Last weekend my other half and I drove down to Monaco to spend the weekend in Monte Carlo for the semi-finals and finals of the ATP 1000 tournament. Despite the fact that every player we were supporting lost (Pouille, Goffin, Lopez, Ramos) we still had a great weekend. Here are some of the things we got up to and some tips for anyone who is planning to go next year.
1. Stay at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort
The Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort is a 5 minute walk from the Monte Carlo Country Club, where the Masters takes place, and is where many of the tennis players stay. We arrived on Saturday, when most of the players had already left, but we still got to see Wawrinka, Berdych, Ramos, Cuevas, Moya, in the lobby, the gym, the restaurant… And with their height and size they stand out so much that there is no missing them! The hotel isn’t cheap, but by staying Saturday and Sunday (rather than Friday and Saturday) we were able to save quite a bit of money.
2. Take a Photo with an Oversized Tennis Racket
Yes, that’s me with my massive Head racket at the top of this post. This is an obligatory rite of passage for any serious tennis tournament-goer.
3. Take Your Own Snacks
During the break between the two singles semi-finals, we went to get a couple of crepes with Nutella and some drinks. Although the crepes were yummy, the prices were quite obscene (5 euros for a small bottle of water!), and as the queues were so long we didn’t manage to get back to our seats in time for the second semi-final (between Goffin and Nadal) and missed the first three games.
4. Run the Formula One Circuit
Running is a great way to visit a new place (and work off the Nutella crepes, or just build up an appetite for more) and we decided to get to know Monte Carlo a bit better by running the Formula One circuit. As the Formula One takes place a few weeks after the Masters, the circuit is already marked by the fencing lining the roads. We went through the marina, past shops that were cashing in on the Masters theme, saw many super cars and ended up having breakfast at what must be the most scenic Starbucks in the world.
5. Visit Djokovic’s restaurant Eqvita
If you are a tennis fan, then you will already know that Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena have a restaurant called Eqvita in Monte Carlo. We only popped in for a protein shake, but will make sure we stop for lunch next time to test out the plant-based menu.
If you’d like to see some video footage from our days at the tournament to get a better feel for what it is like, take a look at my latest YouTube video: