Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort

1 Mar 2006 by business traveller
What's it like? A luxurious addition to Monte Carlo's hotel scene, which has itself recently undergone much updating. The Monte Carlo Bay is situated on a 9-hectare peninsula of reclaimed land and, with plenty of space and calm it has more the feel of a retreat compared with the urban charm of the Principality's older, traditional hotels. It has good business facilities, making it a good choice for business travellers taking along their families.

Where is it? On the Larvotto peninsula, a five-minute drive from central Monte Carlo. Nice International Airport is 15 miles away and can be reached in 7 minutes by helicopter (a helicopter pad is planned for the grounds of the hotel) or in 45 minutes by road.

How many rooms? 334 (including 22 suites) across 11 storeys. All rooms have private balconies and 70 per cent have sea views.

Room Facilities Standard rooms feel spacious at 35sqm and have modern decor in soft shades of terracotta, yellow or lavender. Bathrooms have a separate bath and large shower, electronic safe, and tea and coffee-making facilities. There are 77 larger rooms (41sqm), some of which are corner rooms, which have great views. Broadband internet is available both wired and wireless (E12 per hour or E25 for 24 hours) and through the TV, which has 32 satellite and radio channels (there are speakers in the bathroom so you can listen to music while in the bath).

Restaurants and Bars The hotel's principal restaurant is modern, stylish Le Blue Bay, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which serves delicious international cuisine and has an open kitchen where the kitchen staff work calmly and quietly. The pleasant surroundings of L'Orange Verte are good for alight lunch, while Il Baretto serves snacks, including superb sushi.

There are four bars, the best of which is Le Blue gin bar, which is decked out in a nautical theme in blues and browns and has an outdoor terrace with excellent sea views. It attracts a lively, trendy crowd in the evenings. For party goers, the famous (and expensive) nightclub Jimmyz is right outside the hotel.

Business and Meeting Facilities The first floor has 10 meeting rooms of up to 89sqm, plus a 400sqmballroom at garden level. The rooms have full audiovisual capabilities and natural daylight. There is also a business centre (open all day although reception can help at other times), which offers a full range of business services.

Leisure Facilities The Spa des Cinq Mondes is huge and occupies the lower floor next to the swimming pool. Facilities include 12 treatment rooms, a gorgeous Turkish bath, yoga room, beauty salon and gym and provides an excellent supplement to Monte Carlo's spa collection. The swimming pool is part-indoor and part-outdoor and unusually, there is also a 100-metre long sand-bottomed lagoon outside (it was a little too chilly for me to try in November). The hotel plans to provide a jetty for swimming in the sea. The outdoor areas are pleasant and well sculpted with plenty of terrace space for sunbathing. And being in Monte Carlo, the hotel has a casino – bright red and kitsch – off the lobby with 150 fruit machines, if you can't face staggering to Casino Square.

Verdict Best for its facilities rather than its atmosphere, but it's an excellent all-round hotel for business and leisure.

Prices Telephone rates for a midweek stay in March started at €500 (£342) fora superior room rising to €750 (£513) for a suite. Special group rates are available.

Contact Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, 40 Avenue Princesse Grace, Monte-Carlo, MC 98000, tel +377 98 06 02 00, montecarlobay.com.

Sarah Maxwell

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