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Aman Poll and Questions 2010 onwards

Aman Poll and Questions 2010 onwards

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Old Oct 26, 10, 2:36 pm
  #301  
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Originally Posted by Musken View Post
Considering Aman Sveti Stefan next summer, and have a few questions:
- when will fitness center and pool (the bigger pool, not the little pool) be ready and open?
- how long should we stay there when we want to fully enjoy summer/beach/relaxation but also have time to discover the region. Is this rather a 3-4 days place or should we plan a week - or even two weeks??
- What is there to do outside of the Aman, local restaurants etc.?
- Any other hotels in the region that we could combine such a stay with?
When we stayed at Aman Sveti Stefan,only Villa Milocer was open (and we loved it). We combined it with a holiday in Greece which was a great combination for us. Vuittons stayed quite recently on the island and might have an update on the pool etc. (or email the resort for an update).
We really enjoyed touring the countryside and towns.The 'fjord' of Kotor is lovely.
I presume you are travelling with your family Musken so I cant help you with advice for young children. Obviously theres the beaches and the sea to enjoy but after that it might be worth emailing the same query to the hotel.
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Old Oct 26, 10, 2:58 pm
  #302  
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Fliar is at milocer right now
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Old Oct 27, 10, 3:15 pm
  #303  
 
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We just returned from Sveti Stefan and would like to post our impressions here. To start with the conclusion, this is a ‘real’ Aman, in the sense that it gives you the full Aman experience, as you would expect, even though it has not been open that long (something that we did not feel at Amantaka, although given time this may change). The setting of Villa Milocer is stunning and you feel privileged to spend time in such a special place. The outdoor terrace is a delight to sit on and read a book, or to have breakfast. Our room was fabulous – we had suite 3 which is the one to go for in the Villa as it is sea-facing and has a very large balcony. The furnishings in the room were extremely tasteful – in keeping with the style of the building while offering a fresh, modern feel at the same time. The central fireplace (not needed during our stay) and the massive LCD screen above it form quite the centrepiece. There are some design faults, though. One is – an all too common architectect’s disease – that the door of the toilet is made of transparent glass. Anyone else in the bathroom (or even from some points in the room) can look right in, so there is zero privacy. Completely silly. Another was that, although we had such a fabulous balcony, there was no furniture to sit on. So we schlepped some chairs outside. Overall though, the room was extremely comfortable and the rest of the building beautiful as well with the customary well-stocked library, spacious lobby, and restaurant.
The next day we moved to Sveti Stefan (deluxe cottage 18). The island is a world onto itself and Jean-Pierre and his team are doing an extraordinary job bringing it back to life. It is quite the experience simply to walk around. Words don’t do it justice. The project is not yet ready – the whole island shuts next week until mid-April, but enough was ready to get a sense of the extremely intimate and special atmosphere that is being created. The facilities could well become better than almost any other Aman. The bar is fabulous, the swimming pool beautiful, nestled on a sheer cliff with waves crashing 100 feet below, and another pool being built on the other side of the island overlooking Budva. Six spa rooms, a cigar bar, a pasticceria, a Mediterranean style piazza, all wonderful. Our cottage was extremely spacious with two terraces, a small one to the North, and a very large one to the South-East, an enormous ground-floor bathroom and a very large bedroom upstairs. Personally I preferred the décor in the Villa – the cottages were a bit too ‘rustic’ for me, reminding me of some of the cheaper houses we sometimes stayed in with our family in France (think white-washed walls, sparse wooden furniture). It would be difficult to do much else and the result is very much in keeping with the style of the island and the houses. The rooms are also very comfortable, but as a personal preference my vote goes to Villa Milocer.
So, Villa Milocer or Sveti Stefan? As an experience there is no question, the island is completely unique. The ocean all around you, the small streets, the sense of intimacy, privacy, and privilege of staying there are very special. But, do not think that staying at Villa Milocer is a second-rate choice. The building is superb, as is the setting and the rooms are gorgeous. If it becomes easier to move between the two (see below), this is a very good option indeed.
A pleasant surprise was food & beverage. At Amans we often find ourselves eating outside, either because we prefer local food or because we just don’t feel comfortable paying US$15 for a beer or $50 for a steak. We tried three of the restaurants, two of which are open to the public. Olive Restaurant is a casual but very pleasant place with absolutely fantastic food. Montenegrin specialties, very fresh, and very well cooked at very reasonable prices. We also ate at Queen’s Chair, which has absolutely stunning views. It is slightly more pricey but the quality was outstanding. This too is open to the public and so don’t expect the full Aman service experience (although staff were very friendly). Breakfast in the Villa was about as good as it gets, with absolutely fantastic pastries and cooked food. I’d struggle to think of anywhere in Central London where we would be able to get this level of breakfast food.
We also had a massage, one in the Villa in our room and one in a spa room on the Island. The two Thai masseuses (trained at Amanpuri) were very good, certainly not less so than at any of the Asian Amans.
Housekeeping was excellent
As good as it was, the experience was not flawless – some of the staff (especially at reception), although fine, still have a quite a ways to go before reaching Aman standards. There was occasionally a slight sense of reluctance, or at least not of a proactively pleasant demeanour (others were excellent – it’s so easy to pick the ones who will still be there five years from now). Others seemed oddly out of place and I kept wondering if they were Aman staff or not. Perhaps this is related to the building work that is going on on the island but many people seemed to be milling about that had no apparent business there. Even security guards and drivers were dressed in track pants and sports shoes and had not had any apparent Aman training (although they were not unfriendly). Even proper Aman staff did not have uniforms or even a uniform dress code. Some staff were walking around in tennis shoes (with dress pants). It felt a bit odd. Perhaps this was also because there is a real sense of disconnection between the ‘Aman world’ that you feel you enter when in the Villa and when on the island, and outside. The path between Villa Milocer and Sveti Stefan is open to the public, as are the beaches. This means that on the weekend we were there lots of people were walking in front of the Villa. Not quite so close to be disturbing, but one does feel a bit like a fish in an acquarium. So when stepping out of the villa and walking towards the island, you join families walking their dogs etc. Then when arriving at the causeway linking the mainland to Sveti Stefan, a gruff-looking ‘security guard’ in trainers tells you you can’t enter the island, until you point out you’re actually a guest. It’s difficult to describe but the sense of leaving the ‘Aman cocoon’ is not entirely ideal. I understand a shuttle boat will eventually operate between the two and that should make for a much more pleasant experience.

So, should you go? Yes, I would say so. As all Amans it is expensive but you get an ‘experience’ for your money. We would not hesitate to return.
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Old Oct 27, 10, 3:27 pm
  #304  
 
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Old Oct 27, 10, 4:06 pm
  #305  
 
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Thanks for the trip report. I guess there will be signs on the island saying "hotel guest only beyond this point" if some of the restaurants will be open to outside guest. I have friends who were outside guests enjoy a great dinner at Villa Milocer when it first opened. They were treated very kindly and not made to feel like an outsider. I can't wait to spend a week here next summer!
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Old Oct 28, 10, 2:52 am
  #306  
 
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Originally Posted by zigzag View Post
Thanks for the trip report. I guess there will be signs on the island saying "hotel guest only beyond this point" if some of the restaurants will be open to outside guest. I have friends who were outside guests enjoy a great dinner at Villa Milocer when it first opened. They were treated very kindly and not made to feel like an outsider. I can't wait to spend a week here next summer!
Great review, many thanks. I am trying to book a week there next June and Aman are being VERY slow at getting back to me, which is unusual. Assuming the new pool, spa etc should be open by then?
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Old Oct 28, 10, 9:54 am
  #307  
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Originally Posted by Londonjetsetter View Post
Great review, many thanks. I am trying to book a week there next June and Aman are being VERY slow at getting back to me, which is unusual. Assuming the new pool, spa etc should be open by then?
I have just booked for July. No problems getting quick responses. I was dealing with Aman Sveti Stefan directly, not the central reservations people. If you did not, try this.
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Old Oct 28, 10, 9:55 am
  #308  
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And thanks to Fliar from me, too. Never too much information when I am going to go somewhere, I am learning new things all the time - even after the 12 page GG.
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Old Oct 28, 10, 10:20 am
  #309  
 
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Originally Posted by Musken View Post
I have just booked for July. No problems getting quick responses. I was dealing with Aman Sveti Stefan directly, not the central reservations people. If you did not, try this.
Thanks. Still not heard back from Aman (emailed 2 days ago). So will try again. Not a great start.
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Old Oct 28, 10, 3:36 pm
  #310  
 
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Originally Posted by Londonjetsetter View Post
Thanks. Still not heard back from Aman (emailed 2 days ago). So will try again. Not a great start.
Yeah, this happens to us too sometimes. They also have a habit of sending ridiculously large pdf files (when not asked) - several megabytes for 2 pages. They need to learn to compress their pictures
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Old Oct 29, 10, 8:10 am
  #311  
 
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Originally Posted by Londonjetsetter View Post
Thanks. Still not heard back from Aman (emailed 2 days ago). So will try again. Not a great start.
OK they have replied now and have availability. Does anyone know what the village rooms are like and whether it's definitely worth upgrading to the cottages? (or are the village rooms part of the new block that has not yet been built?)
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Old Oct 29, 10, 8:13 am
  #312  
 
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Originally Posted by Londonjetsetter View Post
OK they have replied now and have availability. Does anyone know what the village rooms are like and whether it's definitely worth upgrading to the cottages? (or are the village rooms part of the new block that has not yet been built?)
No, there are Village Rooms already, but they are really tiny and I would definitely not recommend them unless you are travelling solo. It is definitely worth upgrading to a Cottage as they are so much bigger and nicer.
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Old Oct 29, 10, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
No, there are Village Rooms already, but they are really tiny and I would definitely not recommend them unless you are travelling solo. It is definitely worth upgrading to a Cottage as they are so much bigger and nicer.
Thank you - we'll take a Cottage then. Since the BA flights go to Dubrovnik we are thinking of spending a couple of nights there first (never been). Is there anywhere you'd recommend there?
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Old Oct 29, 10, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by Londonjetsetter View Post
Thank you - we'll take a Cottage then. Since the BA flights go to Dubrovnik we are thinking of spending a couple of nights there first (never been). Is there anywhere you'd recommend there?
In a word, No.

We thought of doing the same but after extensive research found that there was nothing at all of any acceptable standard in Croatia/Dubrovnik, so we got Aman to pick us up from Dubrovnik and frankly really enjoyed the 2-hour car drive as it takes you right along the coastline, so you get a really good impression of the region. We did the same journey on the way back, but with a little detour - again well worth it and very enjoyable.

When Aman collect you from Dubrovnik, they don't use their own people (only from Tivat), but they chose a couple of good drivers with comfy cars and we were very satisfied.

Dubrovnik is a tourist scrum, especially in the summer when the big cruise ships unload thousands of people. It is not a nice experience. Best escape quickly into the arms of Sveti Stefan, which is a different world entirely.
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Old Oct 29, 10, 6:44 pm
  #315  
 
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I agree 100% with what vuittonsofstyle said above. We drove ourselves, which we enjoyed a lot, but I agree that Dubrovnik is not a place to stay. It is very pretty and I would certainly recommend a day there but would not recommend staying overnight. We stayed at Hotel Bellevue, which was acceptable but by no means spectacular. Dubrovnik is very touristy with poor food and service - it is also (very) overpriced.
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