More than 150 years ago, French entrepreneur and property developer François Blanc, lovingly known as the ‘Magician of Monaco’, decided to transform the arid Plateau des Spélugues into Europe’s most luxurious destination. There, he founded Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, laying the groundwork for what has now become known as the ‘resort concept’.
Over the years, the address has been frequented by global luminaries, including Alexandre Dumas, Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, and Salvador Dali. In 2014, it experienced the most ambitious makeover in its storied history – a multi-phase renovation that reimagined the iconic hotel in a new light.
Architects Richard Martinet and Gabriel Viora sensitively preserved the property’s Belle Epoque façade from 1909, whilst giving the space a contemporary facelift with a monumental porch at the entrance and a new lobby that has direct access to the open-air inner courtyard, Le Patio.
The rooftop now features the Wellness Sky Club that’s replete with amenities, including a steam room, sauna, pool and fitness area. Then, there’s Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, the hotel’s lavish spa that’s the largest in Europe and houses the health and wellness restaurant, L’Hirondelle.
The design also extends to the rooms that are larger and more sumptuous – think about Murano glass chandeliers, Tussar silk mattresses, and white Calacatta marble floors that are fit for a queen. Among the highlights is the two-floor Princess Grace Suite that spreads across 910 square metres. It comes with an exclusive ‘Meet and Greet’ service at the airport or heliport, a dedicated tent at the hotel’s private beach in the summer, and a room at the Thermes Marins Spa in the winter.
The address’ dining options are no less decadent – stop by Michelin-starred Monégasque chef Alain Ducasse’s Louis XV that makes no concession on flavour. For those in the mood for Arab cuisine, there’s Em Sherif, the famed Lebanese restaurant that opened its doors at the hotel last year. Helmed by founder Mireille Hayek’s daughter, Yasmina, the menu serves signature dishes that are made with fresh ingredients sourced from France.
If you’re looking for the most exclusive experience in Europe, you’d do well to stay at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo – a place that summons up every level of grandeur. As François Blanc said, “This is where we offer dreams.” And sometimes, those dreams can come true.
This article was originally published in Villa 88’s Summer 2023 edition. Subscribe here.