Sveti Stefan Island City
|Location||Sveti Stefan Islet, Municipality of Budva, Montenegro|
|Number of rooms||50|
|Number of suites||8|
|Aman Sveti Stefan|
Sveti Stefan (Montenegrin pronunciation: [sv̞ê̞ːtiː stê̞faːn], lit. "Saint Stephen"; Cyrillic: Свети Стефан, Italian: Santo Stefano) is a small islet and 5-star hotel resort on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) southeast of Budva.
The resort, known commercially as Aman Sveti Stefan, includes part of the mainland, where the Villa Miločer (Montenegrin: [vîla mîlɔ̝tʃe̞r]) part of the resort is located. The hotel is now a 5-star franchise hotel of the international group of Aman Resorts, completed in 2009 and operating under a 30-year lease. Formerly an island, Sveti Stefan is now connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The resort in total contains 50 rooms, cottages and suites on the island and 8 grand suites at the Villa Miločer.
The island has a 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) coast line in the central part of Montenegro Adriatic coast line. It is situated to the south of Budva between Pržno and Sveti Stefan villages. The pink sandy beaches of Sveti Stefan, Miločer Beach and Queen’s Beach are part of the coast line. The island encompasses an area of 12,400 m2 (133,000 sq ft).
Sveti Stefan was first mentioned in 1442 as a fort near seacoast from which Paštrovići, led by vojvoda Radič repulsed the forces of Stjepan Vukčić Kosača during his offensive in Zeta. According to a legend recounted by Stjepan Mitrov Ljubiša, the town fortification was funded after Paštrovići looted Turkish ships moored in front of Jaz during Barbarossa's siege of Kotor in 1539. The town was razed shortly after, during the fourth Ottoman-Venetian war. After continuous pleas by Paštrovići, the Venetian Republic finally agreed to rebuild it in the 16th century. All of the buildings were acquired by the Yugoslav government and turned into an upscale hotel during the communist period.
Initially, the island with its fortress had 12 families.
In the 1800s, a village came to be established on the island with a population of about 400 people.
Villa Miločer, built between 1934 and 1936, was the summer residence of Queen Marija Karadordevic (1900–1961) of the Karađorđević family of Serbia, which was refurbished as part of the Aman Sveti Stefan resorts that opened in 2008–2009. The villa, surrounded by 800 olive trees, is laid out over a 32-hectare (79-acre) plot.
Subsequent to the villagers being moved to the mainland by the authorities, the island village became an exclusive resort frequented by high-profile elites of the world.
Formerly under the ownership of the Radenović family for some forty years, between the 1960s and 1980s, the place was visited by many celebrities, including Orson Welles, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Princess Margaret, Carlo Ponti, Ingemar Stenmark and Kirk Douglas.
The resort was described as "a '70s Adriatic playground on a hilly peninsula that's barely connected to the mainland". It was also a venue for political conferences, and an occasional chess venue, attracting top-class players such as Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. However, in the 1990s, the break-up of Yugoslavia saw the decline of this resort.
The Government of Montenegro proposed to recreate the old charm of the island. Action was initiated by inviting international bids for the revitalization project. The contract was awarded to Aman Resorts in 2007. The refurbished resort was completed in 2009. The Aman Sveti Stefan has a 30-year lease.
On 13 July 2010 Montenegrin Statehood Day, Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli gave a concert at the resort, to mark the Golden Jubilee of the hotel. The hotel won the Hotel of the Year award from Gallivanter's Guide in 2010.
The Aman Sveti Stefan resort has 58 guest rooms, cottages and suites, including 8 suites that are part of the Villa Miločer. The Villa Miločer, which was built between 1934 and 1936 was the summer residence of Queen Marija Karadordevic (1900–1961). Out of the eight suites of Villa Miločer two are Queen Marija Suites forming an annex structure.
The main dining of the resort on the island of Sveti Stefan is The Piazza, an open-air square in the heart of the island’s village which includes the Taverna, Enoteca, Pasticceria, and an Antipasti Bar and a Cigar Room.
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