Any discussion about five-star hotels in Montenegro invariably involves dipping your toes into the waters of Porto Montenegro. Located a short distance from Tivat Airport, this luxury waterfront development has redefined opulence in the country, bringing Riviera-style living to the Bay of Kotor. With stunning views of the bay, the imposing Hotel Regent stands front and centre. This extravagant hotel promises five-star luxury and all the trimmings, marrying waterside relaxation with a blend of innovation and tradition. But the question remains: does it hit the heady heights it is aiming for?
To cut a long story short, it does, although Hotel Regent is not without its faults. From the moment you arrive at Hotel Regent, set against the stunning backdrop of the Adriatic Coast, the attention to detail is crystal clear, as is the ambition. After all, this is the sort of hotel that has chic boutiques, including a Rolex boutique, to one side of its entrance, as the Swiss luxury timekeepers make their presence felt in this coastal setting. The Hotel Regent experience begins before you enter the building, although this is all window dressing in the most literal sense. You don’t stay at a hotel for its neighbours and facade; they merely add an extra layer to the experience.
Entering Regent Porto Montenegro
And then, into the luxury hotel itself. The reception desk is to the left of the entrance, with the concierge to the right and the main lobby waiting through a small pre-lobby of sorts with a fountain in the centre. Check-in is relatively simple, although it is difficult to shake a certain sense of repetition. The staff are courteous, professional, and diligent, but also somewhat robotic. “Welcome to Hotel Regent; breakfast is at this time, and you can enjoy a drink in our garden or a meal in our restaurant; check-out is at this time. We wish you a first-class experience.” Repeat, repeat. Is it expected? Of course, it feels a little rehearsed, most likely because it is. The reception staff at Hotel Regent are as attentive and concise as you would expect from a five-star hotel, but a little more personality would make the difference between good and great.
But maybe it is unfair to levy this on the staff, as this hotel is enormous. Hotel Regent spreads across three wings with more than 170 rooms, suites and penthouses, with everything from standard rooms to three-bedroom suites available. When booking in advance, guests can choose between mountain and sea views, both of which are stunning, although it is difficult to imagine a scenario when someone would visit Porto Montenegro and not choose the latter. This is the Bay of Kotor, after all. The sea is what makes it so magnificent. Those mountains are gorgeous, of course, but there is something about waking up with the shimmering sea that transcends this experience.
The sea informs the design of the Venezia wing, Hotel Regent’s most popular and prominent area. The wing was designed by acclaimed decorator Tino Zervudachi of Mlinaric, Henry and Zervudachi, Paris, a designer for the rich and famous who brought a fresh eclecticism to the focused ideas of the Hotel Regent. The wing’s 87 rooms embrace a nautical theme, with rope detail and motifs of the sea all around, drawing a direct line between the hotel and its surroundings. The name isn’t a coincidence, of course, and the Venezia wing is a direct nod to the region’s lengthy historical and cultural connection to the Venetians (the area was under Venetian rule on and off for four centuries).
The remaining 88 rooms of Hotel Regent are divided between the two wings that comprise its Pool Club Residences, namely the Aqua and Baia wings. The Italian theme continues, although it is more about the Riviera than Veneto. Darker colours abound throughout, creating an altogether more evocative aura that remains as serene as can be.
Food at Regent Porto Montenegro
Serenity is integral to a stay at Hotel Regent Porto Montenegro, and the celebrated Murano restaurant holds up its end of the bargain. The service is charming and professional, accentuating the sophisticated surroundings and quiet confidence of the menu. Murano allies seasonal produce with the classics, paying homage to local ingredients with its pumpkin risotto, apple-cider buttered salmon, slow-cooked lamb shoulder and more. Porto Montenegro has many eating options, so you don’t necessarily need to stop for dinner at your hotel, but dining at Murano is a celebration of good food in a gorgeous setting.
You may choose to enjoy dinner outside of the hotel, but stopping for an evening drink in Hotel Regent’s Italian Garden is non-negotiable. The hotel itself is delightful, the service is good, and the beds are great, but the outdoor bar is undoubtedly the highlight. When the sun is setting, and the fairy lights slowly move into action, you can be forgiven for thinking this might be the most romantic place possible. Hotel Regent’s Italian Garden is where everything falls into place here, where the little faults are forgotten in the face of twinkling lights, exquisitely positioned greenery and a cocktail menu that ticks every box. Yes, the non-alcoholic box is also ticked, and the mocktails are as invigorating as their hard equivalents.
Pamper yourself at Porto Montenegro
The spa? Such things should go without saying, but the spa facilities at the five-star Hotel Regent Porto Montenegro are predictably phenomenal. Located in the Venezia wing of the hotel, a range of treatments are available, although it is impossible to convey the true sense of relaxation through letters and words. A rosemary and ginger-infused intensive muscle release (60 minutes for £75, 90 minutes for £100) sounds invigorating, but it doesn’t do it justice. Hotel Regent’s spa facilities are second to none in Montenegro, with hands-on therapies and intricate arrangements waiting for the tired and weary. Or the curious, of course, as you could always just spend your time bouncing between the Finnish sauna and hammam. The choice is yours.
Read Also: Our review of the Chedi Lustica Bay
Hotel Regent Porto Montenegro is excellent, but it would be disingenuous to call it perfect. After all, we did mention a few faults up top. The standard rooms are on the small side. Not box-small, far from it, but there isn’t much room for anything more than the bed and desk. With that in mind, the actual rooms are nothing special. Our room was short on electricity outlets, an essential requirement of any hotel in the 21st century. The Wi-Fi isn’t the most consistent, cutting off on the balconies in particular. If you want to get some work done here, the standard rooms must be upgraded before they can be unconditionally recommended. Also, paying for using in-room coffee in such an expensive location feels wrong, Krups machine or not.
But as with everything in Porto Montenegro, there is a ‘work in progress’ element that can’t be ignored. Facilities are continuously developing here, and Hotel Regent gets more right than wrong, much more, in fact. If the hotel’s ambition was to create a slice of Italian Riviera-style luxury in the Bay of Kotor, then Hotel Regent can congratulate itself on a job well done. It isn’t perfect, but it is pretty darn magnificent. Now, back to the Italian Garden to embrace the romance with another mocktail. You can’t blame us.
Disclaimer: This review was conducted independently, and the trip was entirely self-funded by the reviewer. Note: All opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. Please be aware that this article contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through such links may result in a commission for the publisher at no additional cost to you.