The regal kingdom slotted between the Maritime Alps of Italy and the golden summer coastline of France needs little introduction. For centuries Monaco has been the calling card for superyacht sailors and celebrities all seeking a slice of the good life. While on the surface, Monaco may seem all modern glitz and superficial fancy – it’s evocative history boasts tireless chapters of F Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda drifting around the town, and a fairytale monarchy where an Irish bricklayer’s daughter becomes a princess. Every year the social cup spilleth over with yacht shows and fabulous F1 events – the marinas teeming with champagne megayachts and the road roaring with Ferrari’s. We have assembled the best guide of where to stay, dine and play in majestic Monaco.
Where to Stay
Anyone who is anyone will tell you about spending the night in the Hotel de Paris. Directly on Casino Square, you can stumble straight from the roulette table into an ocean of silken sheets, without needing to hail a limo. The award-winning hotel has recently undergone a fresh-faced makeover meaning that the swathes of paisley print and old-fashioned glamor have been replaced with linen white clean lines, apparent in the Diamond Suites. For location, historical significance, and stellar service you can’t ask for more than this grand dame.
If you yearn for the yesteryear of the roaring twenties than the Monte Carlo Beach will sweep you off your feet with pearls and feathers. Even if it rests on the French side of the Kingdom, you can be sure no one will care when you have celebrities arriving via private tender, a VIP beach to call your own, and Michelin dining every night. There is an air of California cool about the design – making it feel more beautiful beach club than stuffy hotel. India Mahdavi designed the suites with frescoes inspired by Matisse. The two-bed suite takes the cake, with its lovely library, and spiral staircase leading down to private terrace with a large jacuzzi tub and garden views.
Where to Dine
Even if you don’t stay at the famed Hotel de Paris, be sure to book a table at their signature restaurant Le Louis XV. Three Michelin stars don’t lie, and beneath the princely gold gilt and soaring fresh flower arrangements you can lose yourself in a journey of taste, paired to sublime perfection with the finest wines.
If you still want to dine alongside pop stars and princesses, but don’t fancy the fuss – then the chic and trendy steel and glass Bar Boeuf & Co can deliver. This is Alan Ducasse’s second child (after Louis XV) but takes a much more simplistic approach offering a menu that centers around seabass and beef. The Bloody Mary Sorbet is also a must. However, do not be lulled into a false sense of security around the casual grace of this place – reservations are exceptionally hard to bag.
Where to Play
The casino, the yacht show, the royal palace tour, a night at the opera – consider this the ultimate bucket list for visiting Monaco. This city often gets repeat clients, with the annual events calendar pulling the high-class crowd back to its shores.
In between admiring the visual feast, the Prince’s palace has to offer, you can kick back with cabanas and cocktails at some the best beach clubs in town. We love Nikki Beach and Monaco Beach Club for its organic gourmet menu and saltwater pool and La Note Bleue is where jazz lovers should sprawl beneath the sun. For shopping the Cercle d’Or district doesn’t miss a beat, with its usual suspects of Gucci, Dior, Prada, and more.
When the veil of night falls, it’s not just the stars in the sky that light up the sidewalks of Monaco, but the celebs that step out of their suites. Jimmy’z is the ultimate top party spot and has been for the last 40 years. The crowds spill out into the beautiful Japanese style garden and you can catch sight of all the A listers in the highly coveted Boom Boom Room.
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