Casino Square in Monaco, even for those who have never been there, is easily recognisable. The Casino de Monte Carlo itself, with the rotating gallery of supercars on display outside, is one of the most photographed spots on earth.
A short hop (or long, slow trek, depending on how the tables treated you) across the square is the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, opened around the same time as the casino to provide luxury accommodation to visiting high-end players.
As Monaco has evolved so has it, and today it is the most opulent and sought-after address in town.
Why Stay Here?
To be a part of history. The combination of the casino and this hotel is what transformed Monaco into the luxury playground we know today, and its importance is not underestimated by the locals.
The people who work here are proud to say they do so, and from the moment they open the door of your limo (because you might as well arrive in a limo) they will treat you like their own royalty.
The lobby is an enormous marble living room, and the courtyard just behind is lined with palm trees – these are just two of the many spaces available for when you want to just grab a coffee and catch your breath.
All the shopping and nightlife is on your doorstep, the enormous spa at Thermes Marins Monte Carlo is accessible through a marble-lined tunnel (so you don’t have to cross the street like a normal person) and the relationship the property has with the rest of the city is unparalleled.
Hôtel de Paris is owned by Société des Bains de Mer de Monaco (SBM), in turn majority owned by the Monegasque state. Its portfolio also includes the Casino, the Café de Paris and the Thermes Marins spa as well as many other hotels and restaurants across the city. This allows Hôtel de Paris guests to enjoy much more than the facilities within their own building.
Guillaume de Lestang
That spa is just one of the options open to you when you stay here – it is indeed enormous, boasting a huge pool with sea views and a vast array of treatment rooms, perfect for soothing aching legs after exploring the hilly streets of the city.
Transport can be arranged to the other resorts in the family, some with beach access and all with their own character and flair, and the usual entry fee to the casino is waived.
Monaco is a city dedicated to hospitality for a huge range of tastes, and SBM cater to them all.
How’s the Food?
Whatever you want, they will have it here. Breakfast is on a terrace overlooking the entrance to the opera house – Formula One fans will recognise the view in an instant – and in an area which becomes Em Sherif Monte Carlo for lunch and dinner.
Lebanese cuisine is served here by up-and-coming chef Yasmina Hayek, with an emphasis on casual dining and sharing plates.
Café de Paris is a classic French bistro which would not be out of place in the city whose name it bears.
The stars of the show, however, are the stars of the Michelin Guide: one-star Le Grill, taking over most of the rooftop space, combines some of the best panoramas you’re likely to find on the Riviera with all the wood-fire grilled meat you could ever hope for. When the lamb arrives to be finished tableside the aroma from the burning rosemary is simply incredible.
Main flagship, Le Louis XV by Alain Ducasse, is the only three-star restaurant in the city. Since first gaining this highest recognition in 1987 the reputation of Le Louis XV has grown and grown, and today it is rightly regarded as the finest dining in the area. Lovers of fine French gastronomy will likely not find a better option.
What are the rooms like?
The building is somewhat deceptive from the outside, and when walking the corridors it feels much bigger than it looks from the street.
The upshot of this is that all the rooms are surprisingly spacious, many with balconies which overlook the harbour or casino square and some with incredible terraces and even pools.
The signature Princess Grace suite has two terraces – one on each floor, of course – with a heated infinity pool and jacuzzi, both overlooking the Mediterranean. In a city known globally for excessive luxury, the suite named for its famous Princess and based in its most famous hotel simply has to be the finest in town.
A stay at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo is a bucket-list item for many, and with good reason. The long history and continued excellence set it apart from even its most illustrious neighbours.
Today’s version, thanks to the foresight of SBM in planning the continuation of their luxury hospitality empire, has exclusive access to the best the Principality has to offer – an ever-expanding list, with Moana and Club La Vigie having opened in summer 2023 – to go with the incredible facilities found on its own premises. Simply put, this IS Monaco, and has to be experienced at least once.
Rooms from €800. montecarlosbm.com