Forget Paris. Next Stop Monaco!
Long a haven for glitz and glamour, Monaco is often cited as one of the most sought after destinations on the planet. With crystal clear blue waters, and virtually every conceivable luxury amenity, Monaco has fascinated destination seekers for generations. The question today is, which table do you roll the dice first at in the infamous Casino de Monte-Carlo and what will you buy first on the Avenue Princesse Grace with your winnings?
Monaco is the only destination where “every hour is happy hour” and where legendary fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, a close personal friend of the Princely family, heralded as his vision of “paradise”. With over 300 days of glorious weather a year, visitors will find The Principality exceeds such descriptions. Monaco has always been paradise, but the arrival of Princess Grace brought it Hollywood Glamour and began a love story between America and the French Riviera.
Regardless of the season, Monaco is always in vogue.
Monte Carlo TV Festival (MCTV)
To feel the bright lights of Hollywood in Monaco, mingle with world renowned celebrities and possibly catch a glimpse of Monaco’s Royal Family, the most fitting way to celebrate your stay in style is to attend the renowned Monte Carlo TV Festival (MCTV). The modern era of television and streaming channels of seemingly endless variety is at the forefront of modern living and connectivity, but before it was popular, Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III knew that the future of entertainment was on the small screen. So, since 1961, the most talented individuals in television and have gathered at an annual awards gala, the illustrious Golden Nymph Awards..
If timed correctly and your visit to Monaco gifts you the opportunity to mingle with the glitterati at MCTV, you will soon find that your vacation needs some R&R. That is why a day basking in the sun at Larvotto Beach is exactly where every Monaco newcomer should head next. Put on your most stylish swimsuit, pearls and cat-eye sunglasses to channel Princess Grace at the Principality’s most popular beach. While getting more than your daily dose of Vitamin D at Larvotto Beach, you can enjoy the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean while listening to the day's most heart pounding true crime podcast and sipping champagne at the beach hotspot, La Note Bleue. Dressing to impress is always expected, as “Perhaps the single most glamorous beach in the world is Monte Carlo's Larvotto Beach, where women may go without their bikini tops, but wouldn't dare to be seen without their jewels.” To fully picture what a day at the beach looks like, look no further than Princess Grace in To Catch A Thief basking under the Mediterranean sun in a beach lounge chair next to the debonair Cary Grant.
To Catch A Thief , Grace Kelly, Cary Grant © Paramount / Kobal / REX / Shutterstock
Carré d'Or district
If you find that you’ve packed light or forgot some wardrobe essentials - just head over to the Carré d'Or district where you will shop the same luxury stores Princess Grace did and find yourself in a global fashion hotspot.. Van Cleef & Arpels, Hermès, Chanel...you name it, it’s there. You’ll no doubt feel inspired to pick up some of Grace’s summer must-haves like capri pants, bandanas, and cat-eye sunnies or maybe even a chic turban to make an enduring statement.
Once you’ve had your shopping fill, make sure to stop for a quick bite or drink at the “beating heart” of Monaco, its Casino Square. This newly renovated iconic plaza is a must visit destination; made all the more celebrated by its frequent appearances in James Bond Films. The entire square oozes opulence from the luxury automobiles parked out front to the well-dressed and ritzy attendees. Whether it's to check out an opera or ballet, promenade through the park, or try your luck at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, you can’t pass up an opportunity to live lavishly in style like James Bond would.
The Monte-Carlo Red Cross Gala
Let's not forget to take a page from Princess Grace’s playbook and support one of her favorite causes, the Monte-Carlo Red Cross Gala. Decadence and philanthropy come hand in hand at this Red Cross fundraising event that serves to aid those in need at an international level.“Inside the Extravagant Charity Gala Grace Kelly chaired for 24 Years” that InStyle magazine appropriately named “an evening of unparalleled glamour”, if you can get a ticket to this one of a kind event, you’ll enjoy an evening along the water inside the Monte-Carlo Sporting’s Salles des Etoiles with superbly over the top entertainment and food.
Princess Grace Rose Garden
And for all of the Grace Kelly lovers out there, be sure to promenade through the Princess Grace Rose Garden. This peaceful oasis imbues the senses with over 300 varieties of Roses (Grace’s favorite flower), olive trees, and serene water installations. As tempting as it may be, don’t pick any of the roses to take home as a memento, we’re guessing the Principality would frown on that behavior.
Monaco Yacht Show
As you’ve celebrated the summer in style, the only way to appropriately top it off is with the famed Monaco Yacht Show. Take an afternoon off to marvel at some of the largest and most luxurious boats in the world. After all, it was 64 years ago that Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier capped off the “Wedding of the Century” and the newly crowned Princess set sail aboard the Prince’s yacht for an 8-week honeymoon at sea.
It doesn’t hurt to fantasize about embarking on your very own Monaco romance.
Credits: @SeeMonaco, @SeeMonaco, Princess Grace Foundation, Princess Grace Foundation, Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo,© Jean-Marc Bernard, CNN International