Get the best of CF straight to your inbox.

Subscribe, sit back, and let your mind travel.

Citizen Enfants

One&Only Portonovi: Montenegro's Family-Friendly Seaside Retreat

For an off-the-beaten track beach break, look to Montenegro, where mountains abut the Adriatic sea. For the best views of both, check in at One&Only Portonovi.

In this beautifully-designed hotel – as well as the views – you’ll find an excellent kids’ club, five swimming pools, and a private beach with shallow bays perfect for kids to dip into. This is a space where children and adults alike will play, relax and recharge in luxury – and come home with lifelong memories.

While it feels remote, it’s easy to get to. There are two airports in Montenegro, and Dubrovnik airport is less than 20 miles away: a leisurely drive or a short transfer via hotel car. Once you’ve arrived, you won’t want to leave – unless it’s by boat to explore the bay.

The Vibe

When you arrive at One&Only Portonovi, a bell rings to welcome you to Boca Bay (also known as the Bay of Kotor) – a tradition rich in the village’s fishing history, when fishermen would ring the bells on their ships as they came home. It’s a charming nod to the locality that continues around the property, which features local artisan crafts amongst sleek design, making guests feel instantly embedded in the location, as well as in its traditions, culture and heritage.

The huge entrance lobby with its floor-to-ceiling windows gives you your first tempting glimpse out to the Adriatic Sea – and the hotel’s private beach. But look around the edges of the vistas and you see the many beautifully-designed enclaves that provide moments of calm and privacy within the 60-acre resort, from chess tables tucked away in the bar to cabanas by one of the many outdoor pools.

The Rooms

The bright and spacious rooms feature wall-to-ceiling windows with views across the bay (the Bayview Family Rooms have some of the best). The vibe is elegant and modern, with artisanal crafts such as glazed-ceramic horses, hand-blown vases and locally-made bath salts and oils, set amongst paintings, luxurious fabrics, and marble detailing. Terraces are large, with double sun loungers and outdoor fireplaces providing the perfect space to retire after children go to sleep. For those needing more space, a king bedroom can be connected with a twin room, while suites and villas are available too.

The Child’s Play

The excellent KidsOnly club is bright and modern, with three rooms for dressing up, crafting, playing games or reading, along with an exclusive outdoor playground. There is an inventive list of daily activities from volcano explosions and slime making to excite children, along with early-evening movie nights. Children aged three to 12 can go all day, free of charge, while those under the age of three need a paid-for nanny to supervise. For teens there is the One Tribe, as well as ping pong tables outside.

One of the biggest draws to the hotel is the beach with a shallow bay, which is perfect for babies and toddlers to paddle in safely. You’ll also discover five outdoor pools to play in – all of which have beautiful sea views – and an enormous indoor pool for more splashing. Off site, there’s a large playground directly outside the hotel, and a small one in the town centre, just a five-minute walk along the harbour.

Food + Drink

Three excellent restaurants offer distinct menus: Sabia, the Italian restaurant on the edge of the beach (meaning you listen to the waves lap the shore), serves excellent fish, pasta and pizza; La Veranda specialises in authentic Montenegrin dishes (the local steak is a highlight); and Tapasake offers contemporary Japanese fusion cuisine, including the most exquisite sushi – prepared in front of you in the open kitchen. Each caters for children, too – Sabia in particular does an excellent homemade tomato pasta sauce (and has friendly staff, who don’t mind a bit of mess).

Breakfast is buffet-style in La Veranda with a huge array of freshly-baked pastries (there’s even a ‘donut of the day’), local honey, yoghurt, fruits and cheeses, and a menu of cooked dishes, all of which will leave you full at least until lunchtime.

The Spa

The Spa at One&Only Portonovi is exceptional: the pool plus steam and sauna rooms are worthy of a visit alone, but the brand has a partnership with luxury wellness brand, Chenot, and offers a tailored medical and wellness programme for those wishing to embark on a transformative stay, with everything from a medical consultation to a bio-energy check-up, where a consultant will use a high-tech bio engineering screening to give you a thorough health MOT. As well as the advanced functional medical treatments like hydrotherapy and cryotherapy, there are more standard relaxation options, from a Hamman ritual to massage and facials that will leave you glowing, and with a spring in your step. Afterwards, the relaxation area is a great way to slowly bring yourself back down to earth – ready to re-join your family. For fitness fans, there’s an excellent and well-appointed gym, with a bank of treadmills that gaze out over the infinity pool and beyond to the sea.

The To-Do List

There’s so much to do in the hotel, you won’t be bored for a second, but for those wanting to explore the local area, the hotel will organise experiences ranging from mountain walking on Mount Orjen to boat rides around the bay. Many of the local towns are breathtaking in their beauty and history; neighbouring Herceg Novi, for example, has imposing fortresses and a labyrinth of paved streets. For a micro-explore to walk off breakfast, the local town of Portonovi is a short stroll from the hotel’s gates, with a harbour, plus plenty of cafés and restaurants to sample.

Lead image: One&Only Porotonovi, Montenegro

We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.

What to Pack

You May Also Like

Any Questions or Tips to add?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What to Pack?