We all know Monaco is pocket-sized, but it’s definitely packed with a punch.
Imagine every James Bond movie coming to life right in front of your eyes and shaking hands with a picture-perfect Mediterranean dream.
You’ve got just under two square kilometers of seaside splendor that’s practically dripping in opulence. The deep blue sea, hundreds of luxury yachts, palm trees waving hello, and that electric aura that seems to whisper.. “Welcome to the high life”.
If you thought that’s overwhelming, the whole picture gets even more amazing as you get closer and closer to the heart of Monaco.
We’re talking about Monte-Carlo – the HQ of the high rollers, the ultimate playground for the rich and fabulous.
This is where the swanky meets the sublime. You’ve got jaw-dropping sea views, Lamborghinis and Ferraris zooming by, and so many Michelin stars you’ll think you’re in a culinary galaxy.
The “Carré d’Or” or “Square of Gold“, as they call it, is where your credit card might just weep with joy (or terror, depending on your bank balance).
But this is the right place to be. You can just feel the grace and exclusivity swirling in the air.
Whether you’re looking to splurge here like a superstar, or if you’re just swinging by Monaco for a taste of luxury, this glamorous haven will leave you starry-eyed and inspired. At least that’s what happened to us.
We’ve spent three unforgettable days in Monaco and we’re already longing to go back to this place.
Now let’s dive right into the crowning part of our trip to Monaco: staying at the iconic Hotel Hermitage Monte Carlo.
Buckle up, because this Grande Dame of Monaco literally swept us off our feet.
- First Impression
- Dining Experiences
- Le Train Bleu – Casino de Monte-Carlo
- L’Hirondelle – Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo
- Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo
- The Casino de Monte-Carlo
- Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo
- Final Thoughts
- Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo
As we waved goodbye to the sparkling sea views and got right in the heart of the Principality, the grandeur of the Hôtel Hermitage came into sight.
If I had to describe our first impression in just a few words this would be it: Utter enchantment!
First off, pulling up to this beauty was a spectacle in itself. The hotel’s façade is so intricately designed that it made the other buildings around it look like doodles on a napkin.
We’re talking creamy stonework with amazing little details wherever you looked. And the cars! Oh, the cars!
On the cobbled driveway in front of the hotel there was a lineup of supercars so shiny you’d think they were just unwrapped. My inner car enthusiast was in paradise when I’ve seen a super rare Aston Martin V12 Speedster DBR1.
Stepping inside the hotel through the rotating glass doors, you’re instantly swept in a wave of glamour and sophistication. The foyer was like a typical scene from any glamorous movie we’ve ever seen.
High ceilings, cream pillars, chandeliers that could light up our lives, and tasteful works of art – this place had it all. But wait, there’s more!
Behind the main foyer there’s a lovely tea area, that looks like an elegant orangerie, complete with palms and a twisting marble staircase.
This is when you really know the Hermitage is not just a hotel, it’s an experience. We felt like we were part of something bigger – a slice of history, if you will.
As we went to our room we strolled down what seemed like endless corridors, each more impressive than the last, before stumbling upon a gorgeous second foyer with a colossal stained-glass roof.
This was a red-carpeted spectacle, boasting another reception and concierge desk, sweeping stairwells, ornate balconies, and all under an enormous, awe-inspiring stained-glass roof, that was apparently designed by Gustave Eiffel himself.
In short, we fell in love with the Hotel Hermitage faster than a Monaco Grand Prix lap!
Onward to the pièce de résistance of our stay at the Hermitage – our “humble” abode, a massive room with a lovely terrace facing the sea!
If you thought the grandeur of the hotel was breathtaking, wait till you hear about where we hung up our hats for three fabulous days.
This was not just a room, it was a symphony of luxury, calm, and exquisite refinement, bathed in the glorious Monegasque sun.
Imagine belle-époque interiors with a touch of modern chic, combined with service that makes you feel like royalty – that was our haven.
And oh, the view! Massive windows that open up to the sparkling Monaco harbour. What more could you ask for? We’re talking supercars parading by, yachts docking – it felt like we were right in the middle of the action.
We had front-row seats to the charismatic city’s daily happenings – with the Grand Prix stands taking shape somewhere in the background (we were there just a few weeks before the Grand Prix).
Now let’s get into specifics. The room came with a deeply comfortable bed that felt like we were sleeping on clouds, a writing desk (where I even tried to work a little), a cozy sitting area, ample cupboard space, and a bathroom that made us go “Woah!”.
Separate shower and tub – it was like having our own little spa.
And then there was the balcony – a Romeo and Juliette-style ledge that made us want to write stories about this place. Standing there, watching the world go by, we couldn’t help but feel like we were in a movie. Time slowed down, and it was pure magic.
Our room was in the hotel’s Midi Wing, and let me tell you, if you ever find yourself in Monaco, do yourselves a favor and try to book the same Exclusive Room, Sea View with Terrace at the Hotel Hermitage. Your future self will thank you.
When in Monaco, dining is not just a meal; it’s an event, a sensory adventure. And since we were in town for three days we set out on a gastronomic quest to discover several of Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer’s restaurants.
Fancy breakfast with a view? Or perhaps you’re in the mood for a quick, delectable lunch in between your adventures around the city? How about an unforgettable dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant?
Spoiler alert: We did all three, and oh boy, did our taste buds dance with joy!
Whether you’re a food connoisseur or someone who always enjoys a tasty meal, Monte-Carlo is a food lover’s paradise, catering to every whim and every craving.
Stay tuned as we dive into these gastronomical treats, and yes, we’ll try to dish all the delicious details!
Pavyllon Monte-Carlo – Hôtel Hermitage
First things first, we had an amazing dinner at the Michelin-starred Pavyllon Monte-Carlo, a restaurant that’s nestled right in the glorious Hôtel Hermitage.
Led by Yannick Alléno, the French maestro with twelve (I think?) Michelin stars to his name, this restaurant has a soul; it breathes excellence, sharing, and modernity.
The moment you step inside it feels like you’re entering another world, a lively and vibrant place, where you get front-row seats to the culinary ballet in the kitchen. Imagine a symphony of chefs working their magic in front of you, so close you could almost touch them!
The surrounding ambiance is also an absolute feast for the eyes, luxurious and welcoming in the same time, and the terrace is simply astounding, with views of Monaco’s Le Rocher and the harbour, that could make you feel like you’re actually dreaming.
But the food was the real showstopper there. Yannick Alléno’s menu is apparently a love letter to the Riviera, with unique creations inspired by the colors and flavors of the South of France. With fresh, seasonal ingredients, each dish was crafted with the precision of a Swiss watch right in front of our eyes.
I went for the signature Hermitage menu and every dish felt like a present for my taste buds. It would be hard to pick just one stand out dish, because they were all utterly delicious. The menu ebbed and flowed with the rhythm of the restaurant, keeping us on our toes, or rather, on our taste buds!
So, if you’re looking for a place to feed your soul as well as your stomach, head over to Pavyllon Monte-Carlo. You won’t have dinner there – you’ll get a taste of the good life in Monaco.
La Mezzanine – Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo
We’ve talked earlier about the second foyer, with a colossal stained-glass roof, that we got to see on the way to our room.
Well, that’s exactly where you’ll also get to enjoy breakfast every single morning at the Hermitage.
Imagine waking up and stepping into a time capsule, a Belle Epoque sanctuary bathed in the gentle embrace of sunlight filtered through a majestic stained-glass ceiling. This is the Eiffel Mezzanine – an homage to grace and an intimate ode to the Eiffel school.
What better way to greet the Monaco sun than with a sumptuous breakfast in this place?
You could go for a cozy table by the balcony and enjoy the gentle hum below you, or, if you want to start your day graced by the Mediterranean sun, the alfresco seating on the rooftop is an invitation to get some vitamin D.
And now, the ultimate highlight: the breakfast. My dearest gourmands, a buffet of delights is always at your disposal here. A parade of freshness welcomes you, featuring whole fruits, dried fruits, yogurts, and bircher muesli. And the coffee – oh, the whisper of fresh coffee leaves as you sip, I can almost taste it now!
There’s also a symphony of cheeses, cold cuts, and an array of hot delicacies. And for those with a taste for the unknown, an Asian selection tempts with exotic mystery.
And the pastries! You just want to try every single one of them. The buttery embrace of French bread and pastries, the whispers of sweet cakes, all flirt with your taste buds. These are not just pastries; they’re diet-killers baked to perfection.
In the end, I have to tip my hat to the maestros behind the scenes – the staff. Their service is like a well-rehearsed ballet; plates are whisked away, smiles are shared, and every whim is quickly attended to with grace.
Breakfast at La Mezzanine is definitely one of the reasons why you should totally book a room at the Hermitage.
Le Grill – Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo
As if starting our day under the historic glass-stained roof of La Mezzanine wasn’t enough, a few hours later we took a stroll down down the road to the legendary Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, where we had the chance to experience another gem in the crown of Monte Carlo’s dining scene – Le Grill.
Perched like an eagle’s nest on the eighth floor of the iconic Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, this Michelin-starred restaurant is where the heavens touch the earth. I might have talked about amazing views a few times already, but the views here are so spectacular you’ll have to pinch yourselves to believe they are real!
You’re sitting high above the azure waves, with your gaze embracing Monaco, and trailing off into the Italian coastline. Bellissimo! Le Grill is not just a restaurant; it’s really the cherry on top.
Led by a dynamic duo, Chefs Dominique Lory and Patrick Laine, this restaurant is an ode to the Mediterranean, celebrating the treasures of the land and sea, curated by the passionate local farmers and fishermen.
You’ve got skewer-grilled meats and seafood creating a serenade on your plate, and let me whisper to you about the Grand Marnier soufflé – it’s a pinnacle of euphoria. Every dish seems to tell a story, capturing the love and devotion to the ingredients and the land where they come from.
And let’s not forget the décor. The hues of bewitching blue, the bold and clean lines, it’s a tapestry woven with threads of elegance. Sitting there, suspended between the sky and the sea, time loses its essence, and for a moment, you forget about everything else.
So, whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or just someone who seeks the sublime, Le Grill is definitely going to take you to the Monte Carlo dreamscape.
Le Train Bleu – Casino de Monte-Carlo
For the next stop in our culinary journey through Monaco we’re actually taking the train. Well, not really. But we’re about to take you on a first-class culinary journey back in time to the golden days of travel. Buckle up because this train is only making stops to flavor town!
Nestled inside the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo, this hidden gem is more than just a restaurant; it’s a real work of art. Called Le Train Bleu, this place really feels like you’re boarding a historic passenger train from the early 1900s.
They’ve kept the authenticity alive with everything, from the paintwork to the wood finishing. Talk about dining in style!
But wait, it gets better. The food is an Italian symphony led by Chef Richard Rubbini. You’ve got wild fish, artichokes, lobster, aubergines, mixed so beautifully that every bite feels like you’re actually in a sun-kissed Italian vacation.
The best part? This ride doesn’t end early! Le Train Bleu is open until the Casino de Monte-Carlo closes. So whether you’re taking a breather from testing your luck or if you just want to spice up your evening, this is the place to be. Who says you can’t have a high-stakes casino night and a first-class culinary journey all in one evening?
Alright, adventurers, it’s time for us to chug along to the next destination.
L’Hirondelle – Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo
We’ve also visited the iconic Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo (we’ll get to that part in a second), and while we were there we’ve had a surprising lunch experience at L’Hirondelle. Why was it a surprise, you ask? Because it turned out to be one of the most unforgettable meals – right in a spa’s restaurant, of all places.
First, let’s talk location. Perched like a royal seagull with killer views of Monaco Port and the iconic Rock, L’Hirondelle’s terrace is what postcards are made of. Sun-soaked and chic, it’s like the Mediterranean Sea decided to send you a VIP invite for lunch.
If you’re big on health and taste – as we are – then L’Hirondelle is your dream come true. The chef here is a true artist, creating masterpieces that are not only visually appealing but also mouth-wateringly delicious. Imagine savoring dishes that are a perfect balance of wellness and gourmet flavours – yep, healthy food has never tasted this good!
You’ve got gluten-free dishes, green detox offerings, and sustainably-caught seafood turned into treats that are light yet utterly satisfying. We devoured everything with zero guilt (shoutout to Mother Earth!) a enjoyed the burst of flavors in every bite.
But let’s talk about the view again, shall we? The restaurant offers one of the most beautiful panoramas in Monaco. As we sat there, basking in this idyllic, sun-drenched place, we couldn’t help but feel a sense of contentment.
So, here’s our recommendation, folks: if you’re planning to go to the picturesque Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo (you can go there even if you’re not a guest of the Hotel Hermitage or the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo), make sure you stop by L’Hirondelle.
Trust us, the fusion of delicious, healthy cuisine, and the stunning view will make your visit worth every moment.
In our last night in Monaco we took off on an enchanting magic carpet ride to the Far East, but guess what? We didn’t even need to leave Monte-Carlo for this adventure! All it took was a short and relaxing walk to the breathtaking Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo.
As we walked through the doors and we were led to our table, we felt like we were teleported straight into the heart of far-east Asia. You’re in a dreamy sanctuary, lush with warm colors, surrounded by a magical ambience, as the grand host, a colossal meditating Buddha watches over you.
If you ever visited an Asian royal palace, this is exactly how the decor looks like. Think 7-metre-high ceilings, intricate woodwork, mesmerizing sculptures, ornate stucco, and gilding.
As for the food, let’s just say that we’ve found the place where East truly meets West, and where Asian flavors are perfectly fused with French gastronomy. We’re talking sashimi, maki, sushi, and a buffet of spicy culinary delights from China, Japan, Thailand, and South-East Asia.
Add in some sake or a signature cocktail while feasting on these exotic flavors and you’re in for a real treat. And let’s not forget the music! There was a musical symphony in the background, with a DJ blending lounge and chill-out tunes with ethnic and electro beats. It was like your ears are being caressed by silk.
Fun fact: this place apparently stands exactly where the old Cabaret de Monte-Carlo used to be at the turn of the century, and at night, the dining room turns into a chic nightclub. Talk about dancing with history!
In a nutshell, Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo is the place where East meets West in the most resplendent of ways. It’s an escape, a haven, and a party all wrapped into one.
Now I have two excellent reasons to plan another trip back! So if you’re heading that way, I highly recommend checking them out as well.
The Casino de Monte-Carlo
Alright, let’s move on to a few other highlights of our trip to the Principality.
Of course, any trip to Monaco wouldn’t be complete without visiting the legendary Monte Carlo Casino, right?
The iconic Place du Casino is basically the beating heart of Monaco. And the Casino de Monte-Carlo? Think of it as the crown jewel – a symbol of unparalleled elegance. This place isn’t just a casino; it’s a world in itself, steeped in history and oozing with glamour.
Seriously, James Bond could walk out at any moment, and everyone would just nod like, “yeah, that makes sense”.
Inside, you’ve got Belle Époque magnificence that could make your heart skip a beat. Bohemian crystal chandeliers bathe you in a warm glow, and trust us, the gaming tables are works of art as well. Crafted by artisans, these babies have stories, and the croupiers are like ambassadors of world-class service.
From French Roulette, Baccarat, Black Jack, to Poker Texas Hold’em Ultimate, the casino offers an extraordinary selection of games. So, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, there’s something for everybody here. Even if you’re not a games kind of person, you can just come here for the show.
Bottom line – the Monte Carlo Casino is not just a casino; it’s an experience. It’s where sophistication meets thrills. So grab a Martini and get ready to live your Bond fantasy in a Monaco night like no other!
Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo
If you’re like us, just hearing the words “spa day” is enough to make your shoulders drop an inch, as you imagine sinking into a world of relaxation and calm.
Now, amplify that feeling tenfold and imagine this seamless transition from dream to reality: You’re in Monaco, and right in the beating heart of this glamorous Principality you’ll discover an oasis of unmatched wellness and luxury.
This is the iconic Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo.
Spanning a whopping 6,600-m2, this sanctuary is not your average spa. Imagine a place where every detail was carefully designed with your relaxation and well-being in mind.
From beauty treatments to fitness routines, and even preventive health solutions, this place has you covered from head to toe. It’s more than a spa; it’s a wellness universe.
You’ve got a massive swimming pool, an outdoor jacuzzi overlooking the port and the Rock, saunas, hammam, and a panoramic fitness room with a bird’s eye view of the Port and the Mediterranean Sea. Pretty spectacular, right?
It’s like these guys have taken the Mediterranean climate, bottled it up, and then sprinkled it all over this haven.
Now, let’s talk tech. Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo is kitted out with the latest and greatest. We’re talking slimming, anti-ageing, and high performance equipment that’s straight out of a sci-fi movie.
But here’s the real kicker – the dream team of experts they have on board. Therapists, doctors, nutritionists, health gurus and sports trainers are all on hand to tailor a personal wellness protocol just for you – they really have something for everyone here!
One of the highlights of our day? The Decorté Relaxing Massage, a full-body massage inspired by Japanese techniques, that was so good it’s kind of hard to forget about it. It felt like all our worries and stress just melted away. Pure bliss!
So, if you’re looking to level up your wellness game in an oasis of luxury, Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo is THE spot. We left feeling rejuvenated, like we could take on the world – one green juice at a time.
Alright guys, it’s time to wrap up our enchanting escape at the iconic Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, and let’s just say, we’re still daydreaming. This beauty in Monte Carlo isn’t just a hotel, it’s an experience.
From the very second we hopped out of our cab, we knew – this was going to be an experience. There’s something about this place, an exquisite blend of Monte Carlo class and that je ne sais quoi.
The hotel itself is like a living, breathing history book and the ambiance is completely mesmerizing.
The room? A tranquil haven. The views? Absolutely incredible. Breakfast? An affair to remember. And the hotel’s staff was the epitome of grace and attentiveness.
In conclusion, Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, you stole our hearts. We wish we could pack our bags and move in forever. This place isn’t just a hotel; it’s a love affair with luxury and grace. It’s where time stands still and the heart races.
Do yourselves a favor and soak in the magic that is the Hermitage. We’ll definitely be back!
Where: Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo
Address: Sq. Beaumarchais, 98000 Monaco
Phone: +377 98 06 40 00