If ever a hotel encapsulated its destination completely, it is surely the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. Lavish, elitist, high-end and eye-wateringly expensive, from its much photographed wedding-cake exterior to the seductive corners of its iconic, dripping-with-celebrity Le Bar Americain, the 1863 property oozes the special kind of glamour for which its location is known. And like many a glamorous Monte Carlo habitue, the hotel has undergone a meticulous facelift, ensuring its allure lives on.
Costing nearly $400 million and taking four years (during which the hotel mostly remained open) the renovation was declared complete in March with the reveal of the $47,000-a-night Prince Rainier III Suite, a 525-square-metre "rooftop villa overlooking the glorious roof lines of Monaco's Place du Casino and the Mediterranean beyond". The name is, of course, a salute to the Monaco royal family, and the hotel also features a new Princess Grace Suite, which debuted in 2017. The principality's most famous couple, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, celebrated several anniversaries and other occasions at the hotel, which was known as a favourite of Princess Grace.
The most jaw-dropping feature of the newer suite is a 135-square-metre terrace, the centrepiece of which is an infinity pool with wave system.
For those who don't have tens of thousands of euro to spend on a stay, the redo, regarded as the "most important renovation and restructuring program" of the hotel's history, also sees the opening of OMER, a new restaurant by Alain Ducasse, a garden courtyard, and gorgeous wellness facilities.
Paris-based Richard Martinet and Monaco native Gabriel Viora were the architects appointed to meld modern tech and cutting-edge design with the hotel's landmark Belle Epoque style.
Alain Ducasse's three Michelin-starred Le Louis XV restaurant remains, with frescoes and wall hangings restored, as does the Cave de l'Hotel de Paris, the 350,000-bottle strong wine cellar. The eighth-floor Le Grill has also been refreshed and Le Bar Americain, while as dark and sultry as it ever was, sparkles anew. The lobby has been imbued with natural light – but the trademark statue of Louis XIV maintains its imposing position.
From about $650 a night, depending on season. See montecarlosbm.com