The Salle Garnier
reopens in November
after a two-year restoration.
Following the death this past April of His
Serene Highness Prince Rainier III, who had reigned over Monaco for
more than half a century and is credited with transforming the
principality into a well-heeled, glamorous destination, Monaco
today is in a period of transition, both political and
A new monarch, Prince Albert, assumes his father’s post this
month, as of July 11. Meanwhile, on the hospitality side, new
hotels are coming on board, along with other enhancements to the
principality’s meetings offerings.
An initiative has been launched to entice large meetings of
1,800 room nights or more, for which the government will sponsor
the following: bus transfers within Monaco for an evening function,
a champagne cocktail reception, and (subject to availability)
private visits to the state apartments at the palace and art
exhibitions at the Grimaldi Forum, the primary meeting and
convention venue in Monaco.
In May, the government announced it would extend its guaranteed
meetings and incentives packages, priced in U.S. dollars, for
programs held through the end of 2006. (The principality’s currency
is the euro; at press time, one euro equalled approximately
US$1.22.) Ten properties are participating in the offer, although
package details differ somewhat.
In other news, the glittering Salle Garnier, home of the Opera
Monte-Carlo, will reopen in November following a two-year, US$34
million restoration. The landmark building, designed by renowned
19th-century architect Charles Garnier, opened in 1879. The venue
is available for private group events of up to 500 people.
Joining the Société des Bains de Mer’s portfolio of
hotels, which includes the Hotel Hermitage, Hotel de Paris and
Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, is the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
The property, opening in October, will have a business center, 10
meeting rooms (all offering impressive ocean views), a
2,700-square-foot function room and a 4,320-square-foot banquet
hall with its own kitchen. Guest rooms will feature Wi-Fi or cable
Internet connections as well as 42-inch flat-screen
Among the amenities at the new property: a 320-foot
sand-bottomed swimming lagoon; the Spa des Cinq Mondes, with 12
treatment rooms, a fitness club, a yoga room, a Turkish bath and a
beauty salon; three restaurants and four bars, and a casino
featuring 150 slot machines and its own helipad.
The adjacent Sporting Monte-Carlo, an event venue also
operated by the Société des Bains de Mer, has two additional
restaurants, Alain Ducasse’s Bar & Boeuf and The Fuji.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has taken over management of the
former Monte-Carlo Grand Hotel and renamed it the Fairmont
Monte-Carlo. The 619-room property has 18 meeting rooms, three
restaurants, three bars and a fitness center. It is the
Toronto-based chain’s first venture in Europe.
In January, Le Méridien Beach Plaza Monte Carlo completed its
Cristal Concept project, which added two glass towers east and west
of the main building, creating a new lobby, a restaurant, a bar
and 66 additional guest rooms, for a total of 403.
And yet another new property is coming to the principality: the
219-room Novotel-Monaco, near the train station and the Place du
Casino; it will be completed in 2007.