How I end up at MONTE CARLO Grand Prix

Monte Carlo 2 - www.alinavlad.com

The Monte Carlo Grand Prix was the highlight of my weekend in Cannes.

It wasn’t just Formula 1 and the clubs that made me excited about Monaco. There was another place I did want to see it for a long time: Monte Carlo.

I was dazzled and amazed at every turn! From the historic old town to the stately Prince’s Palace and the famous Place du Casino, here you can discover the rich history of the Grimaldis and the Principality. Monte Carlo is home to legendary casinos, hotels, shops, gardens and nightlife!

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There are few destinations in the world as glamorous as Monaco.

It is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year, but it’s fair to say that the biggest draw comes in May, when the Formula 1 circus rolls into town. I never thought I would ever end up seeing the Formula 1 competition right in front of my eyes. I guess when you’re living with a man that is passionate about sport cars and all these men things, you get to go to Formula 1.

The Monte Carlo Grand Prix is an unique event that is as glamourous as the place it is. After all, where else can you see F1 cars racing along the same streets that regular drivers traverse throughout the year?

During the race we choose to stay and enjoy some drinks at famous Cafe de Paris, which was hopping with tourists and locals, gathered here all to see the races. The Brasserie du Café de Paris is the most well known setting for ‘rendez-vous’ in Monaco and the best spot to enjoy a good meal and Formula 1 race at the same time. The sound of the cars, the speed, the big names on the screen makes Formula 1 look very special.

While the race is the big draw, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Monte Carlo.

Don’t miss Café de Paris on the Place du Casino for an incredible time in Monte Carlo!

If the actual racing is not exactly your thing but you fancy visiting this distinguished event, then it’s better to visit towards the late afternoon. After the races the roads were re-opened and we partake in some super car spotting.

If you are feeling lucky, the Monaco Casino is located next door to Cafe de Paris.

It’s worth paying a visit just to experience the exquisite decor located inside. Built in 1863, the Casino has been designed around an atrium surrounded by 28 onyx columns, behind which the Salle Garnier, an Italian theatre decorated in red and gold is the veritable miniature replica of the Paris opera house. Every season, the most beautiful opera shows are staged here. Further on, the gaming rooms are decorated with stained glass windows, sculptures and unique allegorical paintings. 

After this we took a trip down towards the marina and stroll alongside the mega yachts. As the Grand Prix overlaps with the Cannes Film Festival some stars swap between the events. Keep your eyes peeled as you never know who you may seen. We walked past rows of luxury goods stores, through pleasant parks, alongside opulent old buildings that reminded me of those in Dubai.

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After we took some pictures in front of the Casino because it was already dark outside we popped into one of the most luxurious hotels I’ve ever seen.

The privately owned Hotel Metropole built in the Belle Epoque stylefirst welcomed guests in 1886 and defines the ultimate glamour of Monte-Carlo. Among its many well-known clients, the 5 star hotel has hosted Claudia Schiffer, Jennifer Lopez, Sting and Leonardo DiCaprio, who epitomise the hotel’s sophistication and prevailing chic. We passed the Rolls-Royce’s and Bentley’s in the driveway and we found a property that combines two Michelin-starred restaurants and interiors by Jacques Garcia, defining the spirit of Monte – Carlo like a scene out of a classic Riviera film. Entering through the hotel iconic boxwood ‘Arc de Triomphe’, we were lead to an equally impressive private Romanesque road flanked with Italian cypresses on both sides. I was simply captivated. Walking in the lobby, a sense of wonderment and charm immediately came over me. I felt like a James Bond film. The lobby interior was grand, filled with exotic woods, rich in muted tones with splashes of color, scents of fine oils, faint sounds of beautiful music, marble floors abounding and flowers from remote regions of the Earth. 

Dining at Buddha Bar is an experience guaranteed to be full of surprises. Those who expect to be served traditional Chinese food will be delighted by the wide range of innovative, appetizing and tasty dishes. Located in a former concert hall from the early 20th century, this venue successfully combines a historic architectural heritage with a decor inspired by the Orient. Restored and regilded with pilasters and cornices beneath a 7-metre high ceiling, Buddha Bar has a majestic feel to it. Yet under the gaze of the traditional giant Buddha, specially made in Asia, this subtle combination provides a setting of incomparable charm. Lounge and world music, mixed by their resident Dj is a key element of the Buddha Bar experience in Monte – Carlo. An acknowledged reference for over ten years, Buddha Bar has succeeded in establishing its musical trademark all over the world.

I recommend you Buddha Bar if u want to taste Monte-Carlo glamorous nightlife.

We were so busy all dancing, eating, talking and enjoying the evening that none of us wanted to go back to our hotel in Cannes until five o’clock in the morning.

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So it turns out that Formula 1 is pretty fantastic from up close.

And that while Monaco may be a blast from the past, there’s something to be said for watching Formula 1 cars racing in a city that is so glamorous.