Staff have been sharing their fondest memories of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort with us in celebration of its 15th anniversary.
“When the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015, some of us were asked to take souvenir-style photos so they could be used in marketing material. To get my team involved, I pretended I was a barman and took a load of photos at the hotel bar, the Blue Gin. I’ve been at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort since the beginning, and being here for its 10th anniversary was a highlight. We’re all hoping to be able to enjoy moments like that again sometime soon!”
Sandro Cotza, Business Development Director, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
“In summer 2017, I got the chance to be involved with organising some filming for the ‘50 Minutes Inside’ TV show at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. The show producers wanted to try a new look for the summer specials by filming outside a number of prestigious locations. On this occasion, they brought their viewers to Monaco! The presenters, Nikos Aliagas and Sandrine Quétier, filmed seven summer episodes from exclusive spots such as the Place du Palais Princier, the Monaco Yacht Club, the summer gardens, and even inside our very own hotel… chic, relaxed vibes were the order of the day! The episodes aired on TF1 between 8 July and 19 August 2017. It was so interesting and rewarding to be involved in the show behind the scenes, and it was also a chance for me to meet the presenter, Nikos Aliagas: he’s a wonderful person, a humanist, and a keen photographer! I was actually pleasantly surprised by him because despite how popular he is, he has stayed humble, approachable, and very kind. I share a lot of his world views: he’s very cultured, and a fascinating person! I have very fond memories of our chats. I also enjoy following him on Instagram now, because I love his black and white portrait shots! I’m so grateful to the Monte-Carlo Bay for having given me this opportunity.”
Marion Butet, Communication Officer, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
“I have been lucky enough to work in the magnificent surroundings of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort and its 5 Mondes spa for over 5 years now. The spa is a special place: we get to make time stand still for clients, and let them enjoy a moment that is all about their wellbeing. Their expectations of us and their attitudes here are often different to elsewhere in the hotel. In the intimate settings of a treatment room, during a relaxing therapy session, they share a part of their life with us. Like the evening when a gentleman arrived shortly before we were due to close in a robe and dark glasses. He was following a woman, who asked us to show him to the steam room... That man was Lenny Kravitz. He was using the steam to warm up his voice, so we had the pleasure of an intimate private concert!
The spa has also been known to teach us some wonderful life lessons…
I remember one American client in particular, who arrived at the spa covered up from head to toe, and wearing a big floppy hat. After she had filled out our Wellbeing questionnaire, I showed her to the locker rooms so that she could get changed. She took her hat off, revealing she had no hair, and told me: ‘I have been in remission for several weeks. Today is the day I begin to rediscover my body, and make friends with it again’. I was so touched by the hope and happiness that I saw in her – I smiled back, and invited her to get changed. After her treatment, the client – who was delighted by its beneficial effects – came to talk to us again. She told us, ‘don’t wait until you’re aware of how fragile your body is to take care of it... you will enjoy it so much more!’
At times like these when our health is such a priority, it’s good to remember how important it is to take care of ourselves day to day with small, simple gestures.”
Patricia Kintzinger, Cinq Mondes Spa Manager, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
“I remember the Garden Brunch Party that took place back in August 2019. It was a wonderful experience, with the Las Brisas team taking the traditional brunch outside to the Mediterranean gardens, and developing the concept behind it. We set up a whole new pop-up restaurant from scratch, with picnic-style furniture and food: think starters served in picnic baskets, a barbecue in the middle of the garden, and Champagne served in watering cans! I’ll always think of that as one of the best events of the 2019 summer season.”
Thomas Bouhnik, Maître d’, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
“It all began on 1 September 2005. I think one of the most memorable parts – and the hardest – was the organisation and production work that went into opening night, which was tough for us all: both technically and on a human level. What’s more, we were in a whole new place with no signposting, and venues everywhere. There was the added difficulty of finding our way around the innermost workings of the Resort, too, which in the beginning felt like a real maze! We felt our way along with an enormous workload, a ridiculous range of verrines, and a huge pressure to make that first event simply unmissable.
This was the one that would set the tone, and become a yardstick for Chef’s calibre and creativity – a “culinary promise” showing what we wanted to achieve in the future, and announcing our desire to be one of the best restaurants in the Group, the industry, and beyond. Soon 15 years will have passed, and we’ve made good on all those promises by winning our Michelin star. They’re coveted by the greatest names in food… and now Chef has one…
Now we’ve got one, all we have to do is get the second to really drive the point home! Of course, in 15 years there have been many other memorable moments, but I’d pick those two as standing out the most – and being the most important!”
Fabrice Tomasi, Junior Sous-Chef, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
“You want to know my most stand-out memory? Building the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, with workers swarming everywhere to get it ready for the grand opening! Another memorable moment was hiring the entire kitchen team, which had to be put together 2 weeks before the grand opening on 5 October 2005. It was an incredible moment – you found yourself alone with your thoughts, filled with a mixture of fear, joy, doubt and satisfaction. Opening a place like this leaves marks that stay with you for life. The fact that I’ve watched the resort get built, seen it grow, and put my heart and soul into it makes me feel even more like I belong here. To this day I feel immensely proud to be part of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort family, for all the strategic economic changes that make this resort one of the most sustainable and original around.”
Michelin-starred chef Marcel Ravin, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
“10 years after the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort opened, we won our long-awaited Michelin star with the Blue Bay restaurant. The whole team was with me when the guide’s director phoned my office to give us the good news, and everyone was overjoyed. We had set ourselves this target together, and had thought it impossible to achieve in a resort like the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
Just imagine: all the staff were so happy, the maids, valets, kitchen porters, gardeners, bar staff, the teams in the shop and marketing department... they just couldn’t have been more excited, and they were all running about shouting ‘we’ve got our star, thanks chef!’. That kind of recognition is truly indescribable for anyone. The sense of pride, tinged with humility, the culmination of a lot of blood, sweat and tears. But we finally did it, we got what everyone wanted!
We had a dream... and I got given the people I needed to take the whole team along with me on a journey that was quite simply out of this world. I live that dream every day now – but my feet are still firmly on the ground. There are still things I want to achieve with this restaurant, and my team and I spend a huge amount of time here. We will never stop standing up for what we believe in...”
Michelin-starred chef Marcel Ravin, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
“My best memory is without a doubt from the day of the first breakfast service at the Blue Bay, so October 2005. That was the day a client called me and said he wanted to buy the hotel and meet with the General Manager... At first I thought it was a joke, but then someone told me it was actually Mr Al-Fayed, the owner of Harrods!!! We told him: ‘Sir, the hotel is not for sale...’. I said to myself, there you go... the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort really is going to be something special...”
Frederic Nardello, Catering Director, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
“My stand-out memory is the Sunday of the 2019 Grand Prix at the Blue Gin. It was an incredible evening, and I played deep electro all night long! And the first Summer Beach Party out on the Lagoon in June. That’s a moment that will stay with me, for sure!”
Nicolas Saad, Resident DJ at the Blue Gin, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort
“I remember the ‘1001 Nights’ events we ran at Las Brisas every Thursday night from 18 July to 22 August, almost a whole year ago. We created an Eastern feel with a Bedouin tent, flying carpets, belly dancers, shisha pipes, and delicious dishes prepared by our chef, Marcel Ravin, and his team: everything from Moroccan couscous to Lebanese mezze and Turkish shawarma. We had all sorts of Eastern-style pastries, and of course the traditional mint tea to finish, and there you have it: Arabian Nights at the Monte-Carlo Bay. That memory is not only etched in my memory, but the memories of our staff and guests, too...”
Karim Saine, Assistant Catering Director, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort