Head just east of Croatia, along the Adriatic coast, to find a land of dramatic mountains and hidden beaches, medieval villages and historic vineyards, farm-to-table cuisine and yacht-filled marinas—and, now, the first One&Only resort in Europe. While Montenegro has been on the precipice of becoming the “New Riviera” for a while, the arrival of One&Only Portonovi, which officially opens on May 1, is elevating the level of luxury available in the Balkan country. With its Venetian palace-inspired accommodations, private beach, cutting-edge wellness center and Michelin-starred chef, the resort is ready to welcome US travelers craving s bit of sun-fueled glamour this summer. (Montenegro is currently open to international travelers who present proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.)
Located at the entrance to Boka Bay on the Adriatic Sea, about an hour’s drive from the international airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the resort is part of the larger Portonovi luxury lifestyle development, which also features a helipad and a 238-berth D-Marin superyacht marina. While other parts of Portonovi have yet to be completed, guests can now check in to the One&Only’s 113 rooms, suites and villas, which—as seen in these first-look images—are set in buildings modeled after the historic Venetian-style palaces of the region, complete with colonnades, red terra-cotta roofs, gardens, and indoor and outdoor pools. Most accommodations feature sleek fireplaces, expansive bathrooms, furnished terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing mountain, marina or bay views.
The one-bedroom Suite One comes with an outdoor dining area with seating for 12, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a separate butler’s entrance and a private wine vault that can be stocked with up to 268 bottles. In keeping with the current desire for residential-style options, the resort also offers two secluded villas: The three-bedroom Villa One and the two-bedroom Villa Two both have private gardens, swimming and hydrotherapy pools, outdoor showers and a dedicated team of butlers, chefs and valets. If you are looking to make your stay more permanent, the resort also has 10 three- and four-bedroom One&Only private homes available for sale, each with a pool, internal courtyard and access to a sandy beach and boat jetty.
The star of the resort’s culinary scene is the main restaurant, Sabia by Giorgio Locatelli, where the noted chef—whose eateries include London’s Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli—serves Southern Italian-influenced dishes with a focus on fresh seafood. Elsewhere, the poolside Tapasake Club offers pan-Asian, tapas-style eats, a sake bar and regular DJ sets, the Montenegro-focused La Veranda features an open kitchen and live cooking stations, and the lobby Caminetti Bar serves cocktails, afternoon tea and a pre-dinner caviar menu backed by sea views.
Those indulgences are balanced by wellness programming created through an exclusive global partnership with the Switzerland-based experts from Chenot, who blend modern science with the best of traditional Chinese medicine and other holistic practices. At the Chenot Espace facility, guests can undergo personalized, multi-day retreats focused on such goals as detoxing, fitness, stress-relief and rejuvenation. Each begins with a doctor-led consult and diagnostic tests, and includes a mix of nutritional sessions, healthy menus, spa treatments, workouts and mindfulness activities. The spa also boasts hydrotherapy and cryotherapy areas, indoor pools, a hammam, a hair salon and a men’s grooming salon.
A tennis club (with floodlight-lit courts), a state-of-the-art fitness center, kids’ and teens’ clubs and a roster of scheduled activities (like yoga and guided hikes) provide more on-site fun, but given Montenegro’s relatively compact size, the resort is also ideally located for getting out and exploring the region. Water-lovers can cruise the Adriatic via yacht or speedboat, head out on diving and sailing excursions and discover secluded islands and hidden beaches, while on land, you’ll find UNESCO World Heritage sites, historic wineries, well-preserved medieval villages (like Perast and Kotor) and pristine national parks all just an easy car ride away. Rates start at $595.