Here are links to some of my hotel reviews in Monaco, Southern France and the Rhône Valley for The Daily Telegraph:
In Cap Ferrat:
In Cap d'Antibes:
In St Tropez:
Elsewhere in the Côte d'Azur:
Best of Côte d'Azur and Monaco:
In the Rhône Valley:
Read below for my review of Hôtel de Paris:
Hôtel de Paris, Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Everything about this Monte-Carlo palace screams decadence from the three-star Michelin restaurant to the world’s largest wine cellar. Hôtel de Paris is a magnet for the silver screen: not one, but two Bond movies have been filmed here. A recent facelift takes this landmark hotel to an unprecedented level of luxury.
For the ultimate Monte-Carlo experience, it’s hard to beat this fabled Casino Square location combined with Mediterranean harbour views. Step out of the hotel into the square to listen to opera in the Salle Garnier, attempt to break the bank at the casino, browse the parked Ferraris over coffee at the Café de Paris, or explore the immaculately manicured gardens. Designer shops and restaurants are within 100 metres, while the port is a five-minute walk.
A top-to-bottom renovation has brought new life to this five-star hotel built in the late 19th century to house high rollers from the neighbouring casino. While the celebrated glass dome in the Belle Époque lobby remains untouched, the recent renovation saw two guest wings rebuilt from the ground up. Talented interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon fuses historic features with light contemporary touches. An interior garden courtyard has been created with palm trees and marbled colonnades.
Service & facilities 9/10
After you’ve shopped for diamonds in the upscale shopping precinct (think Harry Winston and Graff), you can order a coffee at the press of a bell in the new courtyard or be pampered in the new spa and hairdresser. There’s also a shuttle to resort facilities owned by the hotel group such as a thermal spa and a private beach resort. It’s not just the facilities that have received an upgrade with the recent renovation: a thorough staff-training programme has improved service levels enormously.
All rooms are sumptuously appointed with panelled walls, Art Deco details and TVs that blend into the wall like a mirror. Original cornices were uncovered during the recent renovation and are now on display. Extra luxuries vary from dressing rooms to Nexpresso machines hidden in a pull-up drawer. Marble bathrooms have double sinks and a separate toilet. Even the cheapest Superior Rooms are generously sized with balconies overlooking the quiet internal courtyard. You may prefer to upgrade for a larger Deluxe or Exclusive Room with a sea or harbour view. The most sought-after view is over the casino: though it’s worth weighing up the importance of a casino view versus room size. You could have a Junior Suite with a courtyard view at twice the size for almost the same price as an Exclusive Room with a casino view.
Food & drink 10/10
Gastronomy is a strong suit. Alain Ducasse presides over the hotel’s dining options. Set in a Rococo dream with modernist touches, his Louis XV restaurant serves up three-star Michelin cuisine accompanied by wines from the 600,000-bottle wine cellar. Ducasse’s latest venture is Ômer where he plays upon Mediterranean diversity from Malta to the Middle East with mezze options according to your hunger and your budget. Grab a place on Ômer’s garden terrace for breakfast with continental and American options. Top-floor Le Grill with its sliding roof is the best place on the French Riviera for soufflé, while no trip to Monte-Carlo would be complete without a post-dinner drink listening to live Jazz at the American Bar.
Value for money 7/10
Double rooms from €526 (£461) in low season; and from €852 (£746) in high. Breakfast €40-€48 (£35-£42). Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Communicating rooms, cots and babysitting are available.
Place du Casino, MC 98000, Monaco (+377-98-06-30-00, www.hoteldeparismontecarlo.com).