|The Fairmont Monte Carlo has a rooftop pool with sweeping views of the Mediterranean.|
Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, sister resort of Hotel de Paris and Hotel Hermitage in Monte-Carlo, was built as a decidedly contemporary complement to its iconic siblings. Set on the outskirts of the city, it has the benefits of lush gardens and a sand-bottomed lagoon, Jacuzzis everywhere, sun terraces and an indoor pool if it’s chilly outside. The views of Monaco and Cap Martin make it all feel like a resort stay in one of the world’s classiest cities. Some would say, however, its greatest selling-point is its proximity to Jimmy’z discothèque, which is synonymous with Monte-Carlo’s fast-paced night life. Other high points? There’s a casino in the center of the hotel and the resort’s Zen-like Cinq Mondes SPA even has three royal suites. Consider this resort to be ideal for couples and business travelers lucky enough to enjoy a meeting right at the hotel (there are 11 meeting rooms and two banquet halls).
|At The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel the lobby strikes a chic, homey feel for visitors.|
Jetsetters: The hotel has its own helipad, which makes transfers from Nice International Airport a snap. If you go, give Chef Marcel Ravin’s cuisine a try at Blue Bay, including his Sunday “Bubbly” Brunch. For any special requests or to make special arrangements for your A-listers at any of the SBM hotels, contact Sylvie Cristin ([email protected]), director of leisure and individual sales. For more on Monte-Carlo SBM hotels, see the July 2012 issue of Luxury Travel Advisor.
Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony, the Pussycat Dolls and Leonardo DiCaprio, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have all stayed at the Hotel Métropole, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World in Monte-Carlo; we wonder if they hid out at the Carré d’Or Suite, which has a huge outdoor terrace overlooking the Mediterranean and Monte-Carlo’s Casino Square. Note: The suite is on the seventh floor with an array of other suites that interconnect. Suites with sea views here are Prestige Suites Nos.704, 705 and 706; they also have views of Casino Square.
If you’re seeking connecting rooms in general, your best bet is on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors where guests can book a Junior Deluxe Suite connecting with another Junior Deluxe Suite or with a Deluxe Room. All rooms from the Deluxe Room category up have double sinks.
Exciting News: The hotel has teamed up with Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld to redo its pool, terrace and gardens and to design a new Joel Robuchon restaurant called Odyssey. The pool and the restaurant are expected to be done this month, in time for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Want a room overlooking the swanky new pool? Deluxe Suites Nos. 509, 510, 609 and 610 are the best picks.
Dining is a main event at Hotel Metropole, which is home to Joel Robuchon Monte-Carlo (try the Arroz Bomba, Executive Chef Chistophe Cussac’s gastronomic version of paella). The chef’s table is a great way to experience Joel Robuchon’s cuisine; it can seat up to eight guests either for lunch or dinner.
At Yoshi, order the Gindara No Saikyo Yaki, which is marinated and grilled black cod, and a table by the window overlooking the Japanese garden. There’s also a sushi bar. Note: Odyssey serves only lunch and is reserved for hotel guests.
Head Concierge Serge Mandina ([email protected]; +011-377-93-15-1520) can arrange wine-tasting excursions at a Château Roubine in Province, one of the oldest wine domains in France, for a private tour, a tasting session and lunch with the owners. Mandina can also set up a golf outing at the Golf du Mont Agel on the hills above Monaco.
Be sure to save time to visit the Metropole Bar, a happening place with locals and jetsetters who visit for its martini cocktails. If you go, dress “casual chic;” this is Monte-Carlo, after all.
Shopping anyone? The hotel is near Carré d’Or of Monaco and sits above the famous Metropole Shopping Center, home to the Manufacture de Monaco, which sells beautiful chinaware, including items stamped with H.S.H. Prince Rainier’s personal seal.
|At Hotel Métropole, the terrace of the Carre d’Or Suite overlooks the Monte-Carlo’s Casino Square.|
Considering a wedding or special event? Contact Caroline Zambrano, group and banqueting manager ([email protected]; +011-377-93-15-1340).
ESPA at the Métropole promotes itself as ideal for spa wedding parties and girlfriend getaways (Hint: It’s possible to purchase vouchers as a gift). Marianna Heurtel, spa director ([email protected]; +011-377-93-15-1370) can advise on treatments. We hear that the most experienced therapists are Patricio and Kyoko since they have worked at the spa since its opening in 2006. Treatments are available for those 16 and up, but children can enjoy manicures and pedicures.
Book three weeks in advance to be sure you get your preferred time. ESPA provides a treatment for couples called Eros, which includes a steam shower and chromotherapy-based bath followed by a synchronized massage. Included as well is the Hammam Ritual, which includes a full body scrub and a body wrap in the suite’s private Hammam. Another treatment for men includes a massage, salt scrub and an enzyme facial peel.
The hotel is run by General Manager Jean-Claude Messant. Jesus Scott ([email protected]; +011-377-9315-1559), the hotel’s sales manager for North America, is the liaison for luxury travel advisors. Nice Note: The hotel is now offering pre- and post-cruise packages.
Fancy a rooftop pool overlooking the bay of Monte-Carlo? The Fairmont Monte Carlo has one that’s been getting rave reviews from travelers. They tend to favor the large Deluxe Sea View Rooms where they can sit and watch an array of to-die-for yachts plying the waters. Best part? All rooms come with private terraces.
For those who want to flaunt it or set up shop while they’re in Monaco, suggest a Grand Prix Suite. It has 915 square feet of space and three balconies, including two oceanfront and one that’s just above the famous Grand Prix Hairpin.
Jetsetters, who want to look their best for Monte-Carlo’s elegant nightlife, love the Fairmont’s Willow Stream Spa, so reserve at least two days out. With a great supply of natural light, we say arrive early to enjoy its lovely lounges. Need a boost after a long flight? Try the “Monaco Power of the Sea” massage; it’s said to be quite energizing. Paola Arrigo ([email protected]; +011-377-93-50-66-00) is the facility’s spa and fitness director and can provide an array of insider tips, but we can share that Soizic Termet is lauded as the top esthetician for facials and manicure treatments. Note that children must be age 16 and over to be admitted into the spa.
If you need something out-of-the-ordinary done while you’re in Monte-Carlo, Gerard Spatafora ([email protected];+011-377-93-15-6754), the Fairmont’s head concierge and a member of Les Clefs d’Or, is your go-to person. He can arrange for a horse-drawn carriage to amble through the city or for a helicopter ride to the top of a nearby mountain where French champagne and caviar can be served. He can also provide private shoppers for the “Golden Square” stores nearby; think Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Valentino, Prada, Van Cleef & Arpels and Céline. If that’s not enough, the Metropole Shopping Centre right in front of the hotel has 80 boutique stands.
Spatafora and his team can also handle more regular tasks, such as setting up helicopter and private car transfers to Nice Airport, which is just 15.5 miles away.
The hotel is run by Xavier F. Rugeroni, the general manager and also the regional vice president for the area. Luxury travel advisors, Farid Rouibi ([email protected]; +011-377-93-15-6702), director of leisure sales wholesale & e-commerce, is your contact at the hotel.
Nice Note: The hotel was depicted in James Bond’s Casino Royale as well as Madagascar 3.
Access to Monte-Carlo: Those arriving via helicopter will land at Monaco Heliport in the Fontvieille area. Private jets land at Nice International Airport.