Playing High Roller in Monaco Baby!!

Before beginning our journey vagabonding around Europe, we knew we wanted to go to Monaco — Maylene’s “things-to-do-before-she-dies” list included playing a round of blackjack there and we wanted to visit a tiny country – we’ve missed them all so far except for Monaco!

When I began searching for a hotel, of course I found that they are all VERY expensive.  That’s why it was so nice to be able to use one of our Welcome Rewards nights to stay at the Fairmont Hotel Monte Carlo.  It is the #1 hotel in Monaco on TripAdvisor and ironically enough, I worked my Server Assistant butt off at the Brown’s Beach House restaurant of the Fairmont Orchid hotel in Hawaii many moons ago, so it was a nice bit of self-satisfaction to be able to stay at one of the properties – even if only because we earned a free night to do so.

The hotel was impeccable and the service excellent.  More than that though, we were super-impressed with our room which overlooked the Mediterranean Sea and included a balcony with table, 2 chairs, and chaisse lounge to really enjoy it.

the view from our balcony looking left toward Italy

the view from our balcony looking left toward Italy

Having “splurged” on a taxi to get there (rather than walking/public transit as we always do) — we had read in the marketing materials that it was situated on one of the F1 turns and it definitely was — so you had the most amazing cars driving around the turns, tires squealing – shifting gears — but the inside of the hotel was super quiet.  In fact, we didn’t notice until much later that our room was built on stilts driven into the water and that a multi-lane road ran underneath our hotel.  From our spot on the fifth floor, all we could hear was the crashing of the waves beneath us.  Perfect!

side view of the hotel on stilts over the water

side view of the hotel on stilts over the water

road running underneath the hotel - looks like a Project Gotham Racing map section!

road running underneath the hotel – looks like a Project Gotham Racing map section!

The in-house casino had just what we needed to check off that bucket list.  While there were only a few blackjack tables open and the cheapest was 10 euros per hand (we watched someone dropping 500+ euro per hand on Casino War — nuts).  Not only did we play – on the cheap table of course – but we ended UP 40 euros – primarily because Maylene ROCKS and racked up the chips, more than doubling her money – you do the math — yes, I lost most of mine — haha.  We quit playing when we (ok, really it was mostly me) became too tired at around 1:30 in the morning but made sure to catch the gorgeous sunrise before enjoying room service breakfast.  What luxury!!

Sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea

Sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea

Speaking of luxury — we saw some of the most humongous yachts in the Monaco port.  They were incredible.  I had to ask Maylene if they were cruise ships or yachts! =)

here's two of the "cruise ships" from where we stood on the dock

here’s two of the “cruise ships” from where we stood on the dock

here are those same two ships but closer for detail

here are those same two ships but closer for detail

hey look -- it's the Mickey yacht!

hey look — it’s the Mickey yacht!

check-out the name of the luxury yacht parked in Monaco's marina

check-out the name of the luxury yacht parked in Monaco’s marina

...sigh...

…sigh…