The shores of Lake Skadar, one of Montenegro's finest natural treasures and set in its own national park, are rippling with malcontent. Plans to create a £75 million eco-resort ready for action in 2019, and the first of its type to grace the European mainland, have been met with vehement opposition.
Some of the fiercest attacks have come from environmentalists and local NGOs, both of whom claim that the Porto Skadar Lake Project will disrupt the harmonious natural balance and, more permanently, the delicate eco-system dependent on this area. In fact, with 281 bird species, 50 mammal species, and 48 species of fish supported by this national park, it is a vital wetland. It's greatest treasure is the endangered and endemic Dalmatian pelican - the poster bird of the resistance.
Despite its virulent opponents, whose petition has already accumulated almost 4,000 signatures, the project has received all the requisite government backing. The Ministry of Tourism and Sustainable Development is firmly on board, having reached the conclusion that the lake's biodiversity is not under threat, and that the general environmental impact of the resort will be negligible.
With hotel suites from 80 to 300m², and private villas up to 520m² the Porto Skadar Lake project will be at the highest point of the luxury spectrum. The project's website, which boasts a whole host of enticing prototype images, talks of "elegant amenities and an exceptionally comfortable place to revel in your escape to the park".
"Arriving at the marina over the lake, visitors can already catch a glimpse of the hotel lobby and suites which are sprinkled along the estate. Dock your boat and head to your private villa with its own pool, nestled discreetly into the shoreline or the hillside, with a view of the lake and its surroundings," it says.
"For a moment of utter relaxation, take advantage of the many natural treatments at the Eco Spa .Titillate your tastebuds with the refined cuisine of the panoramic restaurant, set high up on the peninsula."
Hyperbole aside, we certainly are titillated. If the correct harmony is struck between the lake and the luxury, this resort could be the perfect retreat.
Planning a trip?
Your guide to Lake Skadar National Park
Travel to Montenegro