The Ultimate Guide to the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix

By Paul Joseph

In ten week’s time, the world’s motor racing elite will gather in Monaco for one of the most prestigious, opulent and history-laden events on the global sporting calendar. Quite simply, no other Formula One race or circuit can match the unfettered glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Or as Nigel Essam, a VIP hospitality specialist, puts it, “Monaco is the only major sporting event where the actual race is secondary to the theatre of the location. Whether it’s bringing your own yacht into the harbour or sitting with friends in the grandstand it’s an amazing experience.”

Taking place from 21st – 24th May, this year’s proceedings are edging ever closer, but for those still weighing up whether to attend, there is still time for persuasion. To help nudge you in the right direction, here at we have compiled an ultimate guide to the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, including tips on where to stay, where to watch the action and how to unwind. We hope you are suitably inspired.

In most parts of the world, long airport transfers are considered nothing but an inconvenience, but so scenic is the journey from Nice to Monaco – by road, rail or air – then most visitors between the two consider it a highlight of their trip.

Nice is home to Monaco’s closest international Airport and the vast majority of visitors to the principality fly in there. From Nice, a picturesque 40-minute train journey winds its way along the coast, offering stunning vistas of the Côte d’Azur. Feel the anticipation rise as you edge ever closer to the decadent playground that is Monte Carlo.

A more indulgent option is to make the transfer by helicopter. Heli Air Monaco offers a taxi-like service, with a journey time of 15 minutes. The bird’s eye view is something to behold and those with an eagle-eye may be able to pick out the Grand Prix track as you hover above Monaco.

Monaco is notoriously difficult to navigate during busy, high profile events. With the race being a street circuit, roads are closed to the public all day while the eye-raising ratio of one taxi for every 200 people means that nearby accommodation is a virtual necessity.

For fast car enthusiasts staying outside of Monaco, so long as you’re prepared to take on the herculean effort of finding a parking space in the principality, you may wish to hire your own supercar. There are a number of companies in Monaco offering this service, including Liven Up, who can help you fulfil your dream of being a Formula One diver – or at least the next best thing

One of the most prestigious hotels in the principality, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo boasts an array of world class amenities and dining options as well as a prime location for reaching all of Monaco’s main attractions. But it is its direct viewing access to the iconic Grand Prix track that makes it the ultimate place to stay each May.

This year the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is offering special Grand Prix packages for guests who want to enjoy the event from the comfort of their own terrace, with four suites at the hotel offering a view of the race track. 

The ultimate Grand Prix indulgence, however, is to watch from the lavish environs of a luxury yacht and according to Chris Craven, charter broker at Superyachts Monaco, this is the only way to properly experience the legendary race.

“I have personally been on balconies, in the stands and onboard yachts – there is absolutely no comparison,” he told us. “Just metres from the cars, you have your own crew and chef on call, massive HD screens in multi-locations around the yacht to offer running commentary and coverage of the race, as well as seeing it live on deck. The best of both worlds in one stunning location.”

Of all the renowned gastronomic names to ply their trade in Monte Carlo, perhaps the most distinguished of all is Joel Robuchon, owner of a staggering 26 michelin stars across the world. For a truly world class dining experience, you will not beat his eponymous restaurant situated in the Hotel Metopole. During the Grand Prix, guests can enjoy refreshments on the restaurant’s terrace while looking over the race track, Port Hercules marina and the vibrant streets of Monte Carlo.

When it comes to chic nightspots, there is nothing to match the Amber Lounge at Le Méridien Beach Plaza hotel during the Monaco Grand Prix. Throughout the year the pop-up club tours the Formula One circuit, attracting the great and the good from F1 drivers fresh from the track to team principals, supermodels and royalty.

Nowhere is its reputation more deserved than in its birthplace of Monaco, where drivers can regularly be found shedding their excess post-race adrenalin. Notable highlights include famous artists performing exclusive live music as well as an eagerly anticipated Friday night charity Fashion Show.

Head for Café de Paris in Casino Square, order a cold beer, sit back and enjoy looking at the world’s best supercars in Casino Square as the perfect simple pleasure in Monaco.

Or if its pampering you’re after, the principality is home to several state-of-the-art spas offering a smorgasbord of lavish treatments. Indeed, visiting a spa was the post-race activity of choice for legendary British racer James Hunt during his years competing at the Monaco Grand Prix. Three of the finest are Willow Stream at Fairmont Monte Carlo, Espa at Hôtel Metropole and Thermes Marins Monte Carlo Wellness Center.

By Paul Joseph