I’m sitting on a long jetty that extends out into a rough Mediterranean sea on a warm fall day. The long dock is sprinkled with sexy sun worshipers looking to extend their olive colored tan lines as far into the winter season as possible.
The wind blows a glistening layer of salt over us, and the sound of the countless Ferraris, Porches, and Lamborghinis on the mountainside roads behind sound like bees flying around a hive. The rocking of the jetty, the turquoise waves, and the warm sun make the day and my place in it flow by- I’m a sedentary secret agent.
The mystery and air of exclusivity that oozes from everyone in Monaco is evocative. For those of us of a certain age the mention of Monte Carlo brings visions of spies, international playboys, movie stars, and royalty to mind.
I’m immersed in the show now, I begin to frame my thoughts- I am a secret agent. Everything I see becomes a reflection of James Bond, Sean Connery, Hugh Hefner, Richard Branson; have my surroundings deceived me?
After a day at the exceptional private beach club of the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, I unwind in the private steam bath back in my room. The Mediterranean night is tepid; I put the requisite evening suit on while stealing sips of Veuve Clicqout out on the terrace. A hand written message under my door informs me that I have reservations at a very special location, and that I only need to bring my golden key. The golden key is one of the drippings of luxury that SBM resorts cocoons me in; a golden key card that acts as my exclusive access ticket to all of the most famous elements of Monaco. The phone rings, my driver has arrived.
My driver, a tall chisel faced Italian man, is holding the door open to the black Audi SUV that will take me to the special destination. As we drive the winding streets of this mountainside principality the squeaking leather seats remind me of the vicarious journeys I’ve taken in many a Bond, or Bourne Identity movie. This time it’s through my eyes, outside the tinted windows the road is curving its way past the fountains and Gustave Eiffel architecture to the famous Casino. Will I find my nemesis there?
We pull up in front of the Casino, our car is juxtaposed between a Ferrari in front and a Lamborghini behind. I get out into a crowd of curious public paparazzi onlookers and make my way up the steps of the casino. The people I pass reflect the more self conscious world of masses who watch TV entertainment shows, and read about the Monte Carlo life in tabloid magazines- I’m living it. A quick flash of the gold card sweeps me past the line up queues and straight into the private gaming rooms where I play hands of baccarat.
The casino concierge taps me on the shoulder and reminds me my reservation is for 8.30, its time to go. I slip out the door and walk across the square to the Hotel de Paris for dinner at the Michelin Starred ‘Le Grille’. The staff at the Monte Carlo Beach have arranged for an extraordinary 5-course dinner, which is exquisite in every manner. As I relish the grilled foie gras a slight hum distracts me.
The sound, although faint, would alert any attentive international man of espionage only to discover that it is the retractable roof opening to reveal the stars in the warm azure night. A short time later I realize that eating soufflé under the stars is an experience every agent should use to accentuate their senses.
The driver is waiting in the stunning domed lobby of the Hotel de Paris. We walk past the iconic Café de Paris outdoor tables to the Audi and my driver shuttles me off to an exclusive art exhibition of Phillipe Pastor.
The heavily secure gallery is brimming with eccentric artists and socialites who are confident that they are well ahead of their time. As I ponder one of the larger pieces a tuxedoed gentleman next to me asks for my opinion- it’s Prince Albert.
After a cordial conversation about art, sports, and his principality I slip back into the Audi and I am whisked back to the Monte Carlo Beach hotel.
Walking the lobby and summing up the evening past as a typical night in Monaco the hotel concierge reminds me that at 9am sharp I am to be at the Spa Thermes Marins for my treatment that will take about 2 hours.
Its official- I am a secret agent!