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Free WiFi / Hotel WiFi / Monaco Hotels / Monte Carlo Hotels / Boutique Hotels / F1 Hotels / Sports Hotels / → All Tags
Ah, Monaco, a place so ridiculously, frivolously expensive that most of the hotels expect you to pay for WiFi. Pay for WiFi? Well, not if you use their basic service, of course – but if you want something that does more than pull in a single email every hour or so, you usually have to pony up for a faster connection (notable exception: the Fairmont, which gives free WiFi to members of its Presidents Club).
So huge news from Monaco this week with the news that the Columbus has become the first Monegasque hotel to offer free, highspeed WiFi to all its guests and visitors. It’s a 50MB connection, with an auto-login – so no annoying passwords to re-enter, and your login lasts a month, so if you only stay a night, you know where to hit up the bar for some work time.
And if you really can’t believe that no hotel in an entire country has done this before,
then you haven’t been to Monaco this is what they say:
Charges for keeping your own stuff in the hotel minibar – that’s so Vegas. Our sister site VegasChatter spotted a $50 “restocking fee” at MGM Grand last year, and the story went round again last month at MGM’s sister property Mandalay Bay.
But a “corkage fee” for merely having a bottle of water in your room? Now that’s a new one.
This was a note we saw in the info book at the Fairmont Monte Carlo when we stayed earlier this year. The Fairmont is one of Monaco’s iconic hotels, right on the Mediterranean. At check in, we were impressed that staff went out of their way to tell us that we should sign up for the President’s Club in order to get free WiFi (if you can’t be bothered to do it now, do it at some point during your stay and we’ll take the charge off at check out, they said, which was awesome).
And then we stumbled upon this note. This penny-pinching, parsimonious note. “A corkage fee will be charged on an item purchased outside and consumed at the hotel”, it said. €15 for champagne and spirits. €10 for wine. €5 for soft drinks and water – water! Not bottles illicitly stored in the minibar, remember – bottles merely kept in the room.
There are so many problems with this. For starters, the sign wasn’t prominent – it was buried in the info guide, which is only read properly by geeks like us. Not a peep on the minibar, not a squeak on the bedside table.
For another, how can the hotel distinguish between drinks consumed in-room and bottles from drinks you bought earlier and didn’t bother to throw away? Chuck out that empty bottle of water in your bag you’ve been carrying around all day, and suddenly it’s chargeable.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel Closures / Monaco Hotels / Monte Carlo Hotels / Luxury Hotels / SBM Hotels / → All Tags
And so the wave of grande dame hotels embarking on major renovations continues: this time, it’s the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, in the tiny principality of Monaco, which will start four years’ worth of work this October.
While we initially thought the hotel would close its doors entirely, it’s taking a slightly different approach and will continue to operate “on a reduced scale”. In order to prepare for the work, the hotel will indeed shut from October 6 to mid-December, but reopen for the holiday season, with full work kicking off on January 18 next year.
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Chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa andChef Philippe Joannès, the Executive Chef of the Fairmont Monte Carlo
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa has been a busy man this year. Aside from running his chain of Nobu restaurants around the world and opening his first hotel in Las Vegas, he's carved out some time in his frenetic schedule to open a pop-up restaurant at the Fairmont Monte Carlo.
Open from now through June 9, the pop-up Nobu is serving lunch and dinner daily inside the hotel's existing restsaurant, l'Argentin Monte Carlo. A special terrace has opened up just for the Nobu tables too, allowing guests to take in the killer views of France, Italy and Monaco while noshing on the Nobu specialities such as Black cod yuzu miso, the Wagyu gyoza, and the King crab leg with shiso salsa.
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You know those lazy afternoons in hotels when you're sitting in your room wondering, 'What the heck am I gonna do for the next three hours until dinner?' Well, there's a nifty little device that's been popping up in places like The Hermitage in Monte Carlo and Kempinski Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
Produced by a Dubai-based company called Sweetbeam, the bedside devices look like regular old picture frames. Except the images change. And upon closer inspection, you see that this isn't just background art—these are customized ads, subtly (or not) promoting different amenities that the hotel offers.
Forgot to bring your bathing suit? Turns out there's a boutique in the lobby—and bathing suits are on sale! Wondering what time happy hour starts? Five minutes ago! Didn't know there was a spa? Well, surprise—it's one floor above your room!
(Well, the ads don't use quite so many exclamation points as we do, but you get the idea...)
The ever-opinionated Karl Lagerfeld is once again slapping his signature stamp on a hotel.
This time, the Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo has been graced with the designer’s over-the-top touch. A few spaces are been redesigned in the 19th-century Belle Époque property including the pool, terrace and gardens. One part has already been Lagerfeld-ized with 15 fresco-style etched-glass and backlit panels that recount Ulysess’ Voyages.
We also hear from the Telegraph there are some frescoes of Baptiste Giabiconi, the designer's favorite male model, in which he’s portrayed as a Greek god. Oh, lawd. It’s every bit as bananas as you’d expect from a man who made a Paris hotel suite with a chocolate model in it. (See below.)
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By now, you've probably all seen the photo of Bill Clinton posing with two lovely ladies during a benefit for the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the William J. Clinton Foundation in Monaco at the Hotel de Paris.
Except those two lovely ladies are actually porn stars, Brooklyn Lee and Tasha Reign. Oops.
The luxury hotel right next to the famed Monte Carlo casino has seen its share of celebrity guests before and has even made several movie cameos. But porn stars might be a first. Right now, the hotel has got to be wishing Selena Gomez was back in town.
Nevertheless, the luxury hotel can command about 600 Euros a night for simple yet refined Belle Epoque-styled guestrooms. Can't quite pony up the Euros to stay here? Perhaps a drink at Le Bar Americain will suffice.
The dress code at Monte Carlo's Hermitage Hotel may be 'chic' and 'elegant attire,' but if you see guests wandering around the lobby in robes and slippers, as we did, there's no need to call the fashion police. These people have just come been enjoying the hotel's spa, Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo.
We had the chance to try a treatment there recently, and we gotta say, there's more going on here than just scented candles and Swedish massages. The spa is known for its sports programs, high-tech machines and nutritional counseling, all of which draw high-profile athletes and the dancers of the local Monte Carlo Ballet.
Then there's that huge solarium-style pool with views of the Mediterranean...
While we're rather partial to Monte Carlo's Hotel Hermitage for its quiet elegance, and dig the water views and amenities over at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, all of the big names who visit Monaco stay at the Hotel de Paris.
That includes the gamblers. As the closest hotel to the Casino Monte-Carlo, and with rates that warrant a turn at the blackjack table, Hotel de Paris is a natural choice for anyone keen for a flutter. What we learned when popping into the Hotel De Paris for dinner recently, was that it is tradition upon entering the hotel's lobby to rub the knee of Louis XIV's horse.
You won't have any trouble remembering which knee of the statue to caress, either--as you can see from our snapshot, the many years of lucky rubs have left their mark on the ol' steed.
If you've seen the latest iPhone ad, you know that Santa is using Siri to navigate his way around the globe this Christmas. One place we know he'll be hitting up is the pretty Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo.
The posh hotel, the more subdued sister of the famous Hotel de Paris, is offering a special Christmas package partly inspired by the growing number of families who have to choose sides when it comes to where to spend Christmas. And they're throwing in an appearance by Père Noël aka Santa.
We already told you about the hotel's Christmas package here but if you're in need of a very, very last-minute stay in MC for Xmas, here's what the Hermitage is offering:
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Like it or not, the holiday season has officially begun. So while you're drawing up your Christmas wish lists or plotting out the best strategy for door-busting on Black Friday, don't forget to plan out your hotel stay. From now through New Year's Eve, we'll be pulling out the holiday hotel news, deals and events we think are the best (or the worst.) Got a question about booking a hotel over the holidays or what to do when staying in a hotel over the holidays? Let us know!
So you've decided to stay in a hotel over Christmas or during Hanukkah but you're worried you might be missing out on all the holiday fun up in your room. Well, if you're staying at these places below you can have the holidays delivered straight to your door.
At the Four Seasons Whistler in Canada, the hotel's "Deck the Halls" package includes a four or five-foot Christmas tree already on a stand and brought up to your room with lights, bulbs and a star for the top, along with hot chocolate, milk, freshly baked cookies, a Christmas music CD and one stocking per guest with their name embroidered on it.
Naturally, this makes the already pricey Four Seasons resort a bit pricier at $1,200 CAD a night before taxes. There's also a minimum stay of four nights. But there's a chance you could see a hunky Australian action star.
Movie Set Hotels / Hotel Lust / Monte Carlo Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Selena Gomez / Alain Ducasse / → All Tags
You may know the luxe Hotel de Paris in Monaco from the James Bond movies and its location adjacent to the famous Monte Carlo casino but now your daughter also knows the hotel, thanks to new Selena Gomez movie, "Monte Carlo."
But just FYI, there is no Grimaldi Suite at the hotel, although the Churchill and Garnier suites are nothing short of spectacular. Not that the regular rooms are all that shabby either. The five different room categories each have their own distinct look (we're partial to the pretty city view rooms and the more modern courtyard rooms--the sea view rooms seem fussy) and all come with luxe furnishings, decor and amenities.