M O N T E – C A R L O B A Y HO T E L & R E S O R T
F R E D E R I C D A R N E T
Interview} Ken Waller
Photography} John Russo
Location} Monte Carlo Bay Resort, a Preferred Hotel
KW: Can you give us a brief background on yourself and how you found your way to working at the property?
FD: After obtaining an MBA in Hotel Management and Finance at the Institut de Hautes Etudes de Glion, I studied marketing and management at Cornell University. Later, I became Operations Director of the Acropolis complex in Nice, managed by the Accor group. Then, I took over the management of the Novotel Coralia in Chamonix, before managing the Carnac Center in Brittany.
My experience and vision of the marriage between the hotel industry and luxury thalassotherapy led me to work in Corsica and Sardinia, where I managed the Porticcio site, the Coralia Club Marina, and the Sofitel Timi Ama. In 2003, after launching the France Thalasso Operations at the Accor headquarters in Paris and participating in the opening of sites abroad, I left for new horizons such as aeronautical negotiations and television communication.
As a high-level sportsman, I like to take up challenges. This is what I was offered in 2006 when I joined the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Group. I then took over the management of the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, a reference establishment that is a forerunner of technological innovations in the field of preventive health, well-being, and aesthetics.
Within the Group, I was able to actively participate in the management of innovative projects such as the organization of the unmissable Boxing Bonanza tournaments, the launch of the Monaco casinos 24/7, and the design of the Cercle Monte-Carlo loyalty card.
I also manage in parallel La Rascasse, the unmissable bar located at the Port of Monaco!
More recently, in 2016, I was entrusted with the management of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, the latest addition to the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Group. A new challenge that now drives me daily.
KW: How long have you worked with the property? Has your role been the same at the property or have you worked in other roles at the company?
FD: I have been managing Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort since early 2016. My managerial vision is to listen, to be available and responsive, to make people want to excel themselves, and to give them the freedom to take initiative, to set the example, to innovate and surprise to always aim higher!
KW: Can you tell us the brand philosophy of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
FD: In the early 2000s, the development of tourism and the attractiveness of the Principality led the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Group to increase its hotel capacity. Avant-garde and keen to preserve its reputation for excellence, the brand imagined a new hotel concept for Monaco.
In 2005, a new sumptuous establishment rose from the sea: the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. The demand for modern development required high technical expertise as the hotel is entirely designed on the sea. The project, led by the Brussels-based architecture firm, L’Atelier d’Art Urbain, and Monegasque architect Louis Rué, developed the idea of an ‘L’ shaped building with three towers benefiting from optimal orientation on the Mediterranean Sea.
Like a magnificent peninsula, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort offers a chic and casual atmosphere, conducive to relaxation and escape. The perfect balance of Monegasque chic and Mediterranean cool.
I like to say that is “a resort within a resort”. Indeed, our hotel offers a true concentration of the Monegasque experience, combining hotels, gastronomy, nightlife, well-being, and entertainment.
We have chosen as our brand positioning “Where our spirit meets your style”.
I also place a great deal of importance on CSR, and I am proud that the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort is recognized as the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer green pilot hotel.
Indeed, since 2013 the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort has set up the “Bay Be Green Team”, a dedicated team that organizes and monitors all environmental actions. We are proud now to have the Green Globe Gold standard certification, an international recognition.
KW: What makes your property different from staying at other hotels in the region?
FD: The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort was born to meet the demands of a clientele in search of quality, comfort, and modernity.
This is what I am committed in to developing the Resort’s incomparable assets. Indeed, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort offers serene luxury, with 332 spacious rooms with terraces, 75% of which have a view of the sea, with 21 suites of contemporary design and 1 Diamond Suite. We have 3 restaurants, all headed by Executive Chef Marcel Ravin.
In addition, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort offers a unique nightlife experience, very much appreciated by our guests, with the Blue Gin bar and direct access to Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo nightclub. Sports and wellness are also on the agenda, as we offer an indoor and outdoor swimming pool heated all year round, a magnificent sandy-bottomed lagoon, and a Cinq Mondes spa.
More than 400 employees work every day to ensure impeccable service. We have a multicultural team dedicated to excellence while maintaining a friendly atmosphere. The staff is there to ensure that guests have a perfect and always surprising experience. I would say that this is our true strength!
Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort is also part of the group Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer offering a unique Art of Living, a one-of-a-kind Resort since 1863.
KW: What is it about your property that keeps guests returning for multiple stays?
FD: I am convinced that it is our committed staff, always looking for excellence, which makes customers want to come back. In fact, our teams are regularly rewarded for their exceptional work.
To give you some examples, Tony Suray, our Chief Concierge, has been a Clef d’Or since May 2017. Marcel Ravin, our Executive Chef at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, has been awarded a second star in the Michelin Guide in March 2022, after having obtained and maintained his first star in 2015.
Not to mention the place! An amazing resort with all you need at the same place. Our clients usually say that they feel at home, in a chic yet casual atmosphere, where they can just be themselves.
KW: Does your property offer any unique curated experiences that are exclusive to the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort?
FD: We offer several unique and exclusive experiences, including in the recreational facilities. For starters, we have a beautiful sandy lagoon winding through the hotel gardens. This exceptional lagoon winds between terraces, waterfalls, kiosks, and islands of greenery. The latter, designed by the famous landscape architect Jean Mus, are an invitation to relax. In October 2019, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort’s swimming pool was voted “Best Hotel Pool in Europe” by the Villégiature Awards 2019.
We are privileged to also have 4 hectares of outdoor spaces, with a large Mediterranean garden on the sea, bringing together 1500 plant species and offering many privatizable spaces. The 400 Meter square organic vegetable garden maintained by Terre de Monaco and supplying the starred Blue Bay restaurant with fruits and vegetables, is a great source of pride.
Always looking for the best, we decided to imagine and create two informal luxury suites: the Rafael Nadal Suite and the new Eleven Diamond Suite. Some experiences are unique, rare, and precious, an expression of pure luxury, and a stay in one of these Suites is worth the trip.
To begin, “The Rafael Nadal Suite”. The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort is an official partner of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Master, who wanted to pay tribute to Rafael Nadal, the first player to win this Monegasque tournament, who went on to win it more than 10 times.
This suite, which overlooks the sea and was chosen by Rafael Nadal for his stays in the Principality, is in the image of the champion, namely elegant, discreet and inspiring. The decoration is influenced by Rafael Nadal’s sporting universe and is enriched by the cult objects that have marked his career. The suite was inaugurated in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, and Rafael Nadal, at the time of the 112th edition of the Monte-Carlo Masters and the 90th anniversary of the Monte-Carlo Country Club.
Located on the 11th and top floor, the prestigious “Diamond Suite Eleven” is a place where timeless luxury meets the spirit of relaxation that the 4-star Resort embodies so well. It was born from the desire to make an intimate haven of peace that opens onto the Mediterranean. With a somewhat crazy venture: creating an outdoor space on top of the hotel. With private elevator access to the fully reserved 11th floor, this suite offers a space of 195 sq.m, including a 21 sq.m terrace, 180° sea views, and high-end services in an elegant and timeless backdrop.
This cozy nest is offering the possibility to get everyone together since it can be connected to a duplex suite, making it perfect for sharing good times with family and friends.
Stay there is an extraordinary experience, where time stands between sky and sea. And, to let you in on a little secret, a famous tennis player who loves Monaco once said that stepping through the door makes him “feel at home”.
KW: If a guest wants a fully curated experience from the private flight to car service, spa treatments, private tours & excursions, meals, and support staff (nanny, security) can the team at Monaco Bay Club make this happen? Would this be through the concierge?
FD: Our concierges are totally dedicated to making our clients happy. Each desire (almost) can be fulfilled thanks to our amazing team!
KW: Who is the profile of a Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort guest?
FD: It really depends on the period of the year. In Winter, we have principally business customers whereas we have mainly leisure guests in Summer.
The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort is a well-known place for business tourism as it offers the full infrastructure required for an event (car launches, sales seminars, incentives…) and its success. With a heliport, 15 meeting and banqueting rooms mostly with sea view (70%), and a business center, this is a unique place for business events. The outdoor spaces, the lagoon, and the Mediterranean Gardens are particularly well-suited to the organization of exceptional events for cocktails and receptions but also celebrations such as weddings.
Regarding leisure, we have young guests who particularly appreciate the trendy, contemporary, and chic atmosphere of the Resort.
The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort thus offers a genuine concentration of the Monaco experience, combining hotel, gastronomy, nightlife, well-being, and entertainment, not to forget the additional Monte-Carlo Societe des Bains de Mer exclusive facilities.
Our international clientele is also attracted by famous Monaco events such as the
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Monaco Yacht Show, and much more!
KW: Can you tell us about your dining options?
FD: The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort offers a wide range of culinary experiences.
From gastronomy to bistronomy, it satisfies all the cravings.
Marcel Ravin is the Executive Chef of the 3 restaurants: the Blue Bay, the gastronomic restaurant, L’Orange Verte, the bistronomic one, Las Brisas, the Summer one.
With two Michelin stars to his name, Marcel Ravin invites the guests to join him for a bold and creative culinary experience, completed by the sea and flawless views stretching all the way to the horizon.
Another essential stop while visiting the Resort: L’Orange Verte.
It offers relaxed and convivial food, perfect for lunch or dinner on the go in Monaco.
Located between the sea and lagoon, Las Brisas, the summer restaurant, is the ideal place for a sunny lunch in an idyllic setting.
KW: Are there any special exclusive experiences that will be offered to only Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort guests?
FD: “La Table de Marcel” is a unique sensory experience to discover at Blue Bay restaurant. Close to the center of the kitchen, between the dining room and the ovens, chef Marcel Ravin created an exceptional table for two people.
This unique, ultra-sensory experience consists of 14 creations for a moment of sharing and conviviality, for an unusual evening during which chef Marcel Ravin will plunge guests into his culinary universe imprinted with creativity and sensitivity.
Other exclusive experiences to discover… are “Cocoon Bay” and “Sea Bay”, our private spaces by the lagoon or by the sea, to enjoy in summer time, for the most beautiful and indulgent day of the season!
The Sea Bay is the perfect place to lounge by the water in the unspoiled surroundings of the Larvotto Nature Reserve. Whereas Cocoon Bay with Balinese-inspired vibes and bespoke service is the perfect spot to enjoy, with intimacy and comfort, by the sand-bottomed lagoon.
To conclude, one night…or more, in the Diamond Suite Eleven, is for sure a unique journey to the heart of Europe’s most sought-after destination!
To learn more information on the property visit http://montecarlosbm.com