For the last fifty years Monaco has been the number one location for the rich and famous.
It’s a playground for the super wealthy to flaunt their cash and there’s a certain amount of one-upmanship when it comes to who’s got the biggest mega yacht or rarest and most exotic expensive car.
Monaco and the city of Monte Carlo boast more Millionaires and Billionaires per square foot than any other place in the world. At the last count there were over 2,500 millionaires and over 50 Billionaires living the high life in Monte Carlo and this is a place that is no bigger than London’s Hyde Park.
Monte Carlo plays host to several world class glamorous events such as the Formula1 Grand Prix and Monte Carlo Rally both of which have made sure of its place on the world stage and have been a major draw for the who’s who in the rich list stakes for decades.
In 1956 the American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco and became Princess Grace. The couple put this small principality firmly on the map. In recent years it has been a favourite subject of the Hollywood studios often centred on Le Grand Casino, or better known to James Bond fans as Casino Royale.
Some of the best hotels in the world can be found here such as the Hotel de Paris and The Hermitage. We stayed at the high-ranking Hotel Monte Carlo Bay choosing it for its contemporary interiors, luxury ethos and spectacular positioning.
Staff here understand the importance of quality and luxury and are attentive without being intrusive. Flowers, Chocolates and Champagne greet me in my suite which rivalled some of my previous favourites. Two large balconies give the best of both worlds with both sea and city views that are simply amazing.
A bath fit for a swim, TVs in every room, art installations and mood lighting are just a few of the Monte Carlo Bay’s room credentials. Add to this fabulous furniture, sumptuous rugs and a bed fit for a full family and you’re starting to get half of the picture.
There’s no shortage of things to enjoy on site, not least at the world-famous Cinq Mondes. The Spa, spectacular gardens and shopping are just some of the highlights, whilst guests are also invited to enjoy any of the bars and restaurants for which the hotel is renowned.
Finish the evening in the hotels on site casino which boasts the latest high tech gaming facilities. Or, should a trip into town be on the cards, the exceptionally efficient concierge are on hand to arrange cars, tickets, names on guest lists of clubs (otherwise impenetrable in some cases no matter how good your French and how expensive your Louboutin’s) and generally whatever one could need.
The yachts! Monte Carlo is home to some of the largest yachts in the world, so if you’re in need of some serious inspiration, slip on your deck pumps and take a stroll along the harbour. You’ll take in the schooners and skiffs of the super rich -and plenty of cars too. *Disclaimer – if you are prone to any kind of jealous intention, skip this part.
Built by famous architect Charles Garnier in 1878, Le Grand Casino is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful structures in the world with an atrium paved in marble and surrounded by 28 onyx columns. There’s no photography allowed due to it’s exclusive player / guest list, but that’s a good thing, all the more reason to go see for yourself. There’s a long bar at which to sit and admire those at the yellow gaming tables; comings and goings, winners and losers all dressed impeccably, seemingly without a care in the world.
The Brasserie 1900 at The Café de Paris is the most well-known setting for any “rendezvous” in Monaco. Its warm welcome extends a promise of enjoyable moments a plenty. The decor with its “Belle Époque” windows recalls that of old Parisian bistros and the atmosphere is glowing. The menu tempts with in seasonal seafood, specials and traditional fare. For me, classic French beef tartare was a showstopper.
The Celeb filled Buddha Bar with live DJ was the coolest place to hang out. Follow this with a good dance off at JimmyZ -although be sure to take plenty of spends if you are feeling the need to get even remotely tipsy. If you wish, you can party all night somewhere in Monte Carlo. We managed to get ourselves invited to a late party and an exclusive Champagne bar by a private banking firm. Luckily we weren’t asked to pick up the tab!
Special thanks to SBM Group.