February 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)International Focus Monaco

Belle Epoch beauty: The Hotel Hermitage is getting bigger and better.
Belle Epoch beauty: The Hotel Hermitage is getting bigger and better.

There’s much to report on regarding the tiny, pristine principality of Monaco, nestled between France and Italy on the Mediterranean Sea.

As in most of Western Europe, the euro is now the official currency here.

The Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority has a new president, Michel Bouquier. The principality also will be served by a newly created body, the Cote d’Azur Convention Bureau. The organization was launched late last year; its goal is to promote the triad of Monaco and the neighboring French Riviera cities of Cannes and Nice for large conventions.

Expect to see cruise traffic on the rise; a new jetty in Monaco’s harbor allows the port to welcome more ships.

The 140-room Le Metropole Palace will close this September for an extensive six-month renovation. In addition to revamping all guest rooms, the property’s spa, restaurant, bar and meeting space will be refurbished.

The 619-room Monte Carlo Grand Hotel has two new meeting rooms; they accommodate 80 and 90 classroom-style, respectively. The property’s guest rooms have been upgraded to include interactive TV with Internet access.

The 400-room Le Méridien Beach Plaza is scheduled to reopen its 10th floor early this year. The 32 rooms have been upgraded to match the 11th-floor suites.

The Hotel Hermitage is undergoing a major renovation, expansion and refurbishment of its Beaumarchais and Princes wings. The project, slated for completion in April 2004, will add 63 guest rooms (for a total of 292) on two additional stories. Due to the renovations, the hotel’s Le Vistamar restaurant will be temporarily relocated within the property through May.

The 54-room Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel has a new meeting and function room, named Le Salon Eileen Gray. The venue, overlooking the property’s pool, accommodates up to 80 people for receptions and 40 for seated meals and events.

One of Monte Carlo’s most popular nightclubs, Jimmy’z, in the Monte Carlo Sporting Club, is now available to serve private functions for groups of 100 or more.

New properties
Societe des Bains de Mer, which owns and operates the Hermitage Hotel, Hotel Mirabeau, Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, Hotel de Paris and other venues, has a new Web site for planners at The organization is planning to build a new 330-room property in the Lavrotto district; completion is scheduled for 2005.

The newest property in Monaco is the 181-room Hotel Columbus, which opened in the principality’s Fontvieille district in 2001. The hotel has a small meeting room, which accommodates up to 20 people, and an auditorium that seats 90; it also features a gym and an outdoor pool.

• By Lisa Grimaldi IMAGE
Lisbon’s 194-room Pestana Carlton Palace Hotel, formerly the Palácio Valle Flor, opened last year. The main building, a national monument, was restored to its grand 19th-century ambience, and two wings were added to house the guest rooms. The property has 15 meeting rooms, a fitness center, formal gardens and an outdoor pool. (011) 351-291-209100; Back to Newsline
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