Located along the French Riviera, Monaco is the most densely populated and second smallest country in the world. The nation doesn’t have squabbles related to the “one percent,” as about 30 percent of its resident’s are millionaires. Nowhere else will you find more billionaires per capita. Monaco and its capital, Monte-Carlo, remained mostly unknown until the late 19th century, with the opening of the first casino and a train that connected to Paris. Today, it is a premier destination and playground to fly to in a private jet. In Monaco, life is always good.
Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
Located on a 10-acre peninsula, 75 percent of the rooms at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort have Riviera views. Its exotic gardens, sandy bottom lagoon pools, casinos and neoclassical arches revive the Côte d’Azur feel of the 1920s. No one would blink an eye if you touched down on the property’s helipad or moored a superyacht. Book the Sea View Suite. If you’re with family, the Two-Bedroom Suite—Roquebrune is breathtaking.
Built on land that Pope Leon XIII once owned, the Hôtel Métropole is a gem drenched in high style. Karl Lagerfield designed the Odyssey pool. Jacques Garcia designed the guest accommodations with his signature flair. The hotel is also home to two highly acclaimed restaurants, Yoshi and Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo. Consider a stay in one of the unique signature suites.
Hôtel Hermitage is where royalty and celebrities stay when they don’t want to be seen. It’s where non-guests visit to gawk at the frescoes and the stained glass-domed vestibule that Gustav Eiffel designed. The best rooms are those that have a view of the sea or port, like the Diamond Suite Penthouse. To really treat yourself, stay in the Princely Diamond Suite.
Café de Paris
The landmark Café de Paris in the Casino Café de Paris brings you upscale classics in a Belle Époque setting. Ultra-pro waiters attend to your every needs from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. Come in for breakfast, teatime, happy hour, or after a long night in the casino.
La Trattoria-Sporting Monte-Carlo
An Alain Ducasse restaurant, La Trattoria-Sporting Monte-Carlo overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the Jimmyz Gardens. It’s only open during the summer, from the beginning of May to the beginning of October, making an opportunity to dine here one that you can’t miss. Specialties include the purple artichoke risotto and the antipasti buffet.
Le Louis XV
Another Alain Ducasse restaurant, you’ll find Le Louis XV in the Hôtel de Paris. The dazzling dining room drips with showy neo-Baroque details. The menu reflects the best of the Riviera and the dishes are works of art. When you get a moment, glance up at the chandelier. At 7 meters in diameter, the elegant piece holds 700 crystals.
Musée Océanographique (Oceanography Museum)
Built on the Rock of Monaco, the Oceanography Museum is in an Edwardian structure dubbed the Temple of the Sea. Prince Albert I built it to contain the specimens that he collected while exploring. Check out examples of early submarines and diving equipment that dates back to the Middle Ages. Then explore the world-famous aquarium, which is one of the oldest in the world. It has a Shark Lagoon and the Djibouti reef, which contains reef-building corals that are over two decades old.
Collection des Voitures Anciennes (Collection of Vintage Cars)
Prince Rainier III began collecting vintage cars in the 1950s. As he added new and antique cars to his collection, his garage became too small. In the 1990s, the prince moved the collection to Terrasses de Fontvielille and opened it to the public. In the royal automobile collection, you’ll find a 1903 De Dion Bouton, Lamborghini Countach, 2013 Lotus F1, and race cars.
Casino de Monte-Carlo
Even if you don’t gamble, the Casino de Monte-Carlo is worth the visit. The gilded rooms and gold-leaf accents put Las Vegas casinos to shame. The legendary casino has gaming events and slot machine tournaments throughout the year. Just don’t forget to bring a jacket and tie if you wish to play in the back rooms.