For a few months every year, a new luxury brand takes up residence in Suite 321 at Hotel de Paris. Most recently, Maserati has been handed the keys. Millie Walton takes the room for a test drive
There’s a slight moment of panic at Monte-Carlo beach club. My name is not on the list. Brows are furrowed and there’s a rustling of papers at the desk. “Does this help?” I pull out the black shiny credit card that I was given at check in to Hotel de Paris. There’s a torrent of apologies and I’m whisked to a prime sun-bed in a private cabana. All guests of the major hotels in the city are given the Cercle Monte-Carlo black card and apparently, it means everything in Monaco, namely: free entry to pretty much anywhere including the legendary casino and no bills. Well, there are bills, of course, but they come in one bulging envelope when you check out so you don’t have to carry round cash. That would be vulgar.
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I’m not actually here for the beach though, beaches aren’t what Monte Carlo’s about after all (there’s no actual sand at the beach club), but to experience the “true Maserati lifestyle”, which includes staying in the brand’s exclusive pop-up suite, driving round in a super slick Maserati GranCabrio (the keys come with the room) and waving around a black shiny credit card.
The room itself, or rooms (there’s the bedroom, large open plan reception area and bathroom) are geared, as you’d expect, to petrol heads with a wall time line tracking Maserati’s glorifying moments, glass encased models of sports cars and “car-friendly” coloured interiors, leathery greys, tarmac blacks, and muted blues. It’s by no means pretty in the Hotel de Paris lavish, decadent way, but its contemporary cool almost like an art gallery space rather than a room. Its decked out with top notch amenities – it’s the kind of place you’d die to invite your friends back to after a rowdy spin round the roulette table – a sound system by Bang & Olufsen , Bulgari bath products, shelves stacked with design books, a wide screen TV and two tiny silver espresso cups. There are flowers on arrival, chocolates and a large bottle of Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé champagne that’s best served with a feast of exquisite canapés (concocted by Alain Ducasse especially for the Maserati suite) on the balcony. Admittedly the view’s not quite perfect yet as the neighbouring wing of the hotel is undergoing a serious revamp, which is worth remembering if you’re admiring the sea view first thing in the morning as you might catch eyes with a curious builder, but if you angle yourself to the left and turn up the music, you hardly notice.
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Guests of the suite are also privilege to noticeably extra special treatment from the staff. The hotel’s Guest Relations Manager is on speed dial in case the mini bar runs dry and a housekeeper on stand by in case you feel faint half way through unpacking your suitcase.
When you venture outside room 321, the hotel’s 3 Michelin star, Le Louis XV by Alain Ducasse restaurant is completely worth the indulgence. I still dream about the melt-in-the-mouth tender lobster and intensely delicious chocolate soufflé (the waiter assures me the Grand Marnier is even better – it’s the house specialty). And if you hold back on the champagne, there’s no better time to drive round the twisting Grand Prix racetrack than at night. When you’re ready, your car’s waiting.
The suite is open until 30th September. Reservations: T +377 98 06 41 58.