Fest's home base is quite the playground for the well-heeled
Get a Room
Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel has emerged in recent years as the top venue for guests looking for a peaceful haven. It boasts a lagoon-style, salt-water pool with a sandy bottom. A more classic hotel choice is the Hermitage, which combines Belle Epoque charm and architecture. It features a top-notch spa — the Thermes — and the Crystal Bar, where guests can enjoy a view of the royal harbor.
See the Sights
For a truly spectacular arrival, take a helicopter from Nice to Monte Carlo; you can book one at monacoair.mc/fr. Once you unpack, take in the Oceanographic Museum, visit the Palais, take a walk around the harbor, or visit the Prince of Monaco’s classic car collection in the Terraces de Fontvieille.
Savor a Meal
Monte Carlo is packed with top-notch restaurants. Located across from the Grimaldi Forum, where all the festival action unfolds, Bouchon serves such bites as crepes, hamburgers, Caesar salads and bagels. Another strategic spot for festivalgoers: The Café de Paris, a fancy brasserie located on the Place du Casino. It offers outdoor dining and great people-watching. For fresh local seafood try Quai des Artistes, a luxurious Parisian style brasserie on the Port Hercule. For Japanese or Thai dishes, Maya Bay shines.
Virtual reality will subject of a panel of professionals at the fest’s first ConTech Academy. Speakers include Alison Norrington, CEO of London production house Storycentral; Antoine Cayrol, producer at VR house Okio; Annika Gustafson, exec director at BoostHbg; and Brian Seth Hurst, co-founder of L.A.-based consult-ing and packaging firm Storytech.
Raise a Glass
The city counts various trendy bars, including the Rooftop of the Fairmont, where festgoers can sip on a glass of rosé or Champagne with a view of the sunset; the Bar Americain at the Hotel de Paris, where guests can enjoy an evening cocktail to the beat of live music; and Jimmy’z nightclub, one of the best-known clubbing spots of the French Riviera. American-themed Stars ’N’ Bars is great for a beer while watching a game.