Long known as the playground for the rich and famous, Monaco continues to shine as the place to seen in Europe, though offers a lot more than just glitz and casinos. The second smallest country in the world, it is recognised for its amazing Palace, some of Europe’s finest hotels, legendary casinos, more Ferraris per capita than anywhere else and a raft of Michelin stars, as well as for the incredible Grand Prix race around its streets in May each year. Monaco is also home to the exceptional Oceanographic Museum with its famous Aquarium and Shark Lagoon, and an array of beautiful parks and gardens, such as the Princess Antoinette Park, the Japanese Garden, Fontvieille Park and the Princess Grace Rose Garden, which all offer free admission. Helicopter transfers can be arranged to and from Nice airport, so that guests arrive in style and see the dramatic coastline of the Principality.
This summer marks the 150th Anniversary of Monte Carlo Societe des Bains Mer, which will be marked with a Weekend d’Exception on 5th – 7th July. Founded in 1863 by a Sovereign Decree passed by Prince Charles III and designed by Francois Blanc, Monte Carlo SBM properties include the iconic Casino de Monte Carlo, Hotel de Paris, Hotel Hermitage, the world famous Jimmy’z Night Club and leading spa Thermes Marins. To celebrate the anniversary, guests are invited to join the festivities of the Weekend d’Exception.
The weekend commences with a picnic devised by Alain Ducasse accompanied by a concert performed by the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, with Lang-Lang on the piano and exclusive performances by Jamie Cullum and Dame Shirley Bassey.
There will be open-air cinema on the casino terrace playing films in which properties of the Monte Carlo SBM collection have played a special part.
Saturday marks the official opening of the Dangerous Luxury exhibition by the Campana brothers, Fernando and Umberto, and a gourmet lunch will be held at Monte Carlo Beach. The evening will see Rod Stewart performing at the opening of The Monte Carlo Sporting Summer Festival – one of the greatest live music festivals in the world, which delivers iconic artists, legendary bands and new talents. For 2013, the line-up also includes Rihanna and Johnny Hallyday.
During the Weekend d’ Exception, Monte Carlo SBM also invites guests to discover all the offerings of the resort – experience a special spa treatment created in celebration of the 150th anniversary called the Soin Signature 150 Ans at the Thermes Marins spa. Hotel de Paris is opening the doors to its famous wine cellar and offering exclusive wine-tasting sessions.
Also in celebration of the 150th anniversary, an exhibition called Monacopolis has been curated to showcase the development of urbanism and urbanisation in Monaco from 150 years ago up until the present day. Monacopolis is located at three unique venues across the principality: Villa Paloma, Villa Sauber and the Monte Carlo train station, where there is an incredible, real-life 1:200 model of Monaco. At Villa Paloma, sketches by Le Corbusier can be found, along with more than 600 historical plans of Monaco, in particular the Casio-Opera of Monte Carlo.
For more information, go to www.visitmonaco.com.