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An Interview With Victoria Stevenson
General Manager of Columbus Hotel, Monaco On Their Seasonally Themed Creative and Culinary Activities for Children
By Holly Grattan & Victoria Stevenson
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Victoria Stevenson, General Manager of new lifestyle and boutique hotel Columbus Monaco and mother of two. I am of English nationality and grew up and studied in the Principality before joining the Institut de Hautes Études de Glion in Switzerland. After an international career, I returned to the Principality of Monaco where I joined the Columbus in 2014 and took over the management four years after my arrival.
What activities do you offer?
Here at the Columbus Monte-Carlo we are very attentive to the needs of families and regularly organize workshops dedicated to our little darlings. Depending on the health situation, we try to organize activities every other month where the children meet for 2 hours on a Saturday afternoon. They carry out creative and culinary activities around a seasonal theme, under the benevolent instruction of the hotel teams.
Where did the idea of doing children's activities come from?
The Columbus Monte-Carlo is an establishment that aims to be authentic and in view of its geographical location allows our customers to live like locals. It therefore seemed obvious for us to organise activities for customers’ children but also for the children of the Principality and its surroundings. We then imagined these workshops with our team and launched them last Halloween.
Tell us about The Columbus Monte-Carlo and where it is located in Monaco?
Columbus Monte-Carlo is located in Fontvielle, a district which was reclaimed from the sea 30 years ago. It was the Principality's first lifestyle hotel, designed and founded by David Coulthard, the former Formula 1 driver, in 2001, and acquired by London & Regional Hotels in 2010. A complete renovation was carried out in 2018, offering a brighter atmosphere with the opening of the lobby onto the neighboring Rose Garden through its large bay windows.
What kind of clientele do you welcome and what should guests visit and experience during a stay at the Columbus?
Far from the stereotypes of large hotel groups, the Columbus Monte-Carlo welcomes a varied clientele of regulars and new visitors, coming for business or leisure. Fontvielle whilst close to Monte Carlo feels off the beaten track and more authentic. If you have ever gone for a walk here, then you have probably discovered the beautiful Princess Grace Rose Garden created in homage to Grace Kelly by Prince Rainier III and inaugurated in 1984, nearby you will also find the Chapiteau under which the Monaco International Circus Festival is held. The Columbus hosts most of the troops that perform there every year. We also host many guests who come to experience the plethora of sporting events which take place at the Louis II stadium, stronghold of AS Monaco, and headquarters of the annual Herculis athletics meeting, which is only a few minutes’ walk away. Finally, just a short distance away you can discover the Naos private beach which mixes modernity and relaxation, joy and conviviality, with the breeze of the sea air, fine sand, and a truly panoramic view of the Mediterranean.
What gastronomic delights can guests explore at your restaurant Tavolo and The Bar?
Columbus Monte-Carlo's restaurant Tavolo offers an innovative dining experience in Monaco. It’s daily ardoise menu draws on Mediterranean flavours to create delicious dishes crafted from fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Open for lunch and dinner,
Tavolo’s acclaimed outdoor terrace overlooks the Princess Grace Rose Garden, where guests can enjoy a superb view over the hundred-year-old olive trees and the 315 varieties of roses.
Guests and locals alike can enjoy the hotel’s sleek, cozy bar which pays homage to classic cocktail culture. Our cocktail bar offers a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and a snacking menu. A truly elegant experience.
Do you have any special offers for our readers?
The 181 rooms and suites at the Columbus Monte-Carlo are designed especially for our guests. Most of them have terraces or balconies, with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. The hotel gives pride of place to families with dedicated attention designed around out youngest guests. We offer a 50% reduction on a second room booked and free admission for children under 12.
For those who would like to extend their stay even further, note that serviced residences have been added to the offer in June 2019 with 4 studios, 8 duplexes and a penthouse.
Author: Holly Grattan & Victoria Stevenson