Monaco is famously known as the billionaires’ playground. Except, everyone gets bored of visiting the same playground all the time. Just ask your kids. Or Princess Charlene, who wasn’t seen in Monaco between May and December.
Monaco did become a little, well, boring. A bit like the Monaco Grand Prix race, rather the amazing Monaco Grand Prix parties. Fortunately, there have been some big developments in the principality, and we’re not talking about royal marriage rumours here. We’re talking about your next Monaco holiday experience.
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo has undergone a big refurbishment. All the guest rooms have been embellished and there’s been a complete redesign of the suites. Interior designer Jacques Garcia ripped out the penthouse suite and started again, in collaboration with House of Pierre Frey. So now the Suite Carre d’Or has a magnificent interior to match the show-stopping 110㎡ terrace.
Throughout the renovation, double-Michelin-starred head chef Christophe Cussac was cooking from a temporary kitchen (that’s like asking Charles Leclerc to win his grand prix in an Alpha Romeo). His flagship Metropole restaurant will reopen next month! Of course there’s still the Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Yoshi and Jacques Garcia’s new Lobby Bar.
200 metres down the road there have been big renovations on Casino Square. It’s greener, cleaner, with more space for pedestrians. They’ve kept the space where Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Group’s VIP clients park their sports cars, but now it’s easy to enjoy Place du Casino without having 650 horsepower and a quad exhaust.
Also getting us excited is One Monte-Carlo, a new district between Place du Casino and the also newly renovated Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo. There’s a Michelin-starred restaurant Mada One for breakfast and Champagne High Tea (we didn’t know that great croissants could get you a Michelin star either), along with a host of new designer stores, including a Louis Vuitton spread over three floors.
Alexander McQueen has a new shop front on Avenue des Beaux-Arts. Then there is Akris, Boucheron, Czarina, Fendi, Sonia Rykiel, Prada, Chanel and so many more in One Monte-Carlo. Most of the district opened up in 2019 but with the Covid hiatus this area is practically new. Spring summer 2022 will be its first real full season.
We’re not convinced by One Monte-Carlo’s claim to be a green and sustainable space, especially after they argued the point by saying “Princess Grace planted a tree.” But we are in love with Elsa, the world’s first ever Michelin-starred restaurant with 100% organic food and wild-caught fish. It’s located in Monte-Carlo Beach, Monaco’s 1920’s boutique five-star hotel, which was renovated completely in 2009.
Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo
More recently, the 19th-century Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo, the grand dame of the Riviera, was finally renovated in 2019. It took six years to complete and cost $280 million. We’re sure you don’t need a reminder of the hotel’s Alain Ducasse restaurant, the first hotel restaurant to ever receive three Michelin stars.
Want to Explore What's New in Monaco?
What’s new is that we now know where to get the keys to the hotels’ legendary wine cellar. The 500,000-bottle collection can be opened up for tours and exclusive tastings. Just don’t drop the Château Gruad Larose 1865 or Château Bel Air Marquis D’Aligre 1850, two wines that show Monaco has still got its old-world glamour and style, along with a new side for spring and summer 2022.