Perfect escape by Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2021 to a new luxury destination on the Adriatic coast – One&Only Portonovi Resort
There’s a nifty phrase in English to describe a person or company able to inspire or have an impact on others – game changer. These are ideas that break existing rules and create new ones, designs that become timeless or simply products and services that push the limits and leave an indelible imprint in history.
Mercedes S-Class 2021 is the new luxury flagship
When it comes to luxury, design, quality and marketing, Riva changed yachting, Rolex knew just what the international jet set wanted, while Mercedes S-Class is a unit of measure for refined and luxurious car travel.
Sonderklasse or ‘special class’ was introduced in 1972 and over the past six generations it has turned into the flagship vehicle for the entire auto industry. A car that not only dictates trends but also sets new ones that will not appear in mass production until in a couple of years. The S-class is always a few steps ahead, literally and figuratively speaking.
The best car in the world
The new S-Class underpins Mercedes’ claim to produce the best automobile in the world. Using Star Trek terminology, its combination of modern technology and the experience of travel makes it the Enterprise. The seventh generation is one of the most advanced cars on the road nowadays, so we took the new S 350 d 4MATIC for a spin to see how it works in practice.
Our trip from Zagreb to the Adriatic took us to the new One&Only Portonovi luxury resort in Herceg Novi, the first resort by the prestigious brand in Europe. More than 1,000 km to Montenegro and back was an ideal casting for the S-Class to star as king of travel on a journey that would highlight the finer points and the engineering expertise.
On the road with Mercedes S-Class 2021
The motorway is the natural habitat for the Mercedes flagship that was designed to turn kilometres into mere statistics. The combination of a 286 Hp engine, 9 G-tronic automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive deliver a perfectly in-sync symphony, a myriad of sensors and cameras and Level 3 system automated driving are all about your safety, while the supreme comfort and quiet in the cabin are the result of top aerodynamics and retractable door handles that give the impression of gliding through the air.
The credit for creating a zen mode goes to the air suspension that turn the S-Class drive into a cruise on asphalt, to put it in yachting terms. Regardless of the quality of the road you are on, the Mercedes glides like a magic carpet, so your every trip is like an adventure on the Silk Road.
As urban legend goes, S-Class engineers have the most stressful job in the world due to high expectations for each new generation, but they have definitely stepped out of their comfort zone when it comes to the vehicle interior. We dare to say that the S-Class is a unique blend of traditional luxury and the digital era.
Interior of Mercedes S-Class 2021
A large screen floating above the centre console matches select materials such as wood, leather and aluminium perfectly, while the general ambiance of the interior will make you feel as if inside a high-class SPA. This wellness on wheels features heated and ventilated seats with a 10-mode massage option, special relaxation programs and ambient lighting, while the optional 4D surround system with 31 speakers will turn the cabin into your private ‘La Scala’ or ‘Covent Garden’.
Hey, Mercedes, I’m stressed
The benefits of this will be best felt by passengers in the back seat, or rather armchair, which is where an S-Class owner normally sits. All you have to do is say: ‘Hey, Mercedes, I’m stressed’ and, in the manner of top personal trainers, the car will get to work…
The greatest leap forward is the functionality and intuitiveness of the digital interface. Virtual reality, 3D instruments and five screens in the interior are an example of technology in the service of user, focusing on the ease of use.
Let’s put it this way: the new interface will be liked by businesspersons who are used to Zoom, but even the more experienced owners used to meeting in person will not feel behind the times when using the second generation of MBUX. The user experience was honed to perfection by Mercedes.
‘Unforgettable experience’ is a phrase that is also used often by people managing the new temple of luxury on the Adriatic coast, at the mouth of the Bay of Kotor, right next to Herceg Novi. We are talking about the Portonovi complex, built on a former Yugoslav seaplane base comprising three parts – marina, luxury resort and the most luxurious hotel in the region, which opened its doors on 1 May.
One&Only Portonovi is a regional game changer
The One&Only Portonov is the first resort by the prestigious brand in Europe and a few days before the official opening, we were given a ‘sneak preview’ of what’s in store for future guest or visitors who will be able to sail into the resort with their yachts, just like in other elite European destinations. Like the S-Class, One&Only Portonovi is a regional game changer when it comes to luxury accommodation and we got a chance to see the magic happen first hand.
The combination of southernmost fjord in Europe, azure-blue sea and snow-capped mountains that look as if they’re touching the sky is a perfect painting for new experiences and exploring the beauties of this part of the Adriatic. Portonovi has undoubtedly created some of the most charming places on the Adriatic coast, in the small, but stunning country of Montenegro.
To keep the rich history alive, within the grounds of the resort there are two parks with trees over a hundred years old, as well as a small 16th-century church. As a direct link to its surroundings, the resort gardens feature numerous olive and palm trees. The resort’s marina is a contemporary building that can be a great gateway for marine visitors to discover what the resort has to offer. D-Marin Portonovi has 238 berths and can accommodate yachts and superyachts of up to 120m.
Private homes and villas
There’s helipad access for VIP guests, while the duty free fuel supply will make owners and yacht captains particularly happy. If you like staying here, there are over one hundred accommodation units for rent and ‘charter management’, from luxury apartments with a sea view, to One&Only villas, thought to be the crown jewel of real estate offer in this part of Europe at the moment.
Whether you’re interested in tourism or good investment, resort designers had high quality and amenities in mind, so, in addition to convenience stores, there are several restaurants and an haute couture store is set to open soon.
The Village itself is a charming, low-rise oasis of beauty and tranquilly featuring residences with interesting façades, alleys ending with fountains, while the cafés and restaurants on the small square are an ideal location for drinking your first cup of coffee in the morning or relaxing overlooking the yachts in the marina.
Carefully chosen lavish details
During our tour of the resort, we got a chance to peek inside several breath taking villas that are currently sought-after by buyers from around the world. As part of the prestige One&Only group with resorts at 12 carefully selected locations around the world, the new hotel is undeniably the pièce de résistance of the entire complex.
The interior evokes the style of posh Venetian palaces, while tasteful and carefully chosen lavish details are combined with destination-specific details, such as the traditional Montenegrin golden embroidery. Red terracotta roofs, glorious colonnades, spacious gardens and 21 indoor and outdoor pools celebrate the rich history of the area and the grandeur of Herceg Novi, Kotor and Perast, while 123 rooms, apartments and villas with large windows and terraces to soak in the gorgeous scenery provide a new experience of luxury.
The penthouse with a million-dollar view
An effective and emotional detail adorning each room is the open fireplace, symbolising the hearth that is an element of particular importance and status in Montenegro’s culture as a place of gathering and socialising. The presidential Suite One is the star of the hotel. The penthouse with a million-dollar view and a private wine cellar (offering only regional and European wines to reduce the carbon footprint), outside dining area and separate entrance and a service lift for the butler reminds one of mega yachts with its spaciousness and comfort.
If you’re looking for complete privacy, you should opt for one of the villas that represent the culmination of the hotel’s offer. Each villa has its own fragrant garden and private pools, as well as a hydrotherapy pools with six massage stations and incredible sunset view, topped with exceptional service by a dedicated team at the guests’ disposal.
You can also purchase a One&Only villa with a private beach and a private jetty. Many resources will also be available for visitors that are not staying at the hotel, while the only thing off limits for outside guests will be the sandy hotel beach (the sand for which was brought all the way from Egypt).
In line with global trends, One&Only Portonovi wants to establish itself as an essential stop for top gastronomy and each of the three restaurants within the hotel has its own vision and story. Sabia by Giorgio Locatelli offers Italy-inspired dishes prepared by Italy’s very own Giorgio Locatelli, a top chef who has been awarded a Michelin star for 18 years in a row.
The Tapasake Club focuses on contemporary Japanese cuisine, while the pool, berth and potential for after beach parties will make it particularly interesting to yachtsmen, which is why we predict that it will become a top yachting destination. Lovers of local cuisine will adore La Veranda and its Hemingway-style design, while the Caminetti lobby bar is an ideal location for enjoying tea or cognac after a romantic dinner.
‘One&Only wants to create one-of-a-kind memories for guests that will last for a lifetime. From snacks on the beach, natural juices, lunch or dinner… The taste of wild strawberries or blueberries, the fragrance of fresh herbs or the complexity of local cheeses. It’s all part of an unforgettable experience that you will take home with you and cherish forever’, says One&Only Resort Head Chef Nancy Kinchela. She and her team arrived all the way from Australia to set One&Only standards and, in her own words, fell in love with the local ingredient offer.
Unique Louis Vuitton handbags
Even though her sommelier is from Ecuador, the hotel is proud to say that 70 percent of their staff is Montenegrin. We were happy to visit the hotel shop that has a balanced offer of world-renowned and boutique luxury brands.
The current ‘it’ pieces are two unique Louis Vuitton handbags with patterns that resemble Montenegro’s flag and cost around 20 thousand euros. In addition to luxury shopping, persons of means will be particularly drawn to a special jewel in the One&Only crown, the exclusive Chenot Espace that we will have a detailed feature in Yachts summer edition.
Mercedes S-Class 2021 and One&Only Portonovi offer new experiences
For now, let us only drop a hint that it takes a revolutionary approach to wellness blending Chinese medicine and Western technology. A new star is born on the map of luxury and we are thrilled that One&Only will attract even better and more affluent guest to the region.
Just like Mercedes S-Class 2021, the One&Only Portonovi also offers a brand new indulgent experience. Going back to our note from the introduction, these are true game changers in their categories. The culmination of contemporary 21st century philosophy of luxury that will win you over in a heartbeat.
Text Darko Šupuk & Hrvoje Bulešić
Photos Miloš Samardžić & One&Only Portonovi