Luxury Hotels


Well, to Monte-Carlo. Somehow The Metropole’s EV Mercedes – range 700 kms – managed to get right up to Windstar Star Legend in Nice Port and before we knew where we were we were slowly edging along the 150-metre paved drive that leads off the Casino square. This is designer-delight lodging.

First look at the cover, above, that is put over the swimming pool during winter.  It takes three weeks to put the cover up, three weeks to take it down. It’s Karl Lagerfeld.

The rest of the hotel is Jacques Garcia, and Girlahead especially likes how he has turned the lobby lounge into sheer fantasy theatre. It’s full of illusion. A pair of real feet, your feet, are mirrored below a flower display of dozens of identical white orchids.

(There are flowers aboard Girlahead’s home-at-sea, and the coiled rope-basket holding a mixed display in room 608 has survived miraculously, even after six days – she keeps on pinching them, and herself, to check that all this is real. And it is.)

We, Hotel Manager Jean-Marc Ayme and Girlahead, joined local regulars at low-set velvet chairs around linen-covered tables. Lobby lounge lunch. Steak tartare, presented as a coiled rope, flat, with fries, in a silver cornet, as slimline as the ladies who lobby-lunch. Everyone knows everyone else.

The newly-redone gastronomic restaurant, Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac, opens five nights a week. It’s been extended, into the garden, and given a side room, with private dining, that is Garcia-gorgeous.  The main restaurant is pale sunflower, with one-off hand-blown caramel-coloured glass show plates that are the last word in impracticality – heavy, unstackable and breakable. But who cares in luxury lifestyle?