Positioned across from the sloping lawn of the belle epoque Monte-Carlo Casino, the 141-room Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo is opening a new pool bar and bistro this summer designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Everybody is talking about it. There’s going to be a 65-foot “fresco sculpture wall” with black and white photos created by the fashion icon, depicting models posing in various settings inspired by the epic voyages of Ulysses.
The photos will be etched into 15 back-lit glass panels with both male and female models languoring in various seductive poses, including Baptiste Giabiconi, the world’s highest paid male model and Lagerfeld’s #1 man muse.
When you walk in the front doors of Hotel Metropole, originally built in 1889, you’re greeted with a huge floral installation like a fragrant cherry blossom covered in soft pink buds. I'm here for afternoon tea in the lobby with light streaming in through large skylights above, illuminating the cherry blossoms and fresh scones from the Michelin 2-star Jöel Robuchon restaurant.
“People come here from the States because the Metropole is really like a large villa,” says Odile Firmin-Guion, as she hands me a cup of Gyokuro tea. “The privacy and intimacy we offer is very popular for many of our guests.”
I like how the hotel doesn't feel too old or pretentious. I'm somewhat surprised by that.
“Hotel Metropole attracts a younger crowd because it’s more hip and unstuffy,” says Firmin-Guion. “You don’t have to wear Chanel here.”