Feel At Home In One Of The Most Glamorous Locations At The Columbus Hotel, Monte Carlo
It was our first time on the French Riviera and our first time visiting the glamorous principality of Monaco. A destination which conjures images of people on the most incredible yachts sipping champagne whilst watching the motor racing on the street circuit of Monte Carlo. Every year when I was growing up the world stopped for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, for some reason that was the race which could not be missed, it was special. The cars racing through casino square, round the famous hairpins, tunnel and the swimming pool complex.
This along with the films based there, the football team where so many of the worlds greats have played, and the people who have made it their home meant that in my mind Monaco had been turned into an almost mythical destination. A place where stories come from. A place I had always wanted to visit, so it is fair to say I was more than a little excited about this trip! At the same time though, I admit, I did have some questions in the back of my mind. Would it be ridiculously expensive? Would I feel totally awkward amongst the well heeled? Would we even be able to afford somewhere to stay there, somewhere we would feel comfortable?
We arranged to stay at The Columbus Monte Carlo, and as soon as we arrived I felt so warmly welcomed, the hotel had such a warm, friendly and inviting atmosphere which the staff very much played a big part in helping to create. Before we knew it we were chatting to the concierge staff as if they were old friends of ours!
The location is fantastic too, rooms at the front of the building look out over the beautiful Princess Grace Rose Garden and the mountains beyond the Principality. The rose garden, although not in full bloom at the time of year of our visit, was still so peaceful and lovely to wander around, we could still smell the roses in the air too and the statue of Princess Grace Kelly here is a famous, touching tribute.
On the other side of the hotel is the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. Most of the rooms here have a balcony or terrace to enjoy the views from. The location also puts you within walking distance of everything in Monaco, a 20-25 minute walk past the unbelievable yachts moored in the picturesque ports will get you to Casino Square with Cafe de Paris, the perfect place to people… and car watch! The hotel is also perfectly located for the major events, being outside of the Grand Prix circuit and the road closures put in place means that if you are visiting for the race, or coincidentally at this time of year, then you won’t be as restricted. The Columbus regularly hosted Michael Schumacher and his family during race weeks. One of the original owners was actually David Coulthard, the former Williams, McLaren, and Red Bull driver. The football ground is also a short stroll away, some of the worlds greats have graced the pitch here and the current team is amongst one of the most exciting teams in Europe. Being an Arsenal fan, our current manager Arsene Wenger is a former manager of Monaco, I was really interested in the stories of when he had brought teams to stay at the hotel too.
The Heliport is not even a 5 minute walk away from the front door to the hotel. We treated ourselves to a helicopter tour from here over Monaco, our first time in a helicopter, the perfect activity for this glamorous location! Find out more about this trip booked with TripAdvisor here. You can even book a helicopter taxi to the airport in Nice!
Monaco may have a reputation for glitz and glamour but it really is a friendly place and a trip there can be really good fun, even on a budget! Check back soon for my post on everything we got up to!
After exploring the streets of Monte Carlo being passed by Ferraris, Porsches, Bentleys, and McLarens, walking past the yachts worth millions, visiting the palace of the royal family, returning to The Columbus does give a feeling of homeliness. Their motto is “Welcome home” and the atmosphere they have created here really reflects that.
That is not to say that a stay doesn’t feel special or luxurious here, it definitely does, but in a warm, inviting, not too formal way. You can feel both totally relaxed and comfortable here whilst at the same time feel like you are in the middle of a special stay, a real treat.
The seating areas around the hotel are begging for you to sit down and enjoy a coffee whilst planning what to do for the rest of the day or talking over the sights of this iconic location already taken in. Lost in our own conversation our only worry was what type of food we fancied that evening, or if we would visit the palace that day or the day after. At times like these…life is good.
The Columbus is going through extensive renovation due to be completed in April 2018. Promising the highest level of comfort, updated services and a memorable experience. It caused no disturbance to us at all though and those planning a visit prior to April 2018 should not be put off by this at all.
When we stepped into our suite I immediately loved how spacious, bright and airy it was. Light colours and thoughtful furnishings help create this feeling. Almost straight away my eyes went to the balcony, I had to explore! From there we could see out past the hotel grounds, over the hotels swimming pool and out to the ocean, this was really cool, and catching the sunset from here was pretty special too.
For our stay at The Columbus our suite really did feel like our own little home in Monaco! A place where we were able to completely relax, enjoy being away and just be ourselves. There was everything we needed and so much more. Great bath robes and slippers, a fully stocked mini bar, flat screen T.V, the seating area was great and the bathroom was a really good size and spotless. That bed though…wow…we enjoyed some great sleep here!
Having woken up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed the buffet breakfast was just right to set us up for the days of adventure we had ahead, exploring every square foot of this legendary place! The room service was good too and a very reasonable price. Where price was concerned I did have to pinch myself from time to time, I was expecting things to be more expensive in Monaco but I really was pleasantly surprised. We found loads of good places for food and drinks around Monaco which were affordable. One such place recommended to us by Claudine who met us at The Columbus was the Brasserie De Monaco. A brasserie where they brew their own prize winning beer! I enjoyed a pint looking out at the yachts moored in Port Hercule on Route de la Piscine.
When we were making plans to visit Monaco, my fiancee and I both guessed that if we were going to be staying at a hotel within the principality then the chances were that the level of service we would experience would be pretty high. What we hadn’t really thought about, or assumed, was that we would be made to feel so welcomed, be made to feel like this was our home for our time there, that everyone would be so warm and friendly and really help us to enjoy our stay even more!
You can book your stay at The Columbus Monte Carlo directly through their website here.
Thanks For Reading…Happy Travels!
My Travel Mission received support from The Columbus, Monte Carlo during our stay…but as always all opinions are my own…Tom