Meet a Monaco Resident: Michael Pellman Rowland
What’s your story?
I grew up in New York City and, later, in the Hamptons. I’ve been working in wealth management since I graduated college. I worked at Morgan Stanley in NYC for 15 years until my wife and I moved to Europe in 2016 to pursue a better quality of life. We initially lived in Lyon, France for two years, and have been in Monaco since the summer of 2018. I am now a partner at Baseline Wealth Management, based out of Geneva and Zurich. I specialize in impact investing, and do my best to live a sustainable lifestyle myself. I have clients all over the globe, and most often travel to Los Angeles, New York and London.
What are you passionate about?
I would say that I am most passionate about impact investing and improving the relationship we have with the world, particularly through helping animals and regenerating the environment. This manifests both through the work that I do (advising families on how to invest more sustainably), but also in my personal life. I’m active with a number of charities and I’m also very deliberate on my own footprint on the world, through my personal habits every day (diet, consumption / purchasing habits, driving an EV, carbon credits, etc).
Where did you live before moving to Monaco?
I grew up in New York City (the west village) and the Hamptons (East Hampton).
Why did you move to Monaco?
While we really loved our time in Lyon, we were missing the international feel of New York, so Monaco seemed like a perfect combination of what we loved about France, and missed about New York. The weather and safety was an important factor too. Saving on taxes enables us to donate even more to the causes we care about.
How much time do you spend traveling, and where do you go?
Before COVID19, I was probably on a plane three times a month for work. Most months I go to the US for a week (NY and LA), and then one or two trips in Europe, usually London and Zurich. Since people have gotten more used to video calls, that will help me to ease up on my travel a bit.
When we take time off, we’re happy to get in our Tesla and drive to the nearby towns in France and Italy. There’s so much to explore within a few hours, it’s one of the things we love most about being in Monaco. We try to do a couple of two-night trips like this each month.
What area do you live in, and what do you love and hate about it?
We live in the port, right above the finish line of the F1. I love how active the neighborhood is, and the convenience of being close to the YCM [Yacht Club of Monaco], the Rock, and the organic grocery stores like BioCoop. The downside is the noise, as it can get quite loud during the day (mostly while certain events are happening in the port) and into the night, but that’s probably true of most apartments with a view in Monaco. Still, the noise is nothing compared to what we endured while living in NYC!
Where is the best place in Monaco to get a tea or a drink?
I go to Stars ‘n’ Bars for a Blue Coast IPA or homemade kombucha. Bar Américain is a great place to get an Old Fashioned and listen to live music. My wife and I like to try the seasonal cocktails in the lobby lounge at Hotel Metropole . The YCM is the one we use the most for tea and coffee. My wife stashes her own organic, loose-leaf teas there.
What are your favorite upscale and casual restaurants in Monaco, and why?
- Les Perles de Monte-Carlo, which is a very local oyster bar .
- Mozza , because it’s a nice ambiance and they have great vegan pasta.
- Sexy Tacos , which is another very local spot run by a guy who moved to Monaco from Mexico City — it’s a great place to go for a mezcal tasting.
- Song Qi , because it’s the only place in the area to get authentic Chinese cuisine (the beefless beef is amazing), and the decor is arguably the best in Monaco (hat-tip to Emil Humbert).
- Le Grill at Hotel de Paris, mostly because of the service, ambiance and spectacular views.
- La Piazza , also because the service is excellent and they have some of the best food in Monaco.
- Maya Jah , for the ambiance and the mezcal.
What is your favorite restaurant in the surrounding areas outside of Monaco?
- Byro Alle in St Paul de Vence is one of the prettiest and most unique restaurants on the French Riviera, with very creative dishes and cocktails.
- La Vigie in Roqbrune is a summer seaside dining experience with great views and the feeling of being in the Caribbean.
- La Vague d’Or at Cheval Blanc (St Tropez) is an exquisite 3-Michelin-star restaurant with a very exclusive feel that’s hard to come by in the over-crowded St Tropez.
- Chevre d’Or in Eze , because it has a spectacular view and unique charm.
What do you love doing in Monaco?
Playing golf at the Monte Carlo Golf Club , walking up to the Saint Martin gardens on the Rock, the walk along the water in Cap d’Ail or Cap Ferrat, and going to the café on Monte Carlo’s casino square for a drink and to do some people watching.
What is your favorite getaway in the surrounding areas outside of Monaco?
I love the natural beauty of the surrounding areas. I enjoy going for a drive or hike through the Esterel or driving up through the narrow mountain roads that connect Peille and Sainte-Agnès . For French culture, I like to visit Aix-en-Provence ; there are two great 5-star hotels (Villa Gallici and Villa St Ange ) in walking distance to the old-town.
What is your favorite aspect of Monaco?
I love that it’s filled with people from all over the world, many with interesting backgrounds and stories on what led them to Monaco. It reminds me a lot of New York in that way.
What’s your best Monaco insider tip?
Get to know the elevators. And use the bus. Two great hacks for getting around easily in town.
What is your favorite piece of life advice, and how did you learn it?
It’s the phrase “we’ll see.” It helps me remember that when something seems “good” or “bad” we usually don’t have all the facts yet, or enough time to understand it fully. It helps me stay balanced and keep life in a better perspective.