Luxury Travel News
From its 15-century beginnings as a fortified village through its 1960s heyday as a destination for Hollywood’s elite jet set, the island of Sveti Stefan has long been an icon of Montenegro’s coastline.
Now, 50 years later, the island is undergoing its second renaissance: Its exciting and painstaking transition to become the second phase of Aman Sveti Stefan, following the launch of Villa Milocer across the bay in 2009.
Located in the center of Montenegro’s Adriatic coast, Aman Sveti Stefan incorporates one and a quarter miles of coastline including the pink sandy beaches of Sveti Stefan, Milocer Beach and the renowned Queen’s Beach. The island itself measures about 40,700 square feet. While its historic exterior remains largely unchanged, the resort’s interiors have been restored and updated to meet contemporary expectations. Aman Sveti Stefan already offers Villa Milocer’s six suites and two one-bedroom Queen Marija Suites on the Villa’s grounds. The island’s 50 guest cottages and suites will unveil themselves in stages, welcoming the first guests this July.
“I have always been attracted to the natural beauty and elegant coastline of Montenegro,” says Adrian Zecha, founder of Amanresorts, “and it is a privilege to breathe new life into such storied properties as Villa Milocer and the island of Sveti Stefan.”
Three new restaurants have joined Villa Milocer’s existing dining venues–The Dining Room, Loggia and Living Room–on the mainland, including: Queen’s Chair, serving Pan-Adriatic fare every evening from 6pm, overlooking the Bay of Budva; Olive Restaurant, a casual beachside brasserie open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and the Beach Café, offering informal al fresco dining all day long in a secluded spot near Villa Miločer. And later this summer, the island of Sveti Stefan itself will offer diverse dining options in a uniquely atmospheric setting, reminiscent of its fabled past – The Piazza. This open-air square is the heart and soul of the island’s village setting, featuring a number of dining venues including a Taverna, an Enoteca, a Pasticceria, an Antipasti Bar and a Cigar Room. Also located on the island away from the vibrant bustle of the Piazza is the Cliff Pool and Bar. Other facilities to open are The Aman Restaurant, Terrace and Pool Bars and the main swimming pool.
The island of Sveti Stefan will also offer spa treatment suites featuring a range of signature Aman Spa therapies. Farther afield, Aman Sveti Stefan provides guests with personalized guided excursions to natural and cultural attractions in the area – including boating on the Adriatic, visiting the town of Budva, the royal capital of Cetinje, and the beautifully preserved baroque city of Perast, discovering the peaceful Skadar Lake and exploring the Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Montenegro has the reputation of being one of the last unspoiled Mediterranean destinations – an extremely rare phenomenon in Europe,” says Zecha. “Combine this with Sveti Stefan’s exceptional heritage, outstanding environment, architectural merit and promise of privacy and you have a destination which is utterly unique. I have no doubt that we are launching Amanresorts’ new European flagship.”
Just as with Amanresorts’ recent transformations of heritage sites in China (Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, and Amanfayun in Hanzghou) and Laos (Amantaka in Luang Prabang), the detailed restoration of Sveti Stefan has retained the island’s history, carefully preserving the cluster of original stone buildings with red tiled roofs set among the island’s evergreen trees.