Elegance and the finest possible setting for the barefoot luxury brigade.
Away from Monaco centre, the villa-style spot curves round a rocky headland, its feet in the sea, its mind on a simple life refined for the exacting.
In truth, the Beach isn’t quite in Monaco, but a few feet over the border in France. It has, though, belonged to the principality’s SBM (see [node:141323]) since 1929. Pre- and post-war, it became frightfully popular with raffish chaps and perky starlets. Its appeal should broaden, now it’s been completely re-designed by India Mahdavi.
She’s managed to keep a 1930s Côte-d’Azur vibe while allowing the place to fill with light and colour. The ochre-red exterior fits splendidly into the rugged, wooded promontory. Within, the lobby soars up in a swirl of white and high arched windows, belying the fact that, for Monaco, this is a relatively cosy spot: a mere 40 rooms and suites.
There’s a stripped-back, sunlit and sensual feel amid the blues and stripes, greys and whites of the rooms in question. On the walls, discreet outlines of female nudes fit the frame. (At least, I think so. I haven’t asked my wife.) You are indisputably by the seaside, but a seaside steeped in decades of frisky elegance and well-heeled decadence, rather than winkles and donkeys.
And all the rooms have the space in which to appreciate it, not least from their balconies. But, beyond, it’s the Med which provides the main décor. It’s glorious, like having access to your private slice of paradise. The light and sense of infinity infuse the whole place. What a glorious way to wake up. There is much to be said for mixing with the moneyed.
Should you be able to ease yourself from your balcony seat, you may oscillate between the Olympic-sized pool and private beach - before settling down once again at La Vigie restaurant pushing out over the rocks.
Or Le Deck bar and eatery, overlooking the pool. Or the brand new Elsa gastronomic outpost, all geometrical designs, maritime colours and fine Med food. Or, finally, the Sea Lounge for cocktails, fusion fare and moonlit dancing.
Naturally, there's a top-end spa to restore your soul, and other bits, to their rightful places. Then you may return to the fray - of sea, sun and shameless indulgence. You might even park the nippers at the kids' club on the beach. This will release you to be raffish or perky, according to your inclination.