It all started with the dream of François Blanc, “a hotel that surpasses anything that has ever been created before”. In 1864 the Hôtel de Paris was built on the Spélugues plateau in front of the brand new casino that would lay the foundations for the resort, while Monte Carlo timidly began to take shape.
The challenge was crazy but clear, and fully backed by Prince Charles III, the Société des Bains de Mer and the Cercle des Etrangers, as well as Blanc himself: to transform a place where olive and lemon trees grew into a haven of play and luxury. The international glitterati locked to see for themselves the new face of the Principality, and they were all welcomed by the crème de la crème of hotels.
The history of Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo is studded by visits from prominent artists and personalities, from Alexandre Dumas to Winston Churchill, from Charlie Chaplin to Maria Callas, from Salvador Dalì to Pierce Brosnan in the guise of James Bond during the filming of GoldenEye. And of course, from the 1950s, high society were always dropping by to visit Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.
As in 1909 when the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, one of the original Leading Hotels of the World, changed its look to take on the current Belle Époque architecture, today it writes a new page in its history to perpetuate the legend of the art du bien vivre. The interior spaces and bedrooms, the creation of two exceptional suites and the launch of Alain Ducasse’s new restaurant have been the protagonists of this metamorphosis.
A four-year staged renovation, which ended with the grand reopening in December 2018, has turned the hotel into a true green lung in the heart of the city. The lobby has direct access to the new internal open-air patio, while the iconic equestrian statue of Louis XIV sports a distinct shiny patch, following years of superstitious gamblers rubbing the horse’s knee for good luck.
A hidden gem of the Hôtel de Paris is the underground wine cellars dug beneath the hotel in 1874 and based on the model of a Bordeaux cellar that supplies all the facilities of the resort. They occupy a total of 1,500 square metres and hold 350,000 bottles distributed over 1.5 kilometres of shelving.
With its staircase, lobby melodies, divine smelling halls and the carousel of the Place du Casino, where you can see and be seen, the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo offers the opportunity to live an experience different from any other.
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by Caterina Gigli