Yesterday we all went to Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo Beach Club was not open for visitors for its pool and spa area till mid-April. Its website informed us the opening date was March 6th. I booked the restaurant and asked if we could use the facilities in the spa, open to hotel guests, and now with familiar awkwardness I was informed “non”. Our driver Cyril, the fount of all knowledge whom Grania calls Siri after the Apple help tool, informed us the Monte Carlo Bay hotel had a year-round pool. Here we were were required to show our passport to use the facilities. Not thinking a passport was required to use a pool, I had another row but Polly as all good ‘p/a’s do resolved the situation as she had a copy of my passport on her mobile.
The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel is a large swanky hotel that befits a place known for its wealth, relaxed tax laws, casinos and Grand Prix. Many top sportsmen and women, virtually every top female tennis European player, Coulthard and Button and retailers like Sir Philip Green have taken up residency. Cyril explained that there are those who keep small flats inMonte Carlo and larger houses in La Turbie in France but recently the authorities have been tightening up on residency. Luciano Paverotti was one who was investigated and paid a fine.
It’s so built up with tower blocks of apartments that there is no land left. The sea is too deep to reclaim so they are constructing a peninsula. As we drove into the the centre we passed innumerable grand marque car show rooms and private banks. The place positively wreaks of wealth. Apparently the average price per square metre (€50) is the highest in Europe and to encourage a younger generation the municipality has introduced some form of social priority housing.
Our conclusion is that we were pleased to visit Monte Carlo but preferred the calm space and more discreet wealth of Cap Ferrat.