AESTHETICA / Hotel Fjord


Kotor, Montenegro


Zlatko Ugljen




Hotel Fjord is located on an enviable piece of real estate in the corner of Kotor Bay, right next to the UNESCO-listed historical center of Kotor. Built by Zlatko Ugljen, a Bosnian architect, the design was selected through a competition and reflects its era of completion. The hotel featured 155 rooms, restaurants, bars, a pool and a conference center. Today, the only part of it in use is its tennis courts, on which locals occasionally play.

What happened to this once-majestic hotel? First, the Yugoslav Wars, which drastically reduced tourism to the area. Hotel Fjord officially closed in 2005, just before Montenegrin independence. Then, in 2006, the hotel was sold for 5.5 million euros to Irish banker Michael Fingleton, who proposed to redevelop the site into a luxury resort. Unfortunately, Fingleton is now under criminal investigation for this deal. Hotel Fjord thus remains in limbo, still standing but empty.


Though it has been over a decade since Hotel Fjord closed its doors, there are still several signs pointing in its direction. The view from its front is, as promised, spectacular. Quite a few people pass by, holding hands, walking dogs, enjoying the fjord-like view. The building itself is fenced off, but it is possible to see inside. Personally, I think Brutalist architecture such as this looks better when left a bit to the elements (like, for example, St. Peter’s Seminary). It’s easier to appreciate the architecture when all of the building’s clean lines are exposed, the geometric arches, circles and triangles, the solid blocks of concrete. It feels strange to turn your back on the view, but Hotel Fjord is well worth looking at.

Photo: Hotel Fjord, Kotor, Montenegro / June 2016

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