No matter how many fantastic destinations are dotted around the Mediterranean, none can match the irresistible charm of that of the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur. Stretching from the dazzling St. Tropez to the border with Italy, Côte d’Azur is unlike anywhere else. French class and sophistication, elegance and sun-filled warmth all meet in beautiful coastal cities and towns that attract star-studded crowds. Michelin-starred restaurants, grandiose villas, lovely boutiques, and VIP nightclubs are all common here. Yet when considering the luxury hotel scene, the range to choose from is truly wonderful. 5-star havens offering seclusion and serenity, beautiful design boutique hotels, decades-established legendary hotels, and larger resorts all happily share the spotlight, and here we have chosen 5 of our favorite Côte d’Azur luxury hotels.
During peak months, the French Riviera can get a bit crowded but if you know where to look, you can still enjoy perfect seclusion, away from prying eyes. Sitting on Pointe de Cabuel, Hôtel Cap-Estel is an 18-room 5-star hotel set in a beautiful turn-of-the-century mansion dating back to 1899. This boutique-style hotel offers nothing but the utmost sophistication and elegance one can only find on the beautiful Côte d’Azur coastline. Additionally, award-winning cuisine and bespoke service elevate the experience to a new level. Not often seen among 5-star hotels, Cap-Estel is a family owned property where activities like watersports or yoga classes are replaced by tennis, a well-stocked library with fantastic literature (the complete written works of Churchill in the first edition), and sub-tropical gardens for a leisurely sun-filled stroll in the afternoon. Absolute privacy and tranquillity dictate the tone and every corner feels like its own little oasis. Thus Cap-Estel is a magnet for celebrities seeking some downtime during Côte d’Azur’s annual Film Festival, Grand Prix and other main events. Personal touches can be felt throughout and the rooms are as jaw-dropping as they can be only in a family-run luxury hotel. For example, a spacious melee of panoramic views, Hollywood-style bathrooms and stunning art pieces are the norm here. The suites are carved into the rockface above a private beach. Each enjoys Carrara marble floors and beach club décor. The soothing sound of the waves offers the most fantastic soundtrack for a relaxing night’s sleep.
Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic
A legend on the French Riviera, Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic has been welcoming A-list guests and film stars in its welcoming arms for decades now. The legendary Cannes hotel opened in 1926 set in a buzzing location on the Croisette that always is at the very heart of the action. The spectacular location ensures that the marina, the cafés and shops of Rue d’Antibes and the hilly Old Town are under a 5-minute walk away. The hotel fully channels the vibes of an Art Deco palace, paying homage to the roaring 20s while its cinematic glam channels only Cannes, not Vegas or LA. The hotel enjoys regular renovations, always staying ultra-glam and up-t0-date, while also combining heritage with a cinematic spirit but moving with the times. The lobby is lined with 2,500 black-and-white portraits of film stars, many of whom have enjoyed a stay at this grand hotel. The hotel is designed in a palette of ivory and beige, and this color scheme goes further beyond to the elegant coffee-and-cream bedrooms and matching, mosaic-tiled bathrooms. A sea view room will have you enjoying the island-spangled bay and Esterel mountains. For an extra level of glitz, choose the Christian Dior Suite, inspired by Dior’s Parisian home. Enjoy various sports activities or simply lazing on the private beach, before relaxing at the Spa Diane Barrière. Infuse magic into your evenings and experience a star-studded stay.
Another legend on the French Riviera, Hotel Byblos is, without a doubt, the best of the best in St. Tropez. Two years ago it celebrated its 50th year of service and for over half a century, Byblos has offered bespoke service and luxury experience to its guests visiting Côte d’Azur. Terracotta-colored facades facing the centerpiece pool resembling the traditional way of life in the French Riviera set the scene. Cerulean window shutters and charming balconies enhance the signature look of the Mediterranean lifestyle and within this idyllic setting, there are 41 rooms and 50 suites, all offering views of either the village, the pool area or the garden. All rooms bring absolute comfort to the forefront. Without being exaggerated with the latest design elements or overly pompous, main features include signature Mediterranean colors and furnishings that are to be enjoyed not just looked at. Having said that, the hotel’s most luxurious and spacious Missoni Home Suite has been designed and furnished by the Italian high-end fashion house Missoni Home known for their colorful knitwear designs. The 180 sq.m. suite is located at the very heart of the hotel and overlooks the pool from its spacious terrace. The Duplex Suites open up to two gorgeous sun-filled floors and are enhanced with deep red and vermilion tones in the interiors. Everything within the hotel has been carefully thought through and the service is truly exceptional. From chauffeur service to the beaches of Pampelonne to dinners served as late as 2AM after a visit to Les Caves du Roy, there really is no limit to what this hotel does for its guests.
Hotel Sezz Saint-Tropez
You know real luxury, when an idyllic haven is set aside from the masses flocking to enjoy the Riviera. The beautiful Hotel Sezz Saint-Tropez is exactly that, offering perfect seclusion in a gorgeous setting. A mere 5-minute drive from central Saint-Tropez, the Sezz is located less than a 10-minute walk from the white-sand beach of Canebiers. The 5-star design boutique hotel with 35 rooms and 2 luxury villas is laid out in a beautiful contemporary design that perfectly fits French elegance and Mediterranean warmth. The rooms are spacious, bold yet clean, minimalist, and absolutely beautiful. The rooms exude lightness and brightness that embodies the south of France. Equipped with generously spacious terraces, and outdoor showers, while the Plunge Rooms also boast private outdoor pools. There are also two top-category villas that are more spacious than most Saint-Tropez apartments and come with a private swimming pool.
Althoff Hotel Villa Belrose
In order to discover all that Saint-Tropez has to offer, you can’t make any compromises on where you stay, as the best hotels in the region embody the best of the best that the French Riviera has to offer, and your journey starts with where you stay. Althoff Hotel Villa Belrose is among the top players in the Saint-Tropez luxury hotel scene where in a very welcome and classic atmosphere, you can enjoy an individual welcome, bespoke service and world-class culinary delights. Located where the sky and the sea meet, on one of the hills of Gassin, Althoff Hotel Villa Belrose comes with a gorgeous heated 200sqm pool, its own luxury beauty center, and a gourmet restaurant. Pine trees and landscaped gardens create a feeling of comfort and paradise-like atmosphere, and the tremendous and panoramic views over the Bay of Saint-Tropez are truly awe-inspiring. Well-appointed rooms in calming tones of white, peach, taupe, and grey with large contemporary furnishings are all about comfortable sophistication.