Things To Do In Montenegro's Luštica Peninsula

An Acclaimed General Manager Moves to Montenegro To Open One Of The Country's First Five-Star Hotels
Marc de Ruijter, The Chedi Luštica Bay's general manager.
Marc de Ruijter
General Manager, The Chedi Luštica Bay

Before he arrived Montenegro never knew luxury; now he’s setting a new standard.

When acclaimed general manager Marc de Ruijter got the call to run the brand new Chedi Luštica Bay in Montenegro he was immediately intrigued. The property opened in July 2018 and was one of the country’s first five-star hotels. Everyone was excited as it was an opportunity to bring a new set of travelers to a relatively undiscovered region. The property also had an incredible asset: unrestricted natural beauty. Set on the Adriatic Coast, it is surrounded by olive groves, cypress forests, mountain peaks, and blue seas. He remains as excited as his guests to explore his surroundings. "Montenegro itself is a completely new destination to discover," he said. "For guests and myself included."

A Grand Deluxe corner suite at The Chedi Luštica Bay features such delights as views of the Adriatic Sea.
Straddling the Land and the Sea

It’s rare to be surrounded by both pure beauty and lively social settings. One generally excludes the other. But The Chedi Luštica Bay is perfectly placed to be fully immersed in both. The resort lives on the Adriatic Sea with a coastline so special Lord Byron once called it, “the most beautiful encounter between land and sea.” It’s also at the doorstep of five national parks including Europe’s deepest canyon.

But the hotel is also located in a town reminiscent of a historic fishing village. It’s the perfect setting for strolling cobblestone streets, markets, and quaint restaurants that serve local, mouth-watering delicacies. It was only when de Ruijter arrived that he realized the full extent of what was on offer. “The hotel’s location is unique with the intimacy of being both part of the marina and the seaside town,” he said. “Montenegro’s delights are within easy reach.”

The indoor pool at the spa.
The Chedi Luštica Bay

With all the magic swarming outside, The Chedi Luštica Bay is designed to enhance, not distract from its prized position. Guest rooms are built into the mountain and have green roofs that blend into the landscape. All 100 rooms and suites let in beams of light and breathtaking views. At the spa an infinity pool blends into the sea outside. The Spot, a restaurant that serves local cuisine, attracts both locals and tourists. The hotel intentionally created an atmosphere for those who want to socialize said de Ruijter. “The shared plates format encourage it.”

Local Recommendations

Uncover New Treasures With General Manager Marc de Ruijter

From family-owned restaurants to a mausoleum, de Ruijter plays the ultimate host, sharing his favorite places in the Luštica peninsula.

Hiking Excursion

A Mausoleum On Top Of A Mountain

Lovcen Mountain is a stunning peak in southwest Montenegro. It is the mountain that actually inspired the country’s name. At the very top is Njegoš Mausoleum, a historic and spiritual site. You get there by climbing a narrow staircase that winds through the mountain. The massive stone structures are a site to behold said de Ruijter: “It leaves one to wonder how they were able to transport these up to such a remote and high mountain top.”

Njegoš Mausoleum at the top of Lovcen Mountain.

Local Cuisine

Traditional Food That Comes Straight From The Source

Boka Bay is a winding inlet that has been inhabited since antiquity. Rich traditions are found there, especially when it comes to eating. There is one family-owned restaurant in Prčanj that offers an authentic experience. The food comes with no fanfare or pretense. The meal simply consists of fresh, delicious ingredients found nearby, said de Ruijter. “The Gušti mixed platter, which consists of fried calamari and prawns, seafood black risotto, fish, and octopus salad prepared according to family recipes, is to die for. I love discovering places that have a longstanding tradition of serving local, fresh, quality food.”

Almara Beach Club

Energize The Senses At A Nearby Beach Club

Opposite The Chedi Luštica Bay, next to the hotel, is the Almara Beach Club (Oblatno, Tivat; +382-67-170-017), one of the liveliest spots in the region. Set against the mountains, it is a picturesque spot for socializing and relaxing. Guests from near and far arrive by car, by bike, by foot, and by boat (the club has its own jetty.) They dance on the wide sun decks, lounge on the white sofas, and flirt by the open-air bar. It’s where you can experience first-hand why the Mediterranean people are legendary for their lifestyle. “During the day they have a DJ who mixes music to further tease your sense,” said de Ruijter.

Explore Lake Skadar

Southern Europe’s Largest Lake Is A Feast For The Eyes

Lake Skadar has an unusual location, lying exactly on the border of Albania and Montenegro. It’s not known by many global travelers—the lake remains undeveloped and protected—but it should be. It is Southern Europe’s largest lake as well as the home of more than 25 rare or endangered species of fauna. Locals love exploring the lake with slow-moving wooden boats that don’t harm nature. From them you’ll see orchids, water lilies, even bamboo. The experience is a like a plant safari.

Visit Cetinje

Explore An Ancient City From One Of It's Many Terraces

In the 15th Century Cetinje was the center of Montenegrin life. It was where the language, the food, and the culture was developed. While it is no longer the official capitol of the country, it’s the honorary one and first in locals’ hearts and minds. The President’s official residence as well as the National Museum (Novice Cerovića, Cetinje; +382-41-230-310) are based there. For de Ruijter a perfect way to explore the old city is to enjoy a cup of local coffee on one of its many terraces. It doesn’t matter which one, as long as it offers a good view and is packed with spirited locals.