Columbus Monte Carlo Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Young, Hip, Designer-themed, Value-For-Money Hotel in Fontfieille
A trendy 4 star hotel, Columbus Monte Carlo is located in the district of Fontveille in the Principality of Monaco. Close the heliport and the Monaco stadium.
A favourite among F1 drivers, The Columbus Monte Carlo was established by David Coulthard (though it’s now owned by London & Regional), and offers contemporary style, friendly service and a funky cocktail bar. Hip enough for the young and sufficiently reassuring for the mature, the value for money is among the best in the area.
Off-centre in the new(-ish) Fontvieille district. Fontvieille is the slab of land reclaimed from the sea in Prince Rainier’s most ambitious civil engineering scheme. In one part, there’s some light industry and Monaco AFC’s ground. Elsewhere is fine parkland, some posh residential buildings – and an increasingly lively bar and restaurant scene around Monaco’s second port, that of Fontvieille. Near the parkland, residences and port, the Columbus is thus peacefully placed, but more than a mile from the Place du Casino.
Style & character
The Columbus Monte Carlo is a place which would suit a design student daughter and her diplomat dad. Space is abundant, the lines are clean and contemporary and the modern style quite unforced. It’s hip enough for the young and sufficiently reassuring for the mature. ‘New Riviera Chic’ is the preferred term, and it’s not far off. The outdoor pool is shared with non-hotel users, which seems to bother some commentators, though I can’t see why. At any event, the quality of the welcome and bright elegance of the place compensate more than amply.
The trick at Columbus Monte Carlo has been to disguise some pretty sharp design and quality materials – leather, marble, wood, stone – as if they were self-evident simplicity. The result is a selection of rooms which are a treat to enter and relax in, more difficult to leave. Think dark wood furniture lightened with greys, beiges and warm ethnic touches. Nothing revolutionary – but who on earth wants revolution in the bedroom?
Food & drink
A funky little cocktail bar (like “London-by-the-sea”, as someone once described it to me) is a meeting place for funky people of all sizes. During Thursday’s Happy Hour (6.30pm-9.30pm) women get drinks half-price. After the apéritifs, you used to be able to repair to the equally funky brasserie, but no longer. Following a long-winded industrial dispute last year, 2014, the restaurant has shut. At the time of writing, no-one could tell me when it might re-open.