Some classic hotels are never quite the same again after a big renovation. The Métropole, however, is perhaps even more a big deal than it already was — when it started to show its age, the famed Parisian designer Jacques Garcia was commissioned for an update, and it turns out that his hyper-luxe style is the perfect match for what was already a pretty delightfully over-the-top grand hotel.

This belle-époque Italianate mansion is an alternative to the bigger palace hotels down on the waterfront, and while it’s not exactly understated or cozy, it’s got an air of discreet privacy about it. The rooms are stunningly opulent and decidedly old-fashioned — Mr. Garcia doesn’t go in for anything minimalist, preferring rich fabrics, ornate antiques and classic marble baths.

The location means the Métropole is just slightly off the beaten path, as does its status as an independent, outside the SBM conglomerate that controls the Monte-Carlo casino and many of the hotels. An excellent Riviera-style French restaurant is a must, as there’s so much competition around town; this one just happens to be helmed by a certain Joël Robuchon. Likewise any luxury hotel worth its salt needs a spa of the ESPA’s caliber — here all varieties of relaxation are possible, from purifying rituals to simple poolside cocktails.

Note: The Pool & Spa at the Hotel Metropole will be closed for renovations from November 1st, 2011 to May 1st, 2012. Work will be underway daily from 10:00AM - 12:00PM and 2:00PM - 6:00PM. The hotel will take all necessary precautions to endure that hotel guests are not disturbed during this time.

Style: Contemporary Classic
Atmosphere: Lively

146 Rooms - Rates starting at € 290.00 (approx. US$ 374)

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