Nowhere captures the glitz and the glamour of the French Riviera quite like Monaco. Home of some of the most enticing events on the luxury calendar, the bright lights of the Monte Carlo Casino, and the star studded superyachts that line Port Hercule – Monaco is a place that perfects the art of living well. In keeping with her joie de vive we have picked out some the very best places to stay when visiting the jewel in the crown destination.
Monaco’s most famous hotel is located just off the legendary Casino Square with designer shops and first class restaurants just steps away from the grand entrance. The interiors are decadent Belle Époque style with crystal chandeliers, marble pillars, ornate fabrics and gold edging. Part of the hotel is currently under construction, which can be slightly obtrusive depending on which room you’re assigned; suite 321 is the most sought after with changing themes designed by luxury brands, until the end of this month Maserati holds the keys. The three-Michelin starred restaurant Louis XV by Alain Ducasse is phenomenal and one of the best places to eat in Monte Carlo – try the in-house specialty, the Grand Marnier soufflé, for dessert.
Another Belle Époque palace, Hotel Hermitage gazes out over the Mediterranean Port dotted with superyachts on one side, and over a quiet garden square on the other. It’s a more discreet luxury option, though just as opulent (replete with gold leaf and marble). The hotel’s thermal spa offers an impressive, state of the art treatment menu to rejuvenate and prepare guests for a long day of yacht viewing and socialising, whilst the illusive Monte-Carlo SBM black card grants VIPs exclusive access into any of the resort’s main facilities (this is a privilege for Hotel de Paris guests also) including the private beach club and the casino. There’s a Michelin-starred restaurant here too, Vistamar with an outdoor dining terrace and breathtaking panoramic sea views.
Equally glamorous, Hotel Metropole is favoured by the jet set for its balance of old age elegance and contemporary amenities. Karl Lagerfeld created the hotel and restaurant complex here, Odyssey, that’s open only to hotel guests and spa members and focuses on healthy eating. If you’re in the mood for indulgence, there’s Joel Robuchon’s Michelin-starred restaurant also on site with a menu of classically rich French dishes, as well as the chef’s Japanese offering, Yoshi that has its own sushi bar. The hotel’s Carré d’or suite is the most ornate and spacious, located on the top floor with a large terrace overlooking the sea where intimate drinks or parties can be held under the stars.
The Fairmont balances over the sea edge, just off the famous hairpin bend of the Formula 1 circuit. It’s less fairytale in outward appearance than the other luxury hotels, but the interiors have recently been beautifully refurbished with a new Willow Stream spa and rooftop heated pool. It’s one of the biggest hotels in the whole of Europe with 602 rooms and houses the very slick Nobu Monte Carlo. Saphir bar on the ground floor is open 24/7 and is a popular late night hang out, or else there’s the seventh floor Horizon champagne bar where live DJs play sets on the starlit terrace as night falls.
Conveniently close to Port Hercule, Port Palace is particularly popular during the Monaco Yacht show with unparalleled views of the harbored yachts. The design is light, contemporary and tasteful without the more extravagant touches of the other hotels, yet it’s luxurious all the same with a wonderful top-floor bar that’s an excellent spot for people watching and what’s often referred to as Monaco’s finest fish restaurant, La Marée.