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5 of the best hotels in Monaco

5 of the best hotels in Monaco

2 of 5 2/5
Hermitage hotel, Monaco


The fairytale palace

The Hermitage is a neo-classical glamour queen of a hotel. If Marie Antoinette had been born two centuries later she would have delivered her bon mots from the balcony of a Hermitage suite – and approved of the complimentary Ladurée macarons and fat white roses. Modern divas from Kim Kardashian to Lindsay Lohan meet journalists in the nooks of the hotel’s marble wedding cake of a lobby, retreating – when they’ve had enough – into its hushed, pearly-tiled maze of corridors.

The Hermitage was built in 1900, literally in the shadow of the Hôtel de Paris, but ready to compete. The Salle Belle Epoque ballroom was designed by painter and orientalist Gabriel Ferrier; Gustave Eiffel penned the glass dome of the Winter Garden.

Fantastical parties here have attracted jet setters since the jet was invented; for example, the opening gala of the Bar of the Scorpions (now the Crystal Bar), held in 1969 on Princess Grace’s 40th birthday – her Zodiac sign was Scorpio and she invited only other Scorpios. “Princess Grace was dressed by Balenciaga in a black ballgown,” says Pascal Camia, general manager at Hôtel Hermitage. “She welcomed Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who arrived in an oversized cape with two scorpions embroidered on it; as well as David Niven and his wife.”

Renovated in the 1970s and early 2000s, all the rooms are romantic, with rococo furniture upholstered in pastel silks and velvets. But the 361-square-metre Diamond Suite Penthouse – Camia’s favourite – is real princess territory. Decorated in taupe, aubergine and gold, it features two sprawling terraces, three bedrooms, three living rooms, two dressing rooms, a playroom and 360-degree views of the principality.

Views are the hotel’s greatest luxury, with sweeping panoramas the Monaco Yacht Show in Port Hercules along its broad southern flank. The Crystal Terrace is a good spot to enjoy them with the signature cocktail One Fifty. A few steps away, the one Michelin-starred Le Vistamar restaurant serves stylish cuisine with a fish focus and is one of the best restaurants to visit during the Monaco Yacht Show.

In the Thermes Marins spa, which towers above the superyachts in the harbour below, the brave can try cryotherapy – a sort of cold sauna that will leave you with the serotonin-induced glow of a marathon runner. The apprehensive may prefer La Prairie Platinum Ultimate Youth Treatment, where two specialists use pure platinum to pamper you head to toe. Again, Marie Antoinette would have approved.

Picture courtesy of Veniamin Kraskov/ Shutterstock.com

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