We've just returned from Le Meridien Beach hotel in Monaco. I booked a couple of nights for my partner's 50th birthday as a surprise. OK, it wasn't cheap, but if I wanted cheap I wouldn't have gone to Monte Carlo!
This hotel, while not in the 'heart' of things, is only a 15 minute walk from the marina. As the weather in October in Monaco is nice, this was no problem. It has its own small shingle beach, very very clean everywhere. The pool area is beautiful and again spotless.
I agree with previous comments about reception - staff not particularly friendly or smiley, but very professional. During our stay there was obviously a very large conference being held as they have a conference centre attached to the hotel. This wasn't a problem for us, but I think the staff were run ragged!
Breakfast is served until 10.30am every day which was a good point for us, not having to get up early. It's buffet style with hot and cold options - if you don't book B&B you would have to pay from 35 euros for this priviledge (or same price for room service) - and it is NOT worth that money! However, it was lovely sitting outside overlooking the sea having breakfast and coffee. Another nice touch was the voucher in the room for a free coffee each per day, so if you do miss breakfast you can at least get a drink in the morning as they don't provide a kettle in the rooms.
Each room has a mini bar - they ask for your credit card and provisionally put 200 euros on it in case you clear the bar! We used two bottles of Evian - and I was charged 16 euros on check out! I would therefore recommend you buy water from the Casino supermarket down at the marina. They do provide you with a small complimentary bottle of water each day but that is just not enough really.
The beds are very comfortable. The room was furnished beautifully and modern. We had a balcony but because we overlooked the main road (also had a sea view) it was a bit noisy so had to use the air conditioning of a night time instead of leaving the balcony doors open. They provide all the usual toiletries including shampoo and conditioner - perfect for us ladies with only hand luggage! Hairdryer is also provided. We had a rather nice wide screen TV in the room with a variety of channels including some English ones.
Apart from breakfast we didn't eat at the hotel. Monaco is expensive but there are lots of restaurants and bars on the marina. There was a lovely italian where we had a meal on the first night which was about 10 minutes from the hotel. Quite reasonably priced. A bottle of Orvieto cost 20 euros.
I would warn people that drinks in Monaco are stupidly priced. Three pints of beer on our first day cost us 18 euros on the marina. Round the back streets is no better - 13 euros for a beer and a small coffee!! Food I would say is priced similarly to the UK, so no real shock.
If you enjoy walking, everything is in easy reach of Le Meridien. We walked to the Palace (not for the faint hearted as it is quite a way up a hill but worth it just for the view!), the Aquarium, right round the marina and got the water bus back across for just a few euros (probably the best priced thing the whole stay!) The sights of Monaco are superb - Ferraris go past like Mondeos in the UK! Walking the streets you can clearly see where the Grand Prix is held - road markings and tire marks permanent reminders.
The Marina is also something else. Some of the privately owned yachts are like mini cruise liners.
If you are after a Casino, the Casino of Monaco is worth a visit but they do not offer poker. The Fairmont does, but the buy in was ridiculous! Behind the Meridien is another hotel which also has a casino (we found this out on our last day!) and they hold world poker tournaments there. This casino is also open to anyone.
Casino square is a must see - the Cafe de Paris and Hotel de Paris on either side, with various stores lining the side streets such as Prada, Van Cleef. Be prepared to spend a lot of money! Would I change anything about my stay? Not really - maybe pick a hotel nearer the marina for the time of year we went. All in all, Le Meridien was perfect for a couple of nights to explore Monaco but we couldn't have afforded to stay longer!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located in the heart of Monte-Carlo, Le Méridien Beach Plaza is the only hotel with a private beach with direct access in Monaco. Le Méridien Beach Plaza offers limitless possibilities to explore the city of Monaco. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel Monte-Carlo
- Meridien Monte Carlo
- Le Meridien Monte-Carlo
- Monte-Carlo Le Meridien