Facing the elegant Casino and perched above the bright blue Mediterranean, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo does justice to its privileged location at the center of the world’s playground–and to its status as a founding member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Its grand lobby and lively bars and restaurants have long made it a prime spot to see and be seen by those who come to Monaco to revel in the finer things in life.
But as the principality has evolved into a thriving center for culture, sports, philanthropy, and sustainable development–spearheaded by Prince Albert II and epitomized by the new One Monaco luxury complex—Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo is also evolving to keep pace.
The goal was to preserve what makes the hotel special, and then add–always with good taste.
A selective reconstruction and thorough renovation have added new spaces to the hotel while respecting its unique character–a deft balancing act that required four years and a team of top architects from around the world. “The goal was to preserve what makes the Hôtel de Paris special, and then add–always with good taste,” says Ivan Artolli, the hotel’s general manager. Two guest wings were rebuilt from the ground up and an interior garden courtyard was created, bedecked with palms trees and lined with fine-jewelry boutiques in the style of Paris’s Place Vendôme. A new penthouse suite, named for Prince Rainier III, faces the Princess Grace suite, a loving tribute to the monarchs whose vision for modern-day Monaco lives on today.
Fans of the hotel’s Belle Époque lobby will be happy to hear that it was treated with a light, restorative touch: its famous glass ceiling dome is still in place, as is the bronze equestrian statue that guests rub for good luck on their way to the gaming tables. The hotel’s tradition of fine dining continues in the Grill, with its panoramic view, in the Louis XV restaurant crowned with three Michelin stars, and the brand-new ÔMER restaurant both helmed by Alain Ducasse. The Bar Américain retains its original look and feel as a gentleman’s clubhouse and, with its new terrace, is even more of a prime location for watching the Grand Prix de Monaco auto race each spring–and for watching the watchers, discreetly. Ostentation, in fact, is an art form at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, whose every wall could tell a story about those who have lived, loved, and played there. Even after the renovation, traces are still visible if you know where to look: for example, on the heavy glass lobby doors, where guests’ diamond rings have left decades worth of tiny scratches behind the handles. “An artisan wanted to remove them; I said, ‘No, leave them–that is our history,’” Ivan says with a smile. He and his team hope that a new generation of guests will find the hotel as exciting, glamorous, and surprising as Monaco itself.