Monaco’s seaside art deco gem
Located at the edge of the seacoast border of Monaco — technically Roquebrune, France — this elegant spacious resort is perhaps the most isolated property of the SBM-run hotels, but also part of its singular 1930s charm.
The recent refurbishment of this sprawling landmark hotel recalls the glory days of Monte Carlo, when the pool area was full of glitterati and high-society notables, including Elsa Maxwell, the American gossip columnist and larger-than-life party hostess who helped launch the property in 1929.
The unmitigated glamour lingers on, beginning with the sheer beauty of the natural landscape — it’s all about dreamy sea views on a private wooded mini-peninsula, far from the buzzy Casino Square (inveterate shoppers and high rollers needn’t worry; the free shuttle bus gets you back and forth to the boutiques and the casino in 10 minutes).
Relaxation and well-being are the name of the game here. Indulge in an energizing massage at the spa, and tablehop among the four superb restaurants, each with its own distinctive and original fresh cuisine.
Our Inspector’s Highlights
• The shimmering aqua Olympic-sized heated seawater pool is a huge draw for serious swimmers, kids and people-watchers.
• Laze on a sunbed in your private yellow-and-white-striped cabana at the waterfront Beach Club, which offers every nautical playground pleasure, including jet skiing, fly boarding and wind-surf wakeboarding.
• Check out the Monte Carlo hotel’s best-kept secret: ultra-private bungalows hidden away in the pine forest, where you can feast on a gourmet picnic to the tune of thrumming cicadas.
• Take advantage of the hotel’s sleek white electric bicycles and ride along the paved boardwalk along the nearby Larvotto Beach.
• Among the four seaside restaurants, our pick is Elsa, the first gastronomic, 100 percent organic establishment in the Provence-Côte d’Azur region to be certified organic by Ecocert.
• Come sunset, head to the Sea Lounge, where the beau monde sips rosemary Bellinis and mango coladas to a throbbing electro beat.
What to Know
• The Sporting d'Été complex — home of the legendary nightclub Jimmy’z — and the Salle des Etoiles, which hosts a mega-star lineup of summer concerts, are both a five-minute stroll away.
• In the spirit of The Monte-Carlo Beach commitment to its “Be Green” policy, chef Paolo Sari only uses the finest local organic produce sourced from a 100-mile radius, plus everything from towels to placemats are recycled.
• The 26 rooms and 14 suites rooms vary in colors, stripes and motifs that evoke Henri Matisse and Jean Cocteau.
• Designer India Mahdavi’s recently renovated rooms combine airy spaces with a modern Mediterranean-inspired medley of deep blue, white, brick red and beige, all with stylish porthole windows, and many with individual terraces.
• The curvy-walled spacious junior suites on the upper floors have bay windows that peer out on the pine forest.
• Reserve a room at the luxury hotel with a terrace, so that you can take in sweeping vistas of the coast from the furnished space.
• Order the signature dish at Elsa: the Bio Sama, an artful assemblage of spring garden vegetables topped with edible flowers or the paper-thin carpaccio of San Remo shrimp, encrusted with pink grapefruit, fennel and a sprinkle of caviar.
• Have a glass of sparkling vintage bubbly at the Dom Pérignon Lounge at the tip of the resort, then drift over to the nearby LaVigie for fresh grilled fish or lobster under the starlight.
• The inviting poolside brasserie Le Deck offers a colorful extravaganza of outstanding organic local specialties at the Sunday brunch buffet.
• For an informal meal at the water’s edge, don’t miss the authentic Neapolitan-style oven-baked pizza at the La Pizzeria.