One Monte-Carlo Conference Center: A New Hub For Business Tourism In Monaco
The MICE segment is the target of this newest offering from Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer.
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Monaco may not be the first place that comes to mind when someone in the MENA region is considering a foreign destination to stage a corporate event or exhibition, but having spent a few days experiencing both the charm of this independent state on the French Riviera, as well as the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) segment-targeted offerings from my hosts in the country, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (Monte-Carlo SBM), I must admit that there's a definite case to be made for this European microstate to be seen as a business tourism center as well.
A view from one of the Diamond Suites at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo.
Let's start with the inherent appeal of Monaco as a place to visit- be it with its storied history, the blissfully sunny weather it enjoys for most of the year, or even just its standing on the global landscape as a haven for luxury and opulence, this country -the second smallest in the world- has much to offer the tourists who make their way there. Monte-Carlo is easily the most popular of districts within this constitutional monarchy, with visitors often making their first stop at the iconic Casino de Monte-Carlo that stands at the center of the city. This casino, along with the luxe hotels that neighbor it, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo and Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, are among the properties that are owned and run by Monte-Carlo SBM, a publicly traded company that was founded more than 150 years ago.
The Jardin d'Hiver in the lobby of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.
While its history is testament to its prowess on the hospitality front, Monte-Carlo SBM boasts of also being "an international reference in congresses, incentives, and meetings," and it is this legacy that it can fall back on as it goes about showcasing its newest MICE offering, the One Monte-Carlo conference center, which it officially opened in June 2019. With 1,445 sq. m. of space that can be used for all kinds of events (think everything from product launches to gala dinners), nine rooms ranging in size from 48 to 301 sq. m., and an 80-seat auditorium as well, One Monte-Carlo is being positioned by Monte-Carlo SBM as a new business tourism hub that has the advantage of being situated in the heart of Monaco.
The facade of One Monte-Carlo in Monaco.
One Monte-Carlo's location certainly works to its advantage- it's only a 30-minute car ride away from the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (there's also the alternative option of a seven-minute helicopter flight for the high-fliers among you), while the Monaco Monte-Carlo railway station is just a few minutes away. As for housing all of the guests that organizers will have for events they stage at One Monte-Carlo, the Group offers a total of 486 bedrooms (278 at Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and 208 at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo), 33 rooms and lounges (10 at One Monte-Carlo, 14 at Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, eight at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, and one at the Café de Paris, also operating under the banner of Monte-Carlo SBM)- all in close proximity to the conference center.
An event being held at One Monte-Carlo Conference Center.
Also in the vicinity of One Monte-Carlo are a host of F&B establishments that are run by Monte-Carlo SBM. Besides the Monaco hotspot that is the Café de Paris, the other restaurants that the Group has in its repertoire include Le Vistamar, L'Hirondelle, and Louis XV - Alain Ducasse, among others, while nightlife enthusiasts will enjoy letting their hair down at places like Bar Américain, La Rascasse, Jimmy'z, and Buddha. Given that all of these places are located so close by that all of them are accessible by either foot or by quick transfers, visitors will find organizing both business and leisure activities here to be quite a breeze, without any of the complications that are often characteristic of events in unfamiliar locations.
Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo
One Monte-Carlo has been built on the location where the Palais des Beaux-Arts (1892-1928) and Sporting d'Hiver (1930- 2014) used to once stand, and as such, the new space makes it a point to pay homage to this history, which is particularly evident in the 301 sq. m. conference room called the Salle des Arts, designed as a perfect replica of the art deco room of the same name that was originally on this site. Of course, this is just one of the rooms available at One Monte-Carlo (others include the Salle Jean Cocteau, Maria Callas, Rossini, and Arman), with the conference center also boasting of a large lobby that covers more than 500 sq. m., which allows for it to be utilized for a number of different purposes.
One Monte-Carlo's Salle des Arts room.
As an enterprise that has publicly stated its commitment to safeguarding the environment, Monte-Carlo SBM has made sure its new conference center has been built (and is operated) under globally recognized sustainability guidelines. Besides being certified BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which is the world's longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings, One Monte-Carlo also makes it a priority to implement a variety of environmentally friendly practices that would help control the ecological impact of events held at the center.
The foyer of One Monte-Carlo Conference Center.
But while all of the above aspects can make One Monte-Carlo in Monaco seem like a great location for one to stage an event, it's safe to say that the clinching factor to seal the deal would lie in understanding the work that the team at Monte-Carlo SBM will do to ensure everything runs smoothly and seamlessly. Be it through their years of experience in the MICE segment, or simply their remarkable attention to detail, the Group's employees come across as a hardworking group of people that will leave no stone unturned in making sure you get the return on investment that you'd want from your events here. After all, at the end of the day, that is all that really matters- and Monte-Carlo SBM is an enterprise that definitely gets that.
The Salle Belle Epoque at Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.
IN FIGURES: Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer
> A company that has been in operation for over 150 years
> An in-house sales team of 26 people, of which 14 exclusively dedicated to business tourism.
> Over 3,000 requests for professional projects processed yearly.
> Business tourism activity which represents 70,000 room nights per year, i.e. 35 to 40% of room nights in the four hotels of Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer and 20 to 25% of its global turnover for accommodation.
> 300 events organized each year for groups from 20 to 1,700 participants.
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