Monte Carlo Beach Hotel
A glamorous, storied landmark since the 1920s, the low-slung terra-cotta Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, at Monaco
's easternmost border with France, still evokes the glory days of Monte Carlo when glitterati and high-society notables were frequent guests. The superb, all-organic restaurant Elsa (named after Elsa Maxwell, the American columnist and "hostess with the mostest" who was instrumental in attracting the beau monde to the hotel) is just one reminder of the glamour. The rooms, now airy and bright after a massive makeover directed by designer India Mahdavi, are prettily decked out with contemporary furnishings and Mediterranean-inspired colors and stripes—turquoise, white, brick red, and beige—and motifs that evoke Matisse and Cocteau. There’s also a definite nautical vibe, from the porthole windows to the terraces with panoramic views. Another big draw—both then and now—is the Olympic-sized heated seawater pool, open to guests and Beach Club members who swan around on weekends with their children in tow. Families can also take full advantage of the waterfront children’s club during July and August.