Monaco with a mini one – staying at Fairmont hotel

When thinking of holiday destinations with little ones, Monaco probably isn’t a destination high on the list of family friendly places.  I think if Keith and I hadn’t been previously, we wouldn’t have been as confident about taking Little J with us.  We booked to stay in the Fairmont Hotel, Monte Carlo through the British Airways sale on Boxing Day 2014.  It was an offer too good to pass up.  Four nights accommodation in the Fairmont with flights for £1,100.  If you are not an F1 fan, you may not understand the relevance of this hotel.  The Fairmont has one of the prime locations in Monaco.  It is on the hairpin of the F1 track and famously has a rooftop swimming pool, where the rich (costs about £4,000 per person/night) can view the race.

The Swimming Pool and Hairpin at the Fairmont Hotel Monaco

I can honestly say it is an amazing hotel.  The staff are friendly and polite – even when you arrive in a beaten up taxi – not quite their normal airport transfer vehicle.

Forecourt of Fairmont hotel

We stayed in a garden view room.  It had a large and very comfortable king sized bed and a fold away bed for little J.  The room was light and spacious, even with the extra bed.  The bathroom had a shower over bath, ideal for children who refuse to take a shower.  Little J was happy when he saw the bottom washer opposite the toilet.  Thankfully he didn’t mis-use it!

Our balcony was wonderful.

Our balcony

The small triangle of outside space with a sun lounger, table and chairs was where Keith and I spent the evenings while little J slept.  It had a wonderful view of the back of the casino and the other exhibitionist guests!  My goodness did it get hot late afternoon.  There was no way of testing the temperature, but Keith and I could only manage 15-20 minutes at at time.

The Fairmont hotel has several wonderful places to eat and drink in.  It is expensive, as you would expect from a top hotel in the centre of Monte Carlo.  A beer set us back €16 and a glass of wine was similar.  Even soft drinks were around €8 each.  Breakfast was priced at €36 – it’s safe to say we found the Carrefour pretty quickly and brought some croissants and wine.  Here is a view from the roof top restaurant.

Roof top restaurant view

Not bad hey?

Our only criticism of the hotel was their use of the pool from midday.  At 12pm, the pool area became the Nikki Beach – a loud, pool party for the elite!  With the DJ pumping the tunes out, champagne flowing and young scantily dressed people taking up the prime positions around the pool.  If I was 10 years younger with no children, it would have been great, but I wasn’t feeling it if I’m honest!

You may be wondering where we did go to eat.  There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Monaco.  We visited some of our firm favourites:

Stars ‘n’ Bars – located in the harbour area is well worth a visit.

Stars n bars

Inside, it has many items of memorabilia on the walls, a bit like Planet Hollywood I suppose.  I really liked the menu at Stars ‘n’ Bars.  It had all the normal burger type foods, as well as many healthier options (vegan too).  This was the only place we visited which had a menu for children.  I chose the falafel sliders, they were rather yummy!

Stars n bars food

Ma Carthy’s – was close to our hotel.  Until this visit, I had only ever had a drink in here at grand prix weekend.  We definitely missed a trick.  The food was lovely.  The lack of children’s sized portions let it down slightly, but in all honesty little J enjoyed it so much, he ate an adults portion of salmon and rice!  Little J was fascinated by the bubbly pipes!

bubbly pipe at Macarthy's

The Monaco Bar (Place d’Armes) was a great little find.  Amazing fresh baguettes that would fill the largest of tummies.  Little J’s ham baguette was €4.  Again, no children’s menu or portions, but by now we had realised the children were expected to eat what the adults ate.  Little J does at home, so I can’t see why not on holiday!

baguette at Monaco Bar

Not all our choices of restaurant were good.  There was a little italian restaurant on the Prom du Larvotte, over looking the beach, which was not very pleasant.  The owners did not seem to want to be there and it showed!  Our worst dining experience by far was at Cafe De Paris.  I won’t bore you with my thoughts on it again, but if you haven’t read my blog on cafe de disappointment, it’s worth a read!

There is so much to see in Monaco.  The boats:

boats in monaco

The cars:

cars in monaco

and buildings:


Monaco will take your breath away.

Public transport is reasonable and reliable on the south coast too.  We took a train to Ventimiglia in Italy.  It cost €22 for a return ticket for the three of us.  We had a lovely day trying to forget our French and use our limited Italian!

train to italy

All in all, we had a wonderful holiday.  Monaco probably isn’t the most family friendly place on the planet, but we felt welcomed almost everywhere we went.  There were no shortage of public places to entertain little J, even if your hotel doesn’t have the same facilities as the Fairmont.  Playgrounds, a large public swimming pool in the harbour, the beach, McDonalds… oh yes, there are two!

If you’re tempted, I can recommend waiting for the BA sale at Christmas.  But don’t tell everyone, as we want to go back 🙂

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Life Unexpected

16 thoughts on “Monaco with a mini one – staying at Fairmont hotel

  1. I bet you all had such an amazing time exploring Monaco, it’s great that Little J went with you and enjoyed his holiday away. Those cars look awesome, I wouldn’t get Nick to go anywhere as he’d be stopping every five seconds to look at another, and if not the cars the boats! It’s fab that Little J was welcomed to Monaco and (almost) everyone made him feel like he fitted in. It’s great the Coombe Mill Sun Cap got to go on Holiday too! Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids.


  2. Wow, what a fantastic looking holiday. My son LOVES cars so this would be his dream holiday. I have jusy shown this to my other half, we are putting it on our travel list 🙂
    Fab photos!
    Becky x


  3. What a great place to holiday, shame about the pool but I am glad it didn’t ruin your holiday. It’s never really been anywhere i’ve considered going before, I’ll have to check it out #whatevertheweather


  4. Blimey that baguette is huge!!! 😀 Love your photos of the views and architecture. That’s what I miss about going abroad but it’ll be a while yet before we jet off anywhere #whatevertheweather #countrykids


  5. Great trip! I’m a big F1 fan and have yet to go to Monaco – it is so on the list. Love that you went somewhere which isn’t deemed hugely family friendly and proved that it’s still possible and you had a fab time. There are kids all over the world so there will always be something for them! The pool thing made me giggle – it’s funny how our opinions change. I’d have been all over it a few years ago too but it would probably just annoy me a bit now. #pocolo


  6. Monaco looks so stunning! My step-dad is a huge F1 fan and I know he’d love to go here (might have to let him know about the Christmas sale!). Your pictures are so stunning, it’s a shame the pool wasn’t family friendly. At least you got to explore the rest of Monaco though and your room sounds devine! I’d love to visit here one day. I know my OH would want to just for the cars! 🙂 Thank you so much for linking up to #whatevertheweather x


  7. It looks like you had a wonderful time, even if it’s not a traditional family-friendly place, you still had a great time. Little J looks very pleased with his giant ham baguette, love that photo! Funny about the pool, I wouldn’t have minded in the past either, but now I’m older and have kids I think completely differently!
    Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x


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