Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign city-state, country and microstate on the French Riviera. At .78 square miles, it is the second-smallest state in the world after the Vatican. The House of Grimaldi has governed the country under a form of constitutional monarchy since the 13th century. France borders the country on three sides while the other side looks onto the Mediterranean Sea.

The glamorous town of Monte-Carlo, located at the heart of Monaco, is synonymous with opulence and charm. Thirty percent of residents are millionaires, so expect to see an Aston Martins, Bentley or Rolls-Royce parked on every street. The hot-summer Mediterranean climate makes the port of Fontvieille a busy destination for luxury yachts.

In winter, temperatures hover around the 60's and 70's and it's almost always sunny, so you may consider visiting in the off season. Room rates come down then too, making it a more affordable time to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accommodation:

  • For the ultimate Monte-Carlo experience, look no further than Hôtel de Paris. This decadent landmark palace features a Belle Epoque façade, marble interiors and dazzling chandeliers.

  • My top choice is the Hôtel Hermitage, the discreet neighbour to Hôtel de Paris. The property is in the LHW portfolio (one of my favourite luxury hospitality brands), but belongs to the Société des bains de mer de Monaco. The lobby, designed by Gustave Eiffel, and the panoramic terrace restaurant are always buzzing with a chic clientele. All guests are given the “Monte-Carlo Cercle” card, offering free admission to the Casino, the spa Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo and the Beach club.

  • Another popular choice is Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo, which underwent huge renovations in 2004. It is a historic hotel known for sincerely friendly staff and exquisitely furnished spaces. Odyssey, the hotel’s rooftop was designed by Karl Lagerfeld.

Activities:

  • Browse Le Marche de la Condamine for fresh flowers and regional delicacies

  • I'm desperate to return during the Monaco Grand Prix. Father-daughter trip, perhaps?

  • Indulge at the Spa Métropole by Givenchy.

  • See the changing of the guard at the Prince’s Palace.

  • Explore the principality’s prestigious Carré d’Or district. There is no shortage of fine shops and restaurants.

Food:

 

Nightlife:

  • The Casino de Monte Carlo has been featured in two James Bond films (1983's Never Say Never Again and 1995's GoldenEye). Everything about it is over the top.

  • The Living Room is a premier late-night Monegasque club filled with lavish décor and a very sophisticated crowd.

  • Jimmy'z is an indoor/outdoor bar that was refurbished in 2017. You've got a huge chance of sharing the dance-floor with some super-VIPs, if you can get in.

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Overlooking the port, Fontvieille
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Monte Carlo Casino