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by Lisa A. Grimaldi | May 01, 2011
Fast Facts

The Grimaldi Forum Monaco has 108,000 square feet of exhibit space, three auditoriums, 22 meeting rooms and is ISO 14001:2004 certified.

There are a total of 2,400 hotel rooms in the principality.

Monaco is a 25-minute drive from Nice Cote d'Azur Airport.

The tiny principality encompasses less than 5 acres, about the size of London's Hyde Park.

The population of Monaco is 32,000.

French is the official language here, while Italian and English are widely spoken and understood.

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With it's glam image and unique allure, Monaco did lose some luxe-shy U.S. meeting and incentive business in the past two years. But, according to the Monaco Convention Bureau, as the backlash against luxury events and destinations fades, the market is reviving. And to provide further incentive to groups considering the destination, the MCB has unveiled special group offers for meetings that will use the Grimaldi Forum convention center and a minimum of two hotels.

Among the promotions are a complimentary welcome reception and bus transfers between hotels and the appointed venue for a gala evening held within the principality.

Other incentives include a 10 percent discount on meeting space rental, a complimentary organizer's office and a compli­mentary coffee break at the Grimaldi Forum.

Participating hotels (see visitmonaco.com) are offering perks to meeting groups, too; among them: one free upgrade for every 30 rooms booked, one free room for every 50 rooms booked, a dedicated hospitality desk and a dedicated group coordinator.

Principality news Monaco's hotel classification system was updated last year to include a five-star category (matching France's new hotel classification system). As a result, four properties in the principality now have the top ranking: the 280-room Hôtel Hermitage, the 182-room Hotel de Paris, the 141-room Hotel Metropole and the 40-room Monte Carlo Beach.

A new dining spot, Café Llorca, has opened on the first floor of the Grimaldi Forum. The restaurant is the creation of celebrated chef Alain Llorca; architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte designed the space, based on the theme of olives, with liberal use of stone and wood. The eatery has an indoor bar, a room for private dining and a terrace bar offering a panoramic view of the Mediterranean. The cafe can accommodate 1,000 for cocktails and 500 for sit-down dinners.

Hotel news The Hôtel Hermitage has completed an extensive renovation. Among the enhancements: The property's breathtaking glass ceiling, created by Gustave Eiffel, has been restored; guest rooms and suites in the Midi and Costa wings have been renovated; and a new meeting venue, the 985-square-foot Eiffel Conference Hall, was unveiled. The Le Vistamar restaurant and Crystal Bar also have been refurbished.

At the 403-room Le Méridien Beach Plaza, the Atlantique Plenary room has been given a makeover by renowned French designer Tristan Auer. The venue, on the second floor of the hotel's Sea Club, accommodates 550. The four-star property has a total of 14 meeting rooms.