Monaco is the place to be this July when the world's most eligible prince (since William married Kate), Grace Kelly's son, Prince Albert will wed his South African love Charlene Wittstock. In fact he'll marry her twice, once in a civil ceremony on July 1 and then in an open air religious ceremony on July 2. Seems royal fever is hitting the world this year. Singer/Songwriter,VictoriaAitkennot only loves Monaco, she also has some royal connections of her own. Her single 'Queen of the House' was on the playlist at the wedding reception for Prince William and Kate Middleton. It reached the Top Five in the UK's club charts, outselling Britney Spears but it is Victoria's knowledge of Monaco that interests us this time around. The Holiday Goddess editor (who is equally conversant in English, French, German, Russian and Serbo-Croatian) has been going to the principality regularly for ten years, so we figure she's just the person to give us the lowdown on the best places to go in Monte Carlo.
"For the last ten years I have been coming to Monaco for the odd weekend here and there to visit my mother who moved here when my parents divorced. In some ways it is a strange place, a kind of Disneyland for the rich and famous. It's full of mega wealthy businessmen (Stelios Hajjj, Easy jet), royals (not only from Monaco but also the Kuwaiti Royal family) supermodels (Karen Mulden) as well as the odd film star (Roger Moorelives just above the public beach). Monaco is getting crowded, the cityscape is full of skyscrapers, even the harbour is being expanded so that more yachts can anchor there... not to mention an island being build out to sea with a surface area of some 275,000 square metres. This new development might take the pressure off Monegasque property which has some of highest real-estate prices in the world - a 3 bedroom costs up to 5 million Euros. If you are not a resident and visiting in July for the royal wedding you can stay in some top luxury hotels - Hotel de Paris, the Hermitage or the Metropole to name a few - and mix with the cream of Europe's famous and fabulous. But then Monte Carlo is party town whenever you choose to visit. Almost every weekend there's some glittering event going from the Red Cross Ball and the Bal de Ete, to sporting events such as the tennis master series or the Monaco marathon, not to mention the grand prix where Monaco becomes one big party just after the Cannes film festival.
These are my top ten tips for enjoyingMonte Carloin style."