Monaco: A Jewel Nestled in the Côte d’Azur
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
THINGS TO DO
- 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.