Formula One’s fans expect excitement, fast cars and alcoholic beverages but not many people know that luxury and F1 were destined to go hand in hand. Being one of the most glamorous sports in the world exhibiting beautiful women, showing off style and with more champagne than a footballer’s cellar if you want to treat yourself to a lavish travelling experience, this is one of the best ways to do it. Unlike most other sports, Formula One travels to 20 different race tracks hosted over as many countries every year. The beauty about F1 is that they release their fixture list well in advance of the season so you can judge the weather, travel packages and have ample planning time which allows making the best choices for your luxury trip nice and simple.
Here’s my luxury top 5 list of F1 destinations.
Monaco Grand Prix – Monte Carlo
You’re going to Monte Carlo, you’re watching the Grand Prix and you’re going in style. So staying at this royal retreat means that you only want the very best hotel and the Hotel de Paris, located on the bravura Place du Casino, is regarded as the heart of Monte Carlo. This fabulous hotel oozes luxury from every inch of its crystal chandeliers to marble walkways. Staying in the Winston Churchill Presidential Suite will not only make your stay unforgettable, with its lavish decor, unimaginable views of the sea, harbour and princes palace, but the furnishings themselves have been touched and appreciated by Winston Churchill Himself.
You’ll be looking for the finest in dining so grab a seat for something to eat at Bar Buf & Co. Founder Alain Ducasse is famed for his legendary culinary skills; Bar Buf and Co offers you an elite experience of exceptionally well-prepared cuisine with staggering views over the Mediterranean. Why not dine outside on the beautiful terrace underneath the stars if you really want that unforgettable experience?
The best way to view the Monaco Grand Prix has to be onboard one of the many luxury yachts within the harbour. You’ll be gifted a personalised view of the track and an envious spectator’s point with plenty of space, refreshing champagne and ultimate comfort on your very own comfortable seats.
British Grand Prix – Silverstone
The British Grand Prix may not be the most predictable on the weather front however where the sun may not shine, all too well, you can certainly rely on the action being predictably unbelievable. My advice for a totally pampered stay would have to be Fawsley Hall. Ideally located near Daventry, Northamptonshire this remarkable hotel is nestled within the beautiful gardens and countryside. Not only does it boast impeccable luxury and tranquillity with rooms such as the club but you can also indulgence yourself to an award-winning Spa treatment. So staying at this 4 Red Stars hotel means even if the weather doesn’t offer much on the day, your luxury Formula One experience will definitely not fail to please.
One of the best restaurants to take advantage of in Northampton is The Dining Room. With a well deserved Michelin Star rating and sitting just 3.5 miles from Fawsley Hall, whether you’re in the mood for Afternoon Tea or want something to get your teeth into, The Dining Room offers excellent service along with great food in a lovely location. Booking in advance is advised.
There are many great observation points at Silverstone including Stowe and Maggots however no day is beaten by the Paddock Club. With this package you’re able to perambulate the pit lane during the daily walkabout and brush shoulders with the drivers and teams. With plenty of private luxury marquees littered with comfortable seating and spectacularly set in and around the perfectly landscaped garden, you can enjoy the racing with an ice cream or knock back champagne whichever suits you.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Island
All the sumptuousness that Abu Dhabi has to offer will leave you in heaven on Yas Island. The only premium hotel that you need to look for is the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi where you’ll find luxurious style in the Presidential Suite. With a stunning dining room able to seat 16 guests, an unchallenged view of the racetrack and an outdoor terrace with pool and underwater LED Lighting, it offers unbeatable comfort and a totally royal service.
For a treat in the heat of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, Atayeb is a hotel restaurant that creates some of the best dishes on the Island. Expensive but delicious and located just minutes from the Yas Marina Circuit, Atayeb offers the best in Lebanese, Moroccan and Emirati cuisine. If you’re thinking hotels can’t do great food then think again, Atayeb takes into account both Eastern and Western catering and serves up an extravagant experience.
The circuit is well designed and offers great views all round however the best views for overtaking action are from the West Stand and you’ll find these usually sell out fast. For the luxury element then it’s advised to take the Amber Lounge Hospitality. You’ll have access to drivers, VIP after party access and nothing but the upmost in luxury partying, that’s if you really want to pull yourself away from the hotel room!
Italian Grand Prix – Monza
The Italian Grand Prix is one of the most revered of all venues in the racing calendar. Its renowned style, attractive women and charming location makes Monza a true hit with F1 fans and aficionados. So if you’re aiming to watch the F1 here then you need to be staying in the best hotel to make your experience absolutely perfect. Hotel de la Ville is the best hotel in Monza by far. They are members of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and are the only small hotel in the Monza category. Early booking is best advised here, decorated with precious fabrics, silver, crystal and antique collections this prestigious boutique hotel will certainly spoil you.
With the impeccable Derby Grill, one of Italy’s top rated restaurants for cuisine and service tackling your hunger, you’ll definitely want for nothing here. The best news is that you don’t even need to step out of your hotel as it’s located within the Hotel de la Ville. With great wines and fine pieces of antique furniture you’ll feel incredibly special when dining here.
The circuit seems to have great views from all around but if you want a luxury F1 weekend here you need to go via The Formula One Paddock Club. Not only do you get to see the race close up it’s also showered in style and champagne is everywhere.
Spanish Grand Prix – Barcelona
The heart of Barcelona is bustling and beautiful. With architecture from Gaudi to the famous Las Ramblas everything that Barcelona has to offer is thrilling. Looking for luxury here for the F1 is difficult nearby the track which means that you need to stay in the city centre and travel to Montmelo to the Circuit de Catalunya, however the hotels in the centre are classic luxury, with attention to detail and excellent service that is out of this world. The Majestic Hotel and Spa is situated on the best shopping strip in Barcelona which makes everything quite easy should you want to spoil yourself. For ultimate luxury you may want to opt for The Penthouse a 150 square meter paradise. As you’d expect from one of the best suites in Spain according to the World Travel Awards, VIP treatment and private check-in is a special privilege.
With an opulent stay in Barcelona you’ll want to eat like royalty for sure and look no further than ABaC restaurant. With 2 Michelin stars behind it as well as award-winning chef Jordi Cruz ABaC will certainly leave you generously fulfilled.
The only way you should be watching the F1 in Barcelona is in style and to accommodate this means going for a VIP seat up in the Main Grandstand. The Formula One Paddock Club again will ensure a luxurious day at the track with extravagance in abundance.
This article was written by Alan Gregory. He is a writer for Appliances Online by day and a F1 fan and coffee expert by night. When he isn’t advising customers on home appliances you can follow him on Twitter @AlanJGregory.