”Effortlessly graceful and romantic, the fortified islet of Sveti Stefan rises from the deep blue Adriatic. A stone causeway, a swathe of pink pebbles, a winding path through pinewoods, and you arrive at the 1930s Villa Miločer, which is now attached to a boutique retreat with a spa to form Aman Sveti Stefan.”
Two completely separate and very different properties are within the Aman Sveti Stefan complex. There is the fortified island, with 50 rooms, suites and cottages in carefully renovated old-stone buildings (open summers only); and Villa Miločer, a 1930s villa set in gardens with eight suites (open all-year). They’re connected by boat in summer (walking time is 10 minutes).
Sveti Stefan lies six miles south of medieval-walled Budva, on the so-called Budva Rivijera, noted for its fine beaches. Nearby attractions include the Bay of Kotor and Kotor’s Unesco-listed Old Town. The nearest airports are Tivat (19 miles) and Podgorica (35 miles).
Style and Character
Aman resorts are renowned for understated luxury, minimalist design and inspiring locations. Here, on the island, 15th-century stone buildings have been exquisitely renovated to create luxury accommodation, while stone walkways are shaded by pines, cypresses and oleander — it still feels like an (exclusive) village, rather than a hotel. Back in the 1970s, the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton graced its cobbled alleys.
In contrast, Villa Miločer, is set in immaculate grounds overlooking a sheltered bay. It was built as the summer residence of the Serbian royal family in the 1930s. Sveti Stefan makes a dreamlike setting for weddings – tennis player Novak Djoković got married here in 2014.
Service and Facilities
Superb service is professional, personalised and discreet. Tailor-made private excursions, including sailing trips and wine tasting tours, are arranged on request. There are three pink pebble beaches on the mainland, and two (small-ish) outdoor pools on the island.
The Aman Spa, in a secluded bay backed by pinewoods, has an indoor (sea-view) pool, and offers personalised health and beauty treatments, combining movement, relaxation, nutrition, and custom-made products based on locally-sourced wild herbs, olive oil and honey. On the island, a small boutique stocks Aman beachwear.
- Room service
Villa Miločer has eight spacious, light-filled suites, with parquet floors, double-sided fireplaces, palatial bathrooms and balconies. The island (open May to October) has 50 rooms, suites and cottages, each of varying size and configuration, some with private terraces.
Expect exposed stone walls, wooden-beamed ceilings, minimalist oak furniture, fabrics in creams and beiges, and leather-edged sisal carpets, plus spacious bathrooms (with locally made soaps – no plastic cosmetics bottles) and espresso machines.
Food and Drink
On the island, on a raised stone terrace, the smart Avra restaurant specialises in Adriatic seafood – think flickering candles, silver ice buckets, lobster risotto with saffron, and freshly-caught sea bass. The adjoining Rakija Bar serves local spirits.
Nearby, on the Piazza, the Taverna does waiter-served breakfast (lush smoothies, croissants, homemade jams and bracing espresso), followed by contemporary Italian fare, on three stone terraces shaded by pines and white parasols.
At Villa Miločer, the Dining Room restaurant serves refined Montenegrin cuisine, while the Loggia has outdoor tables on a terrace draped with lilac-coloured wisteria, overlooking the bay – a blissful venue for a cooked-to-order breakfast. A Nobu pop-up, opened by Robert de Niro himself, does Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine (Jun-Sep).
Value for Money
Double rooms from €778 (£687) in low season; and from €1,455 (£1,285) in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Babies and children under 12 stay free in an extra bed or cot. Babysitting on request. On the island, there’s a colourful kids’ club.