What it's like living as a millionaire in Montenegro, a tiny country called 'the next French Riviera,' where wealthy foreign buyers snap up luxury real estate and dock their yachts in glitzy marinas
- Montenegro, a tiny country in southeastern Europe, is an emerging luxury destination.
- Approximately 64 millionaires live in the tiny country, which is about the same size as Connecticut.
- It recently launched a program allowing wealthy foreigners to obtain a Montenegro passport if they invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the country.
- It's also one of the top destinations for billionaires in 2019.
- Montenegro is an attractive port for yacht owners, largely thanks to Porto Montenegro, which can fit 450 superyachts and includes luxury shopping and restaurants.
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The Balkan country was named one of the top destinations billionaires are traveling to in 2019 in a recent report by Business Insider and luxury travel agency Original Travel.Millionaires in Montenegro can get free 24-hour servicing for the yachts, stay in luxurious hotels like the Regent Porto Montenegro and the island-resort of Sveti Stefan, and reap the benefits of exclusive Owners Clubs and Yacht Clubs.
Here's what it's like living in Montenegro as a millionaire.
Montenegro, a Balkan country in southeastern Europe on the Adriatic Sea, may not be top of mind for a luxury destination. But the tiny country is one of the top destinations billionaires are traveling to in 2019, according to a recent report by Business Insider and luxury travel agency Original Travel.
As a yachting hotspot with striking scenery, Montenegro is emerging as a luxury destination, with some calling it "the next French Riviera."
The tiny country, which is about the size of Connecticut, is bordered by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea.
Montenegro has also been compared to Monaco, a parallel that's not necessarily embraced. "In my opinion, Monaco has lost its soul — there's no real atmosphere there anymore," says Kai Dieckmann, the general manager of the Regent Porto Montenegro, a five-star property in Boka Bay, Montenegro. "But in Montenegro, we have natural beauty, incredible food and wine that are both locally grown, and friendly people."
Montenegro was home to approximately 64 millionaires at the end of 2017, according to the Central Montenegro bank.
And it opens its doors to foreign millionaires as well. Montenegro is one of several countries where wealthy immigrants can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in the country and obtain a passport in return.
Montenegro is a yacht-lovers paradise. Porto Montenegro, a newly built marina in Tivat, Montenegro, is a popular port for yachts and has grown into a luxury destination.
Porto Montenegro describes itself as "an exclusive marina and yachting paradise" with waterfront residences, restaurants, luxury shopping and hotels, and upscale events.
It can accommodate more than 450 large yachts.
One of Porto Montenegro's most luxurious hotels is the Regent Porto Montenegro, which has 87 rooms that can be rented through the hotel, while 62 others were made to be purchased.
Porto Montenegro also offers upscale condos in either the Village Residences or the Regent Residences, where residents can take advantage of all the amenities at the Regent Porto Montenegro Hotel.
Following in Porto Montenegro's footsteps is Lustica Bay, a megadevelopment that has cost more than $1 billion, making it the largest tourist investment in the history of Montenegro. It will eventually include seven luxury hotels, two marinas, a new village, and a golf course.
The Chedi Lustica Bay, which sits on the main marina promenade, was the first five-star hotel to open at Lustica Bay in August 2018.
In addition to the luxury hotels, Lustica Bay will also offer townhouses, villas, condos, and apartments.
About 22 miles down the coast from Lustica Bay is Sveti Stefan, a luxurious island-hotel owned by the Aman Group that's opened in 2011.
The restored stone buildings house 50 rooms, cottages, and suites, and nightly rates start at about $990.
Montenegro's real-estate prices are still low compared to Monaco and the French Riviera. For a little less than $300,000, you can get a three-bedroom luxury condo with a terrace overlooking the sea, or a four-bedroom, three-story house in Budva for the same price.
But prices and demand are going up as foreign buyers take notice of Montenegro. Some of the country's most prestigious addresses are on the island of Sveti Stefan, where you can get a five-bedroom luxury villa with five levels of living space, a two-car garage, a fitness center, a sauna and pool, and a terrace, for about $3.3 million.
Foreign buyers became increasingly interested in Montenegro after it joined NATO in 2017, started getting more direct flights from other destinations, and adopted the euro as its currency.
The picturesque Bay of Kotor, with its dramatic cliffs and sparkling blue waters, is a particularly attractive location for foreign home buyers.
The charming ancient town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is popular with locals and tourists alike. Kotor's Old Town is a maze of cobblestoned streets, churches, and café-filled squares.
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