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Before the break-up of Yugoslavia, Montenegro was a popular destination for the rich and famous. Although tourism has declined over the last few decades, it’s obvious that this chic and glamorous destination is preparing for renewed interest, and many places to stay — including numerous boutique hotels and exclusive resorts — have been renovated. Forbes Travel Guide’s editors have chosen the five best places to stay in and around the popular towns of Budva and Kotor:
1. Aman Sveti Stefan. With its red–tiled roofs contrasting against the azure blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, the island of Sveti Stefan is one of the most iconic symbols of Montenegro. This private island hotel was the playground of the rich and famous during the 1970s, attracting A-list celebrities such as Sophia Loren. It went into decline during the 1990s, but has since been restored to its former glory by Aman Resorts. It’s without saying that staying at Montenegro’s most exclusive hotel comes with a price tag to match.
2. Hotel Astoria. Hotel Astoria is the first and only boutique hotel in the Old Town of Budva. Situated in Budva’s main pedestrian street, this hotel — with six suites and six double rooms, all luxuriously equipped — is at the center of all the action.
3. Palazzo Radomiri. Located in Dobrota within walking distance of Kotor, Palazzo Radomiri is an 18th-century baroque place that was converted into a historical boutique hotel in 2006. The hotel is right on the water and offers superb views of the Bay of Kotor.
4. Forza Mare. Less than 2 miles from the Old Town of Kotor lies Forza Mare, a luxury hotel on the shore of the Bay of Kotor. This luxurious boutique hotel has rooms decorated with various themes: Africa, India, Dubai, Japan and China. The elegant hotel also boasts a private beach, spa, outdoor swimming pool and modern restaurant.
5. Villa Vita. Villa Vita consists of a handful of beautiful stone villas in Budva Riviera built in a traditional architectural style. Thanks to its elevated position in the hillside, the hotel offers spectacular views of the ocean — it’s the perfect place to watch the sun go down. The resort features an open tennis court, outdoor swimming pool, sauna, taverna-style restaurant, incredible wine cellar and, last but not least, a goat farm of 400 goats, which produces cheese and milk as well as cured ham and organic vegetables. The lovely resort is within easy reach of Budva’s sandy beaches and iconic sights such as Sveti Stefan.