Laurence Shukor talks to ITCM about business in MonacoLaurence Shukor, spokesperson for one of Monaco’s iconic properties, the independent Hotel Metropole, was in London, so ITCM took the opportunity to get updated. It was encouraging to hear that its MICE business is buoyant and the future looks equally promising.
‘Our business clients account for as much as 40% of revenue’, says Laurence, ‘and two thirds of that is due to events.’
Naturally, event organisers who select to put their groups into the Metropole tend to be attracted by the special cachet of a doyen property in Monaco. Fashion, cosmetics, jewellery and upmarket car launches go well with the glamour and elegance of the setting. After all, the hotel actually has its own fashion mall and is located alongside the Place du Casino, one of the best addresses anywhere in the world.
‘Samsung had groups in the hotel recently, back-to back-from The Netherlands, Ireland and Poland. We are shortly to be hosting an international congress on the prevention of skin aging.’
Hotel Metropole has its own in-house theatre which has ben used fpr movie premieres. ‘It has 110 seats’, says Laurence and she also points out that
there are in total just 126 guestrooms and suites, so it is not unusual for a client company to take over the whole property.
There are four restaurants with different cuisines, one well-known for its terrace looking down into the town centre. Remarkably, being so French, one, called Yoshi, is a 2-Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant created by Joel Robuchon. There is also a Michelin-starred one with Mediterranean cuisine.
The hotel is frequently the choice for A-list celebrities. It has a 110-sqm Presidential Suite that boasts a 100sqm terrace with views of most of the city state.
An unusual facility is that all the rooms on the hotel’s 7th floor can be linked together, creating one spacious function room. In total, there are six dedicated meeting rooms, three of them with interior décor by Karl Lagerfeld.
‘A significant attraction shared by all properties in Monaco’, Laurence emphasises, ‘is the promise of 300 days of sunshine a year. It makes us so popular for events with a leisure programme or for pure incentives. Add to that our spa treatments and yoga sessions and it is not difficult to appreciate what a wonderful experience we can offer.’
Hotel Metropole is convenient for delegates attending conferences at the Forum Grimaldi, the multi-auditoria facility which is within easy walking distance. Of course, everything is close by in Monaco, which is so tiny a principality that it has to borrow land from France for a golf course.
I was interested to hear that the UK is still the Number One source of guests for Hotel Metropole, with Russia Number Two. The Middle East provides the next largest number of guests. ‘We are seeing increasing arrivals’, adds Laurence, ‘from Brazil and China.’
Money is not necessarily a problem for many of the visitors to Monaco, but, still, the lower value of the Euro must be making it more accessible to a wider range of event organisers.