Marianne McNulty, CMP, CTIE of Clever Concierge LLC, has these tips for the Monaco-bound:
“The best advice I can give you is to align yourself with a great DMC to reign in the remainder of the costs. I can highly recommend Allied-Monte Carlo. I am working with Clemence right now on an FIT in Monaco in two weeks.
“In Monte Carlo I have used both the Hotel de Paris (doesn't get much more James Bond than that!!!) and the Le Meridien Beach Resort. The Hotel de Paris has a special "cask room" down in their private cellars which can hold up to 30 people and is a prefect intimate setting.
“We staged a gala in the Prince's Car Museum, dining amidst the famous collection of Prince Rainer. Other classic venues include the marvelous Cafe de Paris—located in the Casino Square, across from the casino and the Hotel de Paris. It has a rooftop private area that is both enclosed and under the stars, with a view to the Square itself and all the glamorous people who populate it. Downstairs, there are many opportunities for gaming outside of the formal Casino and the main restaurant of the Cafe de Paris itself.
“Monte Carlo is very walkable, so allowing plenty of time to walk and explore is good. One evening, we gave guests money for a dinearound (set up by a DMC rep at the hospitality desk; for two mornings they suggestions and called for reservations). If the guests exceeded the sum we gave, they had to dig in to their own pockets.
“There is a marvelous venue up on the hillside outside of Monaco, called "La Ferme San Michel." It is a farmhouse on a family-owned and -operated farm, where they serves the most fantastic meal of fresh ingredients at long tables with aplomb and humor and musicians and family members' antics to entertain.
“We also staged a cocktail cruise to Villefranche sur Mer—a quaint little fishing village on the Cote d'Azur coast—where the guests disembarked into a waterfront restaurant called "La Mere Germaine" and had a stellar meal.
“Activities in Monte Carlo include a tour of the Prince's Palace and the Cathedral (where he and Proncess Grace are buried), changing of the guard, and lunch at Fredy's (internationally famous and tourist-y), etc. You can also have spa appointments as at Les Themes de Bain de Mer (or some facsimile on the name), which is the magnificent Spa hanging over the Mediterranean.
“Outside the city, try optional tours to St. Paul de Vence (a medieval walled city that is as picturesque and full of artists and shops and winding cobblestone roads leading around the cathedral and back); a day trip to St. Remy (which is actually across the border in Italy). It is outdoor stall shopping with knockoffs, etc., but guests love that they can say they went to Italy, too. On the way back to Monte Carlo, we made a stop at "Da Erio" which is a restaurant run by a former opera star who is usually present and often breaks out into song! We also had optional tours to Mougin - for a cooking class and to Grasse - to make their own perfume.
“For a VIP, don't miss the opportunity to transfer him by helicopter from the Nice airport to Monte Carlo—it's a very 007 rush! All others transfer by surface over the Corniche.”