Santa Claus arrived in Montenegro early in December when Unesco added Boka Navy, a traditional heritage organization, to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The folk dance troupe is based in Kotor, a medieval walled port town on the Adriatic coast whose bay is already a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The accolade is just one more nod to a destination that is creating a sensation on the international stage after having been eclipsed for years by some of its neighbors in the Balkans.
One thing is certain, high-end hotel companies are taking note.
Where to stay in Montenegro
One & Only Portonovi, for example, made a big splash this spring on the Bay of Kotor.
The 60-acre, 123-room resort features a chic Chenot Espace spa, a restaurant overseen by Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli, and a private marina.
When it comes to attracting high-end guests, the new One & Only will compete with some well-established properties nearby, including the 99-room Allure Palazzi Kotor Bay Hotel, with a private dock and waterfront access, and the 111-room Chedi Lustica Bay, with a private beach and infinity pool.
The Regent Porto Montenegro https://www.ihg.com/regent/hotels/us/en/porto-montenegro/tivpm/hoteldetail on Boka Bay offers views of Lovcen mountain as well as 175 rooms, suites from one to three bedrooms and the penthouses of the Venezia Wing and Regent Pool Club residences.
Tours that touch Montenegro
Meanwhile, Montenegro is starting to appear more and more frequently on the itineraries of tour operators.
Backroads, for example, presents two Multi-adventure from Croatia to Montenegro tours – an “Easygoing” for people like me who prefer a dolce tempo pace (Backroads lingo for slower commutes and e-bike assistance) – both of which also include kayaking and sailing.
G Adventures offers several multi-destination tours that include Montenegro, some of which make the most of the destination’s strong sailing traditions.
As for cruise lines, it would be almost easier to name the ones that do not stop in Montenegro – but if Viking, Oceania, Azamara, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are on your customers’ wishlists, they are part of those whose destination during their Adriatic cruises.