If One&Only Portonovi were a poker player, its indomitable strength would be raising the stakes. How to improve on the coastal beauty of Boka Bay? Throw in a private sandy beach with a bar and pools. It’ll see your chandeliered, marble interiors and raise them with a generous footprint and fabulous ensuite in even standard rooms, and villas that have a private beach and jetty. Its wealth of dining options – Montenegrin, Italian, pan-Asian – is a pot you’ll want to win. Its vast Chenot Espace spa is an impressive kicker, and the guided outings you can enjoy – by Jeep, Rolls Royce or superyacht – are its royal flush. If you’re after a luxury stay with local flavour, for One&Only Portonovi, you should go all-in.
Luxe, innovative design
Pristine private beach
Chenot Espace spa
US$100 to spend at the resort
In the know
Also need to know:
Access to tennis, all pool, fitness and spa areas is free. In-room massage treatments are available at extra cost; all communal areas are wheelchair accessible, as is one Portonovi room.One of the hotel’s more curious assets is a Silver Shadow Rolls Royce once owned by Tito, which you can experience on a half-day, chauffeur-driven road trip, taking in Tito’s villa and wine tasting at sunset.
A wardrobe of two halves is called for: part beach attire to suit lazy days; and enough smarter threads to cater to the resort’s restaurant dress codes.
For dinner at La Veranda and Sabia, think smart-casual, opting for tailored threads or floaty dresses – shirt and trousers for Mr Smith. Tapasake’s casual dress code excludes swimwear and sleeveless attire.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this coastal hotel in Montenegro and unpacked their rakija and olives, a full account of their beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside One&Only Portonovi in Herceg Novi…
Arriving at One&Only Portonovi, your first impression is one of gloss: a double-height, marble-lined lobby strewn with chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows and a terrace (the spot for check-in with a welcome drink) that overlooks pristine grounds, where manicured lawns and deftly dotted cypress and palm trees are edged by a private, butter-soft beach with pools. So far, so luxury… And yet there are plenty of thoughtful details that bring personality to its polish: working fireplaces in every room (typically Montenegrin); an (unusually) equal division of space between bedroom and bathroom; a bath by the window that converts into a daybed. Signature restaurant La Veranda serves finessed Montenegrin fare, and its wine shop hosts regional tastings, showcasing bottles from Balkan vineyards. Extras abound, too, with tennis, watersports, use of the spa and gym (as well as kids clubs) all thrown in, and butler service for suite and villa guests. The straight-out-of-Switzerland spa is vast, elegant and all-encompassing. And the cherry on top is the glut of tours you can choose from, be it a boat trip island-hopping, a history tour of the town or a wander through olive groves, topped by a tour of Montenegro in lunch form. In marrying luxury with one-off details and local flavour, One&Only Portonovi is a masterclass.
Portonovi, Herceg Novi, 85340
33.9 mi / 54.7 km from city centre
- Onsite laundry
- Valet parking
- Exercise gym
- On-Site parking
- Internet services
- Tennis court
- Room service
La Veranda is One&Only Portonovi’s all-day restaurant, serving mostly Montenegrin cuisine, although Turkish and Balkan influences are also at play, prepared in an open kitchen: dine on dishes such as roasted pullet with confit egg and sea bream with artichoke at linened tables in the elegant, navy dining room or on the covered veranda, with arch-framed bay views. La Veranda also hosts chef’s tables and private dining. A fabulous terrace and fine Italian fare come together at Sabia, where you can choose from an Italian menu of salads, pasta and mains, all of which prize vegetables and seafood over meat, paired with a suitable selection of Italian wines, too – certo; a dedicated dessert menu, featuring tiramisu and Amalfi lemon meringue – can only bode well. Weekends-only Tapasake Pool Club is a glamorous, low-lit restaurant and sake bar dressed in earthy hues – open for lunch and dinner – where you can enjoy pan-Asian plates, tapas style, such as crispy chicken wings with tonkatsu sauce, and tofu bread with miso avocado. Inventive cocktails with an Asian twist include negronis with Japanese gin; tea- and cinnamon-laced whiskey, and a Blushing Geisha cocktail made with kombucha, gin and hibiscus.
All the best spots to dine are outdoors: a table on the terrace at Sabia, a sea-facing spot alfresco at La Veranda and a poolside perch at Tapasake share the podium.
La Veranda is open for breakfast, 7am–11am; lunch is from noon until 3pm; for dinner, it’s 6pm–10pm. Lunch and dinner hours at Sabia and Tapasake follow suit.
Whether it’s breakfast in bed or dinner a casa you crave, the private dining team is happy to tailor dishes; you can also opt for private ‘feet-in-sand’ dining where the food comes laced with romance and soundtracked by the sea.
Carminetti, just off the hotel lobby, is named for the small-scale fireplaces that dot its glamorous mink and poppy red lounge, where sumptuous upholstery, floor-to-ceiling windows and refreshment from cocktails to caviar via afternoon tea provide plenty of reasons to linger. Other bar options trot the globe via Italian wines at Sabia, Japanese cocktails and sake at Tapasake, and Balkan bottles at La Veranda. At the entrance to the latter, you’ll find Il Provadore, a wine shop and deli that’s also the setting for wine tastings guided by the hotel’s sommelier.
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