What's New in Monaco

With a renovated opera house and museums, Monaco's cultural prestige blossoms

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year recognizes those who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses. The program is held in more than 140 cities and in more than 50 countries. And for the past 11 years, country winners have gathered in Monte Carlo for the worldwide award ceremony.

This year’s event was held in Monte Carlo’s Salle des Etoiles concert hall. Featuring illuminated arches, huge bay windows, and a sliding roof, the space is one of the most spectacular in Monaco. 

“The Salle des Etoiles is a stunning venue,” says Nancy Clark, global program manager for the event. “We brought in Cirque du Soleil performers and opened up the roof for a fireworks display.” Another glamorous touch was the helicopter transfer from the airport in Nice. 

Part of the allure of Monaco comes from its variety of cultural and artistic venues. “Monaco is a destination that enables one to explore the visual, performing, and culinary arts,” says Cindy Hoddeson, director of meeting and incentive sales for the Monaco Government Tourist Office. 

By Royal Decree 
Many credit Princess Caroline of Hanover, a longtime champion of culture, with making the arts a priority. “It has been Princess Caroline who has pushed the cultural part of the story of Monaco to a very high level,” notes Marie-Claude Beaud, director of the Nouveau Musee National de Monaco (the National Museum). 

The National Museum is housed in two Belle Epoque spaces: Villa Paloma and Villa Sauber. With a focus on contemporary art, these newly redesigned facilities will each present two expositions annually and will spotlight the cultural, historic, and artistic virtues of the principality. While Villa Sauber is dedicated to exhibitions of art and performance, Villa Paloma explores the theme of art and territory. Both are available for small receptions or meetings of up to 30, while terraces can be used for cocktail receptions of up to 100 guests. 

The National Museum is collaborating with other facilities, including the Oceanographic Museum, which is expanding its horizons with an art show. “We’re always trying to form joint ventures. If we don’t work together with others like the Oceanographic Museum, the opera, the ballet, we’ll be dead,” explains Beaud. 

The Oceanographic Museum is known for its prestigious setting, historic collections, and exhibitions. It is available for receptions and dinners for up to 600 attendees. 

On the Town
For those needing to get out and about, performances of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo can be arranged for groups. There is opera in the famed Salle Garnier and visits to the Ateliers of the Ballets to see rehearsals and the costume workshops. The Black Legend, themed around Motown music, and Moods, a jazz club and new hotspot, are other interesting venues, as are Les Caves, the wine cellars at the Hotel de Paris, which are available for tours and dinners for up to 50.