Saturday, June 22, 2024

One&Only Portonovi – Sophisticated beach-side living on the Adriatic Riviera


Miodrag Spahić - Mar 03, 2022

Located at the entrance of Boka Bay, at the edge of the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro, One&Only Portonovi is the ultra-luxury brand’s first outpost in Europe. With its moated walled towns, backdrop of unspoilt coastal mountains and perched amongst one of the sunniest year-round spots on the Adriatic, the resort is a perfectly placed sanctuary from which to explore the coastline and charms of Montenegro. Presenting guests with private sandy beaches, a revolutionary wellness experience with Chenot Espace, world-class dining, and the intuitive service for which the brand is renowned.

Interview with Mr Tomislav Hrala – Sales and Marketing Director, One&Only Portonovi

Tell us more about One&Only brand, what does it really mean to travel or to stay at One&Only resort and what group is One&Only chain part of?

Created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market, One&Only is conceived as a hallmark of excellence. Set in some of the most beautiful locales in the world, each award-winning resort offers guests a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, genuine hospitality and a lively energy that is unrivalled.

We are operated by Kerzner International Holdings Limited, a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences, as well as innovative entertainment and gaming experiences. Other Kerzner’s flagship brands include Atlantis water-themed resorts SIRO hotels, and Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, Rwanda

The resort chain One&Only is known for most inspiring locations, handpicked for exceptional beauty, unique cultural charm, from Rwanda to the Maldives. What was the main reason to explore and open this natural beauty of One&Only Portonovi Montenegro?

Montenegro is truly a Europe’s hidden gem – an undiscovered destination that is set to become the new Riviera. Often called Wild Beauty, it boasts a unique blend of diverse natural wonders, breath-taking landscapes and rich cultural history. Thus, it is a perfect setting for One&Only, and we are excited that our resort will be the brand’s first foray in Europe.

One&Only Portonovi is specifically located in Portonovi, Herceg Novi, at the graceful entrance to Boka Bay on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast. This fjord-like bay was once described by Lord Byron as the most beautiful encounter between the land at the sea. Complemented with exquisite One&Only experiences, it is a must-visit for all travel lovers, adventurists, and nautical enthusiasts.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

How has the hospitality business changed in this new world? What kind of expectations can we have for the future? What is your main advantage over other hotel resort chains?

It has changed tremendously. A lot of operational, internal processes needed to be changed and businesses needed to adapt to the new reality, new requirements both by the WHO and the local authorities, all around the world. The emphasis is now put on health concerns and social distancing, which is reflected in more rigid sanitation programs as well as the rising popularity of private accommodation, such as villas, compared to regular room and suites. At One&Only, our main advantage in that area is that we’ve always been recognized for our comprehensive sanitation, the extensive spaces, innovation in terms of guest services – and of course, our hand on heart gesture which is on point with social distancing but also exudes warmth and welcome.

As for the future of tourism and hospitality, at the moment, we have great hopes and expectations – because all the surveys show that wanderlust and the desire to travel hasn’t diminished. It is, in fact, stronger than ever.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

Spa holistic approach is more and more important in this modern reality due to our new fast way of living. What kind of experience can we explore in your chain and how important is spa wellness in your everyday work?

We are really proud to be able to offer a 360-approach to wellbeing through our exclusive partnership with the world-renowned brand Chenot. This partnership is setting new standards for resort wellbeing, offering state-of-the-art, science-based treatments together with the extraordinary level of luxury and service that One&Only is renowned for.

Our resort is the first One&Only to offer Chenot Espace, a transformative journey of detoxing and resetting the body based on the renowned Chenot Method®, with tailored programs and pioneering treatments scientifically designed to enhance guests’ vitality and optimum health, all year round. On more than 4,000 m² of spa facilities, guests are able to experience industry-leading, comprehensive wellness alongside a vibrant and captivating Riviera-style lifestyle.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

Tell us more about unique experiences you offer?

Whether our guests prefer to explore the area by land, or by sea, our amazing Experiences team has it all covered. One&Only Portonovi is set amid a rare nautical playground at the sheltered entrance of the bay, offering a private jetty for easy access to explore the coast. The surrounding Portonovi is also home to a 238-berth marina, where guests can charter a superyacht, classic speedboat, or wind-surfboard, and sail off for an unforgettable adventure. Or they can choose to travel back through time with our Classic Car Tour, motoring through scenic coastal roads in a vintage 55-year-old Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.

Also, One&Only Portonovi will take guests on trips of discovery from mountain tops to the deepest underwater caves. I would recommend our Marvels of The Mountain tour – a rigorous hike led by an ultra-trail athlete and local mountain hiking expert, that starts with a jeep safari through old Austro-Hungarian roads and ends on a secluded lake in Mount Orjen, the highest mountain on the Adriatic.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

Tell us more about the culinary offering at One&Only Montenegro?

One&Only Portonovi is home to some of the finest culinary experiences on the Adriatic coast, including a Riviera-style Italian restaurant Sabia, farm-to-table Montenegrin cuisine at La Veranda, and contemporary Japanese dishes alongside vibrant DJ sets at Tapasake Club.

The resort thus offers an exceptional dining experience, celebrating quality ingredients sourced from the surrounding sea and mountains – with an aim to reflect the flavours and culture of Montenegro and to focus on beautifully executed, seasonal dishes.

Regional ingredients and Montenegrin-inspired dishes are showcased at relaxed main restaurant, La Veranda, where guests are welcomed into the open kitchen by the resort’s Team of chefs. At breakfast, baskets of croissants, waffles, pancakes and a ‘doughnut of the day’ are freshly made. A large gluten-free offering is available, and the deli corner serves a selection of charcuterie and cheese, as well as smoked salmon boards. The lunch and evening menus focuses on local produce and popular Adriatic dishes from the mountains and the sea, with an emphasis on Mediterranean seasonal flavours. Signature dishes include healthy salads made from ancient grains such as farro, spelt and quinoa, as well as leaf and legume salads. The Providore houses a wide selection of fine charcuterie and cheeses, both local and European, while La Veranda’s evolving a la carte menu features sharing platters of roasted grilled meats and catch-of-the-day seafood. The dessert selection encapsulates the destination featuring tulumba with bagrem honey, cherry strudel and fresh fruit tarts sitting alongside chestnut and chocolate mille-feuille. The restaurant offers a wine cellar housing an expertly crafted selection of regional and European wines.

La Veranda also offers meals according to the Chenot Diet as part of the Chenot Method® for guests that want to lead a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Diet is one of the key pillars used by Chenot to promote vitality and boost energy levels, and these lighter menu options will be tailored for guests following Chenot programmes.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

Since we know how important service is to your costumers, how was with the educational process of your always excellently chosen staff team?

All of our new colleagues go through the specific onboarding process which begins with an orientation training. It is followed by extensive departmental training that ranges from both technical and emotional skills to learning and practising our service philosophy.

We aim to provide all our colleagues with a continuous learning environment that equips them with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to be successful in their roles and to create experiences that go beyond imagination for our guests.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

Adriatic region is really small but offers thousands of fantastic little oases (bays), can also business companies organize events at your resorts? What kind of options do you have prepared for them?

Indoor or outdoor, One&Only Portonovi offers distinctive spaces for all kinds of events on the Adriatic. From summits to training sessions, product launches to awards, corporate events at our resort go beyond ordinary, with a personalised approach and flawless service. Our stylish and spacious event space Arena has a capacity for 88 seated or 150 standing guests and boasts chic and sophisticated design to complement any event. Besides Arena, the resort offers comfortable and expertly designed meeting room Scena and board room Maska, both with the capacity of 10 people.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

Tell us more about the rooms design?

Our vision was to harmonize the resort’s features with the regional heritage, especially through our rooms’ design. It was inspired by the architectural style of the historical Montenegrin villages of the Bay of Kotor, with regional cultural references expressed throughout the artwork, decoration and patterns.

All our accommodation units feature chic, modern interiors, complemented by the dramatic backdrop of the Bay of Kotor. Innovative and original design features are prominent throughout the rooms, with each area celebrated as its own living space. Sleek, modern fireplaces merge contemporary design with tradition and are a warming touch for cooler nights. And large windows allow light to stream in and provide a private observation deck out to the Adriatic.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

Tell us more about the sustainability in One&Only chain?

In the last years, the world has become more aware of the fact that our resources are not infinite, and that we need to give back instead of just taking. That we need to stop taking from the generations that are yet to come and to preserve our environment and our planet.

One&Only takes pride in being deeply involved in sustainability programs. All of our resorts operate upon the foundation of responsible attitudes towards the local culture, environment and wildlife, which garners the respect and warmth of our local communities. One&Only also champions initiatives that give back and protect, including our global mission to become plastic-free – inspired by the plight of the oceans we love so much.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

In the current era, everyone is active on social media. Please tell us how has social media revolutionized the hospitality sector?

The whole world is moving towards digital, even more since impacted by the pandemic, and social media is a huge part of the process. It has changed the hospitality industry in different ways, in many segments – from the PR and marketing perspective to the reservations, customer relations and online reviews. As consumers are shifting online, businesses have to be there, to welcome them, to listen and to act upon the inputs. With platforms like Instagram, Tripadvisor, Expedia etc, the hospitality sector has gotten many opportunities for marketing – with promotions on social media being way less expensive, and much more effective in terms of targeting and precision than in the traditional media. Most importantly, social media has also improved transparency and emphasized the importance of customer satisfaction.

Influencer marketing has also proven to be a great opportunity for hotels and resorts, as words of mouth have been known to be the most powerful type of marketing. We are happy to get requests and create partnerships with people who share One&Only values and style and are able to spread awareness about our beautiful One&Only Portonovi.

Photo Courtesy of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro

How is One&Only Portonovi different than other One&Only resorts?

No two One&Only resorts are the same, yet they are all distinctly One&Only. Each of them is crafted to reflect the heart of the destination. But they’re at the same time connected through brand markers, which guests recognise as the essence of One&Only.

Each One&Only resort celebrates the local destination – by showcasing the best, the most authentic and engaging things to do in the area, from tradition and customs, architecture and art, to natural beauty and cuisine. And that’s what makes us different and unique.

Enquiries: +382 31 691 001
Reservations: +382 31 691 000
Email: [email protected]



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