Did you know that there are only two 3-star hotels for MICE in Monaco? During my stay I had the pleasure to stay at both of them and here I bring you the exclusive review for MICE as well as a surprise unique venue for special events.
On my second night in Monaco I stayed at the Columbus Monte-Carlo hotel, a boutique hotel with 181 rooms, 4 conference rooms and one breakout room. It has a very cosy, modern and stylish atmosphere. The Columbus Hotel doesn’t belong to a hotel chain but belongs to the same company which also owns the Fairmont Monte-Carlo and other hotels around the world. The hotel can be completely privatised. During the hotel tour I’ve been told that a major international company privatised the hotel and used some of the rooms as show rooms. The sad truth for business travellers is that we barely spend time in the hotel so again I missed on using any of the facilities such as the gym or the swimming pool.
The hotel does not have an on-site restaurant, but they have good partnerships with local restaurants and possibility to bring external catering. The maximum capacity in the biggest room, Roseraie, for banquets is 100 and 140 delegates for cocktails.
The hotel is a bit outside the central tourist area, but anything in Monaco is really far away, and if you’re attending a conference at the Grimaldi Forum, the local bus will take you there in about 10 minutes. I had again a stunning sea view as well as over the Princess Grace Rosegarden and the Monaco hills. From my room I could also see the Héliport de Monaco and occasionally the helicopters arriving and departing. A bit of a James Bond feeling.
View over the Héliport de Monaco
View from my room
Car Collection of Prince Albert II
I have another tip for you. Just 5 minutes walking distance from the hotel is the iconic Car Collection of Prince Albert II. Prince Rainier of Monaco started this collection in the palace in the late 50th as private and later on decided to open it to the public. This is also when the collection grew that it needed a larger space, which is the museum today. Prince Albert II continued the tradition and to date the collection is constantly evolving, cars are sold and added occasionally. Some cars are taken for international exhibitions and others are driven on major events. I was very impressed that all the cars are in a good shape.
While during daytime the museum is open to the public, in the evening the space can be privatised for events. It can accommodate up to 600 for banquet and 800 delegates seated. I’m not a car fanatic, but I spent over an hour in the museum, listening to all the stories of some of the iconic cars, by whom it was driven and on what occasions. Monaco has so much history and stories about the Prince’s Palace and the Grimaldi family and all the celebrities who host events there. You just want to pick up on all the details from stories associated with the venues, and believe me there are lots!
And of course there is a section dedicated to Grand Prix cars, on the walls you can see some retro adverts from 1929 and onwards. Today many associate Monaco with this event, so definitely worth to visit!
Since the cars are ordered in historical sequence, the final bit is about electric cars and innovative designs.
Type of events that can be held at the venue include ceremonies, gala dinners, product launches and awards.
On the fourth and last night I stayed at the Novotel Monte Carlo. I arrived to the hotel after a full day of meetings in Monte Carlo and the check- in went quickly and smoothly and again, I barely could spend time in the room because I had another meeting scheduled and dinner.
Opened in 2007 (it was a radio station before), is a very modern hotel with 218 rooms with stunning views over the harbour (am I repeating myself too much?) It has its own restaurant and a bar as well as 12 meeting rooms. Again it’s slightly out of the main tourist zone, but nothing is too far in Monaco actually and you can walk to the Grimaldi Forum (about 20 minutes) or there are sometimes transfers organised.
The biggest room for events in theatre style can accommodate up to 200 delegates.
The hotel is a very business-like and corporate in comparison to all the other three I stayed at, even the breakfast is served only until 9.30am, I guess because of the business nature of the hotel. As a business traveller you don’t have too much time to spend in the room anyway.
As you can see on the photos, all the event spaces can greatly benefit from the daylight, very modern and stylish.
Hope you enjoyed the post and got some more venue inspirations. Of course that’s not all and I have some more venues to show you in the next posts! If you have questions about the venues or would like to share your experience, please don’t hesitate to share it in the comment section below.
Have a fabulous weekend!
Read more posts about Monaco on The MICE Blog.
All photos: © The MICE Blog