60 seconds with… Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo general manager Serge Ethuin

With the countdown to inVOYAGE 2019 in full swing, we catch up with Serge Ethuin, general manager at one of our partner venues, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, on the changing luxury landscape, the property’s new exciting experiences for 2019, and going above-and-beyond to surprise and delight guests…

The lowdown?
The Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo has a strong identity and soul with a unique concept that gives the feel of an exclusive club attracting world’s elite. It’s a rare place uniting the world’s finest signatures in narrative design, top-notch fashion star-rated and gastronomy such as Jacques Garcia, Joël Robuchon, Karl Lagerfeld and Givenchy.

Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo (W.Pryce)

What’s new?
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is always keen to offer new and unique experiences. That is why we created the programme “Just For You” with a selection of bespoke exclusive memorable activities to be shared with family or friends.

This year, we are launching new experiences such as the “Night at the Museum” that takes place at the Oceanographic Museum at night when the museum is normally closed to the public! In the darkness of the grandiose halls, where a cosy atmosphere reigns, you can discover the museum and its hidden corners during an unusual visit. The exploration ends on the terrace with a cocktail overlooking the sea under a starry sky.

We will also be offering our clients an “E-surf” experience. This consists in riding an electric surfboard which no longer depends on the power of the waves to ensure maximum fun.

Regarding the dining experience, as with every other year during the summer season, the restaurant ODYSSEY opens its doors to a non-resident clientele at night. On evenings throughout July and August, from Tuesday to Saturday, the restaurant “El Invernadero” will open its doors in this exceptional setting.

Odyssey at Hotel Metropole (M.Galup)

Christophe Cussac, the hotel’s Executive Chef, has in fact invited the Chef Rodrigo de la Calle and his entire kitchen brigade to recreate on site his “gastrobotanic” cuisine. The Chef will further enhance the magic of the setting by presenting his unique gastronomy based on respect for nature, where vegetables take the starring role.

Finally, we couldn’t talk about the Hotel Metropole without mentioning its #greenattitude. Since 2008, in echo to the Prince Albert II Foundation’s dedication to protecting the Earth’s vital balance, the Hotel Metropole has been mobilising support for the environment by organising many operations. The latest one takes place on the 9 June 2019 during which hotel employees, accompanied by their children in partnership with the Municipality of Menton, will take part in a clean-up operation of the beach, entitled “The Sea Starts Here”. It is aimed at raising awareness on the need for everybody to change their everyday behaviour.

Can you give name any recent luxury brands you have hosted?
The Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is often chosen by prestigious luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Van Cleef and Arpels to host pop-up boutiques either in our theatre but also in some of our Suites. 

Why should planners consider Monaco for events and incentives?
Planners should consider Monaco for many reasons such as its easy accessibility and its exceptional geographic setting between the Mediterranean Sea and beautiful mountains. Monaco is also one of the safest countries in the world with high-quality service but most of all, discretion.

What are your favourite hidden gems in Monte Carlo? 
For outdoor activities, I personally recommend the spectacular view of the promontory in the shape of a dog’s head in La Turbie that rises to an altitude of 550 metres above the glistening waves of the Mediterranean. Adored by climbers, this natural observatory played a strategic military role in the 18th century and offers a perfect view of coastal landscapes. Breathtaking scenery and highly “Instagramable”!

Glamorous, elegant, warm, the lobby bar of the Hotel Metropole is the perfect choice for gourmet treats. The hours slip by quietly, far from the outside world, around a coffee, at tea-time or the cocktail hour, for a lunch break or an intimate dinner. It is where you can immerse yourself into the MetropoleMoods, with decor reflecting the seasons and topical themes, for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, summer, and many other occasions.

Lobby at Hotel Metropole (W.Pryce)

What’s #trending in 2019?
Clients are increasingly looking for a tailor-made experience. They want to find exceptional places and a true experience based on genuine human relations. At the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, we are very keen on providing this type of service, we know our guests personally and that explains why we have so many regular guests coming to organise their events at the Metropole. They know that they will be taken care of, that we will remember them and their tastes. Our clients feel unique. 

Luxury defined…
There was a time when luxury was consumed in an ordinary way by extraordinary people, whereas now you could have more modest people that consume luxury on exceptional occasions. At the same time, you have an upper-class clientele who can go shopping at Louis Vuitton as well as Zara. We have to adapt to a mixed-clientele but we want all of them to find in our hotel a place that gives them a rare and unique moment.

It’s all in the detail…
The Hotel Metropole is all about details and surprise. For instance, we try to obtain as much information as possible about our clients (their favourite drinks, cake etc..) in order to surprise them with unique and personalised amenities when they get into their rooms.

We recently welcomed a star influencer in the fashion industry and our pastry chef created for her a stiletto made out of chocolate. When guests discover such amenities, they feel cared about and are sensitive about these attentions, we create, that way, an emotional dimension that is irreplaceable.

This is what will make the difference in their experience and make them want to come back! Sometimes we even go further to the guest expectations by doing things they did not even think of asking us before. For instance, a client recently asked us to find a shoe brush but instead of just sending him one, we brushed his shoes that were left in the room directly – he was astonished! 

What does it mean to you to be a partner for inVOYAGE 2019?
We are extremely happy to partner with INVOYAGE 2019 as it highlights the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo to international high-end incentive houses and events agencies. It allows us to participate to meet buyers and suppliers that are pre-qualified and at a senior management level.

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