On August 22, 1975, what would become one of Monaco’s most recognised hotels, opened its doors, built “on the very spot” of the first Monegasque railway station and the legendary “Tir aux Pigeons”, frequented by aristocrats and heads of state at the end of the 19th century. The hotel was called Loews Monte Carlo.
Exactly three months later, the complex, designed by the architects Jean Ginsberg, Jean and José Notari, and Herbert Weisskamp, was officially named by Princess Grace.
The Loews Monte Carlo, with 602 rooms and suites, was a remarkable technical accomplishment in its day, constructed in part upon 15-metre high pillars, and entirely heated and air-conditioned by a sophisticated system drawing water from the Mediterranean at a depth of 40 metres, where the temperature fluctuated between 54°F and 68°F year round.
With 7 floors and 60,000 sqm, it helped create the “new face of tourism in the Principality”, in particular by opening up to business tourism.
Over the years, the hotel changed hands, and names. In 1998, a private consortium managed by the Monegasque businessman Toufic Aboukhater renamed it the Monte Carlo Grand Hotel.
Some six years later, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and its partners the Halifax Bank of Scotland and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (Kingdom Hotel Investments), jointly purchased the hotel.
On March 29, 2005, the complex was officially renamed Fairmont Monte Carlo and “an ambitious renovation program” to “put back its sparkle which it had from the start” began.
The Fairmont Hotels & Resorts chain was bought out by Kingdom Hotels International and Colony Capital on May 11, 2006, with the portfolios of the Fairmont and Raffles groups merging together, and retaining their head office in Toronto. The new company now included 120 hotels in 23 countries, brought together under four banners: Fairmont, Raffles, Swissôtel and Delta.
However, since October, 2007, the concession was acquired by the company London & Regional, leaving the management of the hotel to the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts group.
A €46 million second-phase renovation from October 2008 to May 2009 transformed the hotel, including the restaurant, Horizon-Deck & Champagne Bar, a totally re-looked fitness centre, pool and solarium and a brand new product, a Willow Stream Spa.
These days the Fairmont Monte-Carlo is also home to Nobu and Nikki Beach, and is one of the best spots from which to watch the Monaco Grand Prix with its iconic Fairmont Hairpin.
And with the high season around the corner, the Fairmont Monte Carlo is holding a recruitment day on Friday, March 3rd, from 9 am to 6 pm.
From kitchen staff to cleaners, and from lifeguard to Wellness practitioner, there are about 100 positions that need to be filled (a list of the 22 different departments can be seen on their Facebook post).
Anyone interested should go to the hotel at 12 Avenue des Spélugues with CV in hand. The candidate must be resident in Monaco or in one of the neighbouring towns, and if the lucky applicant is accepted on the day, he or she will need to answer a “Talent Meter” online questionnaire.
The Fairmont’s Recruitment Day is an annual event, and its success continues to grow: last year there received 450 candidates but this year, the hotel expects many more.