Sveti Stefan

After having a great meal, we moved on to Podgorica, Montenegro, where we spent the night.

Hotel New Star ****

http://www.hotel-newstar.com/index.php/en/

The next day we really wanted to see Sveti Steafn, I´ve heard that it is the new Monaco! I very much hoped to stay in Aman Sveti Stefan *****, but unfortunately it was too expensive. But I´m not that bummed, because in the pictures, it wasn´t something that moved my nerves that much. May-be I´m just jealous of the people who stay there. May-be…

So, instead of staying in the hotel, we had lunch in nearby restaurant with a view to the Aman Sveti Stefan. So I could just watch the hotel, I could never afford.

Just for information, the entrance to the island, where the hotel is, is 20 euros per person. Sveti Stefan, now Aman Sveti Stefan including the Villa Miločer is a small islet and hotel resort in Montenegro.

The resort includes the islet of Sveti Stefan and part of the mainland, where the Villa Miločer, part of the resort is located. An Adriatic playground for the rich and famous from the 1960s to the 1980s, the hotel is now a 5-star franchise hotel of the international group of Aman Resorts, completed in 2009 and operating under a 30 year lease. Formerly an island, Sveti Stefan is now connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The resort in total contains 50 rooms, cottages and suites on the island and 8 grand suites at the Villa Miločer.

About the history too, sounds so exiting! 🙂

Formerly a village, all of the buildings were acquired by the Yugoslav government and turned into an upscale hotel during the Tito regime. In the 15th century, the fortified village was built to defend against the Turks. This part of the Serbian homeland, as free land, helped a Serbian King when he moved his court to Sveti Stefan. Initially, the island with its fortress had 12 families.

In the 1800s, a village came to be established on the island with a population of about 400 people. Villa Miločer built between 1934 and 1936 was the summer residence of Queen Marija Karadordevic (1900–1961) of the Karađorđević family of Serbia, which was refurbished as part of the Aman Sveti Stefan resorts that opened in 2008–2009. The villa, surrounded by 800 olive trees is laid out over a 32 hectares (79 acres) plot.

Subsequent to the villagers being moved to the mainland by the Tito regime, the island village became an exclusive resort frequented by high profile elites of the world.

One of the four churches belong to Praskvica Monastery on Sveti Stefan was turned into a casino by the communists.

Formerly under the ownership of the Radenović family for some forty years, between the 1960s and 1980s, the place was visited by many celebrities, including Orson Welles, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Princess Margaret, Carlo Ponti, Ingemar Stenmark and Kirk Douglas.

The resort was described as “a ’70s Adriatic playground on a hilly peninsula that’s barely connected to the mainland”. It was also a venue for political conferences, and an occasional chess venue, attracting top-class players such as Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer.

However, in the 1990s, the separation of Montenegro from Yugoslavia saw the decline of this resort.

The Government of Montenegro proposed to recreate the old charm of the island. Action was initiated by inviting international bids for the revitalization project. The contract was awarded to Aman Resorts in 2007. The refurbished resort, completed in 2009, retains the old world charm of its exterior view, with interior facilities to contemporary modern standards.

So just for the history, I really want to stay there someday!

Montenegro itself is amazingly beautiful, the nature is just unbelievable. This is a new country that we discovered to ourselves.

Unfortunately we didn´t have much time to spend in Montenegro, so we decided to visit Budva and Kotor the next time. Actually we were thinking of vising Regent next summer. I heard that they opened it in August 2014. Has anyone been there?

Also really great hotel seemed to be Hotel Forza Mare *****. Unfortunately it was fully booked for the time we were in the vicinity. 😦

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