Oh, to hear the dice rolling again! We still might not be able to return to the French Riviera just yet, but we got rather lucky, anyway – and its thanks to a wonderful initiative by the world’s most glamorous micro-state: launching with a bang, Visit Monaco’s virtual wonderland brings some of the principality’s top attractions right to your home.
We’re particularly fond of anything relaxation-related these days, so our instincts led us straight to the teachings of Marina Bordet, head yogi at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. Bordet, who usually shares her expert advice with the Monégasque jet-set, says one way to zen is to ‘feel out all the places you’re in contact with the ground: your ankles on the floor, your hips on the cushion’, before scanning the rest of your body with your senses. The practise helps establishing a sense of trust required to let your mind focus on a key aspect of meditation; a feeling of gratitude and peace (best put your phone down for this one!).
If you’re not one for silence, tune into exquisite Peruvian restaurant COYA’s lockdown playlist and roam the streets of Monaco, the world’s premier ‘billionaires’ playground’, from behind the screen. We’ve ‘virtu-walked’ our way through quite a few destinations this year, but it’d hard beating Monaco’s iconic scenery – picture yourself pool-side with the masts of sailing yachts looming from behind a wall of manicured box trees on one side, and the principality’s backdrop of striking hills on the other. There’s also an opportunity to wander through the seaside Musée Océanographique and we dare you to take the first staircase to the right and look up for a glimpse at a giant eight-armed bandit (because one-armed ones simply aren’t enough in the gamble-loving enclave).
Eager to visit in person soon? You’re in luck, then. The Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, who is behind some of the area’s top luxury hotels, restaurants and casinos, have launched an exclusive range of travel packages catering to the most discerning of travellers: we’ve got our eyes on the Getaway to Monaco journey, an indulgent trip including suite accommodation at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo (where OutThere favourite Helmut Newton himself shot some of his most legendary pictures!), a series of treatments at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, a private guided tour of the Société’s famous wine cellars, and more. There’s even a glass of wine chosen by Prince Albert II for his wedding included – expect it served on a silver tray; though perhaps not by His Serene Highness himself.