Bar at Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, French Riviera, France
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Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

Sitting on the idyllic peninsula between Nice and Monaco, Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat is one of the South of France’s most elegant, iconic properties.

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aerial view of white palace-like hotel surrounded by trees with mediterranean sea behind it
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Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

One of the French Riviera’s most iconic properties, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc sits on the tip of the Cap-de-Antibes (with its famous swimming pool).

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looking down on pool area and restaurant on tree-shaded hill on sunny day
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La Réserve Ramatuelle Hotel, Spa & Villas

La Réserve Ramatuelle Hotel, Spa & Villas serves up St. Tropez’s biggest wow factor for travelers in search of a truly five-star experience.

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Pool Lounge at Château Hôtel de la Messardière, St. Tropez, France

Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de le Messardière

The décor is Florentine inspired, and the views of the sea and surrounding countryside are stunning from this height. There are seventy-five rooms and forty suites (ask for one with a terrace or balcony overlooking the sea). After a two-year renovation, the property joined France’s Airelles group, and added an outdoor lap pool and a 10,000-square-foot Valmont Spa. Inside the new wellness sanctuary, guests can enjoy signature massages in any of the nine treatment rooms, as well as a hammam, sauna, indoor pool and infrared therapy.

The huge pool and impressive fitness center and spa may persuade you to remain on-site, but La Messardière also offers twenty-four-hour shuttle service to two of St.-Tropez’s private beaches (Tahiti and Tropezina). Some couples bring children, but the atmosphere is discreet and slightly formal, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself whispering.

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Bedroom at Bastide de Saint Antoine, French Riviera, France

Bastide de Saint Antoine

Built in the 18th century, Bastide St. Antoine was the hunting lodge of an English aristocrat who entertained many celebrities here including the Kennedy family. A later owner welcomed the Rolling Stones who spent an entire year on the property. In the late 1990s, renowned French chef Jacques Chibois bought the fifteen-acre estate, which is just outside France’s perfume capital, Grasse, and transformed it into a Relais & Chateaux inn with a Michelin-starred restaurant. The house contains a lovely library and gift shop (with gourmet focus, of course) and nine pretty Provençal-style rooms and seven suites. Rooms are either in a traditional Provencal style with wooden carved furniture, terra cotta floors and quilts or Contemporary, which are a sleeker modern take on the area’s preference for natural materials and a light palette. On the grounds are a pretty pool, rose gardens and a postcard perfect fruit orchard. The setting of the restaurant cannot be beat: set back behind a peaceful century-old olive grove. Michelin one-star chef Jacques Chibois, who is known for his innovative use of Mediterranean olive oil, serves an ever-changing seasonal menu, which might include innovative dishes like truffle ravioli stuffed with scallops and shrimp, roast quail with chestnut truffle purée and a lemon soufflé with a truffle crème brulée.

Note: Truffle lovers should schedule their visit in January when Chibois runs a truffle market.

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Aerial view - Cap Estel, French Riviera, France - Photo Courtesy of Cap Estel

Cap Estel

This stunning seaside villa sits on a spit of land that juts into the Mediterranean between Nice and Monaco and is ideal for hiding out in splendor.

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Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel

If you’ve seen To Catch a Thief with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant—perhaps the best movie of all time for French Riviera scenery—you know the Carlton Cannes, reigning over the city’s Mediterranean beachfront promenade, La Croisette.

The hotel, which reopened in spring 2023 following a top-to-bottom restoration, showcases bright, classically-inspired interiors by designer Tristan Auer.

There are 343 guest rooms including 39 suites, which are, for the most part, more modern and airy than you would expect from a grande-dame property and several of the upper-floor rooms have balconies with sweeping sea views. The most spacious accommodations are the rooms in the west wing.

Like the Martinez, the Carlton has a private beach club as well as a fitness center and a fabulous infinity pool, but there is no spa on the premises.

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Château de La Chèvre d’Or

The former artist’s retreat turned boutique hotel is a village in itself, with 40 rooms spread between a stone castle and connected by winding paths.

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view of chateau building peeking through olive groves on hill overlooking south of france and mediterranean

Château Saint-Martin & Spa

Tucked into the Provençal hills of France, the grand Château Saint-Martin & Spa is a sister property to the legendary Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes.

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Cheval Blanc St. Tropez

Within walking distance of all the action in the village, the eagerly anticipated Cheval Blanc is the only hotel in St. Tropez with its own beach.

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Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez

One of two grande-dame properties that preside over La Croisette (the seaside resort’s iconic boardwalk), the Hôtel Martinez was built in the 1920s but exudes a timeless elegance and luxury. Its original Art Deco design scheme has been updated with modern touches, though the recognizable, all-white facade has been carefully maintained.

The Martinez is large—its 409 guest rooms and 27 suites are located over seven floors—and it remains the place to see and be seen, especially during the annual Cannes Film Festival, when celebrities camp out here.

Families appreciate the large, heated outdoor pool, framed by palm trees, and the private beach club, Zplage, which is complimentary to guests and offers several watersport activities. There is a serene spa and well-equipped fitness center on the top floor as well as a two-Michelin-starred restaurant, La Palme d’Or, on the ground floor. Most rooms overlook the town and surrounding hillside, but a few have sea views.

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Pool Lounge at Hôtel Byblos, St. Tropez, France

Hôtel Byblos

Hotel Byblos truly is its own charming Tropezienne, hilltop village. Some guests rarely venture outside the hotel for days, and for good reason.
Suite at Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez, St. Tropez, France

Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez

Twenty years after the Hôtel de Paris closed its doors, the grande dame reopened in 2013 with a fully modern look, thanks to Sybille de Margerie, the designer also responsible for the Mandarin Oriental in Paris and the Cheval Blanc in Courchevel. The ninety rooms and suites start on the small side, but each has impeccable contemporary décor, mixing natural materials with pops of color, from fuchsia throw pillows to graphic yellow stripes along a wall. All rooms have street or courtyard views, while top floor suites overlook the neighboring St. Tropez harbor or the rooftops of neighboring buildings.

The rooftop restaurant has wonderful views across St. Tropez - a perfect place to start the day - while Le Suffren Cafe, created by three-star Michelin chef Georges Blanc, is suitable for a big night out. To recover from a late night, escape to the brand new Clarins Spa and take advantage of the sliming treatments, Turkish Hammam, and nail spa. Don’t miss the rooftop’s glass-bottomed pool, suspended above the hotel’s central atrium. An insider who stayed recently reports that the service is excellent.

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Hotel Épi 1959

Despite being located just steps away from St. Tropez's day scene, the hotel is a laid-back oasis away from the buzz of the beach.
Exterior View -  Imperial La Garoupe, French Riviera, France

Hotel Imperial Garoupe

Hotel Imperial Garoupe, down the road from the famous Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, offers a foothold on the same peninsula at a lower price and with less glamour.
Exterior View - Hôtel le Canberra, Cannes, France

Hôtel le Canberra

Hôtel Le Canberra, located right on the Rue d’Antibes only a few blocks from the beach, is a great option for those who want to be near the action in Cannes without spending a fortune. This stylish property with a sexy look, friendly service and reasonable room rates channels Rat Pack glamour.

Just past the entrance and front desk is a large lounge with a black leather-upholstered bar at one end and a giant black-and-white photo of 1950s Cannes at the other. Sliding glass doors lead out to a sleek terrace and pool area; the surrounding bamboo creates a tranquil oasis.

The best of the 35 rooms overlook the pool area rather than the street. The black, white and hot pink color scheme of the lobby/lounge continues into the guestrooms, which are compact but well equipped.

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Hôtel Les Roches Rouges

Located in Saint-Raphael on the Cote d’Azur, Les Roches Rouges commands a secluded setting on the coast with close proximity to the sea.
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Hôtel Lou Pinet

Breathtaking views, exquisite service and a beautifully curated aesthetic make Lou Pinet a prime destination in Saint-Tropez.

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Hôtel Majestic Barrière

Like its sister hotel, Paris’ Fouquet’s Barrière, the Hôtel Majestic Barrière mixes old world glamour with sleek lines behind its imposing Belle Epoque façade. However, where the Parisian property’s luxury takes on a more audacious, contemporary form, the Majestic remains more firmly rooted to a traditional sense of handsome.

Many guest rooms feature gold-and-crimson pinstriped sofas and heavy Champagne-colored curtains; other rooms are bolder, with rich beige accents over a black-and-white palette. It’s a more sober feel than one might expect beneath the gloriously bright-blue skies of Cannes, but the un-fussy approach is welcome and the bright upkeep of the rooms are a definite plus. The hotel also has a host of suites, including two penthouses, one of which has a private pool.

The massive property offers one of the best locations in Cannes, just steps away from those famous red-carpeted steps of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, the site of the Cannes Film Festival.

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Pool Lounge at Hotel Muse, Saint Tropez, St. Tropez, France

Hotel Muse, Saint Tropez

Hidden away on a small road surrounded by vineyards, the boutique Hotel Muse sits on a five-acre sprawl of landscaped gardens.
Suite at Hotel Sezz, St. Tropez, France - Courtesy of Manuel Zublena

Hotel Sezz

The sister property to Paris’ hip Hôtel Sezz, Saint Tropez’s Sezz offers an equally cool crash pad for scenesters and fun-loving families who flock to this sleek resort for sun, sea and scene. The thirty-seven rooms - referred to as cocoons - are spread throughout the property in one-story bungalows and are minimally furnished with low platform beds, mid-century chairs and crisp white linens. Tiled floors open onto private patios, and the soaring floor-to-ceiling windows allow plenty of light plus views into the lush gardens. Though a rollaway bed can be added to the cocoons, there are also two villas that are better fits for families.

Pool Lounge at La Bastide de Saint-Tropez, St. Tropez, France

La Bastide de Saint-Tropez

Most guests at this twenty-six-room manor house are lodged in pink-and-ocher pavilions, some of which have garden terraces and open-air Jacuzzis. The hotel is set back from a country road, and the pool is in a tropical palm-shaded garden. La Bastide’s restaurant, L’Olivier, excels in Mediterranean classics, and attracts a local clientele year-round. If you want to feel like you’re part of the St.-Tropez scene, this decidedly untrendy hotel isn’t the place for you. But travelers who appreciate great food as well as a deeply comfortable and quiet setting—and a good deal—will be happy here.

Facade at  La Colombe d’Or, French Riviera, France - Courtesy of Colombe d'Or

La Colombe d'Or

One of the most icons inns in the South of France, La Colombe d’Or is a legendary spot known for its views, its art and its food, which are all truly memorable. This historic inn and restaurant opened in the 1920s and its stunning terrace and home-style food has long attracted artists and dignitaries visiting or residing in the area. Many of the artists became friends of the owners and paid their bills with their works, some of which still hang on the walls. Look out for works by Picasso, Miró, Cocteau and Bonnard.

Among the unusual touches are a Calder mobile by the pool, a ceramic mural by Fernand Léger and a fireplace designed by famed architect Jacques Couelle that is faced with the handprints of visitors. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is still run by the family who opened it almost a century ago. The food is delicious and the tables inside are just as sought after as those on the fig-tree shaded terrace. There are thirteen rooms upstairs, all individually decorated in Provençal style, if you want to spend the night, but many prefer to come for meals throughout the day.

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Restaurant at La Réserve de Beaulieu & Spa, French Riviera, France

La Réserve de Beaulieu & Spa

This elegant, family-owned hotel, located in the charming seaside town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, exudes old-world charm and glamour. Originally founded as a restaurant in 1880, the property expanded to include just 10 rooms in 1905 and grew from there. Currently offering 39 rooms and suites spread between two buildings (the more family friendly option being across the street), the hotel offers varying sizes and types of rooms that can accommodate families and couples alike. While the outdoor spaces, including the massive seaside pool area, garden courtyards and restaurant terrace are fresh and inviting, the rooms can feel slightly dated to a more discerning guest. The gracious and welcoming staff can be seen welcoming back repeat guests with hugs and smiles. With its breathtaking views and vintage glamour, La Réserve de Beaulieu is a quintessential South of France property with the history and reputation to prove it.

Lounge at Le Mandala, St. Tropez, France

Le Mandala

The once modest property is now a showcase of gray-and-white minimalist chic. The guest rooms have plasma-screen TVs and large bay windows with views of the pool, sea or a vineyard, but not much else in terms of décor. There is also an apartment that’s good for families or friends traveling together. For lounging, there is a small pool, but most guests use the patio more as a breakfast terrace than as a place to spend the day (the car park is next to it).

Lounge at Le Mas de Pierre, French Riviera, France

Le Mas de Pierre

In the countryside outside of St. Paul de Vence, this Relais and Chateaux property has been called a poor man’s Château St. Martin, and while it is certainly not as elegant or expensive as the five-star chateau property in nearby Vence, it draws lots of French families who want to be in the hills of Provence with a nice pool area and relaxed resort vibe.

The hotel sits on six acres beneath the walled town of St. Paul de Vence and is built around a former stone farmhouse. Within its garden of ancient olive trees are scattered forty-eight rooms in smaller country-style cottages. Sunny Provençal colors and fabrics brighten the rooms, many of which have small terraces. At the center of the property is a large pool surrounded by cabanas, where families and couples gather to relax between their excursions to explore neighboring hill towns, small museums or the many gourmet restaurants in the region.

In stark contrast to many of the properties in this area, which barely tolerate the presence of children, Le Mas de Pierres truly welcomes them (among other family-friendly touches: kids under 12 aren’t charged for breakfast) and many French families come here every year for long weekends. Two-star Michelin chef Michel Rostang oversees the restaurant’s menu and there is a small spa on property.

In the spring of 2015, Le Mas de Pierre opened the new Provencal-style wing “Bastide des Fleurs,” a restored stone manor house set back near the hotel gardens. The six spacious, contemporary, white-on-white suites were designed by Patrick Ribes to have the occasional splash of floral-themed canvases and woodwork. Expect personalized service and a restful atmosphere: after breakfast on the private patio, most guests dive into the bastide’s pool or lounge in their full-service cabana.

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Bedroom at Le Saint Paul, French Riviera, France

Le Saint Paul

This gorgeous Relais & Châteaux property in the Provençal hill town of St. Paul de Vence, considered by some to be one of the prettiest towns in France, has exquisite views and a famous restaurant. Located within the ramparts of the 16th century village, the hotel’s foundations date back to 1511. The buildings that comprise the hotel were former homes as well as a hospital and church. Each of the sixteen rooms is decorated differently, adding to the feeling of staying in a private hideaway residence. Since the town is car-free, you cannot pull right up to the property but porters will assist with luggage, and you hear only footsteps on cobblestones at night, which fosters a feeling of going back to a previous century. Chef Nunzio Romano puts an Italian spin on his innovative menu (the border, after all, is not far away). During warm weather, diners sit on a lovely terrace, framed by hibiscus and bougainvillea.

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