Superyachts and Supercars: The Ultimate Guide to the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the premiere events on the motor racing calendar but it is also an excellent opportunity to see some of the world’s biggest, most expensive and most advanced yachts.

The race is held in the tiny French Riviera principality of Monaco over the last weekend of May or the first weekend of June. The narrow, winding streets of Monaco are transformed into a Formula 1 track, the Circuit de Monaco, surrounded by a maze of small streets, walkways and secret elevators. It is easy to get lost in the city during the Grand Prix and can be frustrating finding good accommodation and places to eat as the population increases more than 7 times from its usual 30,000 residents to over 200,000.

Obviously, the very best way to experience the race is to stay aboard one of the many yachts moored in the marina. Not only will you have a place to sleep, but you may also have a prime view of the action, depending on where the boat is moored. Chartering a yacht is an option for well-heeled attendees, whether you would like to stay on a futuristic mega yacht or a refurbished classic motor yacht, the choice of which vessel to watch the race from is certainly a tough one.

Parties and events at the Monaco Grand Prix are some of the most exclusive in the world and are legendary for the kind of rich and powerful attendees they attract. Most are by VIP invitation only, especially the celebrations and functions onboard expensive superyachts, but the world’s elite attend a range of events and there are plenty of nightclubs and party spots to meet and network with the rich and powerful.

Getting to Monaco

Most race goers will fly into the nearby French town of Nice, which has an international airport 33 minutes from Monte-Carlo, where the race is held. Many stay on charter boats that are active in the Mediterranean in the European summer and often these vessels cruise to Monaco directly from the Riviera town of Cannes, where the International Film Festival is held usually the weekend before the Grand Prix.

If you hire a car and take a scenic route from Nice to Monaco, the coast road only takes an extra 15 minutes, although traffic on Grand Prix week can be painful. However, the views of the Mediterranean during the drive are a lovely precursor to the famed city and its beautiful old architecture.

One of the most popular and spectacular ways to get to Monte-Carlo is by helicopter from Nice Airport. Monacair flights depart every 15 minutes and take only 7 minutes to get to the helipad in Monaco. Once there a taxi will be able to take you to your hotel. This is the ideal stress-free option to avoid all the traffic.

Hotels to Stay in Monaco

The streets of Monaco are lined with beautiful hotels that offer some of the best accommodation in the Mediterranean. Some sections of the street circuit are only viewed from these ultra luxury hotels where Michelin stars and indulgent spa treatments are the norm.

Here are some of the most luxurious and top-rated hotels to stay in while you enjoy all that the Grand Prix has to offer.

Hôtel de Paris

Often described as one of the best hotels in Monaco, the Hôtel de Paris receives almost perfect reviews from guests who love the friendliness of the staff, quality of the food and luxuriant amenities.

It is positioned right on the F1 track next to the famous Monte-Carlo Casino, only 4 minutes by car from the train station and within the hotel the Louis XV-Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris has an impressive total of 3 Michelin stars.

Included in the price of the hotel is admission to the 7,000 square metre Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo spa, where you can experience an energising or harmonising massage treatment, amongst others.

Fairmont Monte-Carlo

Offering some of the best views of one of the most exciting segments of the Circuit de Monaco, including the thrilling Fairmont Hairpin, this 4-star hotel is one of the very best to watch the Monaco Grand Prix from. If you’re in the right room.

The Fairmont has an outdoor pool, 2 restaurants, a shopping mall, hairdressers, a fitness centre and a spa. The race can be viewed from the rooftop terrace where you can also swim in the heated pool.

Positioned between the Casino and the sea, the location of this hotel couldn’t be more convenient, if you are in town for the Grand Prix, the Fairmont Hotel Monte-Carlo is definitely worth considering. It is host to the famous Nikki Beach club which is one of the best places to party on race week. Entry is included for guests of the Fairmont.

Hôtel Hermitage

This historic 5-star hotel is located inside a palace constructed in the Belle Époque style and is another ultra luxurious hotel in Monte-Carlo that would make a good base to watch the Grand Prix.

Go for a peaceful stroll in the gorgeous winter garden the morning of the race and relax in the 7000 square metre spa where you can workout and get a massage to get you ready for a day of race action. You’re almost guaranteed to see some famous faces here too.

There is a huge range of fine vintage wine and aged spirits available in the Crystal Bar, scattered with leather armchairs and outfitted with some of the world’s most exuberant decor. Plus the breakfast is to die for.

Port Palace

This trackside hotel will get you closer to the action than almost any other, overlooking Port Hercule and almost on top of the Circuit de Monaco.

Rooms are spacious and the hotel is a short 8-minute walk from Larvotto Beach. You can almost reach out and touch the boats moored in the marina and harbour views are the best in Monaco.

As with most of the hotels in Monaco, guests have access to a luxurious spa and Hammam. The hotel also features an expansive wine cellar where you can taste some of the rarest and most delicious French and international wines, stored and aged in perfect conditions.

Hotel Columbus

This Hotel is well placed to be a base for exploring Monaco during the Grand Prix and is situated in between the Rose Garden dedicated to Princess Grace and Port Fontvieille. Its location is ideal to get away from the crowds while having easy access to tenders or transport into Port Hercule. The stylish lobby bar is a hit during Grand Prix week and it’s likely you’ll bump into some well-known guests.

With sea view, city view or pool view rooms and an excellent restaurant, this boutique offering is 3-star but with the service of 5-star accommodation. It is positioned just outside the Old Town but close enough to be able to walk to the Grand Prix in about 10 minutes.

An excellent restaurant is situated on the lower level and most rooms come with a vast terrace to enjoy the famous Mediterranean sun.

Le Méridien

While not on the Circuit de Monaco like some of the other hotels on offer, Le Méridien is located very well, with access to its own jetty and a private beach that is transformed into Sunset Beach Club during Grand Prix week. Complete with sea view terraces with sparkling swimming pools and Alang Bar, you can party or relax as you choose.

The hotel offers a range of dining options and other bars, scattered mainly around its private beachfront and is a very short walk to the Grand Prix.

Although Le Méridien seems far from the heart of the action, it’s located in the hub of the post race parties. It’s suggested to book tenders to the track rather than taxis as they are few and far between.

Monte-Carlo Bay

This Hotel is located on the Larvotto peninsula 120 metres from the French border, surrounded by 4 hectares of lush waterfront garden. An impressive spa and a lagoon with waterfalls and hot tubs cover 900 square metres of these gardens offering guests a slice of Monaco’s luxurious shoreline.

Guests can play billiards or relax next to the vast pool. Although it is one of the furthest hotels in Monaco to the circuit it is on the doorstep of Monaco’s best clubs and afterparties.

The hotel features some of the best food in Monaco as both restaurants are managed by the brilliant Marcel Ravin.

Luxury Villas to Stay at Near Monaco

A popular option for those attending the Monaco Grand Prix is to stay in a Villa just outside Monaco. The small villages and towns in the hills overlooking the sea are an excellent choice for those who would like to experience the race, but also want to have a place of sanctuary to recharge their batteries and enjoy the beautiful French Riviera.

Many of these villas and hotels are a great option for larger groups of friends or families as they are equipped to cater for more guests with gorgeous sun terraces and infinity pools, some even have beach access.

Villa Paradise, Èze

The village of Èze is a picturesque medieval village on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean and is home to the Riviera’s best and most luxurious accommodation. This Villa is located very close to Èze beach and includes an infinity swimming pool, bar and shared lounge.

You could spend hours taking in the panoramic sea views and soaking up the Mediterranean sun, or head straight to Monaco and enjoy the Grand Prix, a short 17-minute drive away. The property features 5 deluxe bedrooms all with kingsized beds and can comfortably sleep 5 couples.

Villefranche

Panoramic sea views over Cap Ferrat and the Bay of Villefranche make this location a magnificently beautiful base for up to 10 people. Villefranche is a collection of hillside villas overlooking a deep bay where many of the larger superyachts will moor during the Grand Prix.

The race is 25 minutes away by car from Villefranche, its hilltop position gives you an amazing view of the Med while you relax in between trips to Monaco to watch the race or attend parties.

Cap d’Ail

Situated just outside the old city of Monaco, Cap d’Ail is a great option for Grand Prix accommodation due to its proximity to the race. It is also an incredibly beautiful location in its own right, featuring dramatic limestone cliffs rising out of crystal clear turquoise water.

There is a regular train to get you closer to the race which takes about three minutes, walk a few minutes into Monaco, get a tender from the Port of Cap d’Ail or you can take a taxi if you can find one.

Roquebrune-Cap Martin

Another seaside commune 11 minutes north of Monaco, Roquebrune-Cap Martin is home to the oldest castle in France set on a dramatic rock outcropping with glorious Mediterranean vistas. The town hosts some amazing modernist architecture and beautiful villas that can be rented for the duration of the race.

As with most of these locations, it is important that you book accommodation very far ahead of the Grand Prix as most accommodation will sell out up to a year before the event.

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

This peninsula is located near Nice and 25 minutes from Monaco, many of the villas in the area offer panoramic views of the sea, there is a beautiful marina and as with the other towns around Monaco, it is not hard to find clifftop luxury villas.

As it is further from the race, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat provides a good option for those looking to not only attend the race but explore the French Riviera.

Should I Charter a Yacht?

The Monaco Grand Prix is about fast cars screaming around tight turns and down narrow streets set against the backdrop of gorgeous architecture and the most luxurious yachts you can buy. The race track takes the Formula 1 cars directly past yachts moored in Port Hercule, but many of the boats do not actually have a good view of the race and mooring bays close to the track are reserved for those that can pay a premium. The 221 boat Port Hercule marina is at capacity during the race and prices to park your yacht there can be as high as A$150,000 for the week.

But if money is not an object for you and you have always dreamt of watching the most anticipated race on the F1 calendar from a massive superyacht, there are options available. Chartering a yacht for the Monaco Grand Prix is a good option for those who can afford it. Your transport and accommodation are taken care of and you will stay in the very heart of the city, often parties will be on other boats in the marina and the area turns into a VIP experience featuring some of the world’s most powerful and wealthy individuals for a week.

There are many charter companies in the Med and even more superyachts to choose from. Here is a sample of the range of yachts to choose from in order to have waterside views of the race or anchor offshore.

Phoenix 2

This 90 metre yacht was built by reputed German shipyard Lürsen in 2010 and refitted in 2011, it has accommodation for up to 12 guests in 7 cabins. The sumptuous interior design is by UK based firm Winch design and provides a welcoming atmosphere in which you can enjoy the beautiful spaces of the yacht.

A generous swimming pool and separate spa on the aft deck are perfect for sunny Mediterranean days or for post race drinks, with plenty of viewing space from the three levels and the tenders mean you will easily be able to go ashore and watch the race.

An opulent grand piano and cinema room onboard make for excellent places to retire after a hectic day partying and watching the F1, or join the other revellers and party until morning on the vast sun deck. Limited mornings are available for a yacht of this size and you may have to attend a race viewing party on one of the other yachts in Port Hercule.

Wheels

This 75 metre superyacht was built in 2008 by Oceanco and is a popular option for those looking to attend the Monaco Grand Prix. Refitted in 2019, Italian designer Sam Sorgiovanni is behind the interiors, sophisticated spaces like the salon can transform into wide open dance floors and discos in order to host huge, raucous parties, something the Monaco Grand Prix is well known for.

Accommodation for 12 guests in 7 suites includes the unbelievable master suite with a mezzanine level near the bridge. The other suites are very luxurious and the vessel comes with multiple tenders and toys for going ashore easily to attend parties and watch the F1.

This yacht is particularly suited to families attending the race, as the capacity for up to 22 crew means you will be well taken care of and children will be supervised. The expert crew make your stay as comfortable and luxurious as possible, they acquiesce to almost any request and are polite, knowledgable and friendly.

Lady Jorgia

Five expansive decks with everything you could possibly need makes Lady Jorgia a solid option for attending the Monaco Grand Prix with a large group. A glass bottomed swimming pool and outdoor cinema mean you will be able to take advantage of Monaco’s famously sunny weather while you relax in-between races.

74 metres long and built in 2017 by CRN, other onboard amenities include a massive fold down beach club with an espresso bar, water toys, a hair salon and a fully-equipped gym so your stay onboard will be as comfortable and entertaining as possible.

The Yacht can fit as many as 12 guests in king size suites and a diverse, experienced crew of 24 are skilled mariners who know the ins and outs of cruising and have probably the Monaco Grand Prix.

Victorious

Plenty of seating and plenty of deck space make Victorious perfect for hosting a party post race. The 85 metre vessel was built in 2021 by Turkish shipyard Akyacht is one of the newest and most advanced superyachts available for charter in Monaco.

The massive yacht is one of the best and most luxurious choices for attending the Monaco Grand Prix and it is recommended that you charter this yacht for a longer period of time, simply because you will need at least a few weeks to fully experience all it has to offer.

The onboard beach club has a swimming pool, the owner’s decks are family friendly, there are cabins for children and a terrace with a private jacuzzi. VIP suites, elevators, observation lounges, cinema, a gym and wellness centre with sea terraces and a cigar clubroom with fireplace are some of the amazing and unique features onboard this yacht, a must if you are looking to impress guests at your Monaco Grand Prix party.

Watching the Race

If you are looking for the authentic Monaco Grand Prix experience there are many vantage points from which you can witness these lightning fast wonders of engineering scream past, but there are a few things to remember when planning your day.

Browse our list of Grand Prix vantage points below to see which of the viewing options appeals to you, whether you want to watch the cars fly through a chicane at unbelievable speed or brake hard after a long straight past Port Hercule.

Yacht Club de Monaco

This 22 metre high clubhouse was built in the shape of a cruise ship docked at Quai Louis II and with 4000 square metres of outdoor deck space, this is one of the best places to watch the F1. It is positioned just after the tunnel, over the Nouvelle Chicane part of the track, where drivers navigate two sharp turns and is a great spot to witness some of the most thrilling sections of the track.

The Yacht Club de Monaco | Source: Yacht Club de Monaco

Or if you want to watch the action from a yacht, Senate Grand Prix has a huge three level yacht that is probably the best position for viewing the race, metres from the action on a 37 metre yacht parked on Tabac Corner. Guests are transferred from Fontvieille Harbour by tender into Port Hercule to board the yacht, where champagne and finger food will be served all day.

Automobile Club de Monaco

This club is at the heart of the Grand Prix. The rooftop offers an excellent vantage point of Tabac Corner, in between the two longest straight sections of the track where you can see the cars at peak performance. Many celebrities watch the race from here.

The club runs side races featuring older historic race cars as well as other beautiful pieces of automotive architecture. As with most other viewing points, champagne and other drinks flow freely and there is a festive atmosphere above the din of the Formula 1 race cars screaming around Circuit de Monaco.

Trackside Superyacht

The most iconic section of the racetrack has to be the straights before and after Tabac Corner around Port Hercule. Lightning-fast F1 cars race past lines of superyachts, all positioned in order to allow those onboard an unrestricted view of the engineering marvels as they speed past.

Port Hercule with Tabac corner pictured on the left | Source: Yacht Harbour

There are a few things to remember if you are planning to view the Grand Prix from a yacht in Port Hercule. The first is the yacht’s position in the Port. The best moorings to view the race run from Quai Louis 11 down to Tabac Corner, then along the straight leading to the swimming pool section of the track in front of the grandstand. If you do manage to secure a mooring in these places, you may not want to wear a skirt as the only way to access some of the yachts is to be transported there by tender and climb up a ladder at the bow of the vessel.

If you have secured a mooring on the T-jetty, you will be disappointed by the view of the race. Simply put, you cannot see any cars from anywhere on the T-jetty and most people aboard the yachts parked at this jetty will secure a ticket to one of the sponsored yachts in another part of Port Hercule to watch the race or watch it on a screen on board the yacht. But the party atmosphere on the T-jetty is second to none.

La Rascasse

This popular Monaco nightspot is one of the closest locations to the penultimate corner of the track and hosts some of the wildest and most exciting Grand Prix parties in Monaco. The viewing area is positioned metres from the race and attendees have the chance to glimpse the drivers heading to pit lane while enjoying the best cuisine and wine in the South of France.

After the race, Rascasse transforms into a wild nightclub with an amazing dance floor, DJs and an all night party that rages until early morning. Definitely a must for younger attendees or those looking to kick off their heels and groove.

Paddock Club

On the opposite side to Rasscasse but still with an amazing view of the corner is the Paddock Club. This exclusive bar offers immersive Grand Prix experiences such as a meet and greet with drivers and past legends and a massive screen to watch the race.

The view from the Paddock Club | Source: Senate Grand Prix

Paddock Club offers a unique vantage point over the team garages, with a clear view of the start and finish line and into the pit lane. If you are looking for a uniquely exciting experience the Paddock Club is an excellent place to spend the day. Needless to say, the after party is also an authentic Monaco experience and one you will not soon forget.

Red Bull Racing Energy Station

A relatively new vantage point to watch the race, Red Bull joins two barges together and hosts a spectacular party featuring stunt bikes, celebrities and of course, champagne.

Hang out with the Red Bull Formula 1 team, wine, dine and experience the very best of the Monaco Grand Prix from this multi-level arrangement of bars and restaurant facilities in a prime position. Motocross, freestyle skating, BMX and celebratory plunges in the swimming pool are regular occurrences at the Station which is assembled every year in Italy, and then towed to Monaco for the event.

Trust Red Bull to throw the most indulgent and exciting party in Monaco, they are used to pushing the envelope and past attendees include Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo who all jumped into the pool after winning the Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton made a splash when he zoomed past the Red Bull Racing Energy Station on a Jet Ski in 2015.

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