Although renowned for its luxury hotels and idyllic Riviera location, Monaco is always striving for more, changing with the times and offering guests a glimpse into a world in perpetual motion. From brand-new arrivals to upcoming highlights, here are 8 great reasons to put Monaco on your must-visit list…
Marcel Ravin and his team at the Blue Bay have been recognised for their imaginative take on fine dining, with a second Michelin star paying tribute to the inspiration behind the Martinique-born chef’s creations and his work with Caribbean and Mediterranean flavours. One more reason to come and sample the unique, bold food so skilfully crafted in the superb surroundings of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort…
Elsa, the Monte-Carlo Beach restaurant, is welcoming a new chef to its ranks: Mélanie Serre. Having already opened her own restaurant in Paris, Serre considers this new adventure a more personal challenge. The passionate professional is all about diner satisfaction and elevating local produce and short supply chains; a restaurant inspired by nature, enhanced by delicate creativity. Mélanie Serre is looking forward to introducing you to a world of elegant deliciousness.
Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno is bringing his Pavyllon fine counter dining concept to the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo. This brand-new spot will be rewriting the gourmet restaurant rulebook, offering diners an exciting mix of casual refinement and culinary freedom. The interior – styled by designer Chahan Minassian – is centred around a vast counter overlooking the open kitchen, for convivial dining at its best. Outside, the lush green terrace offers superb sea views. A must-visit.
Early this spring, the new Em Sherif Monte-Carlo restaurant will be coming to the prestigious Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. The Lebanese eatery, founded in Beirut by Mireille Hayek, has already become a firm favourite in the Middle East with locations in Doha, Kuwait and Bahrain. Now, it is setting its sights on Europe, with the lovingly and skilfully crafted menu bringing the flavours of Lebanon first to London, and now to Monaco. At the helm is Yasmina Hayek, Mireille’s daughter. The young chef – who trained at the Institut Paul Bocuse and has worked with greats such as Jean-François Piège and Rasmus Kofoed – is sharing her family traditions through hearty, authentic food. This is Eastern elegance with Mediterranean views, and it’s not to be missed!
COYA Monte-Carlo, one of the hottest spots in Monaco, turns 10 this year. The restaurant is preparing to reopen for the summer, and this year it has a new string to its bow: a selection of Peruvian street food from its A Taste of Lima bar. On the restaurant menu, meanwhile, you’ll find Latin-American specialities with an Asian twist. With its Latino rhythms, contemporary food, and a lively bar serving up cocktails and tequila, this is the perfect place to kick off a fun night out before heading for Jimmy’z nearby. The famous club has just reopened for summer and the line-up for 2022 – including the Monaco Grand Prix – is already looking fantastic, with names like Diplo, Nico de Andrea and Kungs all set to make an appearance.
The imminent arrival of a chic new restaurant is already causing quite the stir here in Monaco. Work is currently under way at the Café de Paris Monte-Carlo to make space for a newcomer that has already become a firm favourite in Madrid, London and Dubai: Amazonico. Get ready for luxurious decor and an ever-changing ambiance, not to mention a menu full of Latin-American flavour, a sushi bar, huge rooftop bar, and a stylish, speakeasy-style jazz bar too. Are we looking at the new place to be for the young international jet set? Come along to the grand opening in July 2023 to find out! In the meantime though, we’ll see you at the bar at the iconic Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo, Blue Gin, or of course the Café de Paris Monte-Carlo, which remains open to visitors in the majestic Salle Empire while work is ongoing.
A trip to Monaco is also a wonderful chance to attend some of the best concerts in the world, brought to you by internationally-acclaimed performers. Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer has been hosting the greatest artists of the age on stage at the Opera Garnier ever since it opened in the late 19th century, with the first of them invited by founder François Blanc's wife, Marie. It was she, for example, who brought Sarah Bernhardt here for the resort’s grand opening in 1879. That strong musical tradition still continues today, with some of the world’s top performers booked to appear at Monegasque venues. In May, you’ll find rock legend Iggy Pop at the Grimaldi Forum, and the Monte-Carlo Summer Festival has announced an incredible line-up for this year too, with a show by Alicia Keys in Place du Casino, along with the Black Eyed Peas, Rita Ora and Simple Minds in the Salle des Étoiles and Imany at the Opéra Garnier.
Monaco has a thriving modern art scene, as shown by the recent arrival of the influential Hauser & Wirth gallery, which already has premises in New York, London and Zurich. Its vast exhibition space, located right in the heart of One Monte-Carlo, showcases work by top international artists such as Cindy Sherman, Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Pierre Huyghe.
Modern and contemporary art can also be viewed at the Villa Sauber and Villa Paloma, the two sites of the New National Museum of Monaco. Its collections are constantly growing, with exhibitions reflecting the vibrant wealth of artistic creations abounding throughout the Principality and across the world.
Last but not least, the Grimaldi Forum’s grand summer retrospectives are a must. This year, they will be spotlighting a top contemporary creative: footwear designer Christian Louboutin. His visionary, trail-blazing work will be set side by side with his inspirations, and collaborations with artists such as Allen Jones, Blanca Li and David Lynch.
Since opening in 2019 in Monaco's Carré d’Or district, One Monte-Carlo has made a name for itself as the newest locale for the world’s luxury labels. Its dozens of high-end boutiques make it a top shopping destination for fashionistas around the globe: from Chanel and Miu Miu to Prada, Boucheron, Cartier and more, the most iconic names in fashion, fine jewellery and fragrance are all there. This spring, the ultra-exclusive jeweller Boghossian will also be coming to the Jewellers’ Courtyard at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. That’s not all, either: brand-new international names, never before-seen in Monaco, will be opening in 2023 on the other side of Place du Casino, on the ground floor of the new Café de Paris Monte-Carlo.
Monaco is constantly evolving to adapt to both present and future challenges. The Monte-Carlo Beach, for example, has just been beautified with new wooden structures and fine, white sand. The Larvotto beach has also recently been redeveloped, with the coastline carefully preserved. A walkway lined with fragrant Mediterranean plants, new stores designed to withstand the waves and a new-look beach have all appeared. Next door, a large project is just beginning. The new Mareterra district will extend out into the sea, and will add six hectares to the Principality. It will be home to luxury apartment buildings and villas, a marina, retail outlets, and even a pool. As a destination committed to sustainable development, Monaco has made it a priority to ensure this expansion remains as environmentally-friendly as possible. A protected species of Posidonia seagrass was therefore rehomed before work began, and the submerged structure has been designed to encourage adoption by marine wildlife. Above ground, meanwhile, a one-hectare green park, cycle way, solar panels and charging stations for electric vehicles are all planned for installation. A new space for living life – coming in 2025.