The principality of Monaco is gearing up as it prepares to host the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2011. It is considered to be "the slowest but the hardest of the Formula 1 championships." From May 26 to May 29, those daredevil racers will be competing for this event with precision, or one miscalculation on those narrow streets can cost them their lives. The drivers' skills are deemed to be more important than the cars as this is a demanding track with tight corners, hairpin turns, shifts in elevations, and a narrow course. The cars used in this circuit are specifically designed and adapted for the unique course.
It is also known as the Circuit de Monaco. The circuit is on the city streets in the neighborhood of Monte Carlo and La Condamine, around the harbor of Monaco. It was in 1929 that the inaugural race was held, after the idea was proposed by Anthony Noghes, who was, then, the president of the Monegasque car club.
The past winners of the Formula 1 Monaco Grand prix are, first, William Grover-Williams, then followed by Schumacher, Senna, prost, Fangio, Graham Hill. In the list of casualties are Luigi Fagioli (1952) and Lorenzo Bandini (1967).
Casino Monte Carlo - the streets around Casino Square, right in front of it, are part of the circuit route.
Setting up for this event has been going on for the last 6 weeks. With just a couple of days left, almost everything is in place. The Grand Prix company sponsors' names are all over, on draped advertising banners.
Bleachers have been put up for the big crowd expected to attend this year's event.
In the meantime, spectators have these cars to drool on, admire, and pose to have their pictures taken, in front of the Casino Monte Carlo.
Attending this event needs some considerable planning. First is to get the tickets, then the hotel accommodations, restaurant reservations, and transportation as traffic is blocked and detoured. Walking is always an option.
Tickets at the highest price of 4,485.00 euros are sold out, with just a few left on the lower- priced tickets. There are still some internet sites selling at last-minute, reduced rates.
As for the hotel accommodations, here are some of the choice locations:
Located next to the Casino Monte Carlo - Place du Casino (Casino Plaza) , the Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo is a five-star, luxury hotel. It is right on the circuit and getting a room with a terrace will give you front-row sitting, to watch the grand prix.
The Hotel de Paris was built in 1864. It was designed to offer the visitor the best that their brand of hospitality could offer, and it continues to excel, making it an art that has won them several accolades in providing "prestigious hostelry."
Located between the Casino Monte Carlo and the Mediterranean sea is a four-star, luxury, convention, resort hotel - the Fairmont Monte Carlo. Part of the grand prix circuit runs under the hotel.
The initial hotel property built on the spot where the first Monagasque railway station was situated, opened it's doors as the Loews Hotel Monte Carlo, on August 22, 1975. Architects Jean Ginsburg, Jean and José Notari, and Herbert Weisskamp came up with a technically, challenging design that called for it to be built, partly, on pillars about 15 meters high. The heating and airconditioning of the hotel is from a sophisticated system that draws water from the Mediterranean Sea at 40 meters deep, where the temperatures are between 12° and 20° all year round. It was the largest hotel in Europe with 619 guest rooms and suites, plus the reception areas, meeting and function rooms, and restaurants and bars. This helped shaped the tourism industry in Monaco and business tourism, as well.
In 1998, it was renamed Monte Carlo Grand hotel when it became part of a private consortium. In December of 2004, it was rename the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts when it was taken over by an investment partnership between the Halifax Bank of Scotland and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia (KIngdom Investments). In March of 2005, it changed its name to Fairmont Monte Carlo. This became a flagship hotel for Kingdom Investments, which partnered with Colony Capital to buy the Fairmont Hotels & Resort chain, with global holdings of all the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel chains. It has undergone a forty-five million euro refurbishment to make it what it is today.
Hotel Métropole Monte Carlo on 4, Avenue de la Madonne
The Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo is another five-star, luxury hotel, just a stone's throw away from the casino. To celebrate the event of the season, it has designed a grand prix atmosphere using the colors black and white. Their hotel service is the epitome of old world charm and glamour coupled with modern amenities. Treat yourself to a gastronomical experience with chef Joel Robuchon's culinary devises as he comes up with imaginative and sophisticated dishes.
Right next to the hotel is the Métropole Gallery. Just opposite the Casino Gardens, it houses 80 boutiques, cafés, a mini market, and a variety of restaurants along Avenue de Spélugues.
Le Meridien Beach Plaza on 22, Avenue Princesse Grace
In the whole of the principality, this is the only hotel that has its own private beach. Just like the other hotels, they have facilities for conferences and conventions, and special wellness treatments. They have chic indoor restaurants, and outdoor settings on the beach front and an exotic bar designed in Bali style. For food and wine lovers, you can sign up for cooking classes and wine tasting.
And after everything - watching the grand prix, having your spa treatments, shopping for some luxury-goods, discovering culinary delights, if you still have time and energy left, you may want to go clubbing at JIMMY'Z! Who knows, you might end up right next to a famous jet setter.
Monaco is a world-class destination with beauty, glamor and sophistication, at a pricey tag.