With architecture and initial concept design by Denniston Architects, HBA together with its brand partners Illuminate Lighting Design, Social F+B, Canvas, and HBA Graphics, collaborated to creates an understated, modern design that celebrates the resort’s key asset – sweeping vistas of the fjord-like Boka Bay.

Illuminate Lighting Design’s scope covered façade lighting, landscape lighting, and interior lighting. At 60 acres and only 123 guestrooms, Illuminate seeks to present the narratives of each space and help connect the guests in their exploration of the expansive resort, ultimately elevating the experience of the exclusive and ultra-luxurious escape.

Surrounded by sublime sunrise and sunsets, Illuminate envisioned the overarching use of tuneable white LED to immerse the interior atmosphere to its exterior. Cooler white by day to energise and extend views to the scenery; while warmer, dimmer colour by night romanticises the medieval regalness of the interior.

The reception lobby, woven with local inspirations, captivates arriving guests with the resplendent canopy of hand-blown glass in smokey, amber tones fixed to intertwining branches in the form of a mimosa tree – Montenegro’s national flower sprouts. Illuminate recommended that capsule LED lamps to intermingle within the glass installation, allowing the sparkles to dim down to a candle lit intimate atmosphere by night. Tuneable white striplights were detailed into the barrel-vaulted ceiling beams to underscore the arches while providing an overall softness to the monastic architecture. Miniature articulated spotlights, while accenting the drapery and key furniture pieces, discreetly share the same ceiling beam detail, allowing the ceiling to remain its integrity. Asymmetric sheers that wrapped around the stone columns, conceals linear graze lights that gently highlight its floral embroidery.

Across the reception lobby, guests will find themselves in an intimate bar, Caminetti. The burnt terracotta bar, with its washes of light revealing the layers of curved workmanship, centres the space and sets the backdrop to the delicate olive inspired chandelier sparkles. Rhythmic columns flanking the balcony are clad in in backlit art depicting a forest scene, with the diffused light injecting the warmth into the cool grey colour palette. Akin to the flickering embers of the signature fireplaces here, the quality of light is subdued and quiet, encouraging intimate conversations in between cocktails.

Traversing down the grand staircase to the ground floor, guests will arrive at La Verandah restaurants which offer a menu of traditional Montenegrin dishes for both buffet and a la carte settings. To emulate the relaxed and open atmosphere of this dining concept, lighting seeks to accentuate the colour and textures of the crisp, Mediterranean colour scheme, with dark indigo blue textures and lacquered panels juxtaposed with antique bronze detailing in the light fixtures. Specifically placing focus over the ethereal murals behind the banquette seating, flexible diffused striplight were carefully concealed to provide a wash of light reminiscent of sunrays seeping through the imagery of yellow-green tones. The maître’s counter sports a waffled backdrop where Illuminate calibrated the amount of light of shadow in order to bring forth another forest themed artwork.

A huge part of One&Only Portonovi’s draw is the dedicated Chenot Espace, the resort’s health and wellness centre. With its highly customised spa services, Illuminate worked closely to the requirements of Chenot. Specifically, in the treatment rooms, lighting control was made customisable to each client’s needs with colour and brightness selection easily handled by the therapist. Hammam baths with their shimmering gold mosaic, are decorated with fibre optic starpoints and glass fibres to ensure resilience to high heat temperatures. Uplit brass arches served as a gateway that carries guests through the spa premises and arrives at a stunning indoor pool. Decked out in sunset tones of mosaic, tuneable white flexible striplights with submersible rating were detailed into the pools’ cavernous domes, allowing the mosaic gradient to come alive in the day and by time-automation, dims to warm sunset tone. By contrast, the pool lights were deliberately chosen in 4000K colour temperature to accentuate the cool shimmering blue of the pool.

The guestroom experience continues to have an aura of artistic flair in an understated residential setting. In the bedroom, lighting comes in the form of decorative wall lamps and floor lamps, with occasional downlights picking up textures of wall panels. A ‘moving curtain’ Trompe l’ceil effect artwork that is framed within a shelf niche lighting served as a juxtaposition to the actual view. Bathrooms are spacious as a charming cluster of gem-like pendants above the chaise lounge grounds the space. Lighting folds into largely unobtrusive indirect lighting here for maximum comfort.

Photo Credits:
– Courtesy of Kerzner International/Rupert Peace
– Will Pryce

Project: One&Only Resort
Location: Portonovi, Montenegro
Design Studio: HBA
Website: hba.com