For One&Only Resorts’ first European hotel, the luxury brand turned its sights to Montenegro, a pint-sized Balkan country with a gorgeous coastline on the Adriatic and rugged mountain interior. More than six years in the making, One&Only Portonovi is the centerpiece of a new development at a strategic, fjord-like narrowing near the entrance to Boka Bay (also known as the Bay of Kotor), outside of Herceg Novi.
Montenegro is one of the few European countries open to U.S. passport holders. Contact Indagare to help you plan a future trip to Montenegro for when the time is right.
It’s surprisingly easy to get to One&Only Portonovi, in Herceg Novi, Montenegro. The coastal town of 30,000 people is only a 45-minute car ride from Dubrovnik’s international airport in neighboring Croatia. Passing through a long valley surrounded by orchards, woods and historic villages, the scenic drive opens up to the sea shortly after crossing into Montenegro. Just 15 minutes after that first glimpse of water and you arrive at the resort.
This entire section of the Adriatic was under Venetian control from the 15th through 18th centuries. One&Only Portonovi turns to that period for design inspiration—albeit through an entirely 21st-century lens—with terra-cotta-tiled roofs and column-flanked windows. Beyond these details, though, it’s contemporary-cool: the 123 rooms have sleek stone fireplaces, soothing earth tones and geometric prints, plus expansive bathrooms the size of the actual bedrooms. Through floor-to-ceiling windows and from private terraces, guests look over the resort’s gardens and out to its superyacht marina, the waters of Boka Bay and the forested slopes of the surrounding hillsides.
For families, the three-bedroom Villa One is an ideal option, set inside nearly half an acre of private gardens, with a private pool and dedicated staff, including a butler, chef and valet. (A similar two-bedroom villa has the same amenities on a slightly smaller scale.)
Related: Why Go: Montenegro
One&Only Portonovi’s four restaurants span the world’s cuisines. Sabia by Giorgio Locatelli (whose Michelin-starred Locando Locatelli has set the standard for Italian food in London since 2002) showcases pasta and seafood dishes from southern Italy. By the pool, contemporary Japanese and sake-forward cocktails are on the menu at Tapasake, which has a clubby vibe, especially after sunset when a DJ begins spinning records. First-timers to Montenegro, as most guests are—will want to have at least one meal at La Veranda, where the chefs prepare elevated takes on traditional Montenegrin dishes using locally sourced ingredients from the open kitchen and live cooking stations scattered throughout the restaurant. And for a nightcap (or pre-dinner caviar and Champagne), the lobby’s Caminetti Bar is a chic hangout spot with plush lounge seating and several fireplaces.
Days at the resort revolve around the water. At the southwest facing (direct sunshine all day!) private beach, SUP, kayaking, and beach volleyball are all available, while laps and sunbathing are the main routine at any of the property’s six pools. Landlubbers can keep active at the tennis club and massive fitness center, plus biking or hiking in the nearby mountains. But for most guests, it’s the sea that calls. From One&Only Portonovi’s marina, they can set sail on yacht or speedboat excursions around the bay to visit secluded beaches, historic fortresses and charming medieval towns, or to go on diving adventures in undersea caves.
Back on property, the 43,000-square-foot Chenot Espace wellness center—another first for One&Only—also beckons. Here, guests can relax and rejuvenate in the hammam, hydro- and cryotherapy circuits, sauna, steam room and pool, and with a treatment in one of the 27 treatment rooms. For a more holistic experience, bespoke wellness itineraries—ranging from a two-day weekend session to a week-long advanced detox—are also available. They begin with medical diagnostic tests to gain a deeper understanding of what’s happening in the body, followed by fitness and nutritional regimens, and targeted spa treatments and personalized menus.
And if parents are craving some relaxation time sans children, the resort’s KidsOnly and One Tribe clubs keep younger travelers entertained with activities like raft-building, watersport tournaments and treasure hunts throughout the day.
This content was created in collaboration with One&Only Resorts and published by Indagare Travel.
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