Heaven or Hell: 18 celebrities share their thoughts on Monaco
celebrities share their thoughts on Monaco
Model and socialite

From its A-list parties to pretentious pomp, we ask Monaco’s most famous fans (and detractors) what they really think about the principality...

“I went to school in Monaco until I was 10. We lived on Avenue Princess Grace and I remember learning to swim at the Beach Club and keeping our yacht Isabella in the harbour. As teenagers we went to the Paradise nightclub and the open-air pool next door but, like so many of the places from my childhood, they’re both gone now. This year a couple of friends hosted a pop-up for their nightclub 1 OAK at the Fairmont and Chris Brown and Justin Bieber played – it was a really fun night. However, the traditional Monaco spots are still the best. I always go back to the Hôtel de Paris and the Hermitage and never miss a chance to shop at the Metropole, but if you only have one afternoon in Monaco don’t miss the incredible Oceanographic Museum out on the rocks. Amazing.”

Picture courtesy of John Engel / Alamy Stock Photo

Karl Lagerfeld
Fashion designer

“Monte-Carlo is like a big city but without the drawbacks – it offers complete security with no compromises. I have a huge apartment at the top of Millefiori, with 360 degree views, which is my secret hideaway and I love the Monte-Carlo Beach hotel now it’s been renovated.”

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Charlie Birkett
CEO and co-founder of yacht brokerage firm Y.Co

“When you arrive in Monaco, you step into a unique world with its own rules. In the 12 years since we started Y.Co, I’ve gotten to know it pretty well. The American Bar at the Hôtel de Paris is still a place one must experience. For a big Friday night, I recommend going for dinner at Cipriani then hit Twiga – and get a table by the edge of the water. One of my favourite moments in Monaco was at the end of the Redman Whiteley Dixon Auto Tour from the UK to Monaco in 2014, which Gary [Wright] and I drove in our Ford GT40s. Arriving in the principality driving race cars is a moment I’ll never forget!”

Picture courtesy of Pool Gettyimages.co.uk

celebrities share their thoughts on Monaco
Italian businessman

“Monte-Carlo is the ideal place to raise kids because it’s so safe, the weather is always nice and there’s such a strong international community. My son Falco is fluent in three languages and his schoolmates are from all over the world.”

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Mark Webber
Ex-Formula One driver

“I love driving at Monaco but the rest of it, well, I can absolutely take it or leave it. It’s extremely pretentious and really not my cup of tea.”

Amanda Wakeley
Fashion designer

“The Monaco Yacht Club, designed by [Norman] Foster in 2014, is my favourite place in Monaco. Its boat-like structure is architecturally profound and watching the sun set over the harbour on a warm summer’s evening is gorgeous.”

Sir David Tang
Entrepreneur and philanthropist

“Monte Carlo is an onomatopoeia for luxury.”

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com /  Dmitry Chulov

Princess of Monaco

“I was going to the Red Cross Ball in 2007 and had been playing beach volleyball all day, so I just painted my nails red and threw on a green dress. I thought I looked great at the time, but looking back, I realise that my debut into Monaco society should have been better executed!”

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Serena Rossi

Jacques Villeneuve
Ex-Formula One driver

“Monaco is hell. The driving is amazing, it’s the weekend that’s a pain. You can’t sleep at night because there’s music everywhere until six in the morning. It’s hell to work. It’s not the good old days, where you went to a gala the night before and drank and raced anyway.”

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com /  Lukasz Janyst

Espen Øino
Yacht designer

“People often say that Monaco is a small place, but it’s really part of a community that stretches from Cannes to San Remo, Italy. Our office and weekday apartment is here in Monaco, where we relocated 10 years ago, but our weekend residence is literally just over the border in Italy – only two minutes by car. What I enjoy about Monaco is there is a proximity to nature with the mountains so near by. You can be on the slopes in an hour by car and 20 minutes by helicopter. You’re also right on the sea, of course, and can be in a boat in five minutes.”

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com