It’s been a year since I traveled to Monaco. My husband and I spent time in Venice, and then took a boat back to the mainland and drove to Monaco in a car we rented. We really enjoyed the countryside along the way. If you are considering a summer trip to the French Riviera with a stop in the tiny principality, I’ll share our itinerary with you. It’s hard to believe that a year has already passed! Monaco is small, with a land area of just 2.7 miles and a population of 36,000 (smaller than my town of Greenwich, CT!). It was the perfect spot for a night alone followed by two nights with friends! Three evenings was more than enough to take in the sights and get a bit of the culture. We stayed at the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo and upon check-in to our suite, received wine and treats from Alessio Minetto, Deputy Manager of the hotel. The staff was gracious and welcoming and we had no complaints about the accommodations.
Here are some photos I took of our suite:
The first night there, my husband and I enjoyed dinner at Alain Ducasse’s restaurant, Le Louis XV. The setting was beautiful and the food was divine! It’s quite the romantic spot…
We did some sightseeing the next morning which included a lot of walking (and we jumped on the bus, too!) and toured the Grimaldi castle, which sits high above sea level. The Genoese castle and former home of the elegant Princess Grace, was built in 1191!
After touring the castle, we went back and relaxed at the Monte Carlo beach club, which was lovely, clean and picturesque!
Later that day, friends flew in and joined us for the remainder of the weekend. We dined that evening at Le Grill at the Hotel de Paris — which we loved. It was a bit more casual than Le Louis XV, but still on the formal side by typical standards. The food and service were A++. Its location at the top of the Hotel de Paris gave quite a view. We especially loved walking out on the terrace – see my photo below!
I snapped this photo from the terrace (with my camera phone). Not bad!
After enjoying cocktails and a late dinner at Le Grill, we made an evening stop at Jimmyz for some dancing. The following day, our group rented a yacht and we cruised down the shore towards Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Nice. It was beautiful and we were lucky to have the perfect weather for boating! Here are some photos I took a long the way:
We took a launch boat from our boat to Eden Roc for lunch. A few of the ladies with us jumped in the water and swam over, but I preferred the shuttle! Though we were a bit windblown, lunch and of course the views were incredible! The seafood is fresh and out of this world!
After a long, relaxing day on the boat with our friends eating, drinking and enjoying the views — we went for a light dinner of appetizers that night at the Sea Lounge followed by a very quick visit to the Casino. I actually found the Casino to be rather dull, so we were not there long!
The next morning, we packed up and returned to New York City and Greenwich. Monaco in May was the perfect long-weekend spot! ~Melissa Hawks