Imagery courtesy of One & Only Portonovi, Montenegro
Jean Michel Gathy, principal designer at hospitality & design consultancy firm, Denniston is known for his creative and forward-thinking design. Some of his most innovatice concepts include the use of tents as luxury accommodation at Amanwana in Indonesia, and his luxurious design for the Chedi Muscat.
The One & Only Portonovi, Montenegro, which debuted in May 2021, is another such project. Jean Michel Gathy was the original architect, interior designer and landscape designer and – though a second architectural practice monitored architectural processes and, in some cases, they provided alternative finishes – the design is true to Denniston’s original concept.
“We started from nothing, from a flat ground, covered with crushed bricks, but facing a magnificent strait,” explains Jean-Michel Gathy. “We researched the historical and cultural characteristics of the destination. Montenegro, which was on the Silk Road, on the last step between Istanbul and Venice, was greatly influenced by the Ottoman presence.
“The different buildings are articulated among themselves, forming an animated whole, with columns, galleries, cornices surmounted by corbels. The garden is reminiscent of Venetian classicism from afar, but it is much more fanciful than it looks.”
“The different buildings are articulated among themselves, forming an animated whole, with columns, galleries, cornices surmounted by corbels”
Located at the entrance of Boka Bay, one of the most striking bays in Montenegro, guests of One&Only Portonovi can journey between the many secluded beaches and ancient towns on the resort’s own private boat.
Taking cues from the culture, history and geography of the destination, the hotel has been designed to incorporate the grand façades, majestic colonnades, and gabled terracotta rooftops, symbolic of Montenegrin architecture.
Interiors are elegantly styled, inspired by the baroque palazzos of Kotor, and the nearby Venetian-built port of Perast.
“The design of One & Only Portonovi, Montenegro is a ‘mixture of Venetian, Turkish and Slav proportions – the Palladio (volume and symmetry) feel of Venice, the Turkish respect for arches and the centrality of the hammam, and typically Montenegran construction methods and stone materials,” Gathy explains further.
Inspired by cerulean seas and emerald valleys, terracotta rooftops and crisp silver mountainsides, the guestrooms and suites perfectly reflect and amplify the beauty of Boka Bay. With an inventive design inspired by the breath-taking views and rich heritage, each room affords utmost seclusion and the perfect balance of indoor-outdoor living, featuring a foyer and a balcony or terrace.
The fully equipped bathrooms Renaissance to occlude the shower areas – each contains an exceptional yet enclosed central open fire that joins the vast open-plan bathroom, bedroom and seating areas.
Housing 113 guestrooms & suites and 10 luxury One & Only private homes, One & Only Portonovi, Montenegro integrates the touch of Jean Michel Gathy throughout a design and concept inspired by the beauty of Montenegro’s natural elements.