Aman Sveti Stefan & Aman Spa

Budva, Montenegro

Features

  • Fine Dining
  • Going Solo
  • Super-luxe
  • Wellness

Spa

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pool
  • Thalassotherapy
  • Thermal Facilities

To Do

  • Cycling
  • Gymnasium
  • Personal training
  • Pilates
  • Pool – Indoor
  • Pool – Outdoor
  • Snorkelling
  • Watersports
  • Yoga

Attached to the coast by a narrow isthmus, this charming seaside hideaway pairs cobbled lanes, shaded courtyards and 600-year-old red-tiled roofs with three pink-sand beaches and the august Villa Milocer on the mainland.

The entire island is a self-contained Aman hotel, yet it still retains the feeling of a 15th century village, with rambling, higgledy-piggledy cobbled passages, a charming village square shaded by olive trees and three painstakingly preserved little churches.

The Spa

Aman Spa

Aman spas could give a masterclass in atmosphere, and Sveti Stefan’s majestic new offering is no different. Bright green lawns and a stone ‘reflection pond’ flank a calm, clean interior with views of the azure-blue Adriatic, plush relaxation rooms with ultra-modern fireplaces, gym, Pilates and yoga studios, and the jewel in the crown: a huge, slate-lined swimming pool housed almost entirely in glass. Swim under a glass door to get to the pool’s outdoor section, where the sun slants silently through the thick trees, adding to the sense of resplendent isolation.

Spa Facilities

  • Swimming Pool
  • Plunge Pools
  • Steam
  • Sauna
  • Treatment Rooms
  • Relaxation Areas

Spa Products

To Stay

There are 50 suites on the island made up of Village Rooms, Cottages, Deluxe Cottages, Seaview Terrace Cottages, Grand Suites, the Adriatic Suite and the Sveti Stefan Suite which has its own private swimming pool.

Villa Milocer has 8 suites.

To Eat

In the island’s open-air square there is an enoteca, taverna and antipasti bar. Ideal for al fresco tapas and drinks, Enoteca offers a sea-facing terrace and cellar-like interiors.

The Taverna serves simple European and American breakfasts as well as fresh, pastoral Mediterranean dishes for lunch and dinner. Adjacent lies the Antipasti Bar, a convivial space open in the early evenings.


Facilities and Activities

  • Incorporates three sandy beaches
  • Private excursions to local place of interest
  • Boat trips

For the Kids

Aman will accommodate children of all ages.


Getting There

Sveti Stefan, 85315, Montenegro

(382) 33 420 000

Montenegro Airlines (montenegroairlines.com) offers flights to Tivat, which is 30 minutes away.
British Airways (ba.com) offers flights to Dubrovnik, which is a two and a half hour drive.

Rachel SullivanBy Rachel Sullivan

“So, have you to been to The Island before?” asks my driver, in hushed tones of such awed reverence that I know we’re headed somewhere really special. I’m being driven along the staggeringly beautiful Montenegrin coastline in a huge black limousine bearing the number plate AMAN9, the private plate of Aman, the small but super-exclusive luxury hotel chain beloved around the world by celebrities with taste: Victoria Beckham has claimed they’re her favourite hotel chain in the world, while George Clooney got married in the Aman on Venice’s Grand Canal.

The hairpin bends, lush green mountains and joyfully glimmering Adriatic sea are nothing compared to the spine-tingling moment the island itself actually comes into view: Sveti Stefan, a rocky outcrop linked by a walkway to the mainland. Surrounded by thick stone walls and thronged with rustic red-roofed cottages, it’s so heart-stoppingly beautiful that it’s both a National Heritage site and also the most famous view in Montenegro.

The entire island is a self-contained Aman hotel, yet it still retains the feeling of a 15th century village, with rambling, higgledy-piggledy cobbled passages, a charming village square shaded by olive trees and three painstakingly preserved little churches. But there are, of course, also the things you would expect of a five-star hotel – restaurants serving world-class food, a couple of black-slate infinity pools perched high above the sea and now, a huge new, no-expense-spared spa.

Aman Spa

Aman spas could give a masterclass in atmosphere, and Sveti Stefan’s majestic new offering is no different. An imposing, 2000 square metre stone building surrounded by dense, deep-green forest, it’s 10 minutes from the island and directly behind the Queen’s Beach, a perfect, secluded shingle bay private to the hotel that’s acknowledged locally as the country’s most beautiful beach.

Bright green lawns and a stone ‘reflection pond’ flank a calm, clean interior with views of the azure-blue Adriatic, plush relaxation rooms with ultra-modern fireplaces, gym, Pilates and yoga studios, and the jewel in the crown: a huge, slate-lined swimming pool housed almost entirely in glass. Swim under a glass door to get to the pool’s outdoor section, where the sun slants silently through the thick trees, adding to the sense of resplendent isolation.

I barely saw another soul while at the spa. Perish the thought, in fact, that you should ever have to actually share anything – ask at the desk and they’ll have a private suite ready for you with sauna, steam room, plunge pool and piles of thick, soft white towels.

The Treatment

As well as ‘signature’ massages and facials that are the same the world over, Aman spas also offer treatment ‘journeys’ rooted in that country’s holistic traditions, from Bali to Bangkok. Montenegro, with its rugged mountains and thick, deep forests populated by wolves, bears and lynxes, has a centuries-old tradition of wild harvesting Adriatic herbs for their powerful therapeutic, medicinal properties.

Oregano, sage, lavender, rosemary, marjoram and thyme are used here not just in cooking, but in potions, baths and tinctures to treat stress and other ailments, as are oats, pine and bee propolis. At Sveti Stefan, wild herbs used in treatments are harvested by the spa’s ‘consultant herbologist’, the 82-year-old Mr Popovic who lives in the mountains near Dubrovnik with his own flock of bees and who has dedicated his whole life to herbal therapy.

I tried the ‘Nurture’ journey, which starts with a drink of Biljni – a chakra-cleansing, phlegm-busting syrup – it’s revolting, down it as quickly as possible. There is also a calming valerian-extract tonic (I felt almost tranquilised afterwards) and a herbal bath of herbs sage and lavender to restore energy and focus.

All this is topped off with a salt scrub and massage that left my skin baby-smooth – and my muscles even smoother.

Other Treatments

The Adriatic Rejuvenation begins with an exfoliation of mint-infused olive oil, wild honey and raw sugar, the skin is cleansed, moisturised and finally calmed with lavender and palmarosa over the course of the massage – pure and simple bliss.

To Stay

The rooms fit perfectly with the island’s prevailing aesthetic: one of subtle, rustic luxury. All the charm of the 500 year old cottages has been preserved: bare stone walls, simple stone floors, sisal rugs, Shaker-style furniture made in Belgrade from local oak, rough ceramic shampoo bottles.

And yet, somehow, this sits perfectly with all the accoutrements modern five-star luxury demands: Bose hi-fi, giant bathtub, white linen robes, underfloor heating and, of course, the requisite impossibly comfortable white-linened bed. No two rooms are quite the same, and all have unique views: of the mountains, of beach or straight out to sea.

To Eat

In the island’s open-air square there is an enoteca, taverna and antipasti bar. Ideal for al fresco tapas and drinks, Enoteca offers a sea-facing terrace and cellar-like interiors. The Taverna serves simple European and American breakfasts as well as fresh, pastoral Mediterranean dishes for lunch and dinner. Adjacent lies the Antipasti Bar, a convivial space open in the early evenings.

The island also offers Aman, the resort’s main restaurant which serves Montenegrin fare as well as international cuisine. The large dining room features breathtaking sea views and is complemented by the adjacent Rakija Bar – an ideal venue for refreshments throughout the day. Guests can also enjoy drinks and snacks on the Upper Terrace and the Winter Terrace which both offer superb views of the Adriatic Sea.At Villa Miločer, the Dining Room, Loggia and the Living Room offer simple, elegant menus driven by fresh produce and locally-caught seafood.

Tucked into a cove near Villa Miločer is the Beach Café which provides informal dining throughout the day. It enjoys an alfresco setting shaded by cypress and olive trees, and offers a simple café menu.

Don’t Miss

A walk past the spa to the picturesque village of Przno, with its postcard-perfect bay studded with rocks rising majestically out of the sea.

Have a beer as the sun sinks into the horizon, then head for dinner at Zago for a spaghetti carbonara as indulgent as any you’ll find in Italy, with a glass of robust Montenegrin red wine.