Few places have quite as much of a reputation for lavish luxury as the French Riviera, as Ruby Norris discovers during a stay at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo.
From the party beaches of Saint Tropez, to the winding hills of Monaco, France’s Côte D’Azur is the hedonistic hotspot loved by socialites, celebs and the ultra-rich. But even if your bank balance isn’t in the six figures, a short stay at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo will leaving you feeling like a member of that exclusive A List set.
I travelled to Monaco in September 2020, when Europe was preparing for that brief return to (semi) normality following the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic and before the bleak winter set in. With negative tests serving as VIP visas, the staff at Hotel Metropole Monaco went to great lengths to ensure guests felt safe, secure and yet still able to sample the high life synonymous with the principality.
After a short transfer (no more than half an hour) along the winding coastline from Nice Côte D’Azur Airport, I soon found myself comfortably propped beside the pool, rosé in hand and ready to enjoy a weekend in the playground of the mega rich.
About Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Situated in the Carré d’Or, considered by locals and tourists alike as the heart of Monte-Carlo, the Hotel Metropole is just a few steps away from the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Originally built in 1886, the Belle Époque-style building was renovated by the highly acclaimed French architect Jacques Garcia, to create the palatial 125-room hotel that stands today.
Design is very much at the heart of the Hotel Metropole and it’s clear every crook, corner and cubby hole has been artfully styled and curated. From Odyssey, the poolside lounge and restaurant designed by Karl Lagerfeld, to the Spa Metropole by Givenchy designed by interior designer Didier Gomez and exquisite Prestige Suite the hotel is homage to couture and fine art.
It’s no wonder the hotel featured in the recent series of The Syndicate, where the Suite Carré d’Or and it’s 110m2 terrace served as the perfect backdrop to offer up breath-taking views over Monte Carlo.
After soaking up the late afternoon sunshine on a poolside Cabana I’d commandeered, we were shown to our room. Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo consists of 125 rooms and suites, all of which continue in the hotel’s commitment to the art of comfort and refinement. Each one decorated in Mediterranean style, with refined fabrics, a warm palette of glowing hues and marble finishes in the bathrooms, the rooms epitomise the lavish luxury of this corner of the world.
The largest suite in the hotel, and the most luxurious of honeymoon suites, Suite Carré d’Or is the Hotel Metropole’s sumptuous penthouse providing guests with the ultimate in luxe and glamour.
For dinner, it was down the the Lobby Bar, with its glamorous, elegant and warm ambience and intimate terrace it struck me as the perfect place to link up with friends, or wedding guests, for an aperitif before heading out on the town. Serving up delicious Mediterranean-inspired and French, food and a selection of wines, cocktails and premium spirits, we opted for the locally-coveted steak tartare and a filet of sea bass to share (paired with some not so refined but very delicious gin & tonics).
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is also home to Yoshi, the only Japanese restaurant on the Côte d’Azur to be awarded a Michelin star since 2010, which showcases typical Japanese cuisine in a contemporary and daring décor by Didier Gomez.
Places to Go
After settling in to the room, soaking in the opulent marble bath tub and reflecting on our hard day’s work sunbathing over aperitifs at the Lobby Bar it was time to head out and sample a little more of the high life (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?). While Monaco wasn’t quite operating at capacity, there was still plenty to see and do, even with masks blotting out the
A visit to the Casino de Monte-Carlo is a must, even if just to people watch or pick up some Blackjack tips to empress your partner on your next date night. If luck isn’t quite on your side, ditch the roulette tables and head to Bar Buddha, just a stone’s throw away in Place du Casino. Set in the former 20th century concert hall, the rich architecture offers up an opulent setting for some fancy cocktails and the city’s thriving party scene.
Weddings, Hens and Honeymoons at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Surrounded by luxury and refinement yet with the all potential for a raucous night out, it’s no wonder brides-to-be are flocking to the French Riviera for a lavish hen weekend. With concierge services at the hotel professing no request is too much, you could certainly do worse than a suite at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo with your best girls.
Meanwhile, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect place to pop the big question the hotel is willing to pull out all the stops to lock in that all important ‘yes’.
Known for their bespoke Just For You experiences, the ‘Will You Marry Me?’ package offers an experience that will remain forever engraved on couple’s hearts. Starting the experience in style, the couple will enjoy a helicopter transfer to the hotel and will be greeted with a personalised welcome upon arrival, before being led to the magnificent Suite Carré d’Or where a number of surprises await them, including welcome gifts, a bottle of Dom Pérignon and a mini-bar with unlimited soft drinks.
In preparation of the big moment, a personal butler will serve a romantic candle-lit dinner on the star-lit terrace overlooking the Mediterranean ocean and the hotel’s pool. The couple will then be guided towards the staircase to discover the text, ‘Will you marry me?’ projected on the bottom of the pool.
Hotel Metropole can arrange airport transfers for the short 30-minute journey from Nice Airport. BA offer flights from London Heathrow to Nice starting at £34, with a flight time of around one and half hours. Please check the guidelines on international travel and the entry requirements for each country before you travel.
For more information and to book your stay at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, visit metropole.com/en/.