines through private wine tastings and vineyard visits, rounding off a perfect stay with your favourite bottle… oh, and THOSE views…
Beckoning with beauty beyond belief in the shimmering Adriatic, this Balkan paradise awaits!
Aman Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan 85315
Tel: + (382) 33 420 000
TivatAirport is located 34km from the resort, PodgoricaAirport (also known locally as GolubovciAirport) is 54km away, while DubrovnikAirport in Cilipi, Croatia is approximately a 2.5hr drive away. Airport transfers are complimentary to and from Tivat and the resort can
arrange transfers from Podgorica and DubrovnikAirports.