The coolest place to stay on the Côte d'Azur

The coolest place to stay on the Côte d'Azur

Riviera chic

Site: Divya Bala

Low-key, old world luxury in one of France’s most exclusive coastal hideaways, the Royal Riviera Hotel

When you think of the French Riviera, what comes to mind? Black and white imagery of Jane Birkin and her famous wicker basket or Brigitte Bardot's windswept hair as she whips across the harbour by boat? Perhaps it's striped blue umbrellas, fresh fruit cocktails and optic white sails? Nicknamed 'Cape Celebrity', Cap Ferrat on France's Riviera coast has long been a discreet playground for the world's most well-known and well-heeled, attracting the likes of everyone from royals to the Rolling Stones. 

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Thought to be some of the most expensive real estate in the world after Monaco, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has all the character of a fishing village with the glamour of the jet-set crowd escaping the grind. It's a place where the beau-monde come to play in privacy, dipping out from time to time to rehydrate, dine and be seen in some of the most storied hotels and resorts in the world. It's little wonder the peninsula is often referred to as locals as, 'the last gem of the Côte d'Azur'. 

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One jewel of particular note is the Royal Riviera Hotel, a five-star accomodation with the intimacy of a villa and the luxury of a seaside palace. Perched on an exclusive edge of the peninsula in Provencal gardens, the hotel has the kind of quaint, washed-out, pastel facade that would make Wes Anderson proud and the kind of details that any self-respecting voyager would swoon over, (Bvlgari toiletries, anyone?).

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Rooms are plush (96 suites, villas and bungalows in total) and set around Renaissance-style gardens and one of the most Insta-worthy outdoor plunge pools we have ever seen. Many look over the deep blue ocean and the hotel's own private beach below. Interiors are just as beautiful and decorated in that breezy, chic, Rivierian style that the French do so well.

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Must-do's include heading down to the private beach to soak up the rays on one of the hotel's sun loungers or borrow a paddleboard to sail across the cape. Be sure to eat at the hotel's in-house gastronomic restaurant, La Table du Royal, where Michelin-starred chef Alain Parodi and Chef Bruno Le Bolch come up with the most inspired Mediterraneran cuisine, (bolstered by a confident wine list - just ask the hotel's sommelier). The fougast olive bread with pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, rosemary and garlic cloves sounds simple but genius and a sample of the rest of the moreish menu to come. Also, be sure to sleep with your windows open to hear the gentle lapping of the waves below and smell the sea salt spray as you dream. It's magic.

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Though the hotel is an ideal jump-off point to visit the surrounding five beaches, wander into town or take the coastal walk to the nearby cultural hot spots (the sugar-pink house once owned by Charlie Chaplin and then silver screen star David Niven is just down the way) we found ourselves barely wanting to stray from the picturesque grounds, warm staff and plunging depths of the pool and beach of Royal Riviera Hotel.

For more, visit the Royal Riviera Hotel.

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