The Monaco Grand Prix is an iconic event, known by even those who don’t follow car racing. However, those who want to watch the action up close or revel in the fantastic atmosphere flock to Monaco by helicopter. This year the event will take place from Thursday 25th May to Sunday 28th May. The Principality’s famous street circuit is one of the world’s most technically challenging and offers plenty of thrills for drivers and spectators alike. It’s possible to view Monaco’s narrow streets, unforgiving barriers and hairpin bends from a range of suitably luxurious locations across the city. We’ve selected some of the best spots, from hotels to yachts, which are ideally placed to watch the Monaco Grand Prix.
1. The Fairmont Hotel
The Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel is located in the heart of the Principality and offers one of the most exclusive places to watch the race. Sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the legendary Casino, it overlooks the infamous Fairmont Hairpin. This offers a truly great vista since the hairpin is a very technical part of the circuit where the drivers have to concentrate hard and take the bend slowly at just 30 mph.
The Fairmont Hotel offers more drama than most viewpoints since historically it’s also a place where a number of significant incidents have taken place. The Fairmont VIP terrace is a relaxed place to enjoy the whole race (thanks to screens inside and outside) in comfort and up close, but without the hustle and bustle of the port.
2. The Ermanno Palace
Located at Turn 1, spectators can see 70% of the 3.33km track from the 8th and 10th floors of the Ermanno Palace. These suites are on a covered balcony and an alfresco top terrace and are the pick of the viewing locations on land since they have been set up so you are never looking over another person’s shoulder. The terrace offers seated catering at dining tables where the service is on point and the drinks flow freely.
The views comprise the end of the start/finish straight and pit lane exit, Sainte Devote and the rise to Casino Square. It then takes in the harbour-front run from the tunnel, through Tabac and into the ‘S’ corner of Piscine. There are HD TV screens to enjoy the small amount of “out of sight” action and live timings. Limited to just 30 people, the lack of crowds is a definite plus and, along with the circuit visibility, this is what makes the Ermanno Palace the ultimate race-day VIP experience.
Ultra-exclusive suites and rooms with fantastic Grand Prix views are available at the five-star Hotel de Paris. The Garnier Suite has an enormous outdoor balcony overlooking Casino Square and is one of the best race viewing locations in the Principality. Guests can enjoy views of the cars as they tackle the right-hand corner directly in front of the terrace before racing away down the hill towards Mirabeau Corner.
A spacious suite adjoins the terrace and is part of the hospitality on offer, which includes a buffet luncheon prepared by the highly-regarded kitchen staff of the Hotel de Paris. An open bar will serve pink champagne among other beverages. The VIP Pass at the Hotel de Paris comes with ear plugs, a programme, souvenir lanyards and exclusive Senate racing caps
4. The Deck of a Yacht
Imagine hearing the roar the F1 car engines, the cheers of the crowds and the smell of burning rubber from the deck of a superyacht. Though technically not a window, it’s difficult to find a place closer to the action than the edge of the harbour in the open air. The best spots to watch the race from the opulent comfort of a yacht is either by booking a berth at Port Hercule or Quai Kennedy. It’s a truly unique and luxurious way to celebrate, particularly as you’ll be well placed to network on board at corporate events and socialize at parties.
Whether you have hired a private yacht or been invited aboard one, you’ll enjoy unrivaled views and be able to watch the parts you miss on TV screens. It can also impress potential clients and since luxury yachts offer first-class business facilities, you’ll be able to bookend the weekend with business meetings. Alternatively, you can treat the Monaco Grand Prix as the start of your summer yachting vacation and explore the Riviera.
5. Caravelles Roof Top
Caravelles Roof Top is one of the premier VIP spots to view the main straight, pit lane and the straight up to the Casino. It has panoramic views across the whole harbour circuit including the Casino, giant screen and multitude of superyachts in attendance. The legendary Sainte-Dévote corner forms part of the view and Caravelles is situated next to the Automobile Club de Monaco’s building, the organiser of the Grand Prix. Other benefits include an open bar, beer on tap, champagne, and giant TV screens. It’s a great location to use in combination with a helicopter to Monaco to complement the luxury service on offer.