a pink diving board, a pool, parasols and deckchairs
a pink diving board, a pool, parasols and deckchairs
There may be more exclusive places on the islands near Cannes and in the bays around St Tropez and Capri, but summer isn’t summer without a little fix at the Monte Carlo Beach Club

If you are planning on visiting the French Riviera this summer and haven’t haven’t managed to book yourself a super prime villa or a suite at one of the luxury hotels, never fear. The Riviera is made or broken by your daytime waterside experiences and for that there is no place better than the newly refreshed Monte Carlo Beach Club.

Grey and wooden umbrellas and deckchairs on a beach

Ostensibly a part of the adjoining Monte Carlo Beach hotel, which sits on a rock overlooking the bay, the town and the mountains beyond, this huge complex combining an outdoor Olympic swimming pool, extensive terrace areas and cabanas, watersports and restaurants is open to any guests staying at the prestigious hotels owned by the Societé des Bains de Mer which runs most of the hospitality in Monte Carlo.

white umbrellas tables and chairs on a terrace overlooking the sea

But a little-known secret is that this social hub of the area is also open to all comers who book in advance and pay a daily fee. At €170 per person it’s a fraction of what you would pay for staying in a hotel nearby.

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So what do you get? A recent visit showed the facilities to be among the best, if not the best, of the entire Riviera. As well as the huge pool, with a separate lane for swimmers doing lengths, and two diving boards, vigilantly policed by lifeguards, there are lounges all around the pool and, more exclusively, cabanas on the lower terrace between the pool and the sea. You can also go parasailing, jet skiing or waterskiing and give yourself a booster of Domaine Ott rosé along with a tuna salad at the Terrace restaurant.

An orange building with a green tree in front of it

All of which makes for an excellent day or three out. But that’s not the whole story. When we have meetings with Monaco residents in summer, they tend to be at the beach club. Either on the terrace restaurant, or in the cabanas themselves. People-watching should be done subtly here so it doesn’t mark you out as a tourist.

Read more: Chef Ángel León: Ocean Sustainability Supremo

And please, no taking pictures of celebrity billionaires. But they are there, either chilling out for a day’s rest from the yacht, or taking a few hours out between meetings at the office, or simply on a day out with their family because their boat doesn’t have a swimming pool quite as big as this – nowhere else in the region does.

Grey and wooden umbrellas and deckchairs on a beach

The flipside is that, if you already know people down here, this is not the place to go unless you want to see and be seen. We were accosted four times by friends and business contacts and invited to various combinations of lunch, drinks and boat outings, when all we were trying to do was take advantage of the sports facilities and get some proper exercise. But whether you use it as a social or leisure destination, there’s nothing quite like it.

Find out more: montecarlosbm.com/monte-carlo-beach-club

Reading time: 2 min
Two cars

Original digital art by Mercedes-Benz at Design Essentials IV: The Art of Creating Desire

LUX stops off at the Mercedes-Benz Design Centre in Nice to hear about its latest projects – from EVs to NFTs, and everything in between 

Few places can evoke desire like the Cote d’Azur. Home to the world’s superelite and their superyachts, it is where the most exclusive communities migrate in summertime – and where the aspirational go to see them.

All of which made it a fitting backdrop for Mercedes-Benz’s latest Design Essentials instalment, ‘The Art of Creating Desire’. Presented between their Design Centre in Nice – a cylindrical, spaceship-like structure hidden in the pine forest of France’s tech hub – and the newly-opened Maybourne Riviera, the showcase featured the marque’s latest projects and outlooks on the future of luxury.


The Mercedes-Benz Design Centre in Nice

‘We aspire to design the most desirable cars in the world. With Design Essentials, we illustrate how we approach this privilege in concrete terms,’ explained Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener. ‘The venue – our Design Centre in Nice – plays a central role in this. I see it as a creative melting pot where we forge ideas for the luxury cars of the future.’

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That future, according to Mercedes-Benz, is digital. The marque has joined as the fifth and final founding member of the Aura Blockchain Consortium – a non-profit association of luxury brands investing in blockchain solutions for the industry – alongside LVMH, Prada Group, OTB Group, and Cartier, part of Richemont.

Car interior

Mercedes-Benz is expanding into in-car digital art experiences

‘Every product going forward will have a digital twin,’ explained Daniela Ott, General Secretary of Aura. ‘This is for all the use cases you can imagine, from traceability and provenance to resale and second-hand, NFTs and using the physical products you own in the metaverse’. In Mercedes’ case – the first and only premium automotive manufacturer to have joined the consortium – this means providing new digital art experiences both in-car and beyond.

Elsewhere, the marque is strengthening its commitment to the global fashion scene with the concept Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voiture, an S-Class reimagined through an haute couture lens. The car, which is expected to appear in 2023 in a limited release of 150 units, features a two-tone midnight blue and champagne exterior, and a nappa leather interior with bouclé fabric and gold trim.

Car interior

The limited edition Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voiture

We also had a sneak peek of the new Limited Edition Mercedes-Maybach. Soon to be available in a 150-unit run, the model was borne out of Project MAYBACH, the off-road EV concept created in collaboration with the late artist and fashion designer Virgil Abloh, which was presented at the Rubell Museum during Miami Art Week. The limited edition model marks the third and final collaboration with Abloh, whose Project Geländewagen set a benchmark for fashion and automotive collaborations in 2020.

Two cars

The Mercedes-Maybach by Virgil Abloh (left) and Project MAYBACH (right)

The grand finale took place over aperitifs at the Maybourne, where we were introduced to the Vision AMG, Mercedes’ new, all-electric sports car concept, slated for release in 2025. The car offers a preview of the all-electric future of Mercedes’ performance brand, having embarked on an electrification plan which will see electrified alternatives in every segment by the end of 2022, and an all-electric fleet by 2030.

Read more: Octopus Energy Founder Greg Jackson On The Green Revolution


The Mercedes-Benz Vision AMG

Speaking of the formal aspect of the Vision AMG, Wagener said, ‘it continues to write the history of the VISION EQXX and raises it to a completely new level’.

If the future really is electric, we want to do it in the Vision AMG.

Find out more: mercedes-benz.com

Reading time: 3 min
a painting of two women lying on the sand
a painting of two women lying on the sand

Milton Avery, Two Figures on Beach, 1950

In our ongoing online monthly series, LUX’s editors, contributors, and friends pick their must-see exhibitions from around the globe

Péjú Oshin, Curator

My recommendation is In the Black Fantastic curated by Ekow Eshun. The show is truly a visual delight bringing together eleven artists from across the African diaspora who use myth and fiction to question the world as we know it.

A painting of a woman

Lina Iris Viktor, Eleventh, 2018. © 2018. Courtesy of the artist

I’m drawn to the materiality of works and so appreciated the chance to take a deeper look at the work of many of my favourite artist including Ellen Gallagher, Hew Locke, Nick Cave and Wangechi Mutu who also created a stunning film in collaboration with Santigold which I was completely enamoured with.

yellow painting and horse sculpture

Installation view of Hew Locke worksm, In the Black Fantastic at Hayward Gallery 2022 © Rob Harris

Bonus tip – whether you’re new to exploring the visual arts or an afficiando you’ll want to get there early to spend enough time with the works. My first visit to the show was 1.5 hours before gallery closing and it I quickly realised with every vantage point something new was revealed within the work and I didn’t have nearly enough time. I’ll be back for another visit as well as spending time with the fantastic catalogue which I’d also recommend too.

Cj Hendry, Artist

I would recommend the The Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept. An exhibition of 63 intergenerational artists, opened April 6 across two floors of a building in the Meatpacking District.

A green sign with orange letters saying 'Save Time'

Jane Dickinson, Save Time, 2020

It’s the 80th edition of the Biennial with works in sculpture, painting and performance, from artists including Veronica Ryan, Yto Barrada and Alfredo Jaar.

a turquoise, orange, black and red abstract painting

Lisa Alvarado, Vibratory Cartography: Nepantla, 2021–2022

Anne-Pierre D’Albis Ganem, founder of Parcours-Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Co-founder of Spirit Now London

The best show in New York is Oscar Murillo at David Zwirner.

a canvas with blue, yellow, green and red squiggles on it

Oscar Murillo, Manifestation, 2019-2020

If you then find yourself in the South of France, you must visit Le Muy created by Jean-Gabriel and Edward Mitterand. They asked the designer, India Madhavi to decorate the house. The 15 hectares park was designed by the famous Louis Benech with white oaks and cork parks surrounded by nature.  The pool of the park is signed by the artist, Peter Kogler.

a swimming pool with black tiles

Pool designed by Peter Kolger at Domaine du Muy

The interior of the house is designed by India Madhavi with all her furniture. The palm is by the artist Guy Webb. The tiles were made by India for Bisazza.

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green seats in a lounge with black and white tiled floors

Interior design at Domaine du Muy

Read more: Marina Abramović: The Artist As Survivalist

LUX Editorial Team

Everyone knows the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show is one of London’s best cultural gem in the summer. This year, alongside it is a retrospective from across the pond: Milton Avery, American Colourist.

A painting of a beach from a green field

Milton Avery, Little Fox River, 1942

Collecting together portraits and landscapes from Maine to Cape Cod, the exhibition tracks the artist’s development over the 1930s-1960s. And what a fascinating period to span: watch Avery’s style develop and move towards expressionism. Avery was truly an artist’s artist, winning everyone’s respect from Mark Rothko to Barnett Newman. Worth visiting.

Reading time: 3 min