I decided I needed to plan something special for Valentine's Day because sometimes relationships need a little infusion of manufactured love. Not the natural chemistry or high that comes when you fall passionately in love, but the kind of love that happens after you have been married many years later. And so with tickets in hand, we were off to one of those dreamlike destinations to experience the the French Riviera waters in the South of France. Off to Monte-Carlo, where the rich and famous come to play. Flying into Nice, the helicopter ride to Monaco is a flight you won’t soon forget and that's just the beginning.
Arrive by Boat
If you arrive mid-morning, you will be just in time to take the Bateau Boat (a solar electric water taxi) across the harbor, which is a fun, exhilarating and inexpensive way to see Monaco: from the aquamarine water. Capture a few selfies surrounded by the mega yachts and croon at the oppulence.
Change into your matching black and white tiny triangle skivvies at the Fairmont Monte Carlo Spa, and you will be whisked into a couple's massage suite. Inspired by the mystic of Monte Carlo, the spa masseuses will work their magic on your bodies from head to toe for about 90 minutes, as you lie in comfort in the natural lighting of the sapphire and sea green space. With the recent 45 million euro renovation, you will experience how the money was spent on double tubs, double steam showers, as well as authentic hamas showers.
Afterwards, make your way to the penthouse pool deck, where 180-degree views of Monaco is a sumptuous feast for the eyes. Nestled in the Maritime Alps between the French and Italian Rivieras, you will get clear views of the houses built into sides of the cliff of this constitutional monarchy ruled by Prince Albert II. Lounge around the pool or plunge into the hot tub, while you are being pampered by the outdoor staff with frozen drinks aplenty. When you're ready for lunch, take the elevator up to Saphir 24 Bistro, Lounge & Bar and request to be seated on the terrace for even more jackpot views of the harbor.
Hire a Flytographer
Flytographers are local photographers you can rent to following you around for a few hours because everyone knows the perfect photo is the best souvenir. One of the most unique experiences you can have on vacation, you'll feel like a Hollywood starlet adored by her own personal paparazzi. The gift will provide fond memories for you to look back on and make the trip last a lifetime.
Hit the Casino
Once your close-ups are done, hire a driver to take you around the city. Have him drop you off at the famous Monte Carlo Casino, where you can slip inside for a few hands just to say, "been there, done that." Don’t forget your passport and money, as both are required to get in, as well proper attire (they like dressing to the nines).
Visit Jacque Cousteau's Aquarium
Officially called the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, this may sound like a place you would take your kiddos, but fascination will get the best of you as you explore the underworld world of these mesmerizing creatures. You will see critters that you had no idea even existed and watch as the jellyfish change size, shape and color right in front of your eyes.
Walk to Palace Square
Afterwards, wander the streets of the Old City, see the changing of the guard at the Prince's Palace, and head to the lookout spot around sunset for your own chance to capture the perfect photograph. Have a quick drink at a local bar, like Slammers on Suffren Reymond rue or, if you prefer, at one of the many drinking holes along the harbor to watch the yachts come in. For the perfect nightcap, make dinner reservations at Casa Azul or Marcello’s, where they will treat you like family, as you arrive all aglow, thinking of the amazing day you just had.