Monte-Carlo Beach Near+Far rating: 9/10
Why book Monte-Carlo Beach
Monte-Carlo Beach is like stepping into a Slim Aarons photograph. Tucked away from Monaco itself, just outside of the principality, the iconic Terracotta Twenties beach club and 40-room hotel have been the go-to of Monaco’s social set since It opened in 1929. Designed by legendary architect Roger Séassal and a long-time favourite of the royal and society set, the property lies in the peaceful French commune of Roquebrune-Cap Martin, sitting right on the Mediterranean Sea with private sands (unheard of in Monaco itself). Open March to October, the resort offers the principality’s elite a spot to embrace summer’s sun, sea and sand, and is the perfect Monaco hotel for those wanting to experience the city’s glamour while getting some peace.
In 2022 the hotel unveiled a new 200-metre stip of fine, place sand, completely refreshed its 180 private beach club tents and erected a chic pontoon – jutting into the ocean proudly displaying the hotel’s moniker. For those who prefer, the Olympic-sized pool is just a stroll away. Surprisingly, it’s one of the most sustainable hotels around, and all food and toiletries, where possible, are organic and biodynamic. An on-site spa, complimentary access to Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo Monaco (a 6,600 sq m wellness spa) and 50% off rates at Monte-Carlo Country Club for tennis and golf add to its timeless appeal.
The vibe: 9/10
The epitome of French Riviera glamour: stylish guests, a constant buzz, beautiful sea views and outstanding restaurants and odes to its heyday with nostalgic black and white photographs. The hotel is just a small part of the experience; most are here for the beach club, pool and restaurants.
The location: 9/10
A short drive out of Monaco in the French village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, hidden on a bend by pine trees and rocky cliffs. Monte-Carlo Beach is a 10-minute walk to Monaco Country Club, with its seaview tennis courts (guests get 50% off) and within each reach of other Riviera spots like Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Menton and Villefranche-Sur-Mer.
Rooms and suites: 9/10
Monte-Carlo Beach has just 40 rooms and suites, all bathed in sunlight and positioned to look across the Mediterranean. The hotel is tucked away from the pool and beach with a discreet reception making it feel more like a members club than a space with rooms. Said rooms blend French chic with Art Deco touches, the work of Parisian designer India Mahdavi. Unlike the extravagant sister properties operated by Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM), the property is pastel hues, stripes and walls with frescoes inspired by Matisse and Cocteau. Marble bathrooms are stocked with eco-friendly toiletries, and each room has views of the rocky private beach below and the lights of Monaco. This is understated elegance at its finest.
Food and drink: 9/10
Due to its history and standing in Monaco society, one would think its restaurant offering is traditional – but the forward-timing property’s f&b programme is anything but. This creativity is best showcased at Elsa, the world’s first 100% organic Michelin-starred restaurant on a sweeping terrace overlooking the ocean. Headed up by outstanding culinary talent Melanie Serre, the zero-waste restaurant serves innovative dishes using ingredients from the hotel’s garden and local produce paired with regional wines. It’s also the setting for an off-menu, al fresco breakfast – where lingering chefs cook up anything you like. A more lively, younger crowd flocks to La Vigie, tucked around a corner and up on rocky perch overlooking the ocean with live DJs and killer cocktails. At the main pool, Le Deck served up French, Mediterranean and Moneqasque cuisine, with a laid-back, yet elegant, summertime vibe and plenty of rosé wine.
Spa and facilities: 8/10
Unlike hotels in Monaco itself, guests only have to walk a few steps to make use of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, complete with multiple diving boards and plenty of sunbathing spots. A new children’s paddling pool has also been added for summer 2023. There’s a private jetty lined with loungers, a private beach and even a petit on-site spa offering massages and facials by the sea. You don’t need to leave, but if you do, which is close to Monte Carlo, you have to; there’s a complimentary shuttle service to SMB’s other properties like Monte-Carlo Bay, Hôtel de Paris, Hotel Hermitage, where guests can also get free access to the communal spa and health club, Thermes (with treatment rooms, saunas, steam, lounging terraces and an indoor pool).
Traditionally French, yet without the stuffiness and overt formalities. Staff are present and there to help, whether securing a sunbed on a busy Saturday, making a dinner reservation in town, or, quite literally, chasing down a taxi when you’ve missed the free shuttle into Monte Carlo.
Monte-Carlo Beach is truly exceptional, embodying Riviera glamour and revelry, but without the stuffiness. Its bright and forward-thinking, yet historic and glamour, and its facilities, beachfront position and beautiful and bright sea-view rooms make it a true summertime dream. Come to be close to the vibrance of Monte-Carlo and the French Riviera (Nice, Menton, Ville-Frenach Sur Mer) while feeling your own exclusive private villa. Book your car rental for the Cote d’Azur here.
Doubles from about AED2,180 low season, AED3,355 high season; montecarlosbm.com