Since it’s opening in 1886, The Hotel Metropole has been known for being the most glamorous place in Monte-Carlo. Lucy Self ventures into the Principality of Monaco to catch a glimpse of an icon of luxury.

The word Luxury is almost extinct in our modern, facilitated existence where the Apple Watch is named as a luxury accessory and active influencers in the luxury market are under 20 years old.

Where mobile marketing and trendsetters, are the affidavits of style, and where Facebook is the most reliable reference to quality; where does true luxury belong in our modern world?

However occasionally we are reminded that luxury still exists and I found the remnants of a forgotten glamour of true style omnipresent whilst visiting The Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo. This hotel easily teleports visitors into a glamour of bygone days while retaining all the modern facilities of demanding jetsetters. Refinement, distinction and finesse are embedded in the DNA of this hotel at every level and it is no surprise when you learn that an astonishing team of tastemakers are behind the atmosphere: from Karl LagerfeldJacques GarciaDidier Gomez and Jöel Robuchon … a dream team of brilliant talent and accomplished savoir-faire: style is everywhere!

Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is the ultimate icon of luxury.

This is a grand hotel that has soul and history. Constructed in the wonderful era of the Belle Epoque towards the end of the 19th Century, one can easily understand how it became a backdrop for Edith Wharton’s ‘ House of Mirth’ who famously quipped: ‘The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it’. Nostalgia and beauty are emblematic in the design, reflecting outwards into the courtyard and the palace style of the facade, mirrored throughout the stunning interior design and transported with every reference in the hotel.

With 126 rooms it is almost a boutique hotel, compared to its lavish and flash competitors in Monaco. Yet, be under no mistake, though intimate in size The Hotel Metropole, hosts all the ‘jetsetters’ and of course all the local ‘important’ hushed conversations are conducted in the safety of this discreet hideaway. This is somewhere to be seen and not seen.

A breadth of elegance from the terrace of the suite Carrée d’or

Despite the chic glamour, the hotel is surprisingly cozy and it is easy to see why each nook of the hotel discreetly hosts comfortably ensconced visitors soaking up the atmosphere and culinary delights or recovering from a slight detour of shopping in the luxurious Metropole Shopping Center conveniently lurking underneath (and offering advantageous benefits for hotel guests). The Hotel Metropole is every woman’s fantasy…. So while left unattended for a few hours by husbands on business, the choice of activities is heavenly. From the luxurious ESPA spa, designed as an ‘Haute Couture’ experience, to the Odyssey restaurant by the pool where Lagerfeld’s fans, can savour his aesthetic signature in the designs of the Homère, Ulysse and Pénélope salons and throughout the fascinating photographic fresco’s on glass screens that are dedicated to the myth. Reflecting the mellow grace of the hotel, the seawater pool in the midst of the bustle of the city center, is a secret hideaway.

Poolside view from the Odyssey restaurant at night.

And then, there are the culinary delights! The Hotel Metropole has four different restaurants and each is a journey in itself as Jöel Robuchon, the most awarded Michelin Star chef, who is behind the creations of these restaurants! After the Odyssey experience comes Yoshi, the Japanese equivalent of a celestial experience or a luxury Shinto gastronomic shrine! Then there is Jöel Robuchon Monte-Carlo, the 2 Star Restaurant, with its diligent service, exquisite dishes, evokes a welcoming atmosphere that is both enchanting and engaging.

Dining area exudes refinement and serves Joel Robuchon’s signature dishes.

So it is in the heart of Monte-Carlo that a true subjective reality lurks: an experience that cannot be defined by a price tag, marketing campaigns or simple reviews… For within the millionaire’s playground lies a true gem where one can find a genuine luxury experience that is the epitome of discretion and elegance.