If you’re considering a trip to Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix, the first thing to know is that Monaco is expensive. Not “Ooh that’s a bit steep” expensive, but “I think I need a lie down” kind of expensive.
To come and enjoy the Monaco Grand Prix on a bit more of a reasonable budget then you will have to stay outside the Principality. Don’t worry though; there are plenty of wonderful and affordable hotels just outside of Monaco. Plus, as Monaco is only two square miles, you don’t have much travelling time. If you are really on a shoestring budget then stay on a campsite in France and get the train down each race day (don’t forget your sandwiches!). There are reasonable places to eat but they are few and far between. For those of you with very deep pockets thinking of staying in Monte Carlo there are plenty of glamorous five star Hotels here packed into a very small area.
The most iconic Hotel is the Hotel De Paris, a delicious Belle Époque jewel that has grandeur and glamour in equal measure and the finest restaurant in town; the three Michelin stars Alain Ducasse’s Louis XV. Here a meal with fine wine for two will set you back around £1000. Do you need a lie down yet? The Columbus Hotel is a charming boutique gem and is a favourite haunt of all the F1 Drivers as it is owned by David Coulthard. It is normally the one with a long line of Ferraris parked outside.
The Metropole Hotel is another stunning five star classic with bags of character. It is palatial and grand and has a big wow factor as you walk in to the beautiful lobby. The Hermitage Hotel looks out over the Port of Monaco and is another early 20th century stylish masterpiece with the beautiful Eiffel Mezzanine. Lastly, the immense and luxurious Fairmont Hotel. If you are looking for somewhere stunning to eat with views right out over the Med then head to the Horizon restaurant for a magical romantic meal. It’s also the home of the famous hairpin bend and you can watch the race from the Hotel rooftop.
There are certain places in Monaco that are considered the most glamorous places to watch the Monaco Grand Prix from. Up near the top of the list is the F1 Paddock Club in Monaco located in its own enclosure with large specially made tents providing the all day champagne and gourmet food. Having said that, the quintessential VIP experience at the MonacoGrandPrixis aboard a Yacht in a prime viewing position. Champagne glasses clink in the sunshine as yachts cram together to get the best view of the track action. The yachts are filled with celebrities from fashion, movies and music and they can also be seen later on at the Amber Lounge after party which is the A-list evening event to attend.
When not at the Amber Lounge, the jet set can be found at either Jimmy’z nightclub or The Living Room. At Jimmy’z you could be dancing under the stars with maybe Bono or Pink in attendance, and paying 30 euros for a drink. At the Living Room you’ll find the thirty somethings and the 40 plus brigade in the discothèque and piano bar at this highly fashion conscious nightclub. Remember to wear your finest outfits to stand a chance of getting past the front door.
The real highlights of Monaco are not the traditional tourist attractions, although the Casino is a must on any itinerary. The magic of Monaco is seeing in to the lives of the rich and famous and, of course, seeing the action on the circuit too!