Travel + Leisure
April 29, 2009

When Fadi and Majid Boustany took the keys to their father's palatial Hôtel Metropole in 2001, the brothers knew the place needed some modern love. Despite its enviable spot across from Monte Carlo's casino, the 1886 Italianate building hadn't been lit up by a Paris Match flashbulb in decades. To bring the buzz back—and to lure a young clientele—the Boustanys hired Jacques Garcia, designer of Paris's nouveau-Baroque Hôtel Costes. Tapestries and low-slung seating now sex up public spaces, while guest rooms mix Pierre Frey fabrics with ornamental columns and slate-and-wood bathrooms. Celebrity chef Joël Robuchon has installed an outpost of his L'Atelier concept, serving tasting portions of dishes such as crab atop citrus tabbouleh and grands crus by the glass. And to welcome those paparazzi back, the long, landscaped driveway ends at a 26-foot-high boxwood Arc de Triomphe. Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo, 4 Ave. de la Madone; 377/93-15-15-15; www.metropole.com; doubles from $421.
—Sarah Raper Larenaudie

Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo

Turn into the secluded, cypress-and-sports-car-lined drive of this 1889 landmark, and it immediately hits you that there is no better place to experience old-school, Monte Carlo glamour at its finest. Reimagined in 2004 by legendary designer Jacques Garcia, the Metropole beautifully melds past and present, with modern furnishings sitting alongside 18th century French Gobelins tapestries, Egyptian vases, and 19th century Italian paintings. There’s not one, but four Joël Robuchon restaurants on-site; a spa by Givenchy; and a secluded “Odyssey” pool deck, elevated above street level and designed by none other than Karl Lagerfeld. Eighteen panels ring the pool, projecting black-and-white photographs while diners feast on brilliantly prepared, light dishes such as octopus salad with pesto and soft marinated vegetables and fresh strawberry chilled soup. Meanwhile, the 126 guest rooms are a more low-key but no less luxe affair, done in warm, earthy tones with Carrara marble bathrooms.

Room to Book: Ask for a sea view room on an upper floor.

Doubles from $971.

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