Monaco immediately brings to mind glitz and glamour – and, after all, who doesn’t love a bit of supercar- and yacht-spotting? But strip away the stereotypes and there are many hidden gems in this coastal enclave. Ideally situated for quick trips to France and Italy, there’s also much to discover without the need to even step foot outside the compact principality. Beyond the famous Grand Prix, it has a busy programme of cultural events, arts and exhibitions throughout the year. Meanwhile, its history is one of the most storied and unique in Europe; take in the historic sights or book a tour of the Monte Carlo Casino to immerse yourself in its fascinating past.
At the heart of it all is the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo. Whether you’re looking to see the sights, take advantage of the world-leading luxury shopping or breathe in the fresh sea air, it’s all directly on your doorstep. The five-star hotel has all the old-school grandeur you would expect, featuring a particularly spectacular entrance up the driveway. Combined with a refined yet welcoming service, the staff have created a home-from-home experience for guests.
Originally opened in 1889, the architecture of the Hotel Metropole reflects the classic Belle Époque style of the era. In recent years, renowned interior designer Jacques Garcia was enlisted to breathe new life into the 126 rooms and suites, retaining its traditional charm while bringing an airy new touch befitting of this Mediterranean destination. With this in mind, the design makes the most of the beautiful natural light, with 64 suites featuring separate sitting rooms and a balcony for the bedroom. This spacious, roomy feel is brought together with luxurious elements, with the bathrooms finished with white Carrara marble, massage-jet showers, large bathtubs and double hand basins.
Whether a quick lunch or indulging in a Michelin-star dinner, there’s a plethora of options overseen by the expert eye of executive chef Christophe Cussac, a former student of Joël Robuchon. The lobby bar and restaurant offers the best of both worlds; a cosy interior space ideal for intimate drinks late into the evening, with the option to head out for a meal on the terrace to make the most of the excellent climate. The regularly changing dishes feature seasonal, local produce and vibrant French-style cuisine, with classics served in a contemporary style and surprisingly generous portions. The menu can also be enjoyed poolside at lunch at the Odyssey restaurant terrace.
Offering something totally different, not just for the hotel but the local area, is Yoshi, the Japanese restaurant headed up by chef Takeo Yamazaki, which holds one Michelin star. Seamlessly blending the flavours of East and West, the focus is on healthy, light dining that bursts with flavour and freshness, paired with the finest Japanese sake, whiskies and green teas. Meanwhile, the open kitchen and sushi bar lets you fully admire the intricate work of the chefs first hand. Over this summer, Yoshi is also popping up poolside, lending a pleasantly laid-back atmosphere to this high-end dining experience.
Speaking of the pool, it is the only hotel with this feature in Monte Carlo, expressed in spectacular style with a design courtesy of the late Karl Lagerfeld. An idyllic escape, it draws inspiration from Greek mythology, flanked by a dramatic photographic fresco. As it’s exclusive to the hotel guests and members of the on-site spa, it provides a moment of tranquility whether heading out for an early swim or sunbathing into the afternoon.
The spa itself is similarly special: the third Givenchy spa in the world, with a chic and contemporary interior befitting of the renowned fashion house and perfumier. This futuristic approach is reflected in the wide range of treatments on offer, leaning on the brand’s skincare products that harness the latest scientific advancements. Alongside this, the spa offers a “heat experience” package, including sauna, hammam, caldarium, ice fountain and sensory showers. Meanwhile, thanks to Givenchy’s beauty expertise, you can get a complete head-to-toe makeover to look perfect for that special event, with the Pedi:Mani:Cure studio by Bastien Gonzalez, as well as make-up services.
What truly sets the hotel apart is its “Just For You” programme, a plethora of curated experiences made possible through its unparalleled contacts with both luxury partners and local initiatives. Many of these tap into its focus on sustainability, for which it was awarded “Best Sustainability Policy for a Hotel in the World” at the 2021 edition of the Prix Villégiature hotel awards. This wide-ranging drive to reduce its environmental impact extends to examining all aspects of the hotel, its supply chain and the products it uses, evaluated through its dedicated green committee.
Through its “Little Chefs” concept, children can get a hands-on class from the pastry chef Patrick Mesiano, with an emphasis on zero-waste cooking and tips on how to choose fruits according to their seasonality. Meanwhile, the hotel provides an insider look at the majestic Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Adapted for little ones, a half-day tour allows for a fun and interactive learning experience to discover the richness and fragility of marine biodiversity, including the opportunity to watch a feeding of a marine species. Even more special is a true “night at the museum” experience, an exclusive guided tour during the evening.
The Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is perfectly located to discover the riches of Monaco, offering supreme comfort and superlative services with a few surprises thrown in.