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Montenegrin 'jewel' revived by Balkan peace

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Nick Squires

(Read caption) Sveti Stefan can only be accessed by a causeway.

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

With its crescent-shaped beaches and terra-cotta-roofed houses overlooking the shimmering Adriatic Sea, it is little wonder that the island of Sveti Stefan was a favored hideaway for celebrities in the 1950s and ’60s.

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The hotel Saint Stephen attracted the likes of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Britain’s Princess Margaret, and Sophia Loren. But the hotel went into sharp decline in the 1990s as a result of the wars that ripped apart Yugoslavia.

Now the island hotel, off the coast of Montenegro and accessible only to guests, has been revamped by Singapore-based Aman Resorts and is set to reclaim its title as one of the jewels in the crown of this tiny Balkan country. The five-star resort costs €700 (about $1,000) a night. A deluxe suite, with a swimming pool and a garden, is €2,500 (about $3,600) night.