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  • Writer's pictureMEaT Insights

Montenegro: Culture, Cuisine and cool for events!


Montenegro has been on our radar for a while now as a destination for potential events. After a number of presentations of the country, venues, activities and event opportunities. We were lucky enough to be invited on a FAM trip by Cashel Representation.


As Leigh from the team found out - Montenegro did not disappoint!


Travel (from UK)


You can fly either into Tivat Airport – Montenegro or Dubrovnik Airport – Croatia. Depending on the queue at the border, you can get to Montenegro from Dubrovnik Airport in 45 minutes. It is an easy journey taking in breath-taking views of both Croatia and Montenegro.



Day 1:


I was taken to the Lazure Hotel and Marina who hosted me for my stay in Montenegro, situated in the Boka Bay area. The hotel was impressive. It was a beautiful historic stone building. The reception and concourse with seating area was spacious, light and bright due to the beautiful glass ceiling and windows which was flooded in sunlight. The bar area situated in the middle of the room was a statement piece whilst offering comfortable seating.


My room was in the old part of the building, so it had original brick work. It was elegant, spacious offering comfort and luxury. The bathroom had a double walk in shower as well as a role top bath. It was also equipped with luxurious toiletries, hair dryer, robe and slipper. I had a lovely gift and personalised note waiting for me too. I had my own wifi code so that any work I did or anything I checked out using Wifi was extra safe. The bed was huge and the mattress and pillows were comfortable offering me a wonderful nights sleep for the duration of my stay! The hotel also had a modern building offering more accommodation offering the same quality of bedrooms along with some wonderful meeting rooms and event space.


We went to the outside terrace which overlooked the marina. This is where we were greeted with a warm welcome and a cold glass of prosecco by Ana, Vladimir and Uros who represent Customice DMCs. They had also organised a delicious sharing platter of locally sourced food.


We then went for a site visit around Savina Vineyard. A stunning venue to give any event the wow factor. You can have drinks, dinner or canapes on the decked terrace overlooking the Kotor Bay and Montenegro or in the Vineyard itself where you can see the beautiful vineyard. We were given a wine tasting and a guided tour of the vineyard and learnt about the which grapes were grown at the vineyard and the production of their wine.



On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the historic venue of Kanli Kula / Kanli Fortress. This is a beautiful building was built by the Turks in 1539 and was updated by the venetians in 1687. It boasts a huge open air amphitheatre over looking the crystal blue sea. AV and lighting can used on the stage and around the building to make any event special.


"It truly was a beautiful building with a stunning back drop of the sea offering any event that wow factor."



We were then transported by speed boat to a stunning restaurant which we had exclusively to ourselves. The Forte Rose restaurant which was a traditional historic stone built restaurant with lots of event space from the outside stone terrace and a separate elevated terrace overlooking the beautiful aqua sea as well as seating inside. We were served fresh and locally sourced bread, vegetables, fruit, fish, seafood, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Washed down with delicious wine and local plum brandy. Simply stunning, a real treat for the taste buds.


Then we were back on the speed boats to our hotel, where we could experience the wonderful summer sun and the breath taking views of Boka Bay. Once back at The Lazure Hotel and Marina we decided to take full advantage of the spa. The spa was beautifully and luxuriously decorated with all the up to date tech in the gym as well as a sauna, hot tub, swimming pool and chill out area. The spa was luxurious making you feel relaxed and chilled out.


That evening we were treated to a light dinner at the Lazure hotel. We were seated on a table which over looked the marina. Again we were treated to locally sourced and caught fish which was fresh, light and delicious along with other stunning local Montenegro dishes. The delicious wine was flowing so we were kept well refreshed. I then retired to bed and had a wonderful restful nights sleep.



Day 2


We were collected by boat where we met up with Ana, Vladimir, Uros (Uros skippered the boat) as well as our guide Marco and our other Skipper Goran. We were then taken around The Lady of the Rocks in the Bay of Kotor. There is a man-made island which seamen used seized ships loaded with rocks to put in the sea. Legend has it that Madonna and child were found on the rocks. It was tradition that every time the sailors had a safe voyage they would bring a rock and put it in the sea to keep the island safe and from sinking. The tradition continues until this day on 22nd July locals come over to the Island and put rocks in the sea around the island. On this island of rocks stands a church and a museum which is called Lady of the Rocks. In the church hangs a tapestry which took 25 years to make. This was made by a lady whilst she waited for her love to return from a long voyage. Unfortunately over time, the lady became blind! It is a beautiful story and sight to see, especially by boat.



After our trip around Lady of the Rocks we were taken to the Kotor Old Town. This truly was a picturesque, authentic and beautiful old town with it’s cobbled narrow streets, village squares lined with cafes, gift shops, food shops and restaurants. You really did get a flavour of what Montenegro used to be like! This would be a great place to do an activity such as a tasting or walking tour. There are opportunities to hold events here too.


It was then time once again to get back on speed boats to the small village of Prčanj and visited the 18th Century Franciscan monastery. This was a beautiful venue where you could hold either an event such as a small reception, private dinner or activity such as a cooking class or tasting session. The Monastery had an amazing outside the cloisters area. It also had a small dining room inside the building. The chapel area was stunning. However, part of the decoration had been renovated and wood replaced the marble after it was damaged by the earthquake. LED lights are used instead of candles to protect inside of the church.


Next stop was Hyatt Regency Kotor Bay which has 205 bedroom – a mixture of standard, deluxe and suites. This stunning property had some beautiful rooms, event spaces, restaurants and meeting rooms. It has it’s own private beach too! Set in Kotor bay over looking the sparkling sea and luscious mountains. The bedrooms are spacious, stunning and luxurious. The suites overlooked either the swimming pool or sea and mountains. Some of the suites had their own swimming pool on the balcony! The outside space was beautifully manicured with it’s foliage and grass. There is an infinity pool and a bar pool which can both be used for event space. The high tech spa was also a medical centre where you can check your fitness and have a well being, nutrition, and fitness program made for you. You can also have all the up to date beauty and spa treatments.


"You could really leave this resort a whole different person!"



We had lunch in the Lighthouse Restaurant on the terrace outside overlooking Kotor Bay. There is also the Blue Restaurant and they are building a roof top bar which will be opening in the near future.


Final stop was The Regent Hotel. We arrived by speed boat into the harbour. The boat was dwarfed by all of the beautiful yachts in Porto Montenegro harbour. As we walked to the bottom of harbour to The Regent Hotel we were met with a stunning and grand building. It’s impressive water feature, flower archways and foliage took as into the reception and concourse area of the hotel.


The hotel exuded pure luxury and style. The bedrooms were stunning, spacious, luxurious with a homely feel and decorated in a contemporary and stylish way to taking in the coastal colours of the surrounding area. The standard bedrooms are all luxurious. However, if you manage to stay in a sea view suite, this is more like an apartment. It has a kitchen, lounge with comfortable seating area. The bedrooms are spacious with wonderful views of the sea and yachts. They all have balconies so you can relax in the comfort of your own hotel suite. The spa area was offering all the up to date treatments with a high tech gym. The swimming pool looked like luxurious Roman Baths – you can imagine relaxing whilst having your grapes peeled for you! The outside swimming pools was equally lovely.


With 4 restaurants to choose from within the hotel, there is plenty of event space just there without any further conference rooms or ballrooms! However, it does have 8 events spaces including the Ballroom Teodo, as well as the Wintergarden, the secret garden and the garden which are all very unique and special. Helicopters and boats can be chartered from here too for the VIP treatment.


We then ventured around Porto Montenegro where they had some high end designer shops as well as some fabulous restaurants. So if it’s a bite to eat, a spin in the boat, a quick helicopter flight or some retail therapy, this is your place.


"So many options for activities, incentives, meetings, dinners and team building!"



Day 3


We started our day with visiting the stunning One&Only in Portonovi. Again another luxurious and stunning hotel with the back drop of the beautiful sea and mountains. It is has more of a contemporary style and the rooms are all furnished in a contemporary, minimalist but luxurious way with high end furnishings and finishing touches. You have a choice of standard rooms, suites, villas and family rooms. The villas are spacious and well equipped with the most up to date technology and everything you would need. Some of the suites have their own private pools too!


There is a choice of 6 swimming pools to choose from as well as it’s own private beach! It has a choice of 2 restaurants to use for an event. An Italian and a traditional Montenegrin restaurant. However, you can have a private dinning experience in your villa too. This could also be an option for a small event! There is lots of outside space to hold events or activities too. There are 2 conference rooms which hold 10 board room style. They have a ballroom too which holds 88 people seated and 150 people standing. A truly stunning location and venue.

We visited the XVIII Century Stone Village of Klinci Village with it’s stone walls and buildings. It is set hight among olive groves and orchards in the inner part of Luštica Peninsula. This village has been with the same family for generations. There are many trees around the tiny village which is planted every time a baby boy is born. The family also make their own wine, honey and cheese too! We had the chance to taste some of their delicious home made food and sun ripened vegetables and fruit. It was an explosion of flavour in your mouth! This village had a church too along with 5 rooms as well as a swimming pool. The venue has a small circular outside area which over looks the sea and mountains.


"This would be a wonderful place for a BBQ or outside drinks reception, dinner or festival."



The Chedi Luštica Bay was the next stop. Another stunning venue. The hotel is in 2 halves and a bridge goes from one property to another. The whole area has been regenerated, there is a man made break water as this hotel is by the sea. The reception and concourse area was calming and contemporary. The rooms are also decorated in a calm and natural pallet taking in the colours from the surrounding sea. There are many categories of room starting from a superior room which is very spacious and luxurious to grand deluxe suites to the penthouse. There are baths in some of the rooms. These baths turn into a window seat when not in use! Very clever use of premium space and views!


There are some great event spaces within this hotel with the Rok Beach Bar and Lounge. This has a high-end beach club vibe with over looking the sea. There is the Spot restaurant serving traditional Montenegrin cuisine which is also a great option for an event. You also have The Restaurant too, also a great space for an event.


Asian-inspired The Chedi Luštica Bay Spa philosophy originates from the healing traditions of exotic Bali, spiritual India and the sacred land of Tibet to create authentic cultural experiences within the context of health and wellness.


We had a delicious lunch at the Chedi. The food and wine was flavoursome, fresh and exquisite. The cheese cake was presented in the shape of a lemon. Simply stunning!

A great surprise and activity was waiting for us at the Lovćen Mountain. We explored the mountain on a quad bike!


"This was an exhilarating experience and a great way to see the mountain and all of he views from the mountain."



We had a final dinner at Stari Mlin – which is a museum showing how people lived in Montenegro. It was also a flour mill operated by water which is still operational. Not only is this a museum but a restaurant too. The food was cooked on an old traditional fire in a pot. Our meal was cooked by our lovely hosts Đoko and his son Ivan. They served traditional meat, fish and vegetables all locally sourced. They also served wine which they had made themselves too. We were serenaded by Castel Nuovo - which is a traditional ''klapa'' which is the term used for traditional music bands in Montenegro. They sang old folk songs about love, life, friendship and loss.




Summary:


This was a truly wonderful trip to Montenegro. Made even more special by Rosie Heywood – Cashel Representation, Customise DMC – Ana, Vladimir and Uros. The whole trip was seamless, professionally delivered with some remarkable venues, food, experiences and drink.


An amazing itinerary. Thank you to Uros and Goran for skippering the speedboats and getting us around Montenegro in style and safely. Thank you to Marco for all of the information about this wonderful area. Thank you Liam – Flight Guru for booking our flights and looking after us.


We only skimmed the surface in the Boka Bay area which was truly stunning. Montenegro is truly beautiful, not only the scenery but the people, food and culture. This is an unspoilt and beautiful country. It has so many possibilities for leisure and events with so many unique, luxurious and different places to hold an event with the Wow factor.


Let's discuss your next event in Montenegro, get in touch. We’d be more than happy to talk through it.


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