A golden cocoon perched above the Mediterranean, Monaco’s 2 km 2 of gleaming palaces, high-flying spas and Michelin-starred restaurants are all here. Here is an overview of the best addresses to discover during a weekend.
Between France and Italy, Monaco is one of those destinations bathed in fantasy whose contours one seems to know without ever having set foot there. It is associated with the sultry clichés of Helmut Newton and his blondes in stilettos posing at the top of the Monte Carlo Beach diving board, with the Royal family, its joys and tragedies, with Karl Lagerfeld who bought La Vigie, with yachts and wellness cures… Here are all the addresses not to be missed during a weekend on the Mediterranean.
The HermitageBook here
At the top of the list of the most beautiful hotels in Monaco, the Hermitage is located on the heights of Monte Carlo. Facing the waves, it owes its opulent décor to interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon. The programme on site? Breakfast under a superb dome designed by Gustave Eiffel, a treatment at the Thermes spa, lunch on the Vistamar terrace, an afternoon of shopping in the surrounding labyrinth of boutiques before returning to the suites with their breathtaking views, dressed in vintage wallpaper and furniture in azure shades.
Hotel de ParisBook here
If the Hermitage attracts purists, the Hôtel de Paris has the reputation of attracting a more colourful fauna. Entirely revamped by the architectural duo Richard Martinet and Gabriel Viora, the hotel has a contemporary feel with a large atrium reminiscent of Miami, impeccably designed rooms in white Calacatta marble and large terraces overlooking the princely palace. The hotel also offers access to the spa of the Thermes de Monte-Carlo, a panoramic restaurant (Le Grill) where you can dine and have brunch, and above all Le Louis XV, Alain Ducasse’s three-starred restaurant. All of this is just a stone’s throw from the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
The Monte-Carlo Marine SpaBook here
Accessible from the Hôtel de Paris and the Hermitage, the Thermes Marins is known as the white wolf in Monaco. Facing the yachts moored in the port, this sprawling spa concentrates on 6600m2, all that is best in terms of well-being. Massages with essential oils, La Prairie facials, cryotherapy which has convincing effects on physical and moral fatigue or muscular pains… With the added bonus of the restaurant L’Hirondelle, which gives pride of place to healthy recipes and plants.
The DeckBOOK HERE
Open only during the summer months, the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel still offers access to its club and restaurant in the autumn. Named Le Deck and overlooking the lagoon-coloured swimming pool, it allows its visitors to have lunch in the sun, facing the glistening Mediterranean. On the menu? Grilled fish, shellfish, burrata, salads from Nice… In other words, tasteful transalpine recipes.
Adjacent to the famous Monegasque club Jimmy’z, Coya propels its visitors into a cheerful Peruvian atmosphere. Decorated with green plants and South American fabrics, the restaurant, led by chef Fabrizio Fossati, seduces with its cheerful atmosphere as well as its menu, which features the greatest specialities of Peru. Hanging out at the bar, visitors first sip a spicy margarita, accompanied by homemade guacamole, before taking their seats at the table. To share, ceviches, gourmet tacos, tiraditos, brochettes of prawns, fish in casseroles cleverly spiced up… pass in turn on the tables.
The Oceanographic Museumreserve
On the cliffside, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco takes its visitors deep into the ocean. Founded in 1889 by Prince Albert Iᵉʳ, who was himself passionate about the ocean floor, the museum presents an array of exotic fish, sharks, coral, turtles, etc., with a real desire to educate, preserve and rehabilitate these species in the deep blue sea.
Monte-Carlo BayBOOK here
A powder pink hotel with its feet in the Mediterranean, the Monte-Carlo Bay has become famous for two reasons. It was the location for the film L’Arnacoeur, and also features a natural lagoon with a sandy bottom, lined with lush plants and palm trees. An unmissable Monegasque brunch spot, it offers a gargantuan menu of seafood platters, seasonal salads, tartars, crispy pizzas, fish, homemade crepes… All accompanied by champagne.
Villa La VigieBOOK here
Located on the heights of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, La Vigie is one of the most iconic places in Monaco. Bought and lived in by Karl Lagerfeld, it is now privatized for events or longer stays.
Monte-Carlo CasinoBOOK HERE
It is impossible to stop over in Monaco without visiting the Monte-Carlo Casino. Behind its belle époque façade, this temple of gambling has been attracting the greatest gambling enthusiasts for decades. The advice? Beforehand, in the lobby of the Hôtel de Paris, touch the paw of the equestrian statue of Louis XIV. It is said to bring good luck.