Monaco’s Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) is spending some E320 million on developments that will, by October 2005, have increased the group’s capacity by 50%, to 978 rooms and suites compared with 641 now.A major element in this is the new four-star SBM hotel located on the Larvotto Peninsula, whose construction is already well advanced. Other investments are the addition of two extra storeys to the Hotel Hermitage, creating 63 further rooms, refurbishment of the Salle Empire in the Hotel de Paris and the recently completed rejuvenation of the Hotel Mirabeau.
Meanwhile, down at the Monte Carlo Beach Club, two new restaurant concepts have been created. Replacing La Potiniere beside the Olympic-sized swimming pool are the teak tables of Le Deck, a 200-seat club-style restaurant with reasonably-priced contemporary cuisine - for lunch only.
Nearby, open throughout the day but also in the evening until 22:00, is the entirely new Sea Lounge, right by the beach (previously Le Rivage). Built on two levels in exotic woods, with oriental sofas and low tables, Moroccan lanterns and carved Burmese roofs, accompanied by relaxing music, light food such as tapas, antipasti, spare ribs and sushi will be served to accompany shaken cocktails or champagne.