A £100 foot rub in Monaco

Ruth Jackson enjoys a foot massage and Michelin-starred dining at Monaco's Hotel Metropole.


Choosing a hotel in Monaco can be tricky. Get it wrong and you can end up in the expensive equivalent of a chain hotel, spending sleepless nights trying to block out the roar of the supercars the principality is famous for. But luckily a recent revamp of the Hotel Metropole means there's no need to fret about your accommodation any more. Just book in here if you can't afford to rock up on your own or someone else's yacht.

The hotel, just off Casino Square, could "scarcely be more central", says Anthony Peregrine in The Daily Telegraph. It's also home to the city's most opulent shopping mall. But why stay here rather than one of Monaco's other luxury hotels? Firstly, the rooms. Space is ata premium in Monaco, so rooms canbe small by European standards.

Not at the Metropole even though we were travelling with a baby, and all the accoutrements that entails, we never felt cramped. Our bed was huge and little Grace was provided with a beautiful wooden cot no travel cots here.

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The rooftop pool is another major attraction, offering a relatively tranquil (you can still hear the street traffic) spot to relax or take a dip. The spa hosts a hammam and sauna. Nail treatments are provided by the Bastien Gonzalez studio, considered by many to give the best pedicures in the world, so I gave it a go. My feet and toe nails were buffed, massaged, exfoliated and moisterised and an hour later looked very healthy as you'd hope for a price tag of €160.

But the Metropole's trump card is the food. The three restaurants are overseen by Jol Robuchon, one of France's top chefs. The main restaurant has two Michelin stars and Japanese restaurant Yoshi has one. The tasting menu at the former was excellent highlights include quail stuffed with foie gras and caramelised, truffled mashed potatoes.

Breakfast was a parade of perfect treats, from pain au chocolat to scrambled eggs with bacon. The staff also coped admirably when my nine-month-old fellow traveller threw her breakfast all over the floor, squealed with joy while it was all picked up, then promptly flung it again. Perhaps when she's older she'll show more appreciation for a Michelin-starred croissant.

Prices from €400, room only (metropole.com; 00 377 9315 1535).


The world's best infinity pools

Jade Mountain

Alternatively, if size is what counts, then the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore has "the largest rooftop pool in the world, which is curved in shape andoffers unbeatable views of the Singapore skyline".But "you don't have to fly far to find a world-class infinitypool".

The swimming pool at the Grand Central Hotelin Barcelona "is perched above the city and boasts one of the best vantage points for viewing Gaudi's fine handiwork".

Elsewhere in Europe, the infinity pool at Grace Santorini (pictured) is "cut into the cliff side and offers swimmers and loungers alike uninterrupted views of the glittering blue sea and Greece's famous sunsets".

But while these other pools are impressive, Ubud Hanging Gardens in Ubud, Bali, shows the rest "how it's done". Each suite has its own private pool, but "the most sublime aspect of the resort is the two-level infinity pool, which perches over the dense rainforest canopy".

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.