As October runs off in a swirl of autumn leaves, I just have to tell you about my whirlwind journey to Monte Carlo for the Monaco Yacht Show. Known as the “Super Bowl of luxury yachting,” this is a truly dazzling experience, combining vision, beauty, and unimaginable wealth. The quays of Port Hercules shimmer with the graceful magnificence of 125 superyachts. Plus, with the natural convergence between yachting and luxury car manufacturers, the Car Deck features exclusive “thoroughbred” cars such as the new Continental GT by Bentley, Mercedes-Benz classics, the iconic Cobras, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, and sleek McLarens.
From LAX, I flew to Paris, then to Nice, then to Monaco by helicopter. I had just enough time to freshen up at the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo, then it was off to the Sass Café for dinner with dear friends. The next three days combined visits with friends, marvelous meals, yacht viewing and touring, and a round of sparkling parties.
This was the 27th year of the Monaco Yacht Show, and these water-going vessels are ever more magnificent. Among my favorites were three of the Burgess yachts: Cloud 9, Jubilee, and Invictus. I was fortunate to share a wonderful luncheon at the beautiful yacht club with Jonathan Beckett, Chief Executive of Burgess Yachts, and take a tour of the stunning Cloud 9. Invictus, named after William Earnest Henley’s poem (“I am the master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul.”) is the personal yacht of Rick Caruso. As Rick tells it, he sought out a ship builder in Seattle that did not usually make yachts. He employed them to build Invictus and this propelled their business into the luxury yacht market. At the time, with most luxury yachts built in Europe, U.S. yacht builders focused on military and other types of merchant vessels. Invictus was a huge “win” for the U.S. yacht building market and for Rick Caruso.
Another favorite was the superyacht Areti by Lürssen, the company known for building Paul Allen’s Octopus, David Geffen’s Rising Sun, and Azzam, the largest private yacht in the world.
Dinner that evening was at the Maya Bay, where both the food and the décor were out of this world.
The next two days were filled with more yacht touring and more parties, including the China Party at the Monaco Yacht Club and the Stefano Ricci party on Areti. Of course, no trip would be complete without visiting some real estate! I was treated to a fantastic tour with Annabelle and Angela Kleiber of Lorenza von Stein to see the five-level penthouse (the world’s most expensive!) at La Tour Odeon in Monte Carlo.
En route home, a business dinner in London was a great excuse to spend the night at the magnificent and historic Claridge’s in Mayfair. I finally managed tea at Claridge’s with the best truffle mushroom sandwiches on the planet!