Your Guide to the Haute Places in Monaco

In Monaco there seems to be a million things to do: beaches, waterfront promenades, fancy and not-so-fancy restaurants, window shopping, casinos, and luxury car gazing. Here is just a short list of what the little principality can offer.

An evening out usually starts with cocktails and aperitifs. Fancy a Bellini at American Bar In the Hotel de Paris or take it easy with a beer at Irish pub, then move to have dinner at Avenue 31, and after getting calories in go ahead and spend them dancing. Lounges are the next on the list. Summer fun is at Sea Lounge where under the clear sky watching waves and feeling the breeze you can chill, listen to music, order bottles of Champagne or wine that glamorously arrive accompanied by sparkles of small fireworks (the bigger the bottle the more the glamour). Wear more or less comfortable shoes. There are sand and wooden floors but please don’t wear anything too casual. Monaco does have a certain dress code than means no shorts and sandals for men (who want to enter respectable hangouts) and high heels for ladies (advised, but nice flats would work too of course, just no flip-flops)

From Sea Lounge the crowd usually moves either straight to Jimmy’z, a famous dance club that hosts great deejays and eager spenders all night. Or party goers head to the very famous Sass cafe to check out the scene. If you choose Jimmy’z, please, note that it doesn’t make sense to come there before 1:30 or 2 a.m. and reservations are recommended especially in the summer and during events. Forget about it for Grand Prix unless you have thousands of Euros to spare. Tables start at around 2,500 Euros but realistically you face a minimum of 5,000-plus Euros damage.

If you don’t feel outdoorsy enough for Sea Lounge, venture out to either newly opened Buddha Bar (for dinner and drinks after), Zelos, or Black Legend, which offers fine dining with live music, and, same as Sass Cafe, transforms into disco after midnight. Sass often is more fun but all tastes differ. Another lounge to consider is Black Diamond. The rumors are that karaoke is about to be opened there. We are looking forward to it as so far Monaco hasn’t spoiled us with this highly entertaining activity.

A little about costs: under normal circumstances, a table at Jimmy’z would run anything up from 400 Euros depending on the size of the bottle you order and size of a table. This includes one medium bottle of vodka (Grey Goose) with all condiments such as sodas, cranberry ands orange juice, water, etc. Tips are recommended, starting at 10 percent. Sass tends to be somewhat less pricey but as you add up dinner costs, a group of four would spend about 500 to 600 Euros. The best tables for dancing are inside around the dance floor although in the summer it is a little hot inside in spite of air conditioning. Zelos and Sea Lounge could be less burdening affairs costing around 200 to 300 Euros per night for a group of three to four people with drinks or a bottle. Monaco is an epitome of luxury spending so be prepared and don’t be cheap.

For hungry all-nighters Le Meridien Hotel, Fairmont, and a place called Tip Top will provide food early in the morning (Le Meridien is the best of all three in my modest opinion) but don’t count on too many establishments. Restaurants don’t stay open 24 hours like in the Big Apple, Moscow, Tokyo or other party towns that never sleep. Taxis are scarce too during high season, which means walking a lot, so the best suggestion would be don’t get frustrated by the inefficiencies and enjoy partying and international ambiance. For ladies may I suggest having just-in-case flip-flops in your Birkin.