Twenty paces from the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the Hôtel de Paris is such a well-worn pied-à-terre for high rollers that their superstitions have left a physical mark: the lobby's bronze statue of Louis XIV riding has had the horse’s right knee shined by the generations who have rubbed it for luck.
The hotel began welcoming guests just a year after the opening of the Casino de Monte-Carlo in 1863, and was designed to rival Parisian institutions like the Hôtel du Louvre and the Grand Hôtel. The glitterati arrived on cue, US President Grant rubbing epaulettes with Grand Duke “Serge” of Russia, while artists Verne, Verdi, and Dumas feasted their imaginations on her belle époque beauty.
Extravagance was the only rule in the hotel’s early days. Beams were installed in the ceiling of one room so Empress Elizabeth of Austria could practise the trapeze before bed, and one grand duke always arrived with 50 gardeners, who would work through the night so that he could open his window on to a new garden every morning. Sumptuous balls were a house speciality, from Errol Flynn’s 1950 wedding to the 1956 marriage of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly.
These glamorous ghosts are part of what has kept the gloss on the Hôtel de Paris. Twenty-first-century starlets and moguls tread the same tiles as belle époque bounders and 50s film stars. The hotel lets guests dive into its illustrious history through its beautifully kept marble halls, characterful antiques and suites named after famous guests, such as the Princess Grace Diamond Suite with costs starting from €40,000 a night.BOOK NOW