Review: Aman Sveti Stefan Montenegro

Filed Under: Hotels

Want to receive extra benefits for your stay at Aman Sveti Stefan, including a space available room upgrade, a hotel credit, and more? Contact [email protected] for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

Aman is my favorite hotel group in the world. They have just a few dozen properties around the globe, and all the ones I’ve been to have been spectacular. While everyone knows about Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, etc., Aman is a brand that a vast majority of people haven’t heard of.

Most of my favorite hospitality experiences have been at Amans, as service at Aman properties is next-level. These are all small resorts with a few dozen rooms at most, typically in secluded locations. They typically have stunning settings, and a level of service that I haven’t experienced anywhere else. While the attention to detail in the service goes way beyond this, just to give an example, you’ll never be asked for your room number, or be asked to sign anything, at an Aman. They just know. Always.

So far all the Aman properties I’ve stayed at have been in Asia (like Amandari and Amankila), though the next one I really wanted to stay at was Aman Sveti Stefan, located in Montenegro. That’s partly because the setting looked stunning, and also because I’ve never been to Montenegro before, and was keen to visit a new country. Prior to this surprise trip, Ford and I had talked about eventually visiting this hotel, so it was on both of our radars.

While there are several types of specialty suites, the “basic” rooms at the hotel are the Village Rooms, Cottage Rooms, and Deluxe Cottage Rooms. For our nights they were priced at 770EUR, 880EUR, and 990EUR, respectively. I decided to book a Cottage Room, with hopes of being upgraded to a Deluxe Cottage Room. Since we booked through Virtuoso (if you’d like to book through Virtuoso you can email Ford at [email protected]), we received the following benefits:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests
  • Complimentary luncheon for two once during stay (exclusive of beverages)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Breakfast and Wi-Fi are included for everyone, so the real benefits were the potential for an upgrade as well as the free lunch.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the actual stay. Did an Aman in Eastern Europe live up to the high standards set by the Asian properties I’ve stayed at?

We flew into Tivat Airport, located about 40 minutes from the hotel (you can also fly into Podgorica, where we flew out of on departure, which is about an hour drive). We were picked up at the airport, and it was a beautiful drive along the coast to the Aman.

I had seen pictures of the Aman, but I don’t think pictures do it justice. I was speechless when I saw it — it almost doesn’t look real.

Aman Sveti Stefan island

The Aman is located “on” Sveti Stefan, which is the name of the island that’s exclusively inhabited by the hotel. I won’t go into the history of Sveti Stefan too much, but it’s a 15th century fishing village. For several decades it was a resort, and then in 2007 the government decided to make it more exclusive and accepted international bids. Aman won the bid, and they have a 30 year lease on the island.

There’s security before you can take the bridge to the island, as only guests can cross (I think there’s also a once daily guided tour that’s available to non-guests, which is the only other way to get on the island).

Bridge to Aman Sveti Stefan

Walking towards Aman Sveti Stefan

I couldn’t believe how beautiful the setting was.

Walking towards Aman Sveti Stefan

The Aman has roughly 50 rooms. About 80% of those are on the actual island, with the balance being in a villa just on the mainland, called Villa Miločer.

I’ve been to a lot of stunning hotels, but being on a private island that feels like it’s from a couple of centuries ago has to be the most special setting I’ve ever seen for a hotel. The island is full of stairs, and it’s quite easy to get lost, but that’s part of the charm, I suppose. The strategy is to always try and walk in the right general direction, and then eventually you’ll see something you recognize and know where to go.

Walking around Aman Sveti Stefan

Walking around Aman Sveti Stefan

As soon as we arrived on the island we were greeted by our lovely host, who escorted us to our room, #25. Our room was located roughly in the middle of the island, so it wasn’t too tough to get to.

Aman Sveti Stefan island map

As we were walked to our room our host explained the history of the island, and also told us that we could get an island orientation whenever we were ready. I think she sensed we were exhausted after the overnight journey, so she left us with the keys, and we said we’d contact them when we were ready.

The main entrance to our Deluxe Cottage was the center door, though the left one also led to our room.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage exterior

Inside the entryway was a small foyer with a lamp and some umbrellas.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage entryway

Then there was a long hallway leading into the rest of the room.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage hallway

At the far end of the room was the living and sleeping area, which was a single big room. There was a king size bed up against the wall, and then two couches at the foot of it, along with a coffee table and a console with a flat screen TV.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage bedroom

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage bedroom

In the opposite corner of the room was a desk as well as a lounging seat.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage bedroom

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage desk

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage sitting area

Near the TV was a Nespresso machine and the minibar.

Aman Sveti Stefan in-room espresso machine

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage minibar

There was also a welcome amenity consisting of a bottle of sparkling wine, as well as some cookies and nuts, which were refilled daily.

Aman Sveti Stefan welcome amenity

The room had a view of the mainland, including of the bridge leading to the island and the beach.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage view

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage view

Back towards the entrance was the toilet and shower.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage toilet & shower

The shower was to the right, and was a fairly simple room.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage shower

As usual for Amans, the toiletries weren’t in branded bottles, but were high quality.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage toiletries

Across from that was the toilet.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage toilet

Then on the opposite side of the hall was a soaking tub, double sinks, and closets.

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage bathroom

Aman Sveti Stefan Deluxe Cottage soaking tub

Overall I thought the room was lovely and spacious, and nicely reflected the setting. Amans are all about minimalist decor, and that was the case here as well. There was Wi-Fi available throughout the island, and it was fast and free.

So, what is there to do on the island? For one, you have incredible views everywhere you look.

Aman Sveti Stefan second pool

Walking around Aman Sveti Stefan

The color of the water was beautiful, and you could see down to the bottom of the sea near the resort.

Walking around Aman Sveti Stefan

Just walking around the island and looking at all the buildings is a cool experience — there are four churches on the island (they’re not in use, though you can sometimes go in them, apparently).

Aman Sveti Stefan church

Walking around Aman Sveti Stefan

Walking around Aman Sveti Stefan

The resort has three pools, two of which are on the island, and one of which is at the spa complex, located on the mainland. There’s one fairly secluded pool, which is the quieter of the two on the island.

Aman Sveti Stefan pool

Then there’s a pool over by the dinner restaurant.

Aman Sveti Stefan pool

How gorgeous is that?!?

Aman Sveti Stefan pool

Aman Sveti Stefan pool

Aman Sveti Stefan pool

Talk about a restaurant with a view, if I’ve ever seen one…

Aman Sveti Stefan dining area

The hotel also has a private beach, located across the bridge back towards the mainland. As you walk from the island to the mainland, the private beach is on the left.

Aman Sveti Stefan beach

Technically it’s not private and non-guests can rent a chair for 100EUR, but I suspect that’s due to some regulation requiring them to make it public. Since we were there in May, the water was apparently still a bit cold to go to the beach, so I never saw anyone there (the outside temperature was perfect, just not the water temperature, apparently, but I’m also not a beach person).

Aman Sveti Stefan beach

The hotel also has an incredible spa complex, which we visited on our second day, when it was rainy. You could easily walk here from the resort in about 20 minutes, but the hotel also has a car service, which we took advantage of since it was raining.

Aman Sveti Stefan transfer to the spa

The spa complex is so impressive, especially when you consider how few rooms the hotel has.

Aman Sveti Stefan spa

There’s a beautiful reception area.

Aman Sveti Stefan spa

Aman Sveti Stefan spa

Outside there’s a private beach, as well as a bunch of other areas where you can relax (though we didn’t have a chance to use them since it was raining).

Aman Sveti Stefan spa

There’s a stunning indoor pool.

Aman Sveti Stefan spa pool

Aman Sveti Stefan spa pool

There’s also an outside portion to the pool, though it was closed off due to the rain.

Aman Sveti Stefan spa pool

Then there’s a sauna, steam room, etc.

Aman Sveti Stefan sauna

And a gym, as you’d expect.

Aman Sveti Stefan gym

Aman Sveti Stefan gym

Aman Sveti Stefan gym

We decided to get massages one afternoon, and while they weren’t cheap, they were exceptional. It was one of the best massages I’ve had anywhere.

Aman Sveti Stefan spa room

Aman Sveti Stefan spa room

There’s a lot to do at the resort — there’s a lot of eating to be done, there are three great pools, there’s a fantastic spa, and there are mesmerizing views. If you’re interested in doing more than just relaxing, though, there’s a lot to do in the area as well. I was blown away by the beauty of Montenegro. For one, there’s the nearby town of Budva, which has a beautiful old town. There are lots of other towns nearby, though Budva is the one we enjoyed most.

The town of Budva

It’s either a 15 minute drive, or a boat transfer can be arranged directly from Sveti Stefan’s dock.

Walking to Aman Sveti Stefan dock

View from the Aman Sveti Stefan dock

Aman Sveti Stefan boat transfer

Aman Sveti Stefan from the water

There’s such varied landscape in the area, so whether you’re into the sea or mountains, there are lots of other activities. One day we went on an olive oil tasting about an hour from the hotel, which was fun. It was a family owned place, so didn’t at all feel commercialized.

Olive oil tasting in Montenegro

Olive oil tasting in Montenegro

There’s also some great hiking near the hotel. You can hike up to the church located all the way on top of the hill across from Sveti Stefan.

The top of the hill near Aman Sveti Stefan

The views from up there are breathtaking, including of the resort.

View from the top of the hill near Aman Sveti Stefan

Aman Sveti Stefan from the top of the hill

There’s a lot more to do in the area, but we had two days of bad weather (I loved going in May, though apparently it rains more in May than it would in July or August), and also wanted to largely relax, so those are the main things we did outside the resort.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I was curious to see how service at the resort was. All the other Amans I’ve stayed at have been in Asia, so I had a hard time imagining they’d be able to pull off the same level of service in Eastern Europe. I’ve also heard some mixed reviews of service at this hotel.

Given the mixed reviews I’ve heard, service was much better than I was expecting. No, it wasn’t quite to the level I’ve experienced at Aman’s Asian properties, but by Eastern European standards, service was phenomenal. They got the Aman basics right — we were never asked for our room numbers or signed anything, etc.

What pleasantly surprised me is that there were several stand-out employees who really made our stay special.

Our three favorites no doubt were our tour guide Ivana, and Ljalgana and Dragan in the restaurant. They were so incredible, and really went above and beyond to make sure we had an amazing time in Montenegro.

Other than that service was a bit mixed, in the sense that I’d say service was above average across the board, but not exceptional in some cases. My service complaints are minor things, in the grand scheme of things. For example, we showed up at breakfast at 7:15AM (it starts at 7), and there was no one in sight. We stood there for five minutes before anyone appeared.

In the next installment I’ll cover dining at the resort, given that we had most of our meals here.

Aman Sveti Stefan bottom line

I’ve yet to even be remotely disappointed by an Aman property, and this one was no exception. In terms of the setting, this was the most incredible Aman I’ve stayed at, and possibly the most stunning hotel I’ve stayed at period. It’s not often you get to stay on a former 15th century fishing village island. Ultimately the service wasn’t quite to the level I’ve experienced at other Amans, though was still very good by Eastern European standards.

Montenegro on the whole was just so beautiful, and I can’t wait to return. Stay tuned for the next installment, where I’ll be talking about dining at the hotel.

If you have the chance to visit this resort — or any other Aman, or Montenegro in general, for that matter — I’d highly recommend it.

  1. O M G – its another assisted living fascility – this time in Montenegro that only a 93 year old Norwegian woman would be remotely interested in.

  2. There’s also some great hiking near the hotel. You can hike up to the church located all the way on top of the hill across from Sveti Stefan.

    I just Can’t. Hiking by a church? I mean what to say about Kansas city? You can hike three blocks to buy bubble gum – that comes wrapped in paper! ????

    I can’t.

  3. Thanks for the review. It’s been on the list of places to go to for a while(we are actually right there about two months before they opened). I’ve never been crazy about the decor; it just seems a tad rustic for my tastes. However I still am dying to go


  4. Interesting review. It was good to see. Fantastic setting and gorgeous public spaces.
    But for me the rooms look to rustic and basic (especially the toliet and shower).
    And at close to 1000USD a night in a country where the average salary is about 550USD a month it seems terribly poor value. In Venice or Paris fair enough, but rural Montenegro?

  5. …I love this. Everything is so beautiful. To me, the rain adds its own element of loveliness. I know the two of you enjoyed every single second. I cannot wait for the next post.

  6. I agree it is picturesque location but that room is just really plain, even the tv looks cheap. Nothing says top notch luxury hotel mini bar better than ARIZONA ICE TEA, lol

  7. Looks like you got the room upgrade, but the room itself doesn’t seem very impressive, at least in your photos. To me, it seems like a nice place to see, maybe on that daily tour, but I’m not seeing the value. Certainly doesn’t seem to hold up vs the Fogo Island Inn.

  8. Ben, I must say that your hotel reviews are truly outstanding, definitely some of the best out there.

    I had my first Aman experiences earlier this year at Amansara and Amanpuri. Loved Amansara! I was fascinated by the Cambodian interpretation of mid century modern; Amansara was like a bit of Palm Springs plopped down in the midst of Southeast Asia. Service was outstanding, food was ok. I really disliked Siem Reap.

    Amanpuri? Beautiful setting. Wonderful food. I was consistently asked for our room number, though that didn’t really bother me. Service in no way approached the seamless elegance found at Amansara. I was really surprised that our pavilion at Puri was a bit banged-up. I did enjoy our time at Puri (despite the fact that the place was severely infested with children); but, it felt more like a Four Seasons. I most definitely felt the mystical Aman vibe at Amansara while such vibe was completely lacking at Amanpuri.

    And while I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review of Aman Sveti Stefan, I can’t say that I am eager to give it a try. So you and Ford were never bored during your stay?

  9. I also visited the property last month (roughly the same as Lucky). I’ve read many reviews and seen many pictures of this property, and I just wasn’t impressed enough to shell out $1000 a night at this hotel. The location is very unique like other Aman properties, but the room really are just to simplistic.

    Instead, we made dinner reservation at the restaurant and just went around sunset. The view is absolutely breathtaking, and like many Aman properties, there were hardly anyone there. Dinner itself was meh, costs around $100 a person with a glass of wine, but the views are stunning.

    They also gave me a tour around the island which I thought was just enough to get a feel for the island.

  10. @brian – My mother always gave this advice. The difference between “fancy” and “luxury” is that “fancy” looks nice at first glance, but it’s just a facade (think gold plated faucets), while “luxury” usually looks boring, but delivers where it counts (think 1000 thread count sheets).

    (And imported Arizona Tea in Montenegro is, in fact, a luxury item, given the trouble that was taken to obtain it there.)

  11. I agree Ben gives Stellar reviews- he really does and he tries to find the best in things. Borred? I’d venture to say after one night of that the donkeys were starting to look good!

  12. I think the property looks stunning and the spa looks like it blows everything else out the water, although the room does look quite plain. Wondering if it came across as spartan and bad or minimalist and luxury?

  13. For $1000 A night in a 3rd world country you would expect the experience to be faultless. It does not sound as if yours was.

  14. Surroundings look beautiful as does the spa but I would not pay $1000 a night for that room. The shower looks like it is from a Best Western…..

  15. A wooden toilet seat and lid? Who sits on a toilet seat made of WOOD??? Kentucky is calling from 1974 and they want their bathroom décor back!!

  16. Looks worse than many of the Airbnbs I have stayed in for a quarter of the price. Never for me.

  17. @Imperator

    When the Amanpuri first opened in 1988 it was a *lot* smaller than it is today. I believe they more than doubled in size during the aughts(?), and they now have over 70 rooms/pavilions/cottages or whatever they call them. Which would make it almost impossible to have the kind of discreet service (e.g., staff knowing room numbers, etc.) one is used to at other properties.

    I’ve been following this property since it opened in 1988, as it coincided with my first trip to Phuket and I really wanted to stay there, but I was young and poor so couldn’t afford it. Now that I’m old and not as poor, I just don’t think it’s worth the money considering how many reviews I’ve read that echo what you mentioned in this thread. The other Amans I’ve visited (all in Asia) have all been phenomenal, and I look forward to more visits to other properties.

  18. I love your reviews but in this case – the photos don’t seem to match the enthusiasm. It just doesn’t sing for price point. Based on photos alone, it looks worth ~€200/night max. I look at the photos and wonder where the other €680/night goes.

  19. So unclear on what happened. Did you get the upgrade?
    Also for those of us that consider going there you dont mention the prices anymore. What did you pay for the massage?

  20. I’ll chime in with everyone else and say that the room looks decidedly underwhelming for $1,000/nt. The hotel overall looks impressive. However, I wouldn’t aspire to stay in one of those rooms.

  21. cant believe anyone paid Fillmore than $300 for that room in Montenegro. With $900/night, can they not afford to add a rain shower or even buy a bigger flat screen tv? Seems like a horrible value.

  22. Nice writing, great pictures but too bad about the service. Having stayed at 7 Aman resorts (my fav Amansara – fantastic food/great private tours), I’d be interested in more room category info. Aman rooms usually have some outdoor space but doesn’t look like it here.

  23. Quite an underwhelming room, especially at that price point! Common facilities are nice, at least.

    Did you get a Junkie tee or luggage tags, Ben?

  24. Looks really underwhelming for price, I get they are going for minimalist decor but your room looks like it could be any large room at a 3 star resort.

  25. @ Ivan Y — Yes, that was a Deluxe Cottage room, I believe, so we did get an upgrade. I’m not exactly sure anymore how much the massage was, though it was steep — I think about 150EUR or so for an hour.

  26. @ Soltatio — Somewhere in the middle. The rooms certainly don’t have the same “wow” factor as some other Amans I’ve stayed at, though I found it to be luxurious overall. The room definitely wasn’t the highlight of the experience, though.

  27. @ Imperator — Thanks for the heads up on Amanpuri. Have heard it’s one of the less good Aman properties, so not surprised to hear that, though am still disappointed. Nope, we weren’t bored one bit, surprisingly. At the end of the four days we said we wish we had another day or two, which we rarely say. But also keep in mind that I still work (mostly) as usual when traveling, so I don’t get bored quite as quickly as others, since I’m not “vacationing” nonstop.

  28. Much like when you went to Sardinia – you were done mate. Agree with others here, the room has the overall look of a very nice Airbnb. Indeed the whole place does look very nice, but not for that money.

  29. The property and setting is beautiful. Like the others, I agree that the minimalist room decor looks a bit tired and uninspiring and the price seems a bit high for such a remote setting.
    I’ve been inside the Aman Venice (Grand Canal Suite) visiting friends on their anniversary trip and it’s stunning (and expensive at €5000 per night plus 10% tax and fees) but not anything I could ever consider at that price but if I could get a deal, I’d definitely do it.

  30. Looks stunning. I do think Aman is becoming much more well known, but that at many properties service standards are starting to slip as it becomes more corporate/chain-like under the new management. In Phuket the best place to stay is Iniala.

  31. @mallthus. Ding ding ding. Your mom is right. Luxury hotel doesn’t mean bells and whistles, it’s everything else that’s less tangible that makes a hotel truly luxurious. I’ve stayed at this Aman before and yes, picture does it no justice even though I think Lucky took very good pictures of this resort. The interiors may look very underwhelming in pictures, but in fact, it is probably one of the best interior I’ve seen in any luxury hotel I’ve stayed at. It is very easy to deck out this place with expensive furniture a la Cheval Blanc Randheli (which I absolutely love), it is much harder to design a place without all the wooos and ahhhs and make it look right. The rooms here give you a sense of place that Aman excels at all their properties and this place is no different.

    The intangible what Lucky didn’t described is things Aman offers many excursions which most luxury hotels such as Four Seasons or Mandarin do not offer. Some of the excursions can be booked if you do your research and pull it together on your own if you are not staying at an Aman property while other excursions are only available to Aman guests because Aman is the only one who have access to the experience. An example would be if you stay at Aman Venice, you can skip the long line and crowds at the Dodge Palace and get a private tour after hour. Last time I check, no other resorts in Venice offer that kind of access. That’s one of the difference when staying at an Aman resort vs. Four Seasons and Mandarin. At Aman Sveti Stefan, I went on an excursion and one of the guide offered us some priganice that his grandma made earlier that day. We commented off hand that this is delicious. And everyday after that, we were served priganice (not on their menu) every morning for breakfast in bed among other things. That’s call service! Attention to what your guests like and make it happen without asking. This kind of attention to detail I have never experienced outside of an Aman property.

    Pretty much any guests at Aman can afford those 100″ televisions and expensive Italian sofas. Those kind of things do not make them go woos and ahhhs. It’s the attention to service and access to experiences that they cannot otherwise have makes Aman stays unique and worth the money. And no, I’m not affiliated with any Aman property but obviously am a fan.

  32. @kevinh

    oh boy, give me a break. You’re sounding pretentious. Pretty much any guests at Aman can afford those 100″ TV, so why not put in a TV that is bigger than 32″? You have to squint to clearly see that TV from the bed. While other Amans might be worth it, this one is clearly not. Just because someone’s grandma made some sweets doesn’t mean service is good or thoughtful. I cringed when Amansara arranged a local monk to give ford blessings for his birthday eventhough Ford is not buddhist! What a waste of the monk’s time to have to go “bless” a rich white man who has little understanding of buddhism.

    Also, is a property really luxurious when you arrive to breakfast at 7:15 and was ignored for a couple of minutes?? Sometimes people are bending over backwards to justify that something overpriced is a good value.

  33. Fantastic report Ben. It looks absolutely stunning. If I could afford it I’d be there also.

    To the naysayers on here and as we say in Australia “tall poppy syndrome” get a life.

  34. I agree, the rooms should have been more luxurious. I get that they want it to be understated, but you can do luxury without having to be bling about it.

    They could have done beautiful stone showers, put in some analine leather or beautifully upholstered furniture, put some local artwork on the walls, I can think of so many things.

    I understand they’re going for a cottage feel, but having been to some multi-million dollar cottages, there is a lot that can be done to justify $1k a night without making it look garish.

    The hotel looks incredible otherwise. I was actually considering booking it for a July a few months ago, but ended up booking the Four Seasons in Seychelles instead.

  35. Stayed at one of these with a deep discount. It was great for that price but not really worth it if paying full price.

  36. Visually stunning place, but the review doesn’t really convey why it was worth the price. Also, I was left curious about the quality of the food. How was the included breakfast? How was the included lunch? What are prices like at the restaurant? Though, I suppose at $1K+ a night, “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

    Also, how isolated is this place? Is there a town nearby or are you basically trapped at the resort?

  37. @kevinh
    So true in my experience at Aman, for example the excursion to Angkor Wat temple was something very few have access to. Not unusual for Aman properties.

  38. Frankly, I just don’t get it … on this and many other reviews on this blog (not the primary reason I read it and usually ignore them).

    I’ve been to the area and to “nearby” Dubrovnik. Geographically beautiful. One can enjoy it at more mainstream properties. One can stay in good hotels or private apartments for quite some time in that part of Eastern Europe for $1000. $1000/night???

    The whole luxury hotel/aspirational property thing … frankly, I just don’t get it. Why is this important or necessary to enjoy visiting a location?

    Is the need or desire for something like this based upon one’s insecurity and/or need to feel important? I don’t mean this to be obnoxious … I just deep down don’t get it. Maybe I’m too practical.

    Toiletries? High quality. I’m sure that was based on scientific testing… It’s soap! My guess is that one could put store brand toiletries in expensive-labelled bottles and most people would not be able to tell the difference. Yes, here I’m being obnoxious … but really…

  39. It looks amazing. 3 years back I visited Budva and the northern part of Montenegro and I enjoyed it a lot, I’m from Romania by the way, which is very close by.

  40. Been there before it was Aman… and I can confirm the furniture did NOT change. It was teak furniture then, it is now. (While teak wood is very expensive, it is hardly considered uderstated luxury anymore) One thing that I noticed missing – original paintings from famous artist (hyper realism, very expensive) that graced my room are not to be seen anymore? And room I had for 100us a night had separate living room… not sure what “upgrade” Aman did when they trimmed down the number of rooms, claiming you are getting essentially whole house for yourself. While the service was not polished-topofthenotch kind by any stretch of imagination, still never waited to be served. While this is squarely eastern Europe, the property was good enough for foreign royalties and dignitaries long before Aman existed. I’m just not seeing the “upgrade” worth 1000 per night. And original top deck pool had beautiful waterfall, better then current sterile, can-be-anywhere black box. I think they pored all money into spa (It was blah before), that they left the island as is.

    And for those interested: Milocer villa (the one on the shore) is left over royal summer house, and should be much better style and service than island itself (was closed when I was visiting). The park behind it has plenty of self serve white figs, but you have to go in September. Being that is surrounded by manicured gardens and amazing juniper trees, you truly feel like king (and it is notoriously empty, so you are often ONLY guest).

  41. Pity you did not push on to Cetinje, 1/2 hour inland, the old Montenegrin capital, straight out of a Hergé “Tintin” book (those among you European born know what I talk about). In particular “Le Sceptre d’Ottokar”. Perfect illustration of the pre-WW1 Balkans.

  42. I’ve stayed at quite a number of Aman properties (with Amantaka in Laos and Aman Tokyo probably topping the list of my favourites, followed closely by Amanpulo in the Philippines — curiously, I didn’t care as much for Amansara, as others have mentioned), and I can answer the question about price/value pretty easily. Delivering the Aman experience (or any five-star experience) in a remote backwater is considerably harder and more costly than doing so in a place with well-established, mature high-end infrastructure. So yes, it’s more challenging to deliver a curated, luxury experience in the wilds of Bhutan on on a small island in Montenegro than it is in the beating heart of Tokyo or even in travel-mature Bali.

    My special Aman story is that on two successive queries while staying at Amanpulo, I said that I preferred sparkling over still water. I’ve never had to answer this question at an Aman property since. They know. THAT tells you how seriously they take service. This is easy to do: all resorts have computers. They just have to WANT to provide this level of service. If you travel solo and always prefer to get into bed on the left side, once Aman is aware of that, your turndown will always be on your chosen side. That’s what conveys true luxury… not a bunch of bling.

  43. Hey Ben love the pics! I have never stayed at Aman before . It looks like an amazing place but I too wouldn’t shell out $1000 a night there either! Maybe $300 tops ? For That price they should of treat you like a king ! Expensive for a massage to! I love travelling to and massages are a staple for me ! I have had good ones and ones that were very bad ! You never know what to expect while travelling! Thanks for sharing!

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