The iconic Sveti Stefan (Saint Stefan) is a small resort islet located along the Budva Riviera. It’s best known for hosting the world’s rich and famous from the 1950s though the 1980s, but with the breakup of Yugoslavia and subsequent violence in the early 90s, it fell into disrepair.
In 2007, the Government of Montenegro proposed to recreate the old charm of the island and the contract was awarded to Aman Resorts who reopened the resort in 2009.
A quick search on their online booking system shows that rooms in the off-season are about $1000/night.
A few fun details:
In the 15th century, Sveti Stefan was a fortified village that housed 12 families, originally built as a defense against the Turks. In the 1800s it was a village with a population of about 400 people. During the Tito regime, the island village was turned into an upscale resort, frequented by the likes of Orson Welles, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Princess Margaret and wait for it. . . Kirk Douglas.
When Adam and I first visited the area in February we were the only tourists for miles around and the beaches in front of the islet were scattered in litter and beach chair parts. When we tried to approach the entrance we were stopped by a security guard who said the resort wouldn’t be open until July – and then only to guests.
So for most, the island itself will have to remain shrouded in mystery. What we’ve decided though is that the view is probably best enjoyed from the beach anyway, and the optimal time to do that is late May/early June, when the water starts warming up, the beaches are being cleaned and primped for tourist season and you can plop down in a chair without paying a cent.