Luxury hotels invariably acquire followers who will always stay there because they feel good. At Monte-Carlo’s Hôtel Hermitage, for instance, Bangkok-based Deepak and Anita Ohri feel not only better but at home. Anita Ohri has favourite suppliers in the Metropole Shopping Plaza, and Deepak Ohri ponders how long it would take him to cycle to the top of the mountains just north of Monaco. The gal met them in the Hôtel Hermitage’s main lobby and, as last year, there was general approving wonder at the Christmas display, where animals always move heads, or legs, or eyes, all in the most charming manner.
In fact charming, as well as beautiful, can be applied to this entire 278-room hotel. Before, I have always stayed in an upper floor room, above the lobby. But because of the characteristic hilly terrain of Monaco, the lobby is five floors above the lowest floor. I stayed, this visit, in 062/063, a suite three floors down from the lobby level – sounds strange? Not if you are used to those Chinese and Japanese hotels where the lobby is up, and you take elevators down to rooms. 062/063 is a Pierre-Yves Rochon masterpiece, a soft palette of palest-stone white, with soft greys, and some soft heather. Behind the bed the entire wall is a grey etching-meets-mural of a classic vista.
Why 062/063 is unique, here in this hotel, is that there are four rooms on this floor which all have wood outdoor decks, and really-hot outdoor jacuzzis. But, of the quartet, this is the only one that is a suite, double the size of its neighbours, with a double-size jacuzzi. This is also, come the annual Formula One Grand Prix, an ideal deck from which to watch Vettel, Hamilton and the other gents racing round and round town. By day, you can see the mega-yachts that seem permanently to be moored in the harbour. And you can look across to the hill topped by the royal palace, which must now have a flurry of nannies and babies’ maids looking after little Prince Jacques and Princess Gabrielle (wonder if their mother hired the ‘baby whisperer‘, who within a week can get newborns in, say, the Boris Becker family to sleep right through to morning?)
By night, the deck of my room becomes even more magical. This is the time to jacuzzi, when no-one is watching and you can fully appreciate the description of a luxury hotel being one that makes you feel good.