Société des bains de mer had a wonderful summer, with revenues seemingly spiraling ever higher and the nightmare of the coronavirus lockdown just a long-distance slowly disappearing mirage.

Tourists flocked from around the world and hotels and restaurants could hardly cope with strong demand.

SBM had prepared for the upturn by hiring more summer workers while reducing its permanent staff, although shortages of labour across the hospitality industry made seasonal workers hard to get.

And major transformations on a grand scale went ahead, including the total rebuild of the Café de Paris. Its completion is on schedule for the end of June or the beginning of July, SBM’s outgoing CEO Jean-Luc Biamonti said this week.

Other less visible projects include an additional restaurant at Monte-Carlo Beach – the name was chosen on Tuesday and the opening is planned for next June – and a total renovation and refurb of the Meridien.

In the meantime SBM will be refurbishing rooms at the Hermitage and the Monte-Carlo Bay, the CEO told the press.

“We didn’t stay still,” Mr Biamonti said, to a round of applause from journalists. It may well have been his last press conference, and he is leaving on a high note.

PHOTO: A room with a view at Monte-Carlo Bay SBM