Perched above the seafront on a steep curved road, the Fairmont is not the place for uber-stylish rooms (most are identical but vary in size and view), and tends to attract groups, conventions, or business travelers. The hotel lobby is always humming with activity, thanks to the 24-hour bar-restaurant and the clanging slot machines of the Sun Casino, but more refined pleasures are not hard to find, beginning with the recently-opened Japanese restaurant Nobu. Other highlights include the Willow Stream Spa, where you can snack on healthy bento boxes in the post-treatment rooms or visit the in-house hairdresser or make-up artist to prepare for an evening on the town.
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Located midway between Casino Square and the Larvotto beach strip, and an easy walk to the harbor, the hotel is minutes away from the pretty Japanese gardens, the Grimaldi Forum, and the Villa Saubet for cutting-edge seasonal art shows. The surrounding area offers an international array of restaurants and bars. Highlights include Song Qi, the Principality’s latest hot spot featuring Chinese haute cuisine from homemade dim sum to lacquered duck, dished up by Hong Kong–born, Michelin-starred chef Alan Yau. For affordable family-style Italian pasta dishes and pizza, locals go to Mozza for their unique mozzarella bar, which features a spread of delectable smoked, buffalo, and fresh cheeses.
Need to Know
Rooms: 602 rooms, 27 suites. From $305. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: An elegant night out awaits at the hotel’s recently opened Nobu, an airy dining room with sea views, a sushi bar, and specialties from black cod and yuzo miso to king crab with shiso salsa. For round-the-clock breakfast and bistro fare, Saphir 24 is a comfortable lobby-level lounge-restaurant surrounded by tall bay windows. All-day service also prevails at the seventh-floor Horizon-Deck Restaurant, with a dazzling view and a menu of fresh, contemporary Mediterranean-style fare. Spa and gym details: The sprawling top floor includes a small gym, and the Willow Stream Spa, adjacent to the pool, has eight treatment rooms. Therapies feature essential oils, and beauty products from Aromatherapy and Kerstin Florian. Don’t miss the trendy “high heel” offering to prepare your feet for the evening’s stiletto dress code.
Who's it for: Well-heeled business and leisure travelers, families, and late-night casino enthusiasts. Our favorite rooms: The four spacious, sunlit Grand Prix suites are a modern medley of blond wood, azure decor, and gleaming marble bathrooms. Indulge yourself: Take advantage of the hotel’s tranquil seventh-floor rooftop pool, which has a snazzy champagne bar. Here you can sip while gazing at the Garnier Casino and stretch of coast.