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On the South Coast of France, the “Riviera” is the focus of attention.
A long tracking shot across the mountains of the Var and the southern French coast, ducking under a clothesline full of laundry to focus on the skin of a young woman lying in the sun. The opening scene of the 1956 film And God Created Woman introduced both Brigitte Bardot and Saint Tropez. Of course, the site was known before Roger Vadim chose it as the location of his cult movie: an old fishing village on a hook of land jutting into the azure waters of the Mediterranean, a former privateers’ lair full of quaint little squares and ochre-tiled roofs, with its market at Place des Lices and its port lined with pointus – colorful fishing boats whose sterns are tapered as finely as their prows – bobbing gently in the waves.
“Take pieces of turquoise, emeralds and lapis-lazuli: there you have the backdrop of the sky. Top it with diamond dust and Roman candles, for the two or three clouds that float above our mountain. And as for the sea – take nothing but the train to come here and see it.” The author Prosper Mérimée, who loved the region, wrote these lines to his friend Madame de Beaulaincourt in 1866. Nearly 150 years later, they are still an apt description of the French Riviera. The French call it the Côte d’Azur, the Azure Coast, bathed by the Mediterranean’s infinite palette of blues from Bandol all the way to the Italian border. The cobalt of the Baie des Anges is indelibly associated with Antibes, where Picasso was an honorary citizen. Between the port and Place du Safranier, the museum devoted to him spotlights paintings, drawings and ceramics by the great artist, who spent much of his life under the sunny skies of Antibes, Golfe Juan, Cannes and Vallauris.
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. Halfway between Nice and Cannes, in a setting where the Mediterranean takes centre stage, the Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel is a contemporary architectural jewel. Its minimalist lines are in perfect harmony with the lush Mediterranean vegetation, with the charm and freshness of a garden by the sea, a fine private sandy beach facing the Lérins Islands, and a delightful infinity pool. The original décor of the rooms and suites transports guests on a sensory voyage. The enchantment continues in the restaurant Les Pêcheurs, which looks out onto the sea and offers a feast for the palate as well as the eyes, with a view of the Esterel massif in the distance. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a village. This château, built on the steep slopes of the French Riviera, offers breath-taking vistas of the Mediterranean and has plenty of relaxing activities in store: swimming in the pool, fragrant gardens or Indian massages. The charming rooms are all different. The great classics of French gastronomy as well as Mediterranean specialties can be savoured in one of the four restaurants of the Chèvre d’Or, where the pleasure derived from the fine cuisine is enhanced by the stunning views. After the meal, you can stroll through the cobblestone streets of the medieval cliff-side village overlooking the grandiose panorama of the sea. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Nestled in a six-hectare estate, only 300 m from the sea and surrounded by organic vineyards and Provençal countryside, Château de Valmer is a former family guest house which has, over time, been converted into a luxury hotel. Owners of the property since 1946, the Rocchietta-Montloin family has spent a lifetime cultivating the art of hospitality. Guests can enjoy chic and cosy rooms, tree houses, private residences, and a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant whose cuisine is inspired by the estate's own organically grown produce. An invitation to relax and unwind, guests can take a path lined with majestic palm trees to bask on a private beach facing the Îles d'Hyères or pamper themselves in the large heated outdoor swimming pool and splendid spa that opens out to the park. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. The Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa has dropped anchor in a sheltered bay in the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio. Toussaint Canarelli and his daughter Hélène have created a delightful, authentic spot where you can while away your days romantically in the languid torpor of its fine sanded beaches and the peace of its extensive gardens in the shade of the pine trees. Right next to your room, the Nucca Spa, a huge area with wood and water throughout, offers soothing treatments. In this land of fragrances, the chef draws on freshly picked vegetables from the hotel’s organic garden and produces gourmet menus with many ingredients from the island. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. A blue paradise, where the only sounds to trouble the peace come from the waters in La Garoupe bay which you can reach by a tiny private path. A fine villa stands in the midst of this unique landscape, with stone pines and ochre-coloured rocks, once an inspiration to Nicolas de Staël and Picasso, and is home to this characterful hotel. Tastefully appointed contemporary rooms, each with its private terrace or balcony, look out onto grounds planted with old olive trees and a pool and wellness area. The private beach, edged with succulents and bay trees, and the restaurant terrace in the shade of the mulberry trees provide the finishing touches to this cool oasis of peace and quiet. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in the country. In the heart of a five hectare olive grove, an 18th century residence, La Bastide Saint-Antoine, awaits. The rooms are either Provencal or contemporary style and the gourmet restaurant has a wide terrace overlooking the Cannes bay. Chef Jacques Chibois creates an alchemy of authentic mediterranean flavours under 1,000 year-old olive trees. On the programme: wandering in the grounds, discovery of the botanical garden, reading, petanque and relaxation in the jacuzzi by the swimming pool. Between oenology, an initiation to perfume creation, or the culinary and aromatic tasting school, you will fall in love with Provence at this property imbued with the personal passion of Jacques Chibois. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a park. This is an elegant Mediterranean home, just a few minutes from the beaches at Ramatuelle and the port of Saint-Tropez. Far from the summer crowds, this magnificent mansion with its four Provencal mas invites you to unwind in the heart of its paradise-like grounds that are full of exotic fragrances. Beside the superb pool, in the shade of 300 year-old olive trees or in the winter garden, treat yourself to true relaxation. The Provencal cuisine, with its two restaurants, Le Bistro and L’Olivier, is a genuine reflection of the spirit of the South of France. The Bastide also offers its guests the option of hiring its magnificent 22 m long San Lorenzo yacht for a day. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. Five minutes from downtown Calvi with its lofty citadel, La Signoria, an 18th century Genoese estate, is perfectly positioned at the foot of the Corsican mountains, but within close proximity to the beautiful sandy beach. The estate is set in a lush paradise of orange trees, palm and pine trees and gurgling fountains. Take in the intoxicating aroma of the maquis poolside, in the Jacuzzi or in the Spa Casanera. Guests will feel that they are vacationing at someone’s home. The charming, well maintained private beach “Signoria Mare” awaits them to sample the local flavours at the fisherman’s hut inspired restaurant. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in town. Bruno Oger left the kitchen of a palace hotel in Cannes and the hustle and bustle of the Croisette to move to the calm of Villa Archange and its shady courtyard in Le Cannet. This 18th century Provencal building, which has been masterly refurbished and tastefully decorated, reflects the sensitivity of the chef who celebrates the classics of French cuisine. With precise execution and skilful composition, his mastery is perfect, the presentation sophisticated. Marinière of Gillardeau oysters, cucumber, mint and caviar; langoustine ravioli with coral of sea urchin… followed by the angels’ delights with the aerial flavours of Sylvain Mathy, supported by the warmth of an impeccable service. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. A stay at La Villa is a statement. This hotel stands for good taste. It offers a particular art of living. La Villa, much like a private club, is a haven for lovers of beauty, tranquillity and culture. Art permeates the entire hotel, from the painter’s canvas to the violinist’s bow, not to mention the keys of the piano. Culinary art too has some well-tempered chords to play. The views over the Bay of Calvi, the scents of the sea and the pine forests, the sounds of music mingling with the song of the cicadas, the flavours of the local ingredients, beautiful plasterwork cool to the touch... Just enter La Villa, across from the Citadel, and all your senses will come alive. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. On the French Riviera, near Lavandou, this large Tuscan-style villa shines out against the magical background of the Mediterranean Sea. Imbued with charm, the Club de Cavalière exposes its ochre arcades and fragrant vegetation to the sun. Nestled among maritime pines, bougainvilleas and exotic gardens, the hotel is bordered by its own private beach of fine sand overlooking the Levant islands and has an array of sumptuous rooms and suites, and villas with patios right on the sand. This is the perfect place for a truly refreshing break. The restaurant features the flavours of southern cuisine, in the shade of mulberry trees and overlooks the magnificent bay of Cavalière. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Nestled on the hillside above Cannes with spectacular views of the foothills of the Alps, Le Mas Candille is a rare jewel to be experienced by a privileged few. Its private, shady four-hectare grounds are the ideal place to stroll, meditate and unwind. A sanctuary of tranquillity, this exceptional hotel invites lovers of the finer things in life to relax in its Spa, three swimming pools and two jacuzzis. After a visit to the medieval village of Mougins, where Pablo Picasso spent the last fifteen years of his life, it is a pleasure to return to this haven of peace to savour the subtle, creative cuisine in the restaurant. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a park. In a two hectare Mediterranean park full of hundred-year-old olive trees, on the doorstep of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Le Mas de Pierre overlooks hills and valleys. Provencal, romantic and colonial villas and rooms are hidden behind the red tiles and white stone of the bastides. When you cross the threshold, you will discover lovingly selected antique dressers and pedestal tables. As far as cuisine is concerned, our chef proposes a family cuisine with the flavours of the South, composed of the finest regional specialties. Other delights include a swimming pool, a spa, a sumptuous greenhouse with orchids and a deliciously fragrant garden. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a village. In a secret and sunny Eden, located within the ramparts of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a famous artists’ haunt, the Saint-Paul casts its timeless spell. This is the place to stay if you want to fully appreciate French-style hospitality and sophistication. The listed mediaeval promontory where the hotel stands transports you, in supreme comfort, to a world of myth, legend and history. The guestrooms and suites offer stunning views over the village or over the plain up to the Mediterranean. Savour delicious regional dishes on an exquisite, flower-bedecked, sunny terrace – paradise indeed. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. The hotel basks in the scents of the maquis, perched on a hillside overlooking Palombaggia Beach. This is one of the finest beaches in southern Corsica, with its turquoise waters and white sands fringed by stone pines, and the Cerbicales islands in the distance. The elegant stone bastide boasts guest rooms overlooking the surrounding countryside which are simply decorated in natural colours and materials so as not to upstage its rare environment. La Table de Mina ("grandmother" in Corsican), the restaurant, offers an introduction to the cuisine and ingredients of Corsica. It occupies a peaceful terrace next to an infinity pool that reflects the sky and the stars. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in a village. In the shade of the patio, surrounded by palm trees and exotic flowers or on the verandas of the conservatory, this lush green oasis is the setting for the renowned fusion cuisine of the Raimbault brothers. Depending on what catches their eye at the Forville market in Cannes, Chefs Stéphane and Antoine put together a menu that combines contemporary and Provencal flavours with infinite Asian flourishes, featuring “Lime-Infused Soufflé of Locally Caught Sea Urchins” and “Soleil Levant of Raw Fish”. But it is their brother François, the patissier, who adds the finishing touches to this magical and exotic symphony with his renowned “Caravan of Desserts”. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. The Monte-Carlo Beach, a chic and timeless hotel built in the 1930s, has always been the epitome of glamour and "dolce vita". This palace, which has received celebrities from far and wide, has been renovated by architect designer India Mahdavi, and restored to all its former glory. Sea all around, and with an original terracotta façade and frescoes inspired by Matisse and Cocteau make it the perfect setting for an exquisite break. Located in a site of outstanding natural beauty, in the shelter of a pine forest, the Monte-Carlo Beach offers a “Cabanas” service, an Olympic pool, the Monte-Carlo Beach SPA and its Michelin-starred restaurant Elsa, certified as 100% organic by Ecocert. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a village. A French General, who fell in love with a Punjab princess by the name of Bannu Pan Deï, built the Pan Deï Palais in 1835 in Saint-Tropez, as a token of their love. It is as if you are inside a maharajah’s mansion, with an exotic garden and rooms placed under the watchful eye of a Hindu god. The cozy spa and the hammam are a promise of serenity and well-being. Enjoy the peace and quiet next to the pool under the drapes of the Balinese beds. In the evening, this area becomes a lounge bar, just the place to enjoy a cocktail. The restaurant is a very sought-after spot in Saint-Tropez. Dishes of French and Asian inspirations take you on a genuine voyage of discovery. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant on the seafront. Chef Mauro Colagreco has found the perfect place to exercise his talents in this majestic 1930s building with mountains as a backdrop and magnificent sea views. It boasts a superb terraced garden, with fabulous views over Menton and the Mediterranean. In the kitchens, a team is busy preparing the dishes dreamt up by this young Chef who draws his inspiration as much from the rare vegetables and baby salad leaves from the Mirazur’s gardens as he does from his Italo-Argentinian roots. His quinoa risotto, woodland mushrooms and parmesan cream, and catch of the day with celeriac and a smoked sauce are an invitation to the culinary experiences to come. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. Just 15 minutes from the Croisette – a spot where sea and mountains are at close proximity. The Tiara Yaktsa sits in front of a magnificent backdrop – the red rocks of the Massif de l’Esterel – and overlooks the indigo-blue creeks of the Mediterranean. The gently sloping espaliered restanque walls offer an opportunity for sunbathing; the scents of the maquis and the surrounding stone pines are serenely relaxing. In the languid summer heat, what better than the refreshing cool of Yaktsa Hotel, a luxurious Provençal mansion with an idyllic Oriental-style décor. Its Mashrabiya-latticed windows and sheer gauze curtains offer total seclusion while the hotel opens onto stunning views of Théoule-sur-Mer. ... Learn moreless