I watched the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort being built and first stayed at this wonderful hotel soon after it opened, each time I return, it manages to impress me a little bit more. The hotel remains as pristine as the day it was built. The decadent marble and finishings remain in perfect condition, and the expensive rugs are as fresh and luxurious underfoot as when they were new. The whole hotel is immaculate.
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Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort sits on its own reclaimed peninsula on the Eastern border of Monaco with four hectares of lush gardens. The hotel is located on the Eastern edge of Monaco around a 30 minute walk from the Casino Square although a complimentary hotel shuttle will whisk you to the center faster if you don’t fancy the walk. The whole of Monte-Carlo is around 30 minutes drive from Nice airport.
Style & Character
The look is a grand roman pantheon style with hugely tall pillars at the entrance, arched stonework on the balconies, and marble inside and outside the cathedral-sized lobby. The circular driveway you climb to reach the hotel is surrounded by tropical palms, with the centerpiece being a fountain. At the impressive entrance where even the road becomes marble, revolving doors invite you into the tangerine-scented vast lobby hall with black marble floors extending throughout this building.
Once inside, the tropical L’Orange Vert, an orangery-style restaurant, sits in front of you, and neat receptions and concierge desks sit to either side of the hall. The immensely high ceiling and modern, stylish finish make the place feels more like a luxurious palace than a hotel.
The rooms at the Monte Carlo Bay are a highlight for me, virtually all the same in design, featuring a gorgeous balcony. They are so quiet (Monaco is a noisy town!), and the beds are comfortable. On the balcony, you’ll find a sofa seat at one end and two more rattan seats with a small table. You can easily spend a whole day just lazing in the sunshine gazing at the view. I prefer the rooms facing west as these offer the most interesting and active view of people going to and from the pool, the ever-changing Monaco skyline and if there are fireworks, (so often you can enjoy unexpected impressive displays from the direction of the Sporting Mote-Carlo), you’ll have a perfect view. If you are not overlooking the pool you’ll be looking towards the sea and towards Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, or back inland if you book the least expensive rooms. I recommend booking a west-facing sea view room and if you are a family, the family room (with two doubles).
Service & Facilities
There are two pools here, an indoor-outdoor pool, which sits inside a large glass-sided spherical building full of tropical plants with an exotic ambiance. It flows to an outside pool also surrounded by tropical plants and with a jacuzzi and whirlpool at its edge. This is easily the largest indoor pool in Monaco and is certainly impressive if a little on the cool side in the winter.
Separate from the indoor-outdoor pool is the amazing free-form Lagoon, which may ell be the best hotel pool in Europe and which expands over a large portion of the peninsula. This is a tropical paradise of waterfalls, vegetation, and wooden bridges, completed by a sandy bottom that feels so good between your toes!
This is the only pool of its kind in Europe and a reason in itself to book the Monte Carlo Bay hotel in the summer. Laze on a lounger, many of which are dipping their legs in the pool, and watch the beautiful clientele attempt to swim while attempting keeping their heads out of the water, thus retaining their chic coiffured look and perfect makeup.
This is absolutely not the land of screeching children and excessive splashing, although the lagoon is large enough for everyone to enjoy. Each group of loungers is hidden in one of the many private corners of the gardens so that you feel an element of privacy as you admire the views over the bay while the trendy music tinkles in the background. The sandy-bottomed lagoon is open from May to the end of September, whereas the indoor-outdoor pool is open year-round. In July and August, there is also a kids club for 3-12 year olds with loads of activities, including boules, ping pong, painting, and films.
Food & Drink
Whether you try the hotel restaurants or not, if breakfast is included in your room rate, you are in for a treat! The extensive breakfast buffet in the morning is generous. There are tables of breads, cereals, fruit (fresh and cut), huge arrays of salads, and a hot buffet too. You must order your omelet/eggs from your waiter. Breakfast is an indoor affair in the winter, but in the summer, they open the doors, and you can eat out on the terrace with wonderful sea views across the Mediterranean.
There are several restaurants at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel. The L’Orange Vert, is a tropical orangery filled with palms that spills out onto the courtyard patio. This is a relaxing if quiet place to grab a beer and a bite in the evening. The Las Brisas, a summer restaurant located next to the hotel’s pool with a wonderful view of the sea, and lastly, the Monte Carlo Bay’s high-end establishment the wonderful Blue Bay.
Let’s not forget the Blue Gin bar next to the Blue Bay restaurant too, which pounds the latest tunes every night and is the perfect “before” spot to enjoy a beer or cocktail on its alfresco balcony overlooking the sea.
In the world of fine dining, you can pay an awful lot of money for an experience that will utterly disappoint. For me, Marcel Ravin is one of the few chefs that delights time after time. Marcel’s menu at Blue Bay, is never the same, and always offers new flavors and dishes to tempt.
In the summer, this impressive restaurant offers tables on the veranda, beautifully dressed to match the evening sunset and adorned with purple lighting. Here, every course is as beautiful as the last. The first for us was a fish dish brought to the table with all sorts of small delicious accompaniments, a wonderful celebration of seafood on your palate. It was followed by a Green Papaya Spaghetti dish done in a Carbonara Way, generously garnished with truffles and full of flavors and textures, the spaghetti parcel within was simply delicious. A wonderfully seasoned fish course of John Dory came next and was followed by a beautifully sauced Pork dish, the joint presented then expertly carved and served in front of us with flare.
For me, the grandeur and the immense lagoon make this a must-stay hotel in Monaco. My ideal stay in Monte Carlo is to combine the Monte Carlo Bay hotel with the Hotel Hermitage so you can enjoy strolling and experiencing the center of Monaco before lazing in the Cote d’Azur sunshine at the Bay.
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