Montenegro left the best impression of a trip to the Balkan Peninsula. As many people know, at that time our big trip coincided with the peak of the pandemic and the corresponding restrictions imposed by local authorities.
Driving in from Bosnia and Herzegovina, we saw a landscape that was initially, to put it mildly, depressing. Black lifeless mountains where even grass doesn’t grow, it looked more like an alien story than a piece of paradise.
The first stop is Lazur Hotel Marina on the sea coast of the city of Herceg Novi. The hotel was built, or rather reconstructed, on a former Venetian infirmary from the 18th century. Later the building was used as a warehouse, a kindergarten, and then the investors and architects of the project restored the building, combining the old with the new, for example, stone walls with a glass roof in the main hall. Fashionable, expensive, beautiful, I liked it.
The next day we went for a walk around the city, which had been deserted due to restrictions. Wanting to have something to eat, with great difficulty, we begged through the slightly open door of the restaurant to prepare something for us to take away. This “something” turned out to be grilled seafood with some incredible, absolutely extraordinary taste. They were eaten on a bench overlooking the empty city. Next on the cultural program was the central square. You won’t believe it, but there was no one there, not a single person, except us. It’s not that guests from Asia didn’t get into the camera frame - there wasn’t a single soul at all, as if the mayor himself handed us the keys to the city and said: “Spend your time as you please, on the way back bring the keys to Herceg Novi back to me " I don’t know why everyone sat at home in beautiful weather, unless there was a threat of execution or prison, rather than walking around and getting some fresh air, which is certainly good for health. It was funny and sad at the same time.
In the suburbs of Herceg Novi, for the sake of variety, we stopped at another “five”: the Boutique Hotel & Spa Casa del Mare. This is a boutique hotel, but is not in the historical part of the city. At such moments you need to enjoy the food of the restaurant and the spa area. If there were no questions regarding the first point, then the spa area was closed due to quarantine. But it was opened individually for us, only for us. We ordered champagne, fruit and the whole atmosphere with a small but luxurious pool was ours. I started to like “Turnkey Montenegro”.
Next stop is the city of Tivat and the boutique hotel La Roche. Tivat is full of luxury - shops of expensive clothes and jewelry, art objects. There are large modern yachts on the pier, I like that. A lone musician was playing on the pier, and his hat was empty. I felt sorry for the poor fellow, because before he made money and made people happy, but now, in fact, he played for himself.
The final stop in Montenegro before entering Albania was the Maestrale Resort & Casino hotel in Sveti Stefan, where we initially lost 400€ and won it back. The bet on zero in roulette worked. It was a nice relaxation with free wine accompaniment. The casino was not the purpose of visiting this location. Sveti Stefan is very beautiful due to the combination of mountains and blue sea.
I don’t know how anyone can not like Montenegro. Maybe it was a coincidence or luck with the choice of hotels, but it really suited me.