Musts: Monte Carlo

By  April 14, 2014

Elegant, opulent, and alluring from all angles, this luxurious enclave has transformative powers. International jet-setters (and yachters) have been frequenting the Principality of Monaco since Prince Charles III encouraged Francois Blanc to create a casino there in 1863. It was then and over the following 50 years that the concept of “the resort” emerged. The Société des Bains de Mer, which took on that initial project and later built four hotels and countless top restaurants and bars, was instrumental in developing the principality into the ultimate destination for the global elite. These experiences are not to be missed.

 

Reserve a lounge chair at the Monte Carlo Beach Club.

There are beach clubs and then there’s the Mont Carlo Beach Club. Take a dip in the sea or a dive into the pool before ordering a light organic lunch to your cabana. Sip a glass of rosé while you nibble fresh watermelon in the sun. If you’re a guest at any of the S.B.M. properties, access to the beach club is included. If you’re staying elsewhere, a day pass is a slightly pricey proposition, but it’s worth it.

 
 

Play a hand at the Monte Carlo Casino.

At the epicenter of Monte Carlo’s ritzy history lies this legendary icon. Straight out of a Bond movie—yes, several have been filmed inside—the magnificent space is the kind of spot that turns losing a few euros into a cultural experience. Be sure to make it outside to the Salle Blanche and Salle Mèdecin terraces, which are reserved for high-rollers and overlook the sea, as the scene is epic. You will even need to present your passport to be granted admittance into the space, where the stakes are high. You’ll want to dress for the occasion: Jackets are a must, and gowns seem right at home.

 

 

Take in a concert at Le Sporting Monte Carlo.

At the epicenter of Monte Carlo’s ritzy history lies this legendary icon. Straight out of a Bond movie—yes, several have been filmed inside—the magnificent space is the kind of spot that turns losing a few euros into a cultural experience. Be sure to make it outside to the Salle Blanche and Salle Mèdecin terraces, which are reserved for high-rollers and overlook the sea, as the scene is epic. You will even need to present your passport to be granted admittance into the space, where the stakes are high. You’ll want to dress for the occasion: Jackets are a must, and gowns seem right at home.

 
 

Order a nightcap at the American Bar.

The Hôtel de Paris is the city’s grande dame, but you don’t necessarily have to stay there to experience its classic grandeur. If you’re headed to the Casino, which is located next door on the square, you must pop into this storied haunt for a cocktail. The ornate space is lined with photographs of stars who have frequented the bar, and sitting among them, you can’t help but feel like you’ve made it in some way.

 
 

Plan a day trip to Èze.

Take a drive to this hilltop hamlet, where local artists and craftsman fill the tiny, winding streets with local delights. After climbing up the stone stairs and meandering around the unspoiled medieval village above the sea, stop for lunch at the famed La Chevre Door’s Café. Order a glass of rosé and a fresh crudité as you take in one of the most majestic views in the world. Before you head back to Monte Carlo or on to explore the rest of the Riviera, stock up on a new blended scent at Fragonard and Galimard Parmfumerie.