Last August, my family spent 10 days across Dubrovnik and Montenegro. The opening of two luxury hotels in Kotor Bay (or Boka Bay, it has two names) – IHG’s Regent Montenegro and One&Only Portonovi – means that you can now spend 7-10 days in the area. Dubrovnik is good for three days but you need something more, and these two hotels – just down the road – offer it.
We ended up at One&Only Portonovi. This was built at ludicrous cost – it must be the most expensive resort ever built in Europe – for rich Russians, frankly. Whilst the Russians aren’t coming these days, you can’t avoid the ludicrous room decor which screams ‘plutocrat’. This is room decor you expect in New York, not a beach resort. That apart, it is a stunning hotel covering 60 acres. It looks and feels like a Dubai luxury resort and I mean that as a compliment.
I strongly recommend Kotor Bay, which is stunningly attractive and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Another option if you don’t want to see Dubrovnik again is to fly to Tivat, which is literally just a few minutes drive to IHG’s Regent Montenegro. You can hire boats from there, or join group trips, to take you around the bay to Kotor which is basically a mini Dubrovnik. One&Only is across the bay from Tivat and would require a boat transfer or a disproportionately long drive.
Both the One&Only and the Regent are very expensive, however. There is now a new option – the Hyatt Regency Kotor Bay Resort.
Set against the backdrop of majestic cliffs and the Adriatic Sea, the contemporary property is ideally located on the outskirts of Kotor, one of the country’s most charming cities celebrated for its preserved old town. Seamlessly blending urban convenience with breathtaking vistas along the Montenegrin coastline, guests will be surrounded by a picturesque fjord-like landscape of unparalleled beauty.
This is a refurbishment and extension of an existing resort, not a new build. It was previously the Blue Kotor Bay Premium Spa Resort. The press release says that the ‘first phase’ is now open, and it’s not clear what is and is not ready.
When fully open, the resort will have 205 rooms, two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, and private waterfront access. It includes “a state-of-the-art fitness center, a dedicated space for yoga and pilates, and expansive spa facilities.” There will eventually be six bars and restaurants, including one on the roof.
If you’re looking for somewhere new, I do recommend a long weekend – if not more – around Kotor Bay. In peak season, flying to Tivat lets you avoid long queues which build up on the road at passport control between Montenegro (non EU) and Croatia.
You can find out more about the hotel on the Hyatt website here.
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