When the new district of Monte-Carlo was introduced in 1863, Monaco created the world’s first ‘integrated resort’. The Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Hotel de Paris were the first establishments to open their doors to the first patrons, from the aristocracy of Europe.
The most famous architects, decorators and artists were commissioned and the art of hospitality was ensured by the most prestigious hoteliers and chefs of the time. Soon after, Charles Garnier built the Opera House. The Hotel Metropole, the Hotel Hermitage and the first Thermal center added to the 5 star offering defining Monte-Carlo.
The Casino was enlarged several times to meet the pace of its ever growing success with the rich and famous of the era. Today, the myth of Monte-Carlo has been fascinating the world for more than 150 years.
CASINO DE MONTE-CARLO
One of Europe’s most remarkable example of Belle Epoque architecture, the entrance of Casino de Monte-Carlo is made up of a wrought iron marquee, leading you to a magnificently designed atrium still boasting on each side of its ceiling the original XIXth century frescoes, representing romanticized views of the natural landscapes that existed around Monte-Carlo.
Although more relaxed nowadays, a dress code still applies: shorts, mini skirts and sandals are forbidden in the communal rooms and jackets are required for the salons. All visitors – gamblers or not – must be over 18 years old.
Every morning, private visits in small groups can be organized and guided by a historian. Prior booking is required through the website or by phone +377 98 06 06 21.
HÔTEL DE PARIS MONTE-CARLO
If the Monaco experience begins with selecting the hotel, Hotel de Paris offers one of the finest accommodations to have housed famous personalities since 1864. With its monumental façade that glistens with special lightning at night, it is incontrovertibly one of the highlight attractions in the country.
Elegant suites overlooking the Casino harmonize perfectly with the marble colonnades and the many crystal chandeliers adorning and illuminating the hotel interior.
Located on the Place du Casino, guests can enjoy the unique Monegasque essence here, in addition to ending an unforgettable evening by watching the sunset from one of the hotel’s elegant balconies.
THE WINERY THAT SURVIVED THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Possibly the largest asset of the hotel are its wine cellars. 6 meters under ground level lie the biggest wine cellars in a hotel in the world with a surface of nearly 1500 square meters or the equivalent of a 1 kilometer long wine rack!
The vision of Marie Blanc, wife of the founder of the Société des Bains de Mer, the wine cellars were inaugurated in 1874 and where originally a place where vintage wines arriving from Bordeaux were bottled.
During World War II a part of the cellars was sealed off by a wall consisting of seven layers of bottles behind which 20.000 precious vintages were hidden, eluding seizure: the treasure of the wine cellars was thus protected.
Once peace was restored at the end of 1945, the reopening of the wine cellars was entrusted to a prestigious client, Sir Winston Churchill and an old 1811 rum was cracked open for the occasion. This bottle is exposed today in the Marie Blanc Museum along with many rare vintages preserving not only part of Monaco’s history but also of the world. Private hire is possible for exclusive and unforgettable wine tastings, cocktail parties or dinners.
Find out more here.