The beautiful Bay of Kotor is the most popular area of Montenegro, by the Adriatic Sea near Croatia. The area around the UNESCO World Heritage historic walled city of Kotor can get packed with tourists and is not exactly peaceful in the cruise ship season. Go a few miles down the road to Hotel Splendido, however, and it’ll be splendid indeed.
Situated on the waterfront road that goes all the way around the huge bay, Hotel Splendido has views of the clear blue water and the towering rock mountains that surround it. That road has been here in some fashion for a very long time: some of the buildings lining it near the hotel went up centuries ago.
We rolled in on bicycles and would have been happy with hot showers and a bartender. When we pulled up here and then looked at the pool, we got downright excited. The hotel is partially housed in a renovated former palace that’s made of stone. It is new and modern on the inside, however, with most of the conveniences you’d expect, a full restaurant, and the swimming pool you see at the top. If you’d prefer a swim in the salt water instead, you can just climb down a ladder and take a dip in the bay.
Electronic key fobs open the door to rooms that are European in size, but well-stocked for the price. There are 43 of them in all with various configurations, from two twin beds to a spacious apartment with full living room. Ample parking is free on site, some of it covered. All rooms have complimentary Wi-Fi, TV, basic toiletries, air conditioning, safe, and a hair dryer. Plus when you look out the window you may get a view like mine:
A sizable breakfast buffet is included, with plenty of healthy choices on hand. At night the space gets more formal and turns into an Italian restaurant. There’s not much else that’s close by if you’re on foot or bike in terms of restaurants, so plan on spending a hotel rate on dinner unless you drive or catch a ride down the road.
The hotel does run a complimentary shuttle to the ancient city of Kotor, which is only about five minutes away by car usually. If it’s high season, go late in the day or early in the morning before the tour buses arrive from Dubrovnik. There are boats for rent to explore the area on the water and you can schedule a massage. Staffers speak a reasonable amount of English, which is not always a given in this part of the world. They’re helpful and friendly, which is also not always a given in Montenegro.
Most rooms are 90 to 160 euros with breakfast included but rates drop more on booking sites in the off-season. Get more info at the hotel website (in English) or check rates online at TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
Review and photos by Tim Leffel, who stayed at the hotel on a tour while cycling through the Balkans for six days.