How To Vacation Like A Celebrity In Monaco
The surge in travel among millenials has given birth to a number of sites geared toward flight deals and budget bed and breakfasts, but when’s the last time you treated yourself to a luxury getaway? Chances are that answer is never. Sure, you might lay your head on a pillow at a luxury hotel a couple of nights, but have you treated yourself to a 5-star ritzy vacay from start to finish? If that answer is no, I know the perfect place to wet your appetite for opulence: Monaco.
Located on the French Riviera, the Principality of Monaco is the second-smallest sovereign state in the world, but likely has more money circulating within its 500-acre land mass than entire countries. Bordered by France and the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco has been called a “haven for the wealthy,” attracting rich and famous tourists who can bask in the country’s beauty while blending in with the locals, whom only total 38,000. Few places better facilitate the ability to truly get away. And if you’re willing to drop a pretty penny for the kind of peaceful vacation celebrities live for, I’ll show you how to do it.
Fly into Nice Aboard Norwegian Airlines
Since you’re going to be splurging on just about everything once you arrive in Monaco, save yourself a few dollars in airfare and opt for a flight aboard Norwegian Airlines. Norwegian is the third largest low-cost carrier in Europe, but nothing about the experience aboard the cabin is budget, particularly if you take advantage of Premium class which offers the following benefits:
- Lounge access (where available)
- Fast Track (where available)
- Comfortable seating with 46″ of legroom which can be reserved pre-flight
- A USB charger and power outlet at your seat
- 2 free checked bags
Aboard my seven-hour flight I also received a complimentary three-course dinner with drinks and breakfast and I had no trouble sleeping thanks to my seat recline and the soft LED lighting throughout the cabin. There’s no airport in Monaco so you’ll have to fly into the closest city which is Nice, France; however the transportation option I tell you about next will get you to your location faster than any train, car, or bus in the same city could.
Transfer to Monaco aboard Monacair
Seven minutes — that’s exactly how long it will take you to get from Nice, France, to Monaco using Monacair’s helicopter transfer. Everything about the service is V.I.P. from the free minibus shuttle which includes a two-way trip from your house/hotel to the Monaco heliport and to your final destination. If you have your boarding pass and are only taking a carry-on, you can get dropped off directly at your gate (you go through security at the Monaco heliport). Bypassing the security line at the airport and cutting the 30-minute car ride between Nice and Monaco down to seven minutes is worth the price, which is less than 200 Euros.
Stay at Hotel Metropole
Though listed as a five-star hotel, if Monaco had such a designation, the Metropole would technically be a palace. As such, you’ll be treated like a queen immediately upon arrival in the dwelling which is the perfect mix of antique charm and contemporary luxury. The service is absolutely on par with the surroundings, which is why we aren’t surprised many a celeb has booked this hotel for their vacation. And did we mention the bathroom is stocked with Hermés toiletries?
Honestly, with the comfy, spacious accommodations of your suite you may not feel inclined to leave the room, but we’d encourage you to venture out at least once to experience Odyssey. Couture might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of restaurants, but we promise you it will in this Metropole restaurant designed by Karl Lagerfeld which features seasonal Mediterranean dishes by chef Joël Robuchon that can be enjoyed poolside.
Treat Yourself At Givenchy Spa
What’s a luxury getaway without a spa treatment? And it gets no more exclusive than Givenchy Spa, which only has three locations around the world. Located inside Hotel Metropole, Givenchy Spa just opened its doors in April of this year, offering signature face and body treatments, massages, and makeup application.
You can also treat yourself to a heat experience, which includes a Sauna, Hammam, and Caldarium (combining dry and wet heat), ice fountain and perfumed sensory rain showers. For an hour I rotated between the three rooms, taking a quick shower in between each rotation which was a calming contrast to the heat of the rooms, which I still found surprisingly relaxing and cleansing.
Sip at Wine Palace
Go from one palace to the next with a visit to the Wine Palace, located at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Like the name suggests, Wine Palace features 2,300 wines from a variety of regions, ranging in price from 7€ to 8000€, including the limited selection served at Prince Albert II’s vert own wedding in 2011.
Champagnes, cognacs and other spirits are also available to be paired with light bites of your choice for enjoying in the intimate setting.
Lunch at the Monaco Rowing Club
You may not be able to afford a cruise aboard a yacht in Monco, but you can certainly dine among those who do at the Monaco Rowing Club. Open to all diners, the Rowing Club’s menu is ripe with seafood classics like frito misto and prawns opposite of the marina which makes for a view as appetizing as the food.
Eat Authentic Italian Cuisine at Le Fish Market
Enjoy fish how it was meant to be served — fresh — at Le Fish Market which cooks authentic Italian and seafood dishes like gnocchi and scampi without frills. Plus, whether dining inside or out, you’ll have an amazing view of the the yachts that are docked and coming in and out of Monaco’s main marina.
Do Happy Hour at Brasserie De Monaco
This is the spot to check out if you want to take a break from the high life and get back to living like everyday people — well sort of. See, Brasserie did create the world’s first and only luxury beer, but this unassuming brassiere has something for everyone, from the upscale purveyor to everyday people and that goes for the music, beers, spirits, and food. You definitely want to make a stop here on the way to your final destination.
Looking for more adventure than leisure? Let the good people at Skivol get your adrenaline pumping with a water sport of your choice, from simple boating and tubing to jet skiing and parasailing.
Make a Stop at Moshi Moshi
This is my personal opinion, but I’d argue you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t experience the culinary excellence of Toshimi Takiya at Moshi Moshi while in Monaco. The former sushi chef beautifully mixes traditional Japanese cuisine with Mediterranean food items that will leave you more than satisfied. If you have nothing else, try the riz croustillant.
Grab Dinner at Stars N’ Bars
Like the name suggests, Stars N’ Bars is the sports bar to the stars. It’s not an exaggeration to say any celeb who’s stepped foot in Monaco has stepped foot inside Stars N’ Bars, so why not you?
Kick back, dine on American favorites, enjoy the view of the port of Monaco, and catch your team play on one of the two dozen TVs located inside the restaurant.
Dine on the Water at Crazy Fish
Crazy Fish is one of the newest restaurants in the principality but its reputation far proceeds its novel status. Fresh fish and seafood of high quality are Crazy Fish’s specialty, but it’s the presentation that will truly wow you, with whole fish brought to to the table side still aflame before being meticulously de-boned and served by your server. And like virtually everywhere in Monaco, the view of the ocean is to die for.
For more information or to book your own unique Monaco experience, log onto visitmonaco.com.
We suggest you plan your trip during the Monaco Yacht Show September 26-29, 2018 where you can enjoy a unique Sapphire Experience via a partnership between the Monaco Yacht Show and Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo which offers a personal shopper to assist notable, high-net-worth buyers choose the perfect multi-million dollar vessel. Other perks include car service to and from the yacht show, lunch at the Upper Deck Lounge, visit to the Monaco Bay by VIP boat, and access to private and exclusive parties organized through the super yacht companies.