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Built at the dawn of the 20th century by Monacan architect Jean Marquet, this majestic neoclassical hotel has continued to develop into a veritable palace. Its history blends respect for tradition with bold modernity. Today, the Hôtel Hermitage is an elegant example of the art of living in Monte Carlo.


The Hôtel Hermitage was almost entirely renovated between 2003 and 2011, with an extraordinary attention to detail that smoothly marries classical authenticity and technological progress. For instance, the Salle Belle Époque restaurant, one of the hotel’s treasures, and the winter garden, built by disciples of Gustave Eiffel, are emblematic of its elegance. The rooms were renovated in a classical style with contemporary touches. Louis XVI shepherdesses keep elegant company with graceful furnishings made of mahogany and ivory stained wood to create a refined décor.



A number of suites were enlarged and now include spacious private terraces. The Diamond Suite Penthouse on the fifth floor is particularly impressive. It has three bedrooms, three sitting rooms and three baths and opens onto two magnificent terraces with a panoramic view of the port of Monaco. The hotel also added two storeys, strengthening its position as a palace.


A Palace that Welcomes Families

With its 278 rooms and suites, the Hôtel Hermitage offers incomparable comfort and leading-edge technology. Sea and light are welcome guests in all five wings of the hotel, where they create a feeling of space and an atmosphere that is both light and warm.


The romantic Hôtel Hermitage defines prestige with privacy and discretion that suits both business travelers and tourists. Families are also welcome. Game and projection room, reserved pool, children’s club on the private beach: the hotel has everything to make children feel as much at home as if they were at the family cottage.


The hotel is directly connected to the mythic Thermes marins Monte-Carlo and invites guests to use the spa, seawater pool, fitness room, aquacize classes led by a coach, solarium, hammam and Jacuzzi, and to take advantage of the many health and beauty treatments offered. The cherry on the sundae is the Vistamar Restaurant (one star in the Guide Michelin), located right in the hotel, which offers Mediterranean cuisine in an exceptional setting.


Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer

It’s so small, and yet its influence is felt around the world. Monaco is a synonym for prestige, magnificence and dreams. Boutiques, hotels, cars, yachts, casinos: in Monaco, luxury comes in infinite forms. Every year, the jet set gathers, especially around Monte Carlo. The princely House of Grimaldi is responsible for this incredible development. Over the years, the Princes have reclaimed land from the sea to enlarge their minuscule territory and make it into the bustling country we know today. Naturally the F1 Grand Prix is one of the year’s most anticipated events. However, all year round Monaco offers a multitude of tourist and cultural attractions. Here is LUXE’s overview of what the Rock has in store for us.


Monte Carlo Casino

Before your first game of blackjack or roulette, visit this Belle Époque gem, designed in 1863 by Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris Opera. The gaming rooms lead into each other and are marvelously decorated with stained glass, sculptures and allegorical paintings. The terrace has a splendid view of the port and the Rock.

Prince’s Palace

The Palace of Monaco has been the official residence of the Princes of Monaco since 1297. Yes, Albert and Charlène of Monaco and their twins live in a wing of the Palace! The major apartments are open to the public in summer. The Palace is on a spectacular site, a rock over 60 metres high that marks where the Genoans built a fortress in 1215. The Throne Room, Hercules Gallery, Mazarin Room and Palatine Chapel are all astonishingly beautiful. At the same time you can admire the collection of no fewer than 100 antique autos.

Oceanographic Museum

For many years, this internationally renowned museum featuring all the ocean sciences was under the direction of Commandant Jacques Cousteau. From aquariums to historical collections, from the shark lagoon to the turtle island on the panoramic terrace, it offers visitors a unique possibility to learn to know, love and protect the oceans. It’s a grandiose spectacle.

Jardin exotique

Marvelously sited along a rocky cliff overlooking the sea, this site gives a panoramic view of Monaco and introduces visitors to nearly a thousand specimens of semi-desert flora, including cactus and other succulents over a hundred years old.



Hôtel Hermitage

Right in the heart of bustling Monte Carlo, this five-star palace is an enchanting example of Belle Époque styling. It’s the perfect spot for the discerning business or pleasure traveler, with its 278 super-comfortable and technologically advanced rooms and suites. Families are welcome and will find services designed for children.



Louis XV – Alain Ducasse

Three stars in the Guide Michelin. Its exceptional wine-list, menu and cellar combine to provide an unforgettable treat.

Joël Robuchon Monte Carlo

Two stars in the Guide Michelin. Located inside the Hôtel Métropole, this restaurant is worth it as a culinary experience, of course, but also for the visual experience of the magnificent view of Monaco from the terrace.



Monte Carlo Beach

Any visit to Monaco demands a stop at Monte Carlo Beach, a mythical palace from the 1930s and member of the Relais & Châteaux network. You’ll enjoy gourmet cuisine and take advantage of its Olympic saltwater pool, its view over the sea and various water activities (water skiing, parasailing, personal watercraft…). The cherry on the top is that the club will provide you with GoPro cameras to film all your fun…

Thermes marins Monte-Carlo

The Société des Bains de Mer’s Monaco treasure offers you 75,000 square feet of happiness. Try out the cryotherapy cabin for a technique used by performance athletes to treat the most stubborn muscle aches and inflammation. Under professional supervision and wearing a swimsuit, you enter a first airlock where the temperature is around -60 °C, then a booth where it is… -110 °C. If you can hold on for three minutes, you’ll come out in great shape with glowing skin! Of course all the traditional treatments, whether to fight aging or fat, or just to relax, are provided as well, by the day or for stays of several days.



Monaco is hands-down the luxury capital of the world. You’ll find the biggest names in haute couture, fashion, perfumes and jewelry. From Pavillons Monte Carlo (the venue for prestigious brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior or Cartier) to the Métropole shopping mall and the Fontvieille Centre commercial, shopping on foot in Monaco is extremely pleasant. Even better, there is ample parking for visitors throughout the Principality.


  • Walk along the port and admire the yachts.
  • Take a delicious break at the Café de Paris.
  • Lose yourself in the narrow, winding lanes of the old city.
  • Stroll through the local market in Condamine.
  • Visit an exhibit at the Grimaldi Forum Monaco.
  • Take a themed tour following in the footsteps of Princess Grace.


Text: Diane Stehle


We want to thank the Société des Bains de Mer for its valuable collaboration.

Founded by Canadian Senator Pietro Rizzuto, Marival Group® started with its pioneer project named Rinoval de Mexico, which undertook the construction of a Condo Hotel, a novelty concept with 354 beach front rooms on a 35,000sq m land plot. A unique hotel, located in the heart of Nuevo Vallarta, is what set the foundations of today’s Marival Group®. The operation of the first All-Inclusive concept began under the name of Jack Tar Village. Later, the Senator and his son Alfonso took over the operation of the hotel under the name of Marival Resort & Suites®. Their great vision and strong business relationship with important industry partners was key for setting the grounds for the first charter flight from Montreal to Puerto Vallarta.


In 2010, Alfonso opened Marival Residences Luxury Resort®, his second All-Inclusive resort, located in the exclusive area of Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, standing out by its beauty, world-class cuisine and amazing quality service.


This resort was created to satisfy high-end travelers from all over the world seeking for luxury and comfort at its best. The 4 Diamond resort offers 169 outstanding residences, ranging from 1 up to 4 rooms, not to mention its 7 Villas that provide privacy and great space for family and friends.



Inspired by the concept of Condo Hotel, Marival Residences decides to take it to the highest level of exclusivity with an ample a la carte gourmet All-Inclusive hotel program and a very interesting Real estate managing system that combines the full ownership concept along with its regular hotel operation. The architect Paulo Rojo, the designer Mauricio Lara and Studio 3.14 are responsable for the modern design that you can sense all over the place, with elements related to the ocean, sand, lush vegetation and wide range of sea creatures that blend perfectly in to the elegance and modern facilities. Don’t be surprised to see a school of rays floating above you at the sky lounge!



Marival Residences Luxury Resort® is an authority when speaking of dining, with its 4 different restaurants that offer signature cuisine with exquisite dishes, all the way from fresh, casual and healthy options, up to an international tapas menu and minimalistic delights. Each restaurant is unique and you can be sure that day after day, Chef José Alfredo Jimenez raises the bar and goes the extra mile to please the distinguished guest. The resort has received many awards, being the most recent ones Expedia’s Insiders Select, Four Diamond award given by AAA, the Trip Advisor’s Excellence and Travel’s Choice award, Golden Apple by Apple Vacations and Excellence in Service by RCI.


Your visit to this stunning property is not complete, unless you live the ultimate experience that its spa has to offer; Melange World Spa is a unique, themed spa that has collected the best that holistic experience has to offer from 9 different countries. Winner of the Destination Spa Of The Year in 2010 by Repêchage Spa de Beauté and awarded by Les Nouvelles Esthétiques & Spa in 2012, Melange displays in each of its cabins original designs and representative materials from 8 different countries,
in order to resemble these regions accordingly (Mexico, Bali, India, Thailand, Turkey, Russia, Italy and Japan), and the best of all is that you will find that the signature treatments in each one exactly represent the treatment for which the region is well known. Once you are there, the most difficult part will be to select your choice.


Besides the signature treatments and amazing spa products, Melange’s original architecture and design, lead by Studio 3.14, has been recognized around the globe, receiving the Honorable Mention by the Best Interiors of Latin America, International Interior Design Association and Gold Medal on the V Bienal of Iberoamerican Council of Interior Designers in 2010.


When traveling to Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, you must keep in mind that the domestic and international flights arrive to Puerto Vallarta’s International Airport and it is only 25 minutes away. This destination is great for family vacations.


Alfonso Rizzuto, President and CEO of Marival Group, has printed his great vision and innovative ideas all over his projects. He began the leadership of the Group along with his father 33 years ago and has been a key asset in local and international associations, leading Riviera Nayarit to a fast growing pace. At this moment, the Group’s portfolio includes Marival Resort & Suites®, Marival Residences Luxury Resort®,Rancho Banderas®, Marina La Cruz, Trafictours®, which is one of the biggest DMC’s and a very successful Vacation Club® program.


Av. Paseo Cocoteros Lt 53 Villa 8, 63732 Nuevo Vallarta, Nay., Mexique
+52 322 226 9740
1 (877) 769-7376

Midtown Le Sanctuaire is definitely becoming the hippest club in Montréal. Why? Because the Midtown Group focuses on innovation, creativity, change, and most especially, the attention that staff pays to members. Richard Earney, the new General Manager, brings with him a solid experience in the most prestigious private clubs of Europe. 


The first Midtown Club was founded in Chicago in 1970 by members of the Schwartz family who had a passion for tennis. Midtown now operates eight large upscale athletic and tennis clubs in North America, including one in Canada, in the heart of Montréal, in Outremont’s Le Sanctuaire residential complex.

For lovers of movement… and good wine!

Mr. Richard Earney, originally from New Zealand, is breathing new life into Midtown Le Sanctuaire. At the forefront of his strategy is drawing in talent. For instance, he recently recruited a leading sommelier recognized in the world of fine dining, Jean-Benoit Hinse. Jean-Benoit is now the Club’s Food and Beverage Director, and runs a wine club for members (also open to non-members).

LUXE interviewed Richard Earney, General Manager of Club Midtown Le Sanctuaire

How would you describe “the Midtown experience”?

We offer much more than any traditional fitness centre. We’re more club than gym, an urban wellness resort.  With over 170 classes on offer per week, there are so many possibilities for our members to move. But they also have an opportunity to socialize and take advantage of various events (charitable activities, tournaments, art displays, music events, etc.).


We have all the latest equipment, world-class tennis school and courts, an unbeatably luxurious spa, childcare, a nutrition and rehabilitation clinic, a boutique, a restaurant and indoor and outdoor pools. The Midtown is a club devoted to wellness.


Children are a big part of our club, with a three-part program just for them: Fun, Fit, Focus… They can play sports, practise their artistic talents and have fun under the supervision of our carefully chosen employees.

Tell us about some of the latest equipment you have.

We’re focused on programming and creating an experience. Having more people in front of a coach or in a program has proven to help members achieve their goals. Midtown is leading the technology wave in Québec. We’ve recently opened the MCycle Studio, with over 70 bikes, including award-winning Matrix iC7s and virtual MYRIDE and MYZONE technology to measure heart rate and effort. An interactive light experience controlled by an iPad responds to the music. This is an exceptional studio. We have also installed MYZONE throughout the club, helping to make your movement measurable. Members are soaking it up, with more exciting innovations to come.


What is Midtown’s philosophy with respect to its staff?

We have 225 associates, more than any other health club in Canada, and they are the most important component of the club. Our clients would never absorb the feeling of belonging – the very essence of our mission – without the personal attention they get from our staff. We recently launched an associate training program, called We Inspire and Midtown U (Midtown University), a comprehensive career pathway for coaches. This is an industry first and connects our coaches to academies recognized globally.

Are you targeting a particular clientele?   

Our membership is diverse. We’re welcoming more and more young professionals and families, who find everything here they need.

What do you offer the business community?  

We’ve recently launched our Corporate outreach program, focussed on partnering with companies to support their workforce in improving their wellbeing,  including bespoke programs and team away days. Our belief is that “active, social people lead happier, healthier lives”. Our Club is a place for networking, and with so much going on in the Club, there are so many opportunities to develop contacts.

In a few words, what is the new vision of Midtown Le Sanctuaire?    

We want to inspire our members through Movement, Community and Personal Attention. The sense of belonging is our badge of honor. I invite past members to come back and “feel the difference”.


Text: Renée Senneville
Photos: Midtown Le Sanctuaire and Jimmy Hamelin

In 2009, lawyer Josée Noiseux moved to Paris for a year with her family. Back in Montréal, she left her profession to devote herself to writing and sharing her tips on life in Paris in a very successful travel guide, Humeurs de Paris. The book is now available throughout Québec and in Paris at Colette, the famous boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré. LUXE met this “Montréaler by Birth and Parisienne by Adoption”.


How did you get the idea for this book?

I’d been working as a lawyer in a private firm for over twenty years. In 2009, my husband had to go to Paris on business. I’d always dreamed of living in another country. When the opportunity arose, I dove in. Once I got there I was convinced that I wouldn’t need to adapt. I was already familiar with the city and with Parisians. But after a month, I realized that we were very different. To keep in contact with my family and friends, I started a blog. I told stories inspired by people I met. I also gave a few tips. When I got back to Montréal, I published my columns. Then I met members from the publishing world who suggested that I make a book out of them.

The book is divided by theme – Paris Mode, Sexy, Branché (trendy), Gourmand, Luxe, Budget, Arty – and each section contains addresses of hotels, restaurants, wine bars, boutiques and even pastry shops and bakeries. Why did you choose this angle?

I wanted to produce a guide that readers could travel with based on their passions and moods, and to transport them to the Paris of the Parisians that I have been privileged to visit and revisit many times.

One section is reserved for luxe, but you don’t mention the luxury boutiques that are emblematic of the City of Light. Is this a deliberate choice?

Paris is the ultimate capital of luxury. Its very name evokes the great names of haute couture, like Chanel or Dior, palaces and many-starred restaurants. But everyone knows them, and there is more to Paris. I decided to introduce the great emerging French artisans. I’m thinking of designer Barbara Bui, the Royal Monceau Hotel or Corthay’s shoes, all extraordinary.

You took almost all the photos in the guide. Is photography a passion?

Yes! I’d taken lots of photos during my sabbatical year in Paris, before I even signed the book contract. This guide is very personal, and I reveal a lot about myself through the texts and photos and my personal notes.

You were a lawyer with an excellent position. What drove you to leave it all to prepare this travel guide?

I was very successful in my field, but I decided to make the leap because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. It’s both very refreshing and very destabilizing to find yourself in a milieu where you have to learn everything. It’s a good lesson in humility, too. Fortunately, my publishers trusted me. I have always told my daughters to not be afraid to risk and to dare, but they pointed out, with truth, that I had never done so myself! It was time!

Who is your book for?

For all travellers, epicureans, art lovers, lovers of Paris, fashionistas, browsers. And also for everyone who would like to explore somewhere besides the tourist spots.

If one of your friends was going to spend a day in Paris, where would you advise her to go?

I’d tell her start at a market, in particular the President Wilson where all the great chefs go. It’s fascinating! Then, Rue du Nil, to Frenchie’s, an incredible restaurant destination. Finally, I’d suggest she take a stroll in the Luxembourg Gardens. It’s a very special place, where tourists, Parisians and regulars rub elbows. You get the impression that time has stopped there.

Is this guide the first in a series?

I hope so! For the moment, I’m working on the English version. I’m also continuing to add to it on my blog, Recently I prepared a series of playlists, Moods of Paris, that have been quite popular. For the rest, we’ll see!


Text: Diane Stehle

Josée and Claude have built their dream cottage at Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard in the Laurentians. Majestic Lac de la Cabane is the only horizon visible from this veritable haven of peace for all seasons.


In 2011, Josée and Claude, the owners, visited one of the many lots of land that one of their friends wanted to sell in the region. It was love at first sight for this exceptional location. “We had had a cottage at Mont-Tremblant for fifteen years, but we wanted someplace quieter,” Josée admitted. This little piece of heaven measured 100,000 square feet. Barely an hour’s drive from Montréal, it provides absolute tranquillity surrounded by bourgeoning nature.


For two years the couple worked hard on what they now call “the most absorbing, and also the most stressful, project of our lives”: building their dream cottage. Happily, both are very knowledgeable about design and architecture. Josée worked for a number of years at Céragrès, a business specializing in the sale of ceramic tiles, and Claude is an urban planner. They also used the services of Claude’s brother’s architectural firm. They immediately knew what they wanted: “A house full of light from all its many windows.” The architect studied the lot carefully to make sure that the house would have a full southern exposure and get sun all day long. Another important criterion was that every room needed a view over the lake, so immense glassed-in bays were installed throughout. As a result, the interior gives a spectacular view of the horizon and extends out into the surrounding natural environment.


Natural materials for a warm, modern style

The 7,000 square foot living space is on three levels. The ground floor includes the living room, dining room and open-area kitchen, along with the guest rooms, accessible by a glassed-in hallway. “We love having guests and we wanted our friends to be able to sleep over instead of driving after having a few drinks with supper,” the owner explained. A floating staircase leads to the mezzanine on the second floor, with a master suite that comes with an elegant bathroom and an incredible view of the lake. The couple’s children each have their own bedroom. The basement holds a pool table, a home theatre, a sauna and a magnificent cellar, perfect components of a festive evening, especially in the cold weather.



Natural materials like wood, steel and stone have pride of place to give the cottage a warm, contemporary feel. The owners worked with Mario Lafrenais, designer and director of Moine Urbain, a firm specializing in designing furniture from raw materials. Moine Urbain fabricated steel plates to cover the fireplace in the living room, the buffet in the dining room and all the kitchen cupboards. It also carved the kitchen and bathroom sinks out of stone. To echo the grey tones in the furniture, Josée and Claude covered the floor with beautiful Brazilian slate from Josée’s former employer, Céragrès.



They trusted their own good taste and respective experience and did their own interior design. They chose furniture from a few top-of-the-line design houses, like Maison Corbeil (kitchen furniture, sectional sofa and living room table) and Quartz Design (light fixtures), and had some furniture made by Moine Urbain (living room buffet) and by a woodworker (dining room table and wooden doors). The result is a very serene atmosphere and an impression of comfort associated with spare, clean lines: the ideal setting for a four-season cottage that fits right into its natural surroundings. The cherry on the sundae is an elaborate home automation system giving remote control over the heat, lights, alarm system and music. As beautiful as it is practical and functional, the cottage was carefully thought out for daily life in a family with children. For instance, the couple installed not one but two dishwashers in the kitchen!


A long-term personal investment

While the owners did indeed know a certain amount about architecture and design, this was their first construction project from the ground up. “We had already done a number of renovations to our principal dwelling in Mont-Royal, but we had never built a house on an empty lot,” Josée explained, adding that, “you need an awful lot of patience and good organizational skills” to carry out a project like this one. “I put together lots of file folders of articles cut out of magazines. We used 3D Sketch Up, software that lets you make plans based on your materials. But sometimes what looks great on a computer screen isn’t so great in reality,” she said with a laugh.



Today, the couple’s efforts have born fruit and their dream is a reality. When Josée and Claude drink their early morning coffee on the deck facing the lake, fanned by gentle breezes and entertained by birdsongs, they don’t remember the two years of hard work. The beauty and enchanting serenity of nature have pushed those memories aside.




Text: Diane Stehle

Photos: Caroline Bergeron

One hundred and sixty years. That’s how very long the love story has endured between Veuve Clicquot and Canada. This past November 3, the House of Veuve Clicquot brought together carefully chosen guests at the prestigious Château Frontenac in Québec City to celebrate this important event. LUXE was there.


Québec City was the natural place for the House of Veuve Clicquot to celebrate its 160th anniversary, because this is where it all began. By the middle of the 19th century, shipping Veuve Clicquot from France to its colony became easier with the growing number of steamships and, especially, the development of the railroad. The first delivery of champagne to Canada occurred in 1855: 25 cases each for Québec City and Montréal.


The Canadian bourgeoisie and elite, who were trying to copy the lifestyle of French high society at Versailles, prized Veuve Clicquot highly. The love affair quickly led to a tripling of export volumes. Veuve Clicquot’s distinctive taste naturally made it the perfect accompaniment for elegant evening parties.


One hundred and sixty years later, the love story between Veuve Clicquot and Canada is stronger than ever. Champagne is part of every important event, every rite of passage: weddings, births and anniversaries, of course, but also visits by the British Royal Family to Canadian soil.


Besides focusing on the history of this excellent champagne, the anniversary celebrates a unique woman ahead of her time, Madame Clicquot, who long before feminism had any effect on mentalities, showed her exceptional entrepreneurial fibre.

The 55th Montréal Museum of Fine Arts Ball was held on Saturday, November 21, 2015. This year the benefit evening honoured art in all its forms under the theme “Live Art Loud”.


This important fundraising event was chaired by Victor G. Dodig, CEO of CIBC; Calin Rovinescu, CEO of Air Canada; and Richard Speer, president of Attraction. It brought together over 850 people, along with around one hundred young professionals from the Museum’s Young Philanthropists’ Circle. In all, over $1 million was raised.


When they arrived, guests were immersed in a unique universe. A number of young talents from the worlds of the arts and design added creative touches to each room. These included giant mobiles by Oliver Stenberg, a dream world from Mélissa Matos and Andrew Ly, Annie Legault’s crocheted lamps, and an immersive space hung with coloured tulle ribbons imagined by Azamit, Sophie Julien and Émilie Grenier. Works from the Museum’s collection were also integrated into each room to match the artists’ inspiration.


The evening continued with a gourmet meal by chef Helena Loureiro, accompanied by an enchanting performance by singer Shaharah and the group Soulvation. DJ Zo lit up the dance floor with his electronic rhythms.


The funds raised will be used to support the Museum’s programs, finance the acquisition of new works of art and prepare new educational and cultural programming.