When it comes to European crème-de-la-crème luxury, Monaco ranks high. The principality touches the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, sandwiched between France and Italy. Its famous hallmarks include the Monaco Grand Prix, Grace Kelly, and the iconic MonteCarlo casino de Monte-Carlo (James Bond, anyone?).
One of the ritziest stays in the city-state is Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, a member of Leading Hotels of the World. A Belle Époque façade welcomes guests into an open-layout and regal lobby. As expected, the service is impeccable from first entrance: doormen greet you with an enthusiastic “bonjour” (or “bonsoir” if you check in during the afternoon) and extend a helping hand to transport your luggage to your room so it awaits there after check-in.
While the hotel is stunning head to toe, the Jardin d’Hiver (or Winter Garden) will beguile you on all fronts. To give you some context, it’s a centerpiece rotunda designed by Gustave Eiffel (yes, this person conceptualized the Eiffel Tower in Paris). The umbrella-shaped structure sports a glass cupola emblazoned with floral-tinged motifs and a dangling chandelier. It proffers two floors: the first is an open space kitted out in modular red furnishings and rouge-cum-gold carpeting, while the second level hosts a restaurant that circularly wraps around.
Pavyllon MonteCarlo is the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Helmed by Yanick Alléno, this elegant fine-dining establishment serves top-quality fare packing local ingredients.
Hôtel Hermitage’s Crystal Bar is a swish space offering top-line vintage wines and champagnes from the nearby well-bred wine cellar at neighboring Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. (You deserve to toast your vacation with a champagne flute, just saying.)
Noshes and afternoon drinks are “parfait” at L’Hirondelle at Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, which idyllically stares out at Monaco’s main port.
Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo is Hôtel Hermitage’s lauded spa. If deep tissue massages and high-echeloned facials are too been-there-done-that, try Cryotherapy, where you will undress into your underwear and enter two freezing rooms. While it might sound daunting, the three-minute treatment will leave you with flexible muscles and a healthy buzz.
Many of the rooms & suites boast sensational views: Monaco’s mid-rise skyline, a yacht-filled harbor, and the deep blue sea are due to win you over. Sunset lounging on your balcony here is a must. Interior-wise, ethereal grey-toned illustrations imprint wallpaper and beds are stocked with plush sheets plus comfortable pillows.
If you really want to splurge, book the Penthouse Diamond Suite. The hyper-luxe accommodation boasts three bedrooms, three living rooms, three bathrooms, two dressing rooms, and two terraces with a 360-degree of the port, Monaco Rock, plus the Alps. Each quarter delicately imbues haute-couture tones of taupe, aubergine, and gold. (The outdoor jacuzzi is the cherry on top, if you ask us.)
Overall, this place is a luxe delight.
Location: Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Rating: Five Stars
The vibe: A crème-de-la-crème Monte-Carlo stay for those who like the finer things in life.
Amenities: Pool, spa, fitness center, restaurants, bar, pet-friendly, shopping boutique, and free WI-FI
Food + Drink: The hotel has three restaurants: Pavyllon Monte-Carlo by Yannick Alléno, which is fancy and farm-to-table; Le Limùn, a casual lunch spot earmarked for its afternoon tea; plus L’Hirondelle and Terrace, a salubrious restaurant boasting a sensational view of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. Imbibe-wise, the Crystal Bar is a trés chic spot to sip champagne flutes and glasses of wine.
Our favorite thing about the hotel? The Jardin d’Hiver (or Winter Garden) and its floral-motif glass cupola is a breathtaking architectural masterpiece with a rich pedigree: Gustav Eiffel — the man who conceptualized the Eiffel Tower — designed it over a century ago. We also love the rooms & suites with balconies that look out towards the sea — make sure to sit here come sunset when the orange sky reflects off the expansive windows of yachts populating the proximate harbor.
Any neighborhood recs? Yes, the legendary Monte-Carlo casino is right at your fingertips — play some blackjack or roulette, watch the world’s elite as they gamble away in their dapper accouterments, and feel like you’re in a James Bond film from entrance to exit. Plus, aesthetic-wise, the setting flaunts exquisite frescoes, dainty chandeliers, and ornate detailing (Truly, it’s the “real deal”— this isn’t a tacky emulation in Las Vegas).
What’s nearby? Monte-Carlo Casino, Monaco Harbor, Monte-Carlo Formula 1 course, and every luxury brand under the sun, from Balenciaga to Prada.
Pricing: Rooms start at $477/night
Rooms: 190 rooms
Closest airport: Nice Côte d’Azur Airport