|Hotel Metropole entrance during my visit in 2009.|
|Raspberry tarts, Feraris and Signage at Hotel Metropole during my visit in 2009.|
|c/o Hotel Metropole|
Monaco. Have you been? You know, the exclusive enclave of Provence and the Cote d'Azur where you're guaranteed the epitome of luxury. Yatchs, Escada, Grace Kelly, hand-shaped macaroons, Feraris and $8 espresso shots.
And Hotel Metropole.
And now Karl Lagerfeld.
I've been to Monaco 3 times since 2006 and have loved every detail of uber small "country" sitting on a rock formation. My last visit in 2009 was quite special. I spent a good amount of time at Hotel Metropole, doing short, intimate cooking demos with chef Joel Robuchon's staff at both of his restaurants. It's been by far the best culinary experience I've had. And to boot, the director of PR -- who hosted my entire afternoon -- and I have become good friends. That's been the most memorable. I just adore that girl!
So when she emailed me a few months ago with news that their rooftop pool, terrace, and gardens was being completely redesigned by Karl Lagerfeld, I instantly started making plans to see it for myself.
Chanel's Creative Director was invited to take on the redesign project. As a pro photog, setting his goals far beyond couture and fancy runway shows, he injected and brought to life Ulysses' journey through some of his personal art collection. His work was installed on 15 etched backlit glass panels to depict his version of the centuries old Greek Homer poems. The life-size storyboard, penned Ulysses' Journey Around the Mediterranean Sea, is based on real pictures captured by Lagerfeld and strategically illuminate the pool area and Robuchon's 3rd concept, which was also designed by the black-suited genius, to create motion and an ambient environment. From morning light to dusk, the panels will have a unique appeal which give the water in the pictures a real life sense of movement.
So I'm not in Monaco -- yet -- but saw some of the renditions and sketches of the entire project while I was in NY when my friend came for a quick visit. I sat in a dark and ultra sexy lounge with her and just drooled in amazement of what I know is the most opulent, yet laid back pool deck I'll ever walk on.
And now the official pictures are released and I'm more convinced Monaco has a special place in my heart. At the seat of some potentially life-changing encounters, virtually from Monte Carlo, I've have to make my way there and see this for myself. The openness of the designer pool during warm months has a superb joi de vivre appeal with plush seating and sky high trees lining the border of the building. The black and white decor resembles a modern burlesque space. I can almost see beautiful women walking around in long Grecian style gowns, fanning with the silkiest plumes.
And night time, with it's dimmed lighting and low seating, draws a je ne sais quois of sorts that can only be pinpointed by a dip in the blue water, a bite off the new Michelin-rated menu, and a sensual libation, all with sexy loungey-tunes occupying the air space.
With the daily seating and picture-perfect lighting changes from day to night, you'll never feel like you're in the same place. Only a hotel like Hotel Metropole can pull off a massive redo that even Americans will be inspired to inquire about and budget for. Oh, because if you didn't already know, it's not the cheapest place in the world.
I've been there and now it's time to go back. I'll write you from the poolside. Just wait.
Check out the hotel's website for more information on the project and their accommodation packages. It's worth every dime spent. I promise.