Porto Montenegro is something of an upstart in the established world of luxury yachting, yet already this marina destination has risen to challenge mighty Monaco
A poster in the arrivals hall at Tivat airport leaves you in no doubt as to the ambitions of this municipality in Montenegro’s beautiful Bay of Kotor. “The new Monaco”, it boasts, over a photo of superyachts gleaming in their berths at Porto Montenegro, a swish marina development that’s already making good on this claim. Earlier this year it beat its Mediterranean rival to take the Yacht Harbour Association’s award for superyacht marina of distinction.
The marina has capacity for 450 superyachts, but you don’t have to be Roman Abramovich to enjoy a breezy long weekend here, soaking up the style between the imposing mountains and the Adriatic. The Regent Porto Montenegro, which celebrates its third birthday in August, is a chic five-star hotel in the centre of the port, looking straight down the pier where the most impressive vessels are berthed. With great views of the Unesco-protected bay, its 87 rooms have an elegant nautical theme designed to make guests feel as though they’ve arrived in a cabin of a luxury liner.
The service is outstanding here – but with a good-humoured vibe, rather than a Monacoian stuffiness – and the Regent’s concierge team will relish setting up excursions so that you can enjoy the best the area has to offer. Asking them to book you a table at the ultra-stylish Porto Montenegro Yacht Club, with its Asian-themed menu, is an excellent way to get acclimatised.
But in a location of slopes and 240 days of sun a year, one attraction comes to the fore: wine. The Regent will arrange for a driver to whisk you 30 minutes around the bay to the Savina vineyard in an idyllic spot next to a 13th-century monastery. The view from its vertiginous terrace has to be one of the finest in the world – and it’s one you’ll have all to yourself, as visitors must book private slots.
Wine buffs taking a longer stay might also want to make the lengthier trip east to the Plantaze vineyards, located near the capital, Podgorica. These feature a huge cave and former airforce base that a Bond villain would covet. And, if you really take a shine to Montenegro, in July the Regent opened its new Pool Club Residences, from which you could enjoy the views all year round. Monaco? Where’s that?