A country known for its fairy tales, this administrative region of France is the beauty that even when times were hard, has never even come close to being the beast.
The Queen of Diamonds
Disney metaphors aside, Monte Carlo not only stimulates the senses, but is breathtaking in its magnificence. Particularly identifiable in most circles for the part it plays in the gambling world, if the place was a playing card, the Queen of Diamonds would be an apt comparison; the ultimate jewel surveying the treasure trove of sapphires that is the Mediterranean Sea.
It is also easy to forget that a Formula One circuit snakes its way through the place; a gamble in itself – seen as the most challenging course in the world and which every driver wants to win on.
Glitz and glamour at every turn, home to the rich and famous and boasting the archetypal jet set lifestyle, it is easy to forget your identity as you wander the palatial Casino de Monte Carlo especially.
Casino de Monte Carlo
One of the most famous, if not prestigious casinos in the world, even easily rivalling some of the top-tier Las Vegas ones, this draws in millions of visitors each year and boasts without a doubt, the industry’s best dealers.
Also home to the PokerStars Championship every year, held in the hugely spectacular Salle des Etoiles (Room of Stars), the casino certainly gets its fair share of publicity.
“It’s a great experience to play in the stunning Salle des Etoiles where usually the rich and famous are celebrating,” PokerStars’ Director of Live Events, Edgar Stuchly said. “For me this is certainly one of the most impressive poker rooms globally.”
Also speaking about Monte Carlo in a wider capacity, he was considerably complimentary about some of its other offerings.
“The best way to experience Monte Carlo is just to walk around,” said Stuchly. “But I would certainly say you should visit the Grimaldi Palace, the harbour, the luxury hotels and casinos and the beautiful beaches.”
As well as Stuchly, Team PokerStars Pro Fatima Moreira de Melo also enjoys coming back to what she describes as “this beautiful hideaway.”
“Even though a lot of people own a place there, it is not overcrowded – apart from when the Formula One is on,” she said. “People are just chilling, walking their dog on the promenade besides the beach or having lunch on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean.”
Priding itself on etiquette and presentation and service, the Casino de Monte Carlo certainly doesn’t disappoint, while every other important factor falls into place. From slot selection through to fine dining, visitors often leave with an air of eager longing, dreaming of a time they will one day live in the vicinity.
After all the excitement, a visit to the serene Japanese Gardens is an alternative visual stimulation, showcasing the native art of Niwaki pruning; a relaxing paradise in the heart of hustle and bustle.
Meanwhile, the Oceanographic Museum will tame even the biggest of fish in this celebrity dense place, playing host to over 6,000 specimens and featuring countless aquariums, a shark lagoon and a turtle island it transports you to the depths of the sea and leaves you enchanted.
Gambling, which also drives tourism certainly plays a major role in helping Monte Carlo to sustain its majesty and continue as the Belle of the ball.