Property guide: Monte Carlo

In terms of prestige, the Carré d’Or remains the undoubted jewel in the crown of Monaco real estate. Despite the modernization of the last fifty years, this historic district remains the country’s beating heart. At its centre is the Place du Casino, home to the Hotel de Paris, the Café de Paris, and the Casino itself, of course. Designed by Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris Opera, this beaux-arts pleasure palace was literally the building that made Monte Carlo. And it’s still a byword for wealth and glamour around the world.

From classical to cutting edge

But since 2018, Garnier’s belle époque vision has a new neighbour. The ultra-modern ‘One Monte-Carlo’ is a residential building designed by Monaco’s own Alexandre Giraldi together with renowned British architect Richard Rogers.  A highrise of thirty-seven luxury apartments designed for long-term lease, it’s a breathtaking development that maximizes the available space at the upper end of the Place du Casino without dominating it.

(image © SBM)

Fashion stores Lanvin and Saint Laurent find their new homes in this building, while Cartier and Dior are located in the adjacent Hotel de Paris. Prada has two new stores, ladies’ fashions in the Hotel de Paris reflected in the windows of the gentlemen’s store opposite. And if you’re a business owner looking for the ultimate in conference rooms, look no further than the art deco Salle des Arts, which exactly reproduces the original in the palais Sporting d’Hiver.

Renting or buying in the Carré d’Or

The district is more than just the Place du Casino. The so-called ‘Golden Square’extends to the Avenue de la Costa to the west, the Boulevard des Moulins to the north, and Larvotto to the east. In general, rentals here stand at around €5,000 to €22,000 per calendar month. Naturally, such prices do not apply to One Monte Carlo, where two-bedroom flats start at €20,000 pcm, rising to €220,000 per month for a 600 m2 apartment with 320 m2 terrace. Clients willing to part with such sums will be pleased to know that rental comes with concierge service and valet parking, as well as access to the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo pool and fitness centre.

High-end renovations and new build

The Carré d’Or may also appeal to potential buyers. House prices here are generally 10% to 15% higher than elsewhere in the Principality. So expect prices to start at around €55,000 per square metre rising to €100,000 per m2 at the top end. A modest 100 m2 pad comes in at €5.5m, while a 5-room 540 m2 apartment is currently on the market for €37.5m. Small studios from 25m2 to 60m2 are also available in the district, with a good selection in the Montaigne complex adjacent to the Hotel Metropole.

On the opposite side of the Casino Square, the Jardins de la Petite Afrique offer a wonderful buying opportunity. €10.5m will buy you a 150m2 fully renovated 3 or 4-bedroom apartment in the Winter Palace.  Meanwhile, the Petite Afrique building, designed in 2016 by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, contains eight brand-new apartments of 700m2 (including terrace) with private pools, sauna, hammam and fitness centre.

This brief overview of the property scene in Monte Carlo itself barely scratches the surface.  There is a great variety of property to be had in Monaco, both rented and purchased, in alternative city districts. La Condamine, Les Jardins Exotiques, Larvotto and Fontvieille will all be covered in later articles in this series.