South of Budva, the private island hotel of Sveti Stefan was once the Adriatic playground of the rich and famous during the 70s, but fell into decline during the 1990s. After painstaking renovations under Aman Resorts, the island has been restored to its former glory, making it once again one of Europe’s most glamorous destinations.
Joined to the mainland by a stone walkway, the island resort of Sveti Stefan is the most iconic symbol of Montenegro. It looks like something out of a fairytale story, with those terracota rooftops contrasting against the blue of the Adriatic. A town on an island that’s been turned into a hotel- it’s pretty unique.
When the island came into view as we drove along the coastal road, I was captivated by it. But a room on a private island like this comes with a price tag- a 700€ per night price tag!
The island, which dates back to the 15th century, used to be a fishing village, until it was decided to turn it into a hotel- kind of a sad story really for the fishermen who lived there. In the 1970s this was one of the world’s most exclusive resorts- a popular hotspot for A-list celebrities such as Sylvester Stalone, Princess Margaret, Claudia Schiffer and Sofia Loren, but fell into decline during the break up of Yugoslavia.
Aman Resorts won the contract to revitalize the island, maintaining the old charm of the exterior while updating the interiors. The resort incorporates a range of accommodation on the island, as well as another property, Villa Milocer, on the mainland.
I had the opportunity to take a sneak peak around Sveti Stefan and snap some photos.