The CEO of Monaco’s Société des Bains de Mer, Stéphane Valeri, told assembled journalists on Wednesday evening that the company has recorded its best year yet in its entire history. Final figures will be published in April, he said.

Mr Valeri drew particular attention to the success of the Christmas decorations and features on Casino Square, which were a worldwide hit on social media.

However, Monaco’s pre-eminent hotel operator and casino owner will not be resting on its laurels in 2024. Among the new openings will be the Amazonica restaurant at the Cafe de Paris, which will make its debut on April 4, with seven attached boutiques opening gradually from April until the autumn.

At the Monte-Carlo Bay, the renovated Blue Bay restaurant will reopen very soon in the very capable hands of chef Marcel Ravin, while Moods will reopen as New Moods in October.

Wishing the Monegasque press a Happy New Year in the Crystal Bar of the Hôtel Hermitage, Mr Valeri said that a Japanese restaurant will be installed there, opening in July.

Perhaps the biggest news of the evening concerned the wine cellars of the Hôtel de Paris. In fact, the wine cellars are so large they stretch underneath Hôtel Hermitage, and following many years of living a quiet life as the holy grail of SBM and housing hundreds of thousands of bottles of some of the world’s finest wines, they will soon become a commercialised element in SBM’s portfolio. The small museum will be expanded, the long-unused subterranean restaurant relaunched and tours organised.

Société des Bains de Mer has many other plans that will see the light of day during another, undoubtedly successful 12 months.

PHOTO: Ian Brodie