This is definitely not a hotel for anyone who cannot manage steps. Located in the old part of Ulcinj, on Montenegro’s southern coastline, the “Hotel Palata Venezia”:http://www.hotelpalatavenezia.com/, is on a bluff overlooking the sea.
The only way up, for both you and your luggage, is via a steep slope and at least 200 steps. Fortunately, our fit driver, Bata, carried our bags up, leaving us huffing and puffing behind him. Our welcome was cursory, although we were told we could have a drink of our choice at the bar when we were ready. Having handed over our passports, we were shown to room 4A which meant climbing another set of exterior stone steps, and two flights of indoor wooden stairs.
Our room was spacious with practical tiled floor and slippery bedside rugs which we rolled up and placed under the bed. The dark wood furniture wardrobe, chest of drawers and desk were old fashioned, but the bed was large and comfortable. Two lovely windows provided views of the sea, but because of the age of the building, none of the 62 rooms have balconies. There was AC but we didn’t need it and preferred the open window. The only other facilities were a TV and fridge that initially wasn’t plugged in – a hole had been cut in the back of the wardrobe for the plug and it took some negotiating to get it through and plugged in. Likewise. the safe initially didn’t work and required new batteries. There was no tea or coffee making facilities, glasses or complimentary water. More importantly, there was no telephone in the room, so if you needed anything from reception it was down all the steps!
The bathroom was a reasonable size with capsule shower which pulsed water at varying temperatures, loo, bidet and basin. There was a glass shelf and window ledge for toiletries. Although there was a hairdryer, there wasn’t a plug point in the bathroom and the nearest one to a mirror, just about allowed me to see and dry hair. The towels were really thin and completely soaked after one use.
Breakfast was a casual affair with a choice of eating in the restaurant or on the beautiful stone terrace with its stunning views. There was a self-service buffet with three cereals, plain yoghurt, fruit bowl, orange and apple juice and a coffee machine. A very jolly man then served us with a plate of sweet and savoury pastries, breadbasket and fruit yoghurts and offered eggs. We took coffee and pastries onto the terrace to finish.
Having explored the downtown area, we realised nothing matched our hotel in terms of food and surroundings, so we enjoyed two lunches and one dinner in-house. The food was simple and Italian in style, so for lunch we had bruschetta with salad, and in the evening enjoyed spaghetti bolognaise and a veal steak, salad and grilled vegetables. At all times, the service was impeccable with attentive staff who anticipated our every need. As residents, we were given a 10% discount in the restaurant.
There was a small very cold pool with 10 loungers which were perfect for chilling in the late afternoon.
On leaving, Roy heroically took the bags down the stairs to reception and we found our driver who this time had parked at the back. So instead of going downhill we had to go uphill at first although it was a much shorter route.
Swallows swoop all around the hotel, and we eventually saw nesting boxes they’d erected in the eves, then we spotted the hotel logo had swallows on it.