Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo review: 136 years of impeccable luxury in Monaco

The heritage here is carefully respected while modernity is embraced

Odyssey lounge-restaurant at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Odyssey lounge-restaurant at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
(Image credit: StudioPhenix )

As a destination for lovers of luxury, Monaco needs no introduction. The Principality, and its Monte Carlo quarter in particular, is known across the world as a hotbed of opulence and glamour; a place to which the wealthy and discerning flock to soak up the Mediterranean sun, safely assured of the utmost discretion and highest standards of service.

This reputation has been garnered since the 1863 opening of the Casino de Monte Carlo – then, in 1886, a new Belle Époque style luxury hotel opened to house the droves of well-heeled gamblers: the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo.

A deluxe suite at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

A deluxe suite at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
(Image credit: Jérémy Jakubowicz )

Why stay here?

The Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is located just a few moments’ stroll from the legendary Place du Casino, giving immediate access to all the most famous landmarks of this unique city. Beneath the hotel is a shopping mall full of luxury boutiques, like Kenzo and Brunello Cucinelli, and guests at the hotel have access to the Metropole Lifestyle scheme, offering various benefits in the shops as well as free access to the casino.

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On-site, the public area to the front of the casino is decorated in luscious silks and grand tapestries. The large courtyard area is peppered with hidden spots to sit and enjoy the sunshine in the hotel’s own tree-lined garden – as well as plenty of backdrops for your Instagram posts – and provides a little oasis from the rush of the city. Above this is a pool area designed by fashion titan Karl Lagerfeld which plays host to lunch restaurant Odyssey and is perfect for lounging with a cocktail or two on a warm afternoon. In the evening, the bottom of the pool sparkles with lights embedded into the tile, making for a wonderful view from the deck area above.

Fitness and wellness are central to life at Hotel Metropole, and Spa Metropole by Givenchy is where both are taken care of. The gym is well-equipped, although not open 24 hours, and the treatments in the spa provide the ultimate in pampering. Choose your own signature scent to underpin the experience, spend a little time snacking on fruit and rehydrating in the Relaxation Room after your chosen treatment, then plunge into the pool at Odyssey to complete your rejuvenation.

Yoshi restaurant has one Michelin star

Yoshi restaurant has one Michelin star
(Image credit: Bernard Touillon)

Eating and drinking

Breakfast at the Metropole is a classic continental affair, served inside the sumptuous Lobby Bar or outdoors on the terrace. Order your eggs cooked just how you like them and head to the buffet full of fresh pastries and breads – perfect for fuelling up before a long day of retail therapy. The Lobby Bar is also a cosy place for a drink in the evening, with a dark and elegant aesthetic reminiscent of a library in a period mansion. Dinner can also be taken here, with a wonderful range of local dishes available, but the real star for an evening meal is flagship restaurant Yoshi.

Chef Takeo Yamazaki has been in Monte Carlo for 15 years now, and in 2010 his Yoshi restaurant was awarded the Michelin star it has held ever since. The space is crisp and modern – a contrast to the classic baroque feel of the rooms and suites – and opens onto its own Japanese-style garden. The food is simply exquisite – the blackened cod and pistachio ice cream were extraordinary, and the sesame-marinaded cucumber presented as an amuse-bouche was among the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten – and each course is paired with an expertly-curated selection of local wine and Japanese saké.

A visit to Monaco wouldn’t feel complete without some supercars, so an after-dinner stroll round the corner to the Café de Paris is highly recommended – the Place du Casino was recently pedestrianised, but sitting on the Café terrace with a digestif still offers a magnificent view of the locals and guests who roar by in some of the world’s most expensive motors, or drop them with the valets at the casino.

Karl Lagerfeld at Odyssey at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

The pool area was designed by fashion titan Karl Lagerfeld
(Image credit: Emanuele Scorcelletti)

What to do

Monaco has some wonderful sightseeing to offer, if the moment you tire of flitting from shopping to pampering and back again ever arrives, and the majority is within a reasonable walk of the Hotel Metropole. The Casino and its gardens are the obvious starting point, but the famous corners of the Formula 1 track are very close by, as are the stunning yachts of the harbour. Lunch at the Yacht Club de Monaco is an incredible experience, but difficult to arrange. If you can manage to find a member to host you, the views from its top deck restaurant, stretching from the Prince’s Palace to the open sea, are unrivalled.

Much more accessible is the Prince’s Palace of Monaco itself, open to visitors along with the adjacent zoological gardens. Walking in the hills around the Principality is an excellent excursion for the fitness-minded and can be arranged by the hotel, allowing guests to take in some magnificent perspectives of the local countryside.

The sumptuous Lobby Bar

The sumptuous Lobby Bar
(Image credit: Will Pryce)

Getting here

The closest airport is Nice Côte d’Azur. Plenty of airlines offer services here, especially in the summer months, none more convenient than the twice-daily British Airways departures from London City in the summer months. On arrival, a car transfer to Hotel Metropole will take around 45 minutes and can be arranged by the concierge when booking.

If you’re feeling adventurous (and flush) the hotel also partners with Monacair to offer helicopter transfers – these take only seven minutes and give a unique view of the Principality as you swoop over the bay.

If you prefer the freedom of your own vehicle, British Airways Holidays offers a package deal in conjunction with Hotel Metropole (currently from £399 but subject to change) which will allow you to pick up a hire car at the airport, have the hotel’s valet team ensure its security while you enjoy their facilities, and explore the rest of the Côte d’Azur at your own pace with Monaco as your super-luxe base.

Relax with a swim at the Odyssey pool at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

Relax with a swim at the Odyssey pool
(Image credit: Laurent Galaup)

The verdict

Life in Monaco is unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s worth experiencing at least once, as the beauty of the weather and architecture is only enhanced by the facilities and welcome at its five-star hotels.

As one would expect of a property which has operated for almost 140 years, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is one of the finest examples: heritage is carefully respected while modernity is embraced; the grandeur of the exterior is contrasted by the subtlety of the service. You will not notice being looked after, as your every need will be taken care of before you ask. This is what Monaco demands, and what Hotel Metropole delivers impeccably.

Rates at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo start from €440 (£383) for a superior room on a B&B basis based on two sharing; British Airways flies from London City Airport to Nice Côte d’Azur from April to October, with return fares from £110; Prices are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.

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