Prevue March/April 2016 - (Page 60)

SBM Monte Carlo There's a new feeling in the air in Monte Carlo-of approachability, even affordability. [ON LOCATION] BARBARA SCOFIDIO T he government of Monaco owns 70 percent of SBM (Société des Bains de Mer), with four major properties, all distinctly different from the others. For groups, the 334room Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort is a comfortable choice. The hotel is a short walk from the Grimaldi Forum but also offers 10 of its own meeting rooms, many with sea views. It's an ideal option for pharmaceutical groups where compliance dictates a 4-star property. Its resort feel, centered around a huge lagoon, is almost... American...and the décor casual and contemporary. For incentive groups who want to be in the middle of the action, the choice is often the venerable Hotel de Paris, situated right next to the city's stunning Belle Epoque focal point, the Place du Casino. Through the end of 2017, the property is being completely re-created, with only 53 rooms and its famous restaurants (including the pinnacle of fine dining, Alain Ducasse's 3-star Le Louis XV) remaining open. Its shops have been moved into the Monte-Carlo Pavilions, a temporary shopping plaza comprised of silver futuristic structures that resemble geodesic domes set into the Jardins des Boulingrins just beyond the Casino. Now anyone can peruse these tony shops, with designer names such as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Boucheron, and the only Chanel shoe store in the world. Another example of this fresh, new energy that SBM is bringing to Monte Carlo is the free concert series that is open to all in Casino Square. Also, Monte-Carlo Sporting, another SBM facility known for bringing in the big names, has shifted its focus to standing concerts to attract a younger audience, kicking off last season last year with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. 52 | prevue magazine In fact, groups visiting Monte Carlo can tap into a robust year-round schedule of festivals and events, from the International Monte-Carlo Festival Circus every January and the Festival du Printemps des Arts (Spring Arts Festival) in March and April to May's Grand Prix and November's Jazz Festival. The ultra-luxe 5-star experience is certainly there for groups that demand it. In addition to the Hotel de Paris, there's the 278room Hotel Hermitage and the 40-room Monte-Carlo Beach, a Relais & Chateaux property. Michelin-starred restaurants abound, but some like Monte Carlo Bay's Blue Bay, are surprisingly relaxed. Here, chef Marcel Ravin can be found out on the floor chatting it up with diners. His creative cuisine is inspired by his home base in French Martinique and he is happy to serve up a tasting menu of locally inspired dishes for groups. Attendees staying at any SBM property can use their Access cards at all four hotels to experience the various facilities, as well as at the famous Monte-Carlo Casino. This allows guests from Monte Carlo Bay to get a taste of the finest SBM has to offer, including the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo spa at the Hermitage, which is known for having one of only two full cryotherapy (freezing) chambers in Europe. The opportunities for day trips into nearby France abound, whether it's a visit to the perfume factories in Grasse (about an hour away) or the walled village of St. Paul de Vence, where attendees can see artists at work in their studios in the same setting that inspired the work of former resident Marc Chagall.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue March/April 2016

Planner’s Pick: Seattle
Fresh Meets: Caribbean Cool
Bureau Buzz: Kansas City
Good Business: Raising the Green Bar
Sea Shores: Celebrity Cruises
A look at inspiring incentive experiences.
MEETING TAKEAWAYS On-site corporate gift experiences gain momentum
GAMING DESTINATIONS Gaming resort incentives are becoming as exciting as their settings
CALIFORNIA DREAMING Delivering creative group experiences
3 US CITIES REIMAGINE MEDICAL MEETINGS Immersive wellness programs make their way into the mix
On Location: SBM Monte Carlo
WELLNESS, SOUTHERN STYLE Southern backdrops rejuvenate groups
SECRETS AKUMAL [ON LOCATION] Luxury & immersive experiences make for a successful 2016 Leadership Summit
On Location: Australia
On Location: Bermuda
Checkout: Azamara Club Cruises
On Location: Puerto Rico
Club Med

Prevue March/April 2016