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.
Between Saint Raphaël and Le Lavandou, Saint Tropez is synonymous with carefree sunny days, with wild nights, the jet set and bohemian chic.
“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. This is where, in 1946, he painted La Joie de Vivre, an ode to peace and contentment against a background of swathes of blue, not unlike the vivid compositions of Nicolas de Staël, another painter who loved the land and its light.
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
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
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 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 Shiseido 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 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
Hotel and restaurant in a vineyard. Cypress trees pick out Château de Berne at the end of a road that wends its way through 1,300 acres of preserved nature. For three hundred years, characterful Provence and fresh rosé wines have been aged in its cellar. Renovated in “country chic” style, the delightful rooms boast stunning views over the garden, vineyards, and forest. At the restaurant L’Orangerie, the cuisine abounds in the scents and flavours of Provence. This is a heavenly spot where heirloom varieties, flowers and garden herbs all grow together under the olive trees. The spa is located in a contemporary environment, which is marked by a zen atmosphere and focuses on products around the vineyard. ... 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
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