TORONTO — Embarking on its first ever road show, the Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority, in collaboration with Atout France, made a recent stop in Toronto to promote the destination and highlight new offerings.
Guy Antognelli, Deputy General Manager, said that despite being only two square kilometres in size, the Principality of Monaco is host to many must-see events and attractions, most notably the Formula One Grand Prix, which takes place each year in May. There’s also the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival, now in its 41st year and drawing the likes of royalty and tourists alike.
Monaco’s small stature also means that visitors can pack in more sightseeing in less time while covering less ground. And this sovereign nation, located between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea on the French Riviera, is jam-packed with interesting and glamourous sites that speak of its colourful history.
At the top of the list is the Prince’s Palace, which is home to the ruling family and dates back to the 16th century. It houses the Museum of Napoleonic Souvenirs as well as an outstanding collection of 18th and 19th century European art. Also not to be missed is the Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House, considered one of the most famous cultural landmarks in the world. Visitors can tour the Casino de Monte-Carlo in the mornings before trying their luck at the casino’s gaming tables.
Monaco, long recognized as one of the world’s leading spa destinations, welcomed a new spa this year: the five-star Odéon Sisley Spa inside the Odéon Tower, Monaco’s tallest residential building at 560 feet. In addition, the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful spas, reopened in November 2014 after a comprehensive renovation. It features a heated sea-water swimming pool with underwater jets, the only two cryotherapy rooms in Europe, a total of 30 treatment rooms, an enlarged panoramic fitness room, a beauty salon, juice bar and rooftop restaurant.
Also notable is Monaco’s gardens, renowned for its rose bushes, exotic cacti and serene Japanese landscapes. The Princess Grace Rose Garden celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014, during which it reopened after an eight-month renovation that saw it enlarge to 54,000 square feet. It now offers 8,000 bushes (up from 4,000) and a total of 300 varieties of roses, the late Princess’ favourite flower.
To entice both travel agents and travellers to book Monaco, the destination is now allowing travel advisors to enroll their clients in ‘Le Club Diamant Rouge de Monaco’, the preferred travel club of the Monaco Government Tourist in North America. Enrollment can be made via a new online application that makes the process faster and more convenient.
Le Club, exclusive to travel advisors in Canada and the U.S., entitles recipients to a seven-minute helicopter transfer with Monacair, along with complimentary admission to Monaco’s famous museums and attractions including Prince’s Palace State Apartments, Oceanographic Museum & Aquarium, Exotic Garden and Naval Museum. The cost to enroll is $85 for both agents and their clients who can enjoy benefits valued at $300.
A confirmed three-night reservation at Hôtel de Paris, Hôtel Hermitage, Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo, Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, Fairmont Monte Carlo, Le Méridien Beach Plaza, Port Palace, Columbus Monte-Carlo or Novotel Monte-Carlo is required to join and receive a one-year individual membership. Also, the application must be submitted at least 14 days prior to departure from the U.S. or Canada.
To enroll, go to clubdiamantrouge.com and click ‘Apply Now’. For more information on travel to Monaco go to visitmonaco.com.