There are few places in the old city of Kotor which are deemed aesthetically unpleasant to look at. Indeed, every which way you turn, you are met by breathtaking stone buildings standing together in perfect medieval harmony, laid out against polished cobblestone alleys and squares. The town, an UNESCO world heritage site often dubbed ‘baby Venice’ because of its centuries-old association as both a rival of Venice and its tributary, is entirely walkable from the north, south, east and west in an easy 30 minutes pace. Its largest town square (‘Narodni trg’), is noted for a series of fine churches, chapels and the awe-inspiring Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, Kotor’s patron saint. If these structures don’t impress you, the City Hall building and the Maritime Museum always draw bystanders, curious about the Venetian-looking porticos and winged lions on just about every nook and cranny. Once you’ve taken all the main attractions in – and this is very easy to do in a compact and harmonious town the size of Kotor - the next best thing is lolling about at one of the many inviting bars, cafes, and restaurants that flank the entire central square, creating a welcoming and relaxed environment. Tourists flooding into the mains square from the side streets and the main moated gate entrance to the old town, spend so much time marveling at the square and snapping all their photos, that it’s of little wonder that few stop to notice that they can do this from the luxury of an en-suite balcony. Well, now they can.
Located at the south-western end of the town square, the boutique Hotel Cattaro (which means ‘Kotor’ in Latin) blends right in. This majestic 5-star hotel offers splendid views of the majestic peaks of Mount Lovćen and Orjen in the background and a sweeping bird’s eye panorama of the entire town square if you are lucky enough to secure one of the suites facing east. It’s worth the extra money you would otherwise spend and guarantees you a chance at the best photograph of the entire old town magnificently laid out beneath you amidst the beauty of the Bay of Kotor (southern Europe’s only fjord) to the south, the mountains to the north and the twin-towered clock domes of the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon to the east. The rooms are all beautifully furnished and reflective of the late Venetian style which is clearly seen all over the Dalmatian and Montenegrin coast. Leaning over your porticoed Juliet and Romeo style balcony, you can not only see but also hear the happenings, gossip, and chatter of the tourists and townspeople alike walking just a few feet beneath you. It’s genuinely unparalleled and has become a hit since 2006, especially with the destination wedding circuit (follow them on Instagram @cattaro_hotel, and you will see some stunning visual images that make you want to book immediately), given its proximity to the church and chapel as well as its medieval, palazzo-like look and feel.
Built in the 18th century and encompassing three historic town structures – the Town Guard Tower, the Rector’s Palace, and the Old Town Hall, also known as the Napoleonic Theatre (dating to 1810) - the Hotel Cattaro has 17 guest rooms and 2 deluxe apartments that offer visitors a regal treatment and an unforgettably enriching experience. I stayed in one of the smaller rooms but felt as comfortable as Queen Victoria. The room was exquisitely decorated and made me feel I was getting the royal treatment even if it wasn’t deluxe. In the morning I made sure to order the Mimosa’s and sipped it at leisure while watching the hustle and bustle of the town come to life right beneath my balcony. The entire hotel has been lovingly restored by preserving its original condition and blending with themes that are unique to Kotor and the Bay of Kotor, such as its rich maritime and naval history. If you are wondering why the interior of the hotel is adorned with portraits of sea captains, admirals, famous ships and galleys from that era, and legendary naval battles depicting scenes from the Candian and Ottoman wars, you don’t need to wonder any longer. As the only boutique hotel in old Kotor, the Hotel Cattaro will ensure your stay is majestic and that every detail is taken care of.
So, if it’s historic sites, Venetian architecture, an ambient nightlife, organic cuisine, and unspoiled natural beauty you are after, the Hotel Cattaro is the place for you. Fit for a King.
For more information, visit: http://www.cattarohotel.com/index.php/en/