An underwater wedding. A chance to feel what it's like to drive a Formula 1 racing car. A visit to the largest private collection of the works of Francis Bacon. Monaco is full of extraordinary experiences, but you need access in order to take advantage of them. Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo has that access, built over more than a century at the heart of the principality, and it has put together a full, rich program for its guests under the heading, "Just For You." Whether it's culture for the whole family, a romantic tour of the Italian coast, or a day of adrenaline-charged sports, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo holds the keys to a world of wonders.
"Just for You" covers a broad range of themes—some for which the principality is world-renowed but others that may come as a surprise. Gastronomy, of course, is on the menu: guests can spend the day in hands-on cooking classes with the hotel's Michelin-starred chefs—Takeo Yamazaki, of Yoshi, and Christophe Cussac, of the Restaurant Joël Robuchon. But so is sustainable development, a strategic focus of Monaco's leadership: guests can visit a restaurant-hatchery where all the seafood on the menu is harvested in situ, and savor organic juices, vegetables, and edible flowers straight from an urban farm, then take a turn planting their own—all without leaving the principality.
This hotel is a palace on a human scale, where one really feels at home.
Other "Just for You" experiences introduce guests to the history and legend of Monaco. "Discovering the Principality" goes inside the royal palace after hours for a relaxed visit to the the grand apartments and the Throne Room. "You're the Driver" lets guests imagine they are in the Grand Prix de Monaco Formula 1 race by placing them behind the wheel of a Formula E Venturi simulator, the electric equivalent of the F1. And because no stay in Monaco is complete without a little Hollywood stardust, "Just for You" also features themed tours in homage to Grace Kelly, who became Princess Grace of Monaco; and to James Bond, who tracked adversaries through the principality in Goldeneye before relaxing with a martini, shaken not stirred (available at the Metropole's lively bar).
"This hotel is a palace on a human scale, where one really feels at home," says Béatrice Ardisson, a French musician whose soulful soundtracks form the backdrop to the hotel's public spaces. Built in 1889 and reopened in 2004 after a complete renovation, the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is a family-owned enterprise whose proprietors see themselves as the guardians of a long history of warm, understated luxury hospitality. The "Just for You" experiences continue the tradition and lend a twist of excitement, resulting in a spirit that Jacques Garcia, the celebrated interior architect who led the renovation, describes as "combining the rocker and the Duchess."