Le Méridien Beach Plaza Monte Carlo, Monaco
The big draw is the private beach – the only one within Monaco. The principality’s best-value seaside hotel is a summertime haven for energetic holidaymakers who parasail by day and rub shoulders with the stiletto-and-kaftan-clad Monégasques at the Amber Summer Lounge by night.
Set in Monaco’s upscale Larvotto district, Le Méridien Beach Plaza scores on its enviable beach-side location. Restaurants, shops and nightclubs are within 100 metres, while the Grimaldi Forum and the Japanese Garden are within a five-minute walk. Central Monte Carlo with its casino square is a 20-minute walk.
This modern resort hotel is all about dipping your toes in the sand while gazing at the Mediterranean Sea over an evening cocktail. Dreamy views aside, the contemporary interiors are going for a hipster vibe combining bright fabrics with angular metal-legged furniture.
The facilities are second to none. First, you’ll find a sheltered cove with a golden-sand beach dotted with recliners, a summertime massage tent and a water sports station with everything from jet skiing to banana riding. Then there are two outdoor heated pools curving around umbrella pines. Finally there’s the glass-fronted Sea Club with two floors of impressive conference and fitness facilities including cardio-training room and an indoor fresh-water pool where you can try Aqua Gym. The concierge team is friendly and efficient if a little rushed off their feet in summertime.
The well-designed rooms come with plush fabrics and comfortable beds, as well as luxurious touches such as slippers and natural bathroom products by New York-based apothecary Malin & Goetz. Classic rooms have drab city views, so it’s worth upgrading to a Deluxe Room to enjoy the sea views from the balcony. The higher the floor, the more dramatic the view. Some rooms have the bonus of a dual Monaco and sea vista: ask for rooms 909, 910, 911 or 912. A renovation of all bedrooms will be complete by 2018. In the meantime, the newly renovated 10th-floor rooms have light-infused bathrooms with opaque glass panels.