Monaco: your luxury family holiday destination guide
Whether you’re looking for an indulgent weekend away or a luxurious beach holiday, Monaco is a unique and exciting destination for families to visit. With plenty of culture and activities to enjoy, this small yet beautiful country is an ideal place to spend some quality time with the children.
To help you have the most relaxing experience possible, this guide will give recommendations on the best ways to travel, places to eat and areas to visit on a luxury family holiday to Monaco.
Why holiday in Monaco?
Close to the French Riviera and overlooking the Mediterranean sea, Monaco may be the second smallest country in the world, but it has plenty of riches for visitors to enjoy. Only two square kilometres in size, it’s long attracted the rich and famous with its stunning coastline, glamorous culture and unique history.
The district of Monte Carlo is home to the world’s most famous casinos and exciting events, including the Grand Prix. Indeed, if you or the children love cars, then this is a must-visit destination. Sit at a cafe or restaurant in the historical centre and you could spot some of the most exclusive Lamborghinis or Ferraris moving through Monaco’s streets.
Luxury cars aren’t all you can spot here. With several harbours, superyachts and exclusive cruise ships regularly dock here, with plenty of rich and famous occupants disembarking to take a break in the city district. Stunning views over the Mediterranean and almost endless sunshine also make this destination one of the most Instagram-famous, so you can be sure to capture a stunning family photo here.
Getting to Monaco
Another reason for Monaco’s popularity is its accessibility. Located at the edge of France, you can travel there easily by air, boat or car or include it as part of a tour of Europe.
Though there is no airport in Monaco itself, Nice Airport can be reached in half an hour by road or train. With regular flights to Nice from the UK and Europe, travelling business or first class by plane or chartering a private jet, followed by a private transfer is one option for easy, relaxing travel to Monaco. Alternatively, helicopter transfers are also available from Nice airport to give you the best views of the coastline as you arrive.
With two harbours, Port Hercule and Port Fontvieille, and a stunning coastline, luxury yacht charters are a popular way for visitors to travel to Monaco, with a huge range of options available. Many exclusive and boutique cruise liners also include Monaco in their itinerary, which is worth considering if you’re planning a longer family tour.
A motorist’s dream destination, travelling to Monaco by car is easy and popular. Drive to the country easily from any part of Europe, or hire a car when you arrive and enjoy access to nearby destinations such as Nice, Saint-Tropez and Cannes as well as the French Riviera.
Luxury hotels in Monaco
For expansive suites with beautiful views, there’s nowhere better than Monaco. Some of the most prestigious five-star hotels in the world are located here, meaning you have plenty of options for places to stay on a luxurious family holiday.
Hotel de Paris
Recently refurbished and in one of the most sought-after areas of Monte Carlo, the Hotel de Paris is a beautiful example of the country’s architecture and has a range of stunning rooms and suites for you to choose from. It also has two quality restaurants within its walls. Le Grill serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine from a panoramic terrace and the three Michelin-starred contemporary restaurant, Le Louis XV, is a favourite for many hotel guests.
Another stunning example of the local belle epoque architecture, Hotel Hermitage is home to a Michelin-starred restaurant, exclusive spa and beautiful terraces and gardens. Situated in Monte Carlo’s city centre, guests can take in sweeping sea views from the private beach, enjoy a delicious meal in the Pavillion Monte-Carlo or relax in the Thermes Marins spa.
Carefully restored and reopened in 2004, the decor at Hotel Metropole combines its heritage with contemporary Mediterranean design. With 125 rooms and suites, the palace is also home to the only Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant on the Cote d’Azur, Yoshi, and the House of Givenchy spa. A short distance from the beach and the Monte Carlo Golf Course, it’s a beautiful place to enjoy an extended stay.
Monte Carlo Bay Hotel
A beautiful, elegant and relaxed hotel, the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort has everything you and the children could ask for. With a huge pool, a sandy lagoon and large gardens, there are plenty of places to relax and explore. There are also three restaurants in this very family-friendly resort, so you can be sure that everyone’s tastes will be catered for.
Monte Carlo Beach Hotel
If you’d like a relaxed, boutique experience in Monaco, then the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel should be on your list. Its seaside location, private beach, spa and pool make it the perfect place to play or unwind. The hotel also has the Green Globe mark and an organic, Ecocert-certified restaurant, meaning you can enjoy your holiday in the knowledge that you’ve minimised your environmental impact.
Top restaurants in Monaco
With a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, there is a dining option to suit everyone’s tastes in Monaco. Here is a selection of some of the best and most family-friendly.
Café de Paris
This iconic brasserie has been a Monaco establishment for more than 150 years and is still serving delicious dishes in the centre of the city. With an all-day service, Cafe de Paris is a fantastic place to soak up the atmosphere of Monaco over breakfast, lunch, dinner or a holiday drink. Enjoy a snack on the terrace or book a table in the brasserie itself for a complete experience.
The Grill at Hotel de Paris
For a delicious dinner with a view, there’s nothing quite like The Grill. Taking in a panoramic Mediterranean view from the 8th floor of the Hotel de Paris, this formal restaurant serves grilled fish, meats and vegetables or a more traditional set menu for lunch and dinner. Although the dress code may make this a destination suitable only for special occasions, the amazing views and open roof make it a truly special experience.
Developing their recipes for more than 30 years, owners Roberto and Nicoletta are proud to serve some of the best ice cream in Monaco from Santo Gelato. Made from fresh ingredients sourced each morning at the local Condamine market, their selection of gelato, verrines and biscuits makes it the perfect place to share a sweet treat.
For an alternative dining experience, Song Qi serves a range of modern Chinese dishes in a warm and contemporary setting. Dim sum, noodles and a range of delicious meat, fish or vegetarian mains are served for lunch and dinner, with the option to create your own wok dish from a selection of ingredients. Sit back and enjoy a taste of China in this unique and beautiful restaurant.
A casual and stunning brasserie by the pool, this is a fantastic spot for a relaxed lunch or dinner on a sunny day. Located within the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, Le Deck is open to everyone and serves fresh fish and other Mediterranean dishes on a spacious outdoor terrace with views over the pool and beach.
Family activities in Monaco
From special events to sightseeing destinations. Despite its small size, there is a range of places to explore and experience Monaco’s culture or history.
Monaco Grand Prix
For a weekend every year, the whole of Monte Carlo is turned into a race track. See some of Formula 1s biggest stars and experience the thrills of this high-speed three-kilometre race. Tickets give you access to the race paddock and experiences such as pit walks and Parillion Yacht access.
Monaco Yacht Show
Another major event in Monaco’s calendar, the Yacht Show sees the country become home to the world’s great and glamorous - and all their superyachts. Whether you’re looking to buy your own, get expert design advice or want to tour the available models, this event has the best selection of exhibitors available for you to meet and visit.
One of the most popular public beaches, Larvotto Beach offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean and clear water for swimming. Man-made with fine pebbles, spot the local marine life (including fish and jellyfish) relax with a lounger and parasol or enjoy a meal from one of the restaurants, cafes or beach clubs along the promenade.
The Rock of Monaco
Overlooking the Monte Carlo port, the 62-metre tall rock is home to Monaco’s old town - a beautiful place to explore. With medieval streets, cathedrals and chapels to wander around, you can also see the beautiful Place du Palais, the residence of the ruling Grimaldi family while visiting the rock.
Also located in Monaco’s old town, the Oceanographic Museum was founded by royal marine researcher Prince Albert I. See some of the rarest and most beautiful sea life in an immersive exhibition and find out more about the conservation work of the founding family.