Photo Credit: Mamula Island Hotel

Mamula Island hotel opened this summer in a carefully restored 19th-century fort at the entrance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Bay of Kotor, in Montenegro.

First, there is the insular location with 360-degree views of the glimmering Adriatic Sea. The heritage building was built as a fortress in 1852 by the Austro-Hungarian general Lazar Mamula, who gave the island as well as the hotel its name. Many of the structure’s original elements were painstakingly restored, while the design by weStudio Berlin takes inspiration from the fort’s arches and courtyards to create a recurring series of archways that add to the guests’ immersive experience. Here, local craftsmanship—be it pottery or joinery techniques—come together with midcentury style and local abstract art for a modern interpretation of a retreat.

Art plays an important role at Atelier Mamula, a creative space that will host artists in residence and workshops, as well as sound cultural and artistic programming throughout to introduce guests to the local art scene, among others. The hotel is also collaborating with a fine arts university in Cetinje to support young talent in the region. Taking over the creative reins in the kitchen is French-Canadian chef Erica Archambault, a rising star from the Michelin-starred Septime, in Paris. Her dishes will be influenced by the flavour-rich border cuisines of Montenegro, all enhanced by savoir-faire French cooking techniques.

Photo Credit: Mamula Island Hotel

Meet centuries at every turn

The hotel indulges with various outdoor spaces, such as the three pools in the centre of the fort augmented by greenery, lounge areas, and the restaurant. Outside the fortress, a generous deck above the rocks lets you greet the day with a gorgeous sunrise over the Adriatic. A serviced beach on the north end of the island provides relaxing sunbeds and views of the entrance to the Bay as well as the distant town of Herceg Novi. This serene getaway once again functions as a sanctuary, transforming the everyday into something extraordinary.

Housed in a tower, the one-of-a-kind spa will offer the finest natural healing treatments, using skincare by Ananné. Expect water and heat therapies, halotherapy (salt therapy), and a floating experience, as well as yoga and meditation, sound healing, and hiking. An impressive glass-domed inner atrium connects the different areas of the spa and lends itself to both rest and a sense of community.

The word ‘unique’ is often overused. It is, however, the best way to describe Mamula Island. A hotel that’s unique in its story, approach, setting, and spirit.

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