Where is the best spot to watch the Monaco Grand Prix?
Every year since 1929, the Principality of Monaco has played host to the Grand Prix.
For four whole days, the Rock goes crazy and terraces all the way along the circuit are packed with spectators, watching the race cars roaring just below, through the very heart of the town.
Amidst all the excitement, a few viewing points stand out from the crowd. The Podiumist has compiled a list of these exclusive spots from which to enjoy the show, while soaking up the sun.
On the terrace of the Fairmont Monte-Carlo
Located opposite the famous hairpin bend of the same name, the biggest on the circuit, the Fairmount Hotel offers an unbeatable view of the race. The terrace of the four-star hotel offers lucky customers and spectators a luxurious viewpoint. For Monica Pellegrino, the hotel’s director of communications, the Fairmont is clearly “the place to be” when it comes to watching the race.
“The circuit itself is special and we’ve got the best possible view of the longest bend in the race. We set up seating overlooking the entrance to the tunnel on our superb 7th floor poolside terrace.”
And for those who like to enjoy the race in a slightly less frenetic atmosphere, the rooms also directly overlook the track. All yours for 19,900 euros for four days. Besides its privileged position, the Fairmont also hosts, during the Grand Prix, the elite Billionnaire Club, the brainchild of Flavio Briatore.
With your feet in the water, on a yacht in Port Hercule.
The drivers are right there in front of you. It feels like you could reach out and touch them as they whiz by before your very eyes at 150mph. And yet the water is lapping around your feet, in Monaco’s Port Hercule. That’s why, for Daniel Realini, the Port Director, there is no doubt that this the best place to enjoy the race: “It’s really an exclusive place on the very edge of the circuit. You can have a drink, chat, follow the Grand Prix on the TV, and all within a stone’s throw of the race.
An exceptional spot, which cannot be taken for granted: “From the beginning of January, you have to put in a special request for the Grand Prix weekend, although priority of course goes to the drivers, the stables and the sponsors. Our regular clients are replaced by spectators who come down for the weekend. A position right at the front comes at a hefty price. For a fifty metre boat, the Grand Prix week will set you back 67,000 euros.” True, such dreams come at a price, but once the race is over, the party goes on and Port Hercule becomes THE place for meeting the drivers. “On Saturday and Sunday evenings, there are superb parties on board. I particularly remember Räikkönnen who partied like there was no tomorrow, or the world famous singer who had over 1,200 roses delivered every day.”
On a private terrace, along the route.
For those unimpressed by the buzz at the port or the excitement on the terrace of the Fairmont and who want to enjoy the Grand Prix at their own pace, the perfect solution – and no less luxurious – is to hire one of the many balconies overlooking the route.
For Ange Pantaloni from the Sigma agency, which specialises in renting terraces for the race weekend, it’s the ideal answer.
“We offer our clients a variety of apartments located at strategic spots along the race or on the starting line. It’s also possible to do the “perfect combo” Whereby you can watch the start from the Héraclès palace before heading to the 10th floor of the Ermanno Palace for a superb view of the entire race.”
Obviously, the panoramic view would not be complete without an entire fleet of services for the lucky guests, from gourmet buffets to an open champagne bar.
From the Paddock Lounge of the Hermitage Hotel.
Not to be outdone by the Fairmont Monte-Carlo, the Hermitage also boasts a fine terrace. But it also has a little something extra: the temporary Paddock Lounge. Throughout the race period, the sublime Belle Epoque room, which directly overlooks the track, is transformed into a giant games area dedicated to Formula 1™. Guests can try out a F1 simulator, learn how to change tyres at the Pit Stop Challenge or improve their reflexes with the Batak, a machine used in training to help drivers speed up their reaction times.
For Sunday sports-lovers, exhausted by all the goings on, a buffet awaits, complete with glass of champagne… Franck Damatte, the hotel’s Head Sommelier, heartily recommends sipping a fine G.H.MUMM Product name: brut rosé or Blanc de Blancs to get the best out of the Grand Prix. The giant screen just opposite provides valuable help, given the difficulties of following the course of a race in which cars zoom by with a deafening roar at nearly 300 km /h. It goes without saying that, sitting in a soft white armchair in the sunlight, equipped with earplugs and a glass of champagne, the noise is much more bearable.