Monaco – one of the world’s smallest Principalities is the size of a matchbox yet packed to the rim with jewel-dripping wrists, boutique fashion apparel and some of the coolest lounge bars this side of the Med. Yet when you think Monaco, it is its car heritage that truly hits the mark and sets tongues wagging for those who love a bit of the good old sports car passion.
We invite you to hop into the passenger seat of your dream car and embark on a VA VA Voom ride through the Principality’s hottest pitstops in just 24hrs. Dotted along the infamous Monaco Grand Prix race track, each stop over is significant with a piece of racing blood beating through its veins. Ready? 3…2…1… Let’s go!
1. Automobile Club Monaco
For those who get thrills out of the smell of revving rubber on hot tarmac towards the end of May and wanting to take a seat at what might be Monaco’s most historical venues hailing Monaco’s motorsport passion, then the governing body for motorsport in Monaco, the ACM is on the top of the list.
Founded in 1890 as an association of cyclists, the speed soon accelerated to engine roars in 1907, the year the first motorists were welcomed in. This was the turning point that made this distinguished members-only establishment the ultimate gentleman car aficionado’s dream spot offering a restaurant, bar, private members’ rooms, a McGregor collection boutique, the ‘ACM Sport & Marketing’ agency and ticket office for all motor-related events.
Only in 1925 did it fully incorporate its deserving name and has since gone on to organise the much hailed Historic Grand Prix of Monaco, a series of races for historic Grand Prix cars over the Circuit de Monaco and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique classic rally not to mention to the more futuristic Monaco ePrix and something for our little ones aspiring to be the next Nico Rosberg – the Junior Monaco Kart Cup. Steeped with history and memorabilia, this living museum and eatery is a true testament to the past, present, and future of motor racing and superbly sets the tone for all car enthusiasts.
2. PitStop Monaco
You’ve passed the Sainte Dévote, Nouvelle Chicane a few laps to take in the sights of the super yachts lining the Port Hércule docks and the spectacular architecture and it’s now time to fuel up (not the booze version quite yet).
Nowhere is better than in PitStop Monte Carlo, one of the most luxurious service stations in the world, discreetly positioned at the entrance of the Grimaldi Forum car park yet covering 1000m2. Here, as official suppliers to Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Mercedes and Ferrari, your most prized asset will be lovingly pampered, filled up, rubbed down and checked over better than if you spent a day at the Thermes spa up the road!
Dirt is inexistent, dust is nowhere to be seen, instead, this luxury car clinic and gas station is immaculate with a team of passionate mechanics rendering this hot spot worthy of being suppliers of the FIA at the Formula 1 Grand Prix and partner to the Automobile Club de Monaco. With over 200 exclusive customer accounts and the biggest Monegasque families and companies driving through daily, there are about 300 vehicles coming in each day worth 45m euros and spending on average 150k. Not to mention an upcoming surprise launch that will be coming soon for every luxury car owner’s ultimate dream so watch this space…
3. PitStop Bar & Lounge
If you continue your way through the tunnel past Portier, a taste of legend awaits you at the elegant, laid-back bar and lounge immersing you into the world of the famous brand of the prancing horse – Ferrari. Annual partner of the Monaco Grand Prix, the Monte-Carlo Société Bains de Mer, and the iconic sports car manufacturer bring back the scent of where these beauties are given their Italian flair by offering classic Modenese dishes. The perfect stop off in the Larvotto area of Monaco facing the sea, residents such as Eddie Jordan and enthusiasts flock here to enjoy bite-sized treats in a car-lovers ambiance before you envisage signing up to buy your next Laferrari Aperta at the Ferrari showroom conveniently located a short but loud spin up the road.
4. Casino Square
If you are looking for something a bit more sophisticated and reminiscent of the rooftop views at the Monaco races, then head back up to Casino Square where the world’s most impressive supercars line up the VIP parking spots outside the steps of the exclusive establishment where James Bond played in Casino Royale and countless A-listers and royalty have been seen to gamble the night away. Dinner calls for a Michelin-starred menu at the Louis XV –
Of course, you will have to dress to impress having by picking up an outfit at the boutiques of the Pavilions, where the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Boucheron, Miu Miu and Chanel are housed.
As night falls and lights are turned on to illuminate this bejeweled city, music beckons at the Twiga. As a restaurant, nightclub and shisha bar all in one facing the sea and starry night, your yacht tender will be welcomed at the pontoon for you then to be whisked into a whirlwind of music from famous DJs worldwide.
Twiga was born from the experience derived or gained from the Billionaire Clubs, one of the legendary nightclubs and a worldwide famous brand which was created by Flavio Briatore, known from his days at Benetton Formula One racing team that later went on to becoming Renault F1.
The club appeals to a chic international clientele and is especially alive during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend where a bevy of stars from show business, fashion and sport come to dance the night away. It has most definitely become a rendezvous for the International Jet-Set. Pre 1 am the restaurant delights guests with a live-show dinner after which the music starts getting louder and the Cristal doesn’t stop pouring until 5 am.