This 155-Year-Old Hotel Is Home to Two of the Most Expensive Suites in the World
The Hôtel de Paris's Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III suites are the ultimate in luxury.
When I arrived at Monte-Carlo’s Hôtel de Paris on Thursday afternoon, time felt like an abstract concept. I’d been traveling for over 12 hours without sleep, all the while self-medicating my severe fear of flying with overpriced airport alcohol and bad in-flight entertainment. But once I entered the hotel lobby underdressed in sweatpants and a sweat-stained tank top, the fog of my travel nightmare suddenly lifted. I’d stepped foot in one of the most luxurious places on earth, and it was hard to feel anything but fancy.
Established in 1864, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo has long stood as one of Monaco’s most famous landmarks. Throughout the hotel’s 155-year history, guests have included pivotal figures in American and European culture, from Winston Churchill to Elton John. Actor Errol Flynn wed his third wife, Patrice Wymore, at the hotel in 1950, and wedding attendees included Hollywood legends like Cary Grant and Rita Hayworth.
Of course, the most famous patron is Monaco’s own Princess Grace (formerly an American actress known by the name Grace Kelly). In fact, Hôtel de Paris played an integral role in Kelly’s extravagant 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier III. The hotel’s pastry chefs gifted the Prince and newly minted Princess of Monaco a six-tier cake for their wedding lunch. The first two tiers housed a birdcage inhabited by two turtledoves that were released when Rainier cut into it with his sword.
The royal couple frequented the hotel often through the years, celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, 25 years of Rainier’s reign, and New Year’s Eve at the Monte-Carlo mainstay.
Given the Monegasque royals’ decades of patronage and their imprint on the principality as a whole, the hotel dedicated a luxury suite to each of them after their respective deaths. Both the Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III suites are among the most expensive (and most luxurious) hotel stays in the world. Each includes two bedrooms and a private pool, as well as a terrace and living area. As one might expect, living like royalty in the heart of Monte-Carlo doesn’t come cheap. One night at the Princess Grace suite will cost you about €40,000 during the peak season (about $44,800, currently), while a night at the newly established Prince Rainier suite will run you around €45,000 (about $50,400).
And none of the rooms in the Hôtel de Paris are what the average person would call affordable — the cheapest option comes in at around $590 a night.
Though Monaco has plenty to offer outside the hotel, there really isn’t a lot of reason to leave the premises. In addition to an unreal room (which comes with a very cozy terry cloth robe that I did not, for even a second, consider stealing), the hotel boasts four acclaimed restaurants (two of which bear Michelin stars), a bar, a spa (with an additional restaurant), and a wellness club with gym equipment and a rooftop pool. Just a few steps from the hotel itself is the historic Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Café de Paris.
The Hôtel de Paris isn’t for everyone, due to the obvious financial constraints alone. But if you can make it work, the history of the venue coupled with its many accoutrements will no doubt allow for a luxurious and memorable stay.