98000 Travel Guide
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.
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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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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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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.
As we mentioned yesterday in our review of the Monte Carlo Bay Resort, the place to be when staying at the hotel is poolside.
That's because the hotel's pool area includes a sandy-bottomed "lagoon", an indoor swimming pool (that connects to the outdoor one), a childrens pool, and several jacuzzis placed throughout.
And while you're busy walking on sand, the mesmerizing Mediterranean is always just over your shoulder. You may even be able to spot
Grandma's cruise ship a Russian billionaire's yacht!
We've already spouted our love for the rooms' plug panels but now allow us to take you all the way inside.
Things may be quiet on the South of France right now, not to mention a little chilly but if you're keen to get planning on your summer vacay, allow us to take you inside the ritzy Hermitage Hotel in Monte Carlo.
The hotel has a magnificent location in Square Beaumarchais with killer views of the Mediterranean and the Monte Carlo marina (Hello, Yacht-spotting!) It's also steps away (or a Lamborghini joyride) from the famed Monte Carlo Casino, luxury designer stores and countless watch shops (there's even a Prada store within the hotel.)
But is it worth your sugar daddy's money? Let's go inside....
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You know how much we love our plug panels here at HotelChatter so imagine our excitement when we checked into the Monte Carlo Bay Resort in Monaco and saw this on the wall underneath the TV--a plug panel that all languages can understand! (Most of the resort signs are in French, Italian and English.)
We also loved the generously-sized flat-screen TV that hung on the wall opposite the bed. After staying in four different hotels in Europe before this one, we were starting to think that Euros did not like big flat-screen TVs. But the Monte Carlo Bay Resort had this one all turned on with a personalized greeting too.
Room rates at the hotel, which is part of the Societe des Bains Mers, start around 500 Euros a night for a city view room. We actually booked ours through Kiwi Collection for 319 Euros a night which included a great breakfast spread every day. (We may have eaten three croissants one day. Don't judge.)
This hotel view in Monte Carlo is close to being perfect with the pool and the beach in sight. But that damned overpass? What architect decided to build that?
The Mirabeau Hotel is in the first five floors of a thirty story building, the balance being luxury apartments. We were lucky enough to get a room on the fifth floor (#511) with a nice sea view and a generously sized private balcony.
Ah-ha so if you own a room higher up than the fifth floor, your view will cancel out more of that overpass. The rest of you hotel guests will have to deal with the overpass.
· Nice hotel, view overlooking Mediterranean, near casino [Real Travel]
· Hotel Mirabeau Reviews [TripAdvisor]