Q&A with Cindy Hoddeson, Monaco Government Tourist Office

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Prevue asked Cindy Hoddeson Director of Meeting & Incentive Sales for Monaco Government Tourist Office, for her thoughts about cultural and creative programs and events.

Q: What are some unique cultural venues in Monaco that host group events?

A: Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum, founded by Prince Albert I, is a temple dedicated to marine science and oceanography. The world-renowned institute houses marine specimens, sea life and vintage seafaring equipment from the voyages of Monaco’s explorer “navigator” Prince. Many Americans associate this museum with Jacques Cousteau who was its director for over 30 years. Cocktails and dinner can be organized here.

The Prince of Monaco’s collection of vintage cars houses 100 prestigious classic and vintage cars including wedding gifts to Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly. Up to 600 guests can be accommodated for a sit-down dinner.

Q: What festivals/cultural events can planners incorporate into their programs?

A: The Principality of Monaco offers thrilling and enriching experiences with world-class cultural and sporting events. Festivals included in the annual calendar, which will make any visiting group’s program truly memorable include: the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival, International Circus Festival, Monte-Carlo International Fireworks Festival and the Spring Arts Festival. The latter event features performances by the world-renowned Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and the Opera de Monte-Carlo. Every summer, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic offers a series of concerts “under the stars” in the courtyard of honor at the Prince’s palace.

Q: What are some unique venues that celebrate creativity and innovation?

A: Monaco’s new National Museum is located in two stunning venues: the Villa Paloma and the Villa Sauber. With a focus on contemporary works of art, these newly redesigned venues present two exhibits each annually, which spotlight the cultural, historic and artistic virtues of the Principality. Upon request, private visits and functions can be organized in these museums. A cocktail reception on the terrace of the Villa Paloma with extraordinary views over Monaco can be held for up to 100 guests.

Q: What are some restaurants/cuisine reflective of Monaco’s culture?

A: The Brasserie of Monaco, originally founded in 1905, at the instigation of Prince Albert I, now sits along Monaco’s yacht-filled harbor. The Brasserie teamed up with the world’s oldest brewery equipment manufacturer, and the result is a 264-gallon boutique brewery that can be privatized any day of the week.

Next door to the Brasserie is the Explorers Pub, a gastro-pub dedicated to explorers, pioneers and adventurers in connection with the Principality and its Princes. On display is a series of photographs and objects borrowed from the private collections of the palace and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco telling the untold story of many explorers.

Michelin-rated chef Patrick Raingeard presents an inspired and inventive menu that explores foreign culinary traditions. The indoor space has a capacity of 100 people for a seated dinner.

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