Villa Stari Mlin

Herceg Novi, Montenegro Book from Book from £250 per night

Rustic hillside villa (sleeping 2-10) set in a walled garden with an infinity pool and sweeping views over the Bay of Kotor
We would happily spend weeks marvelling at the views from Villa Stari Mlin. Like us, British owners Jonathan and William were enchanted by the vistas of 'mountains rising straight from the sea and the fortified medieval towns', so they bought this 16th-century former olive mill and set about renovating its old stonework and wooden beamed ceilings.

Inside, they fashioned a gracious but cosy living room, a spacious kitchen and five en-suite double bedrooms, then furnished it all with antique pieces, handmade Persian rugs, old prints and contemporary artworks – Jonathan once owned and ran a gallery specialising in art from the former Soviet republics. The result is a fabulous, homely retreat with bags of character.

Outside, there's a terraced garden with outdoor eating spaces and a pool rimmed by white parasols and wooden sunbeds, all overlooking the dramatic mountains and calm waters of Kotor Bay. The location, on Lustica peninsula, offers a lush interior dotted with rural villages, medieval churches and olive groves that once supplied the Venetian Republic's coastal settlements. Lustica gives onto Kotor Bay to the north and the open sea to the south, where you'll find several blissfully secluded beaches. Nearby activities include sailing, sea-kayaking, cycling and hiking; kids will love it here. Come with all the family or bring your friends - this would make a great hideaway for a celebration with loved ones.

Highs

  • Magnificent hillside location above the Bay of Kotor – near medieval Kotor town, but away from the crowds
  • Lovely walled garden with stone terraces, a barbecue, a pool with views, fig trees, climbing roses and fragrant herbs
  • Each bedroom has its own outdoor entrance for added privacy
  • The rustic sitting room, with its wood-burning stove, comfy sofas, antique pieces, artworks, music system and HDTV and DVD player
  • Proximity to both the sea and the mountains – a perfect base for watersports and adventure sports enthusiasts

Lows

  • The tiny hamlet of Zabrdje is very sleepy so don't expect much in the way of shopping or nightlife - although there is a van that comes each morning selling homemade wine, meat, oil and other essentials
  • You really need to hire a car to explore the area properly
  • Only one en-suite bathroom has a bathtub – the others have glass-sided showers

Best time to go

Summer is the season if you want to swim, sunbathe and enjoy local open-air cultural events. June or September are great for warm seas without the crowds; Kotor gets extremely busy in July and August. May and October are best if you prefer hiking and cycling. If you decide to brave the chillier months, the villa's wood-burning stove works a treat, and blankets are supplied for sitting out on the terrace.

Our top tips

Drive to Mount Lovcen (1660m) and climb the 460 steps up to the Njegos Mausoleum, which was built to commemorate Montenegrin national hero Prince-Bishop Petar II Petrovic Njegos (1813-1851). Designed by sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, built of limestone, granite and marble, and completed in 1974, it affords panoramic views over the surrounding mountains, down to Kotor Bay and out across the blue Adriatic.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Villa
  • 5 bedrooms
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • English-speaking caretaker
  • Pool and beach towels
Room:

Rooms

Each bedroom is different in terms of layout, aspect and decor, but all have exposed stone walls, handmade Persian rugs and an eclectic mix of antique prints and contemporary artworks from across the former Soviet Union. You get an en-suite bathroom, a safe, WiFi and air-conditioning. All rooms have kingsize beds, but in two rooms these can be divided to create two singles if preferred.

The master bedroom, Orla, has two doors opening onto the garden, plus a sofa, a marble coffee table and mahogany dressing tables. Copper is named after its copper bedstead and has a collection of novels in French, Russian, English and Italian, plus lots of art books, and the best views across the garden and pool to the bay and mountains. Oriental has a Chinoiserie painted altar table and is hung with Oriental art and antique swords. Oak is named after its 18th-century carved oak side table, while the more ostentatious Herrington has a mirrored dressing table and bedside tables.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbecue
  • Board games
  • CD player
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • DVD player
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Wood burning stove

Eating

The kitchen is extremely spacious and lovely for cooking in. It has exposed stone walls, five little windows giving onto the garden, and a long wooden dining table seating 10. Russian propaganda posters and African masks decorate the walls. You'll find everything you need for cooking up a storm: oven, hotplates, fridge, freezer and kettle, plus plenty of pots, pans, glasses and crockery. We particularly loved the main workspace, which is a central island rimmed by high stools.

There's a covered verandah with an alfresco dining table for warmer months. Steps lead down to the garden, where you'll find an outdoor summer kitchen (barbecue, fridge and sink) shaded by a pergola. For shopping, the nearest supermarket is Queen in Krasici (5km). Or, if you're feeling indulgent, a chef can be arranged on request.

If you opt to eat out, good restaurants are a short drive away. Try Forte Rose in Rose and Ribarsko Selo in Zanjice, both with lovely waterside terraces. In Kotor, rustic Scala Santa is the town's oldest eatery, with a lovely open fire in winter.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Toaster
  • Self-catering
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore Kotor's Unesco-listed fortified old town, with its 12th-century cathedral, Venetian-era mansions and quaint cobbled alleys filled with restaurants and cafes.
  • Visit tiny Perast, looking onto twin islets, each capped by a church – catch a boat from the seafront to Our Lady of the Rocks.
  • Sunbathe and swim at local beaches – try Zanjice, a curving pebble bay backed by several bars and restaurants, or the chi-chi Almara Beach Club on a wide wooden deck hosting guest DJ's near Lustica Bay.
  • Try sea kayaking or paddleboarding - Montenegro+ offer guided tours from Veslo beach on Lustica to the Blue Cave, as well as night paddling from Movida beach.
  • Charter a private yacht from Porto Montenegro marina for a skippered sailing trip around Kotor Bay.
  • Go olive oil tasting in Tici, where Ilija Moric runs tours of his olive groves and 400-year-old mill, followed by a lunch of traditional local specialities.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Paddleboarding
  • Quad biking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Wakeboarding

Kids

The villa and garden offer a safe and peaceful environment for children to play in. Having your own kitchen (and a separate outdoor kitchen) means you can prepare special meals for kids. Cots, high-chairs and other baby-care equipment are available on request. Kids will love the pool, as well as trips to local beaches, sea kayaking, paddleboarding, cycling and hiking.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Two of the rooms can be set up as twins - request when booking. There's a folding bed available if older children prefer to share a room with their parents

Baby equipment:

  • High chair
  • Baby cots
  • Eating utensils & crockery
  • Potty
  • Bedding

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Cycling
  • Sandy beaches
  • Swimming and snorkelling

Families Should Know:

The pool is not fenced.

Distances:

  • Airport: 25 minutes
  • Hospital: 25 minutes
  • Supermarket: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Villa Stari Mlin sits in the peaceful hillside hamlet of Zabrdje, on the north side of Lustica peninsula, overlooking the sheltered waters of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.

By Air:
Tivat (15km) is the closest and most convenient airport. You could also fly into Dubrovnik (66km) or Podgorica (95km), and then self-drive along the coast.

From the Airport
We'd recommend hiring a car in order to reach the villa and explore the surrounding area. See our car rental recommendations. There is free off-road parking at the villa.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you confirm a booking through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Tivat 15.0 km
  • Podgorica 95.0 km

Other:

  • Beach 1.0 km
  • Shops 2.7 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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