SVETI STEFAN

Montenegro

Sveti Stefan is an unusual and unique place not only at Montenegro or Budva's Riviera but in the whole Mediterranean. It stands on the cliff of a rocky island with roofs red like rubies. A sand isthmus looking like a stem connects it with the land. It came into existence in a unique way.

Info Sveti Stefan

introduction

Sveti Stefan, lit. "Saint Stephen"; Cyrillic: Свети Стефан, Italian: Santo Stefano) is a small islet and 5-star hotel resort on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) southeast of Budva.

The resort, known commercially as Aman Sveti Stefan, includes 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.

Tourism

Sveti Stefan is an unusual and unique place not only at Montenegro or Budva's Riviera but in the whole Mediterranean. It stands on the cliff of a rocky island with roofs red like rubies. A sand isthmus looking like a stem connects it with the land. It came into existence in a unique way.

History

Sveti Stefan was first mentioned in 1442 as a fort near seacoast from which Paštrovići, led by vojvoda Radič repulsed the forces of Stjepan Vukčić Kosača during his offensive in Zeta. According to a legend recounted by Stjepan Mitrov Ljubiša the town fortification was funded after Paštrovići looted Turkish ships moored in front of Jaz during Barbarossa's siege of Kotor in 1539. The town was razed shortly after during fourth Ottoman-Venetian war. After continuous pleads by Paštrovići, Venetian Republic finally agreed to rebuild it in XVI century. All of the buildings were acquired by the Yugoslav government and turned into an upscale hotel during the communist period.

In the 15th century, the fortified village was built to defend against the Turks and became a haven for pirates of the Adriatic.

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 authorities, 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, Arkan, 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 break-up of 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. The Aman Sveti Stefan has a 30-year lease.

On 13 July 2010 Montenegrin Statehood Day, Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli gave a concert at the resort, to mark the Golden Jubilee of the hotel. The hotel won the Hotel of the Year award from Gallivanter's Guide in 2010.

In July 2014, tennis champion Novak Djokovic married Jelena Ristić at Sveti Stefan.

Geography

The island has a 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) coast line in the central part of Montenegro Adriatic coast line. It is situated to the south of Budva between Pržno and Sveti Stefan villages. The pink sandy beaches of Sveti Stefan, Miločer Beach and Queen’s Beach are part of the coast line. The island encompasses an area of 12,400 m2 (133,000 sq ft).

Transportation - Get In


By foot

From Budva, follow the path from the Slovenska Plaza to the end of the beach and then pass through a tunnel under the half finished and now abandoned monstrosity of development by the Russian company Mirax. From there, make your way through the car parks of the various hotels to the beach of Becici until it reaches the village of Rafailovici. Here, the path continues through a recently built tunnel, passes the Kamenovo beach area and follows the coast to a place called Zoff’s fish restaurant. Now the path turns to the left and up a set of steps to the main road. Turn right at the Kusta grill restaurant and walk along the main road for about 300 metres. Before the end of the viaduct there are steps leading down to Przno beach. If you pass in front of the Maestral Hotel, walk through the beach restaurants and go left up the hill at the end of the beach there is a gate that is sometimes open. Oherwise, keep to the left of the Maestral Hotel and go through the arch gate just past the bus stop and taxi rank. Keep walking, and after the next hotel, Kraljicina Plaza, you can either continue along the same road or choose the more beautiful beach path. Both options take you all the way to Sveti Stefan.


By bus

Buses costing €2 operate to/from Budva regularly, with the journey taking 30 minues. Please note that only guests of the resort (a very expensive option) or those with lunch/dinner reservations (a less expensive but still costly option) are permitted entry onto the "island."

Hotels

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Hotels

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Restaurants

  • Restoran Bonaca (On the beach of the resort),  +382 69437625, +382 33589692. Fresh food. Coffee bar.

Coffe & Drink

There are a couple of makeshift outdoor bars on the beach. It's a good idea to bring your own water given the absence of concession stands.

Things to do

Although the island is closed to non-guests, the beaches north and south of the island are open to the public. Beach side parking costs €12. It costs €50 to enter the North Beach.

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