The two tiny city states have more in common than you might think.
Top four reasons I was excited to attend the recent Monaco media lunch at The Fullerton Bay Hotel:
- It was at the beautiful Fullerton Bay Hotel. Duh.
- I’m a Francophile from way back (but please don’t test my French – it’s embarrassingly “un peu” at this point!).
- There would likely be delicious Champagne served (and it was!).
- The concept was intriguing: Could Old World-elegant Monaco have enough in common with New World-slick Singapore to warrant a “twin cities” label?
The short answer: Peut-être.
Sara Lyle Bow, Editor of The Finder, and fellow SPH editors get the scoop on tourism in Monaco.
Over a lovely lunch and surrounded by delicious accents (see previous Francophile comment), I learned from Guillaume Rose, President of the Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority, the following factoids about this pair of “small, welcoming, cosmopolitan city states.”
- Both host the Grand Prix – Formula 1 racing. In addition, “Singapore looked to Monaco as a benchmark for its yachting culture, inspiring numerous Mediterranean-style marinas.” Check out the photo
- “While Singapore is the Food Capital of Asia, Monaco is a Gourmet Capital of Europe, with the world’s highest density of Michelin-star restaurants.” Makes sense.
- The two cities pride themselves on being “secure, clean and safe.” Agreed.
- Finally, “Singapore’s integrated resort concept combining luxury hospitality and shopping, casinos and world-class entertainment has its roots in Monaco, with Monte-Carlo, founded in 1863, arguably the world’s first integrated resort, and its glamorous Grand Casino immortalised in several James Bond movies.” Singapore even sent delegations there to study the concept back in the day.
And that gets us to the real point of the luncheon – to let Asia-based travellers know that Monaco welcomes their business. “While Monaco has a venerable history, our mission is stressing that this is a world-class destination continually re-inventing itself,” said Guillaume. “We want to put Monaco on the map for today’s top-end travellers from Asia.”
One of the coolest ways that Monaco is upping the ante for global travelers? The historic, five-star Hotel de Paris (see photo below) is currently undergoing renovation to be completed in 2018. It’s aiming to be named the best hotel in the world when the dust settles.
Channelling Singapore, I’d say it’s, Game on, Monaco!
Monaco Yacht Show
Hotel de Paris
By Sara Lyle Bow, November 2015