Set back in a leafy area behind Casino Square and facing the sea, the sprawling, elegant Hotel Hermitage is a slightly less ornate alternative to the glittery fussiness of Hôtel de Paris, though it's equally steeped in neoclassic grandeur. Many of the rooms and suites feel more contemporary than the hotel’s hand-painted Belle Epoque frescoes and stained-glass winter garden lobby dome designed by Gustave Eiffel. Accommodations range from rooms with clean lines, soft colors, and walnut furnishings to the most sought-after suites, with private terraces and lovely sea views. Because of the hotel’s spaciousness, it's particularly well suited to families who want a touch of nostalgic glamour along with high-tech plasma screens and other modern amenities. The hotel’s V.I.K. (very important kid) program offers everything from a game room with activities to access to the private beach and pool for children.
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The centrally located Hotel Hermitage is a stone’s throw from all of the exclusive shops but also an easy walk to the portside Condamine, with its abundant choice of trendy, convivial bars and brasseries for relaxed informal dining with a view of the yachts. Another nearby option is the restaurant Le Saint-Benoit, which offers harbor views from its terrace and features everything from steak “Rossini” topped with foie gras to scampi and shellfish pasta dishes.
Need to Know
Rooms: 278 rooms, 86 suites. From $353. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: On a tranquil terrace overlooking the harbor, Michelin-starred chef Joël Garrault heads Le Vistamar, the place for exquisitely prepared seafood. Guests should try signature dishes such as salt-crusted sea bass with rosemary or poached lobster with fennel and vanilla, but there are also options for die-hard carnivores, like tender beef fillets. The Limun Bar, near the lobby, is where well-heeled locals and guests converge for tea, pastries, sandwiches, and cocktails. Come sunset, the place for a glass of grand cru is the Crystal Bar, designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon and decked out in soft earth tones and glittery Baccarat and Daum glass ornaments. Spa and gym details: The Principality’s latest pride and joy is the new $8.3 million refurbishment of the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, now fully equipped with a seawater therapy spa and a state-of-the-art cardio-training center. Guests have free access and can enter via a convenient indoor passageway.
Who's it for: Luxury travelers, couples, and families who enjoy tranquil Old World elegance and want to be a hop, skip, and jump away from Monte Carlo’s most exclusive boutiques. Our favorite rooms: From its spacious balcony, the Exclusive Sea View with Terrace offers close-up vistas of the port and the Rock. If price is not an issue, splurge for the vast deep violet and gold Diamond Suites, with private Jacuzzis. Getting around: With the Cercle Monte-Carlo card, you can take the free shuttle to the Monte-Carlo Beach Club and join the Hermès towel–toting, bronzed and beautiful crowd soaking up the rays. It also gets you a discounted entry at the Monte-Carlo Golf Club and the Monte-Carlo Country Club.