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5 of the best hotels in Monaco

5 of 5 5/5
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Vigie Villa
5

Vigie Villa

The hottest address

So it’s not a hotel, and strictly speaking it’s just over the border in France, but unless Prince Albert offers you a bunk at the palace during the Monaco Yacht Show, Villa la Vigie is the most exclusive address in town. Sitting high on the Pointe de la Veille promentary, its vistas sweep from Monaco to Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (the views are so good that the Germans seized it as an observation post in the Second World War).

The neoclassical monolith was built in 1902 by the English baronet William Ingram, owner of The Illustrated London News and a liberal politician. He held lavish parties, where his rare animals roamed the gardens and tropical birds fluttered freely. Ingram was a keen naturalist who introduced birds of paradise to Little Tobago to save them from extinction.

Forty years later the Nazis were more troublesome tenants, digging trenches and planting mines in the gardens to protect their prize. When they left, La Vigie was renovated and the lush gardens restored (and de-mined).

The villa’s most famous resident was Karl Lagerfeld, who set up camp each summer from the late ’80s to the early ’90s with a brigade of supermodels and fashion royalty.

Today the villa, owned by SBM, can be rented for holidays on a weekly or monthly basis. Sleek interior décor in pale tones and sumptuous fabrics allow the elegant architecture to shine, while tall windows flood the place with light.

There are six bedrooms, two dressing rooms and a 237-square-metre terrace that wraps around two sides of the building; there is no finer spot on the Riviera for a sundowner. Privacy is a major draw for high net worth visitors, so the private road and forest-cloaked gardens are a big plus, as is the sea-view spa pool. An electric car will whisk you to nearby Monte-Carlo Beach Club, where a private 10-person tent on the beach awaits La Vigie guests. It’s a great spot for lunch – mention where you’re staying if you want to raise some eyebrows.

Picture courtesy of Monte Carlo Société Des Bains De Mer

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