Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

Mention Budva and the famed small islet known as Sveti Stefan inevitably pops up. Now exclusively called Aman Sveti Stefan as it has been converted to an upscale hotel resort for the rich. Formerly a village, all of the buildings were acquired by the Yugoslav government and turned into an upscale hotel during the communist period. 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 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. (source: Wikipedia)

It’s annoying that such a historic islet is shut off to the general public unless you stay there as a guest or dined at the fancy restaurant. It would have been great if it remains as a down-to-earth village. If you are desperate to explore the islet, fork out €20 for a guided tour. We saw numerous individuals balked at the price and turned away. Sveti Stefan mainland consists of lots of quiet residential. There wasn’t any touristy feel which was great. The beach was quiet and pebbly with small groups of sunbathers. Maybe it was the start of low season. We make do by taking lots of photo of the islet but seriously, we were bummed out. If you want to have a swim, it’ll be all right to drop by here. Other than that, it’s not worth coming all the way here.

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