Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo? Sounds fabulous.

It is – in a brilliantly old-school French Riviera sort of way. Think silk tapestry wallpaper, giant urns of flowers and dishy chino-wearing staff who appear out of nowhere with a cocktail or an extra-fluffy pool towel. The hotel’s grand, pale-stone entrance is tucked away in the heart of town, and big-spender guests park their gleaming Bugattis bumper-to-bumper along the driveway.

What if I don’t have a sports car?

We feel your pain. We took a 15 euro bus from Nice Airport, which stops 50 metres from the hotel. If anyone asks, you can just say, “Actually, our driver’s parked the Lambo round the corner.”

Is there a pool?

Boy, is there a pool. The hotel enlisted fashion king Karl Lagerfeld recently to redesign the pool and terrace areas. It’s now all sculptural monochrome furniture with midnight-blue cushions and a brilliantly camp façade featuring black and white shots of models in togas. At night, a scattering of tiny lights set into the tiles makes the water sparkle.

Where can we go if we’re peckish?

The hotel’s three restaurants are all manned by Michelin-starred chef Joël Robuchon, so you’re in good hands. His melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu beef carpaccio will make you close your eyes with happiness.

What can I do (besides poolside posing)?

It’s the 20-minute walk along the waterfront see the Palace of Monaco (go via Hercule Harbour to gawp at all the superyachts). After dark, hit the city’s gorgeously ornate casino. We made 50 euros on the roulette table with our complex “put all the chips on red and see what happens” strategy.

Where can I toast my casino winnings?

With a Bubble Wap champagne cocktail at Buddha-Bar, just off the Place du Casino, five minutes from the hotel. If you’ve had a bad night on the blackjack table you can always prevail on a kindly sheikh to get a round in.


Rooms start at £560 per night. To find out more, visit


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