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The Best Luxury Hotels in Monaco
This is Monte Carlo, so bring on the Ferraris and the Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses. Most importantly, bring on the Monaco 5 star hotels.
If you’re planning a trip to the French Riviera and wondering where to stay in Monaco for a luxury visit, here are six fantastic options.
(Since the standard of hotels in Monaco is so high, we’ll throw in a couple of 4 stars, too.)
Monaco – A 5-Star Destination on the French Riviera
Monaco, a tiny principality (and country) on the French Riviera oozes bling, class and jet-setting wealth, and there is no better place in Europe to splash out on a top hotel.
Whether you’d rather stay in Monte Carlo in the heart of things, or at a summer beachfront resort, here’s a curated list of the best hotels in Monaco, that monied slice of the yacht-ridden Côte d’Azure.
Note: I wasn’t hosted for free at any of these properties. I just really like visiting luxury hotels.
Where to Stay in Monaco – The 2 Top Areas
Monte Carlo for Excitement
Three of the best Monaco luxury hotels are in Monte Carlo. Just a note: Monte Carlo is not Monaco. It’s the ritziest neighborhood in Monaco.
If you’re looking for a lavish base on the French Riviera, this swanky section of sights, shopping and sophistication known as the Carré d’Or area should fit the bill nicely.
With the glamorous casino, Michelin starred restaurants and high-end shops at your manicured fingertips, Monte Carlo is beautiful people central when it comes to places to stay on the French Riviera.
First we’ll compare the three gorgeous 5 star hotels in Monte Carlo: the Hôtel de Paris, the Hôtel Hermitage and the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo.
Then we’ll throw in a 4-star hotel that ranks high on this luxury hotels review. (Fairmont Monte Carlo, I’m talking to you.)
Beach Resorts for Summer
In addition to the 5 star hotels in Monte Carlo, there are two swishy Monaco beach resorts, the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel and the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, so we’ll review those too.
About These Monaco Hotel Reviews
I’ve been to Monaco several times, but on a recent solo 8-day stay I had a mission: to check out its best hotels. So, I ate, drank, slept, or at least visited every luxury hotel Monaco has.
Why? Because when I was planning my trip this was the info I needed but couldn’t find. There are a lot of Monaco hotel reviews on places like TripAdvisor and Booking.com but none did a comparison, so I had no idea of each property’s different character.
And believe me, every hotel in Monaco is unique.
To help you plan your own trip, here’s a guide to the best 4 and 5 star hotels in Monaco, based on my impressions and unfiltered opinions.
The Negative Side to Staying at Luxury Monaco Hotels
First off, hotel rates in Monaco are expensive (let’s state the obvious). When $700 a night in summer seems like a bargain, you know you’ve entered a different realm of accommodation. If you travel in off season you’ll get a far better deal.
There can be a high pretension factor in Monte Carlo at its top hotels and restaurants, so dress your best and keep your nose in the air.
Tipping on the French Riviera can seem like an astronomical expense. At a top tier property, where service is king, there are more people to tip than at your average 3 star.
As a former concierge at a 5-star Monte Carlo hotel told me, “some of the staff have more money than the guests.”
Who do you tip?
Pretty much everybody. There’s the doorman, the porter, the concierge, and the person who shows you your room (usually the hotel clerk). There are the bartenders and waitstaff, and don’t forget the hardworking housekeeping staff … so budget tips into your trip, and carry a lot of smaller bills with you.
3 Great Reasons to Stay at a Monaco 5 Star
If you’ve ever wanted to see how the other half live, this is it. And if you’re already an other half, you’ll feel right at home.
Beauty. When did beauty become overrated? Silk-lined walls, Carrara marble, handmade Murano glass, Quagliotti linens … think of the artisans and ateliers around the world that are able to keep fine craftsmanship alive.
Location. For a gilded front row seat of the action, a 5-star hotel in Monte Carlo can’t be beat. As for the two beachfront hotels we’ll be looking at, it’s high-end comfort and relaxed resort fun combined.
So let’s get to it.
Luxury Hotels Monte Carlo
A Review of the Hôtel de Paris
First up is the mega-fancy Hôtel de Paris. It’s the most famous hotel in Monaco and for good reason.
Smack in the centre of the action, this palatial Monte Carlo five star hotel is steps away from the Casino de Monte Carlo, the gambling hub of all your James Bond dreams.
What is the most expensive hotel in Monaco? You guessed it – the Hôtel de Paris.
What’s the most expensive hotel suite in Monte Carlo? The lavish Princess Grace Suite in the Hôtel de Paris ranks high, and will set you back about $50,000 a night. But hey, it comes with free airport transfers.
About the Hôtel de Paris Monte Carlo
This central 5 star hotel was fabulous when it opened in 1864. It’s even more fabulous after a four-year renovation was completed in 2019.
The minute you see the hotel’s creamy carved facade, uniformed doormen and marble pillars you know you’re entering The World of the Posh.
In the evening the hotel’s American Bar (The Bar Américain, or simply Le Bar) off the lobby entrance is hopping – and you’re likely to catch live jazz. Or, you can take a seat on the terrace.
Personally, sipping a glass of champagne in the lobby suits me best as it’s a prime spot for people watching.
The waitstaff were friendly and helpful, even when I switched tables twice, and never made me feel like a loser because I was alone.
Hôtel de Paris Restaurants
Louis XV Restaurant
The most famous restaurant in the Hôtel de Paris is the 3-star Michelin Louis XV Restaurant.
It’s full name? Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, because a restaurant this fancy deserves a mouthful of a name.
Helmed by celebrity chef Alain Ducasse, the Louis XV sits majestically in gilt-laden splendour, and has a renowned menu that focuses on fresh Mediterranean cuisine.
Louis XV might be the most haute restaurant in the hotel, but I have a soft spot for the 1-Michelin star Grill Restaurant on the 8th floor.
This is because its celestial-themed ceiling opens up to the sky at the touch of a button. It’s also because my husband once took me there for a romantic date in Monaco, which was one of the most fun day trips from Nice I’ve ever had.
Is the Hôtel de Paris the Best Hotel in Monte Carlo?
If you like a centrally-located hotel that teems with life, has a rooftop pool, and a slightly impersonal vibe (which I do), the Hôtel de Paris is fun in a high-heeled Versace kind of way. Practice your catwalk and pose for Selfies on the grand staircase.
If you’re a high roller, the Monaco Hôtel de Paris is the perfect 5 star hotel. You can practically reach out and touch the casino from the doorstep.
Perhaps most importantly for gamers, rubbing the foot of the bronze horse statue in the lobby is said to bring gambling luck.
By the way, it worked for my husband and me. We came out of the casino 100 Euros richer.
Is it the best hotel to watch the Monaco Grand Prix?
The race whips by right in front of the hotel, so a spot on the terrace of the Bar American or the Salle Empire will give you front row seats.
You can also book a room with a track view. No surprise, but a view of the race like this will cost you a gold-plated arm and a leg.
Hôtel de Paris Review Verdict
Overall, the Hôtel de Paris is a legendary destination. It reminds me of the Plaza in New York. Lots of light and liveliness, it’s a luxe hotel that likes to be the centre of attention.
Is it my favorite hotel in Monaco? Maybe to visit but not to stay, but that’s only because there are so many other irresistible options in Monte Carlo. Not that I’d turn down a stay here. Ever.
Check prices and availability for the Hôtel de Paris here.
The Hôtel Hermitage
The Hôtel Hermitage is the quieter sister of the Hôtel de Paris. Both hotels are owned by the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (The Monte-Carlo Sea Bathing Society), which happens to own almost every other luxe hotel in Monaco and is partly backed by the palace.
With a facade modelled after the royal palace, the Hermitage Hotel is refinement to the max. Located on the street behind its more famous sibling, it’s just a few teensy Louis Vuitton steps away from Casino Square.
About the Hôtel Hermitage
Less of a ‘destination’ than the Hôtel de Paris, but every bit as elegant, the Hermitage is directly connected to the renowned Terme de Marins Spa. This deluxe homage to wellness overlooks the Port d’Hercule and has a centrepiece heated seawater pool.
(You can also access the spa from the Hôtel de Paris.)
The Hermitage is often slightly (but only ever so slightly and not all the time) cheaper than the Hôtel de Paris, and has a bit of an ‘insider’ feel.
As it’s literally a minute walk from the Place du Casino, it’s still super central, but feels slightly removed from the tourist hustle.
Hôtel Hermitage Restaurants
Hot on the sought-after reservation list in Monaco (according to my concierge) is the hotel’s Michelin-starred Pavyllon Monte-Carlo restaurant, overseen by celeb chef Yannick Alléno.
The focus of the modern French fare here is on balance, detail and the freshest of ingredients, but be forewarned, as the latest glittery star of Monaco, reservations can be hard to come by.
Don’t Miss the Winter Garden
A Hermitage Hotel highlight is the Winter Garden, the hotel’s famous glass conservatory with Belle Epoque frescoes and stained-glass lobby dome designed by Gustave Eiffel himself.
A Family Friendly Luxury Hotel in Monte Carlo
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly 5-star vacation, you’ll be happy to know of the hotel’s V.I.K. (very important kid) program.
Is this a best hotel Monaco for the Formula 1 Grand Prix? If you can get one of the sought after rooms with a view of the track, it’s hard to beat. Or opt for the view from the Crystal Bar.
Review Conclusion of the Hermitage
The Hôtel Hermitage is a winner when it comes to 5 star hotels in Monaco. It gets my vote for its spa access and its pale Neoclassical beauty. Built in 1896, it’s a pedigreed pleaser indeed, and it’s where I plan on staying on my next trip to Monaco.
Check prices and availability for the Hôtel Hermitage here.
The Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Another 5 star hotel screams insider luxury – or at least murmurs it in a well-bred way – is the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo. The only independently-owned luxury Monte Carlo hotel, it was built in 1889.
This is where I based myself for most of my stay. It was a memorable occasion (with many of those memories involving me wishing I’d packed my Chanel bag and Fendi shoes. Never have I been so regretful about packing light.)
Like the Hermitage, the Metropole has an intimate feel and rounds out our trio of grand Monte Carlo hotels nicely.
One of the standouts at this historic 5 star hotel is its long stately drive – a rare indulgence of space in an area of explosive real estate prices. The drive provides an exquisite entry to a luxurious world. Flowering plants, sweet-scented jasmine and marble statues usher you up to the entrance.
The hotel’s check-in area is small, but opens up to a lobby lounge that is the the heart of the hotel.
About the Metropole Hotel
The Metropole is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. The location is superb, steps away from the Place du Casino and across from the Gardens of Little Africa, the Jardins de la Petite Afrique.
My favourite part of the hotel is the stunning (and gigantic) tapestry in the lobby, which makes me feel as if I’m in a medieval French chateau. It’s not that farfetched: After all, the land was once owned by Pope Leon XIII.
Shopping at Your Fingertips
As the hotel is attached to the high-end Metropole shopping mall, you can easily nip around the corner and drop endless amounts of cash on something suitable for dinner.
On the chic and stylish side, the outdoor pool terrace was designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld. Of note is the Instagram-worthy oversized black and white back-lit photos on huge glass panels along the back wall.
Another sleek addition to the hotel is the Givenchy spa, one of only three in the world.
A disappointment: Before I chose to stay here, I scoured as many Monaco hotel reviews as I could. Most mentioned the Metropole’s 2-star Michelin restaurant. Once I got here, I learned the restaurant no longer exists. Currently the dining room only serves breakfast.
No word yet on when it will reopen or what kind of restaurant it will be.
The Metropole is one of the most elite hotels in Monaco, however, so of course you’ll still eat well. The lobby lounge serves meals and the poolside Odyssey restaurant offers Mediterranean fare.
Yoshi – A Michelin Star Asian Restaurant in Monaco
If you’re desperate for a Michelin star fix at the Metropole, no problem. Yoshi is a Japanese restaurant located on the property. It’s the only Asian Michelin star restaurant on the entire Côte d’Azur.
The atmosphere at lunch was casual and light hearted, quite chummy actually. I ordered the teriyaki salmon but once I got a look at my neighbor’s meal, I wish I’d ordered the signature black cod, which is marinated 72 hours, and looked divine.
Metropole Monte Carlo Review Verdict
I enjoyed my stay here. It was a step into a rarified world. The atmospheric lobby lounge is a winner, and it was a comfortable place to stay as a solo traveler, but I was disappointed there was no signature restaurant.
Check prices and availability for the Metropole Monte Carlo here.
4 Star Fairmont Monte Carlo
The Fairmont is a 4-star hotel not far from the Place du Casino. I’m giving it a mention in this Monaco hotel review because it’s thisclose to making the top luxury category.
(Right now there is a major construction project going on next to it, however, so be forewarned.)
With a rooftop Nikki Beach Club and a Nobu restaurant on the lobby level, it’s upscale but more casual than the Hôtel de Paris, Hermitage or Metropole.
Nobu is always fun if you’re in the mood for Japanese cuisine, and I managed to get in for lunch without a reservation.
What’s the best room to book for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix? The Fairmont Hairpin Rooms will give you stellar views from their private terraces. Best book a million years in advance though.
Review Verdict of the Fairmont
If you’re wondering where to stay in Monte Carlo that combines high-end comfort with a laidback feel, this is a luxury 4 star to consider.
With 596 rooms and suites, it’s a large hotel and popular with American tourists. Overall, it’s hard to go wrong with a Fairmont property.
Check prices and availability for the Fairmont Monte Carlo here.
Best Monaco Hotels on the Beach
Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel Review
One of the few Monaco hotels on the beach, the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel has a long history as a summer getaway for the moneyed and elite. It was a swinging place in the gilded age of the 1920s and hasn’t stopped since.
Open March to October, the hotel revolves around its much-lauded Monaco Bay Beach Club, and its service gets rave reviews.
Is the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel in Monte Carlo?
No, it’s actually not. Oddly enough, it’s just over the border of Monaco a few hundred feet into France. Technically it’s in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.
It is definitely considered a Monaco hotel though, in the popular beach area of Larvotto, which is just north of Monte Carlo.
I walked here from the Place du Casino in about 20 minutes.
About the Monaco Beach Resort
The Monaco Beach is a boutique hotel – only 40 rooms – with big amenities and a resort-like setting. It curves around a rocky promontory like a sienna-coloured citadel hugged by umbrella pines.
The Olympic-sized pool is a big draw for summer vacationers, so is its rare beach access.
The breezy minimalist interior was created by hot designer, India Mahdavi, who has been described by the New Yorker as a “virtuoso of color.”
Monte-Carlo Beach Restaurants
Elsa is the world’s first Michelin-starred organic zero waste restaurant. For incredible sea views and fresh seafood opt for La Vigie, or go poolside at Le Deck.
Sought After Nightlife at the Monte-Carlo Beach
For years, the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel’s club Jimmyz has been the reigning king of Monte Carlo nightlife. It’s still going strong.
Although, according to an unverified report by the 30-something club-going tourists beside me during breakfast one morning (yes, I know I shouldn’t eavesdrop, but how can you help it in Monaco?) Jimmyz can be hit or miss, while Sass, at 11 Avenue Princess Grace, always guarantees a hopping night.
For more on where to go in Monaco, check out my Monte Carlo Jet Set article.
Best Resort in Monaco for Kids?
Is the Monte-Carlo Beach family friendly? Yes. With its beachfront location ideal for water sports there are plenty of activities, and the deluxe Marmorata Kids’ Club is open in the summer season.
Monte-Carlo Beach Review Verdict
Whether you want to dance all night at Jimmyz or relax by the Mediterranean with your children, it’s going to cater to your particular needs.
According to at least one enthusiastic reviewer on TripAdvisor, it’s THE place to be.
My concierge at the Metropole agreed, calling the Monte Carlo Beach the best hotel in Monaco for a beach vacation. I’d agree, too, if its sister hotel, the nearby Monte Carlo Bay, hadn’t immediately grabbed my heart.
Check prices and availability for the Monte-Carlo Beach here.
Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
Just past the Monte Carlo Beach is the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel, and it took me awhile to straighten out the differences between these two Monaco seafront resorts.
The Monte-Carlo Bay is the new kid on the block, relatively speaking. Unlike the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel and most of the other luxury hotels in Monaco, which share historic pedigrees, Monte Carlo Bay opened in 2005.
For me, it’s the 5-acre grounds and the sprawling pool area that make this 4 star resort the summer destination of my Mediterranean dreams. The spectacular location, on a peninsula that pushes out into the sea doesn’t hurt either.
My question is: How can this be rated a 4 star? It’s a 5 star hotel in my mind.
About the Monte-Carlo Bay
Like the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, the Monte-Carlo Bay Resort is not right in Monte Carlo but in the Larvotto Beach area on the Larvotto Peninsula.
What do I like about it? The sand-bottomed Lagoon Pool and indoor pool rotunda with glass-panelled walls give the property a resort-like vibe that makes me think of top luxury resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Modern art springs out at you from every angle, from garden sculptures to contemporary art on the hotel walls, and this relaxed Monaco beach resort manages to combine an upbeat luxury feel with laidback holiday relaxation.
To up the relaxation even more you can have a treatment at the property’s Cinq Monde Spa, and its family friendly outdoor pool is sure to be a hit with kids.
Downside: The hotel is right on the Mediterranean but for beach access, you’ll need to pad over to its sister hotel, the Monte Carlo Beach, a five minute walk away.
Monte-Carlo Bay Restaurants
There are three restaurants here, and the hotel is a popular brunch spot for locals.
The star of the show is the Caribbean-inspired Blue Bay Restaurant, which has 2 Michelin stars and an inventive menu. (Green papaya spaghetti carbonara, anyone?)
For classic bistro fare, you can sit among the palms in the lobby restaurant, L’Orange Verte.
Review Verdict of the Monte-Carlo Bay
Is the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel my favourite Monaco hotel? If I was after a summer resort, you bet – although the lack of beach access is a consideration. At other times of the year, I’d opt for a hotel on the Place du Casino.
Check prices and availability for the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort here.
Monaco Hotels 5-Star Conclusion
To recap: The Best 6 hotels in Monaco are:
- 5* Hôtel de Paris
- 5* Hermitage Hotel
- 5* Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo
- 4* Fairmont Monte Carlo
- 5* Monte Carlo Beach Hotel
- 4* Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
With such a deluxe selection of accommodation in the principality, travelers seeking the luxe life will be spoiled for choice.
These 6 luxury hotels in Monaco are some of the best places to stay on the entire French Riviera, and now that you know more about them, you can start planning the trip of your dreams.