The French Côte d’Azur is synonymous with high luxury. From Nice to Cannes and St Tropez, there are few places in the world that count such a high number of exceptional establishments. When it comes to finding the best luxury hotels on the French Riviera, you’re certainly spoiled for choice. But if you’re after a stay that’s truly exceptional and unforgettable, read on. These 6 rarefied establishments offer more than opulent surroundings and rooms: they transport you into an experience of high-luxury, each unique in its own right. World-class gastronomy, spas, wine tastings and more are all on the programme. Read on, and find out how we can incorporate a stay at one of these coveted hotels into a bespoke, private tour of the Riviera.
Top 6 Luxury Hotels on the French Riviera
..Places That Transport You Elsewhere
Intercontinental Carlton Cannes: For Film and Yachting Enthusiasts
First opened in 1913, the Intercontinental in Cannes has been a symbol of glamour and star power ever since. Situated right on the legendary Boulevard de la Croisette, the five-star hotel has long been the preferred temporary address of stars in town for the annual film festival, yachting enthusiasts and other jetsetting types. Before the Palais du Festival was created to host the film festival proceedings, the Carlton was used for the jury to gather and select the best films of the year; to this day plenty of red-carpet parties take place there. Beloved films included Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief” and “A Star for Two” starring Lauren Bacall and Anthony Quinn were filmed at the hotel.
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Many of the over 340 rooms at the Carlton have stunning sea and beach views, while the opulent suites are decorated in a Belle-Epoque style that anyone in search of old-world style luxury will appreciate. This would also be an ideal choice for a romantic, high-end honeymoon in France. Gastronomy is also on the menu, with no fewer than three places to enjoy fine French cooking and wines from around the world. The beach restaurant is especially pleasant, with its private white-sand beach and luxurious bar area. There’s also plenty of ways to relax and indulge: the Carlton Beauty Centre offers a range of top-rate treatments.
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc: For Wild Nature & History
One of the ultra-coveted Oetker Collection hotels, the five-star Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc ups the ante when it comes to high luxury in the Cote d’Azur. Situated in the Cap d’Antibes, the hotel is urrounded by lush old-growth pine trees and offers stunning panoramic views over the Mediterranean. Like the Intercontinental in Cannes, this is another legendary spot with its own roster of famous guests, including members of royalty. Stay in one of the more than 100 rooms, suites and villas, most with breathtaking views, or opt for the entirely private Villa Eleana. The 250sq metre private house with outdoor pool, terrace, private butler, kitchen and three spacious bedrooms offers yet another level of high luxury.
For wellness and relaxation, enjoy a stunning heated infinity pool overlooking the sea, spa featuring La Prairie products and an exclusive caviar water treatment protocol. You can also relax in one or more of the hotel’s 33 cabanas scattered around the property. There are also five tennis courts, gastronomic restaurant overlooking the Lérin Islands, and many more opulent amenities.
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Visiting the town of Antibes allows visitors to enjoy history, architecture and art: the Picasso museum is a favorite site, and the intact medieval town is incredibly charming.
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Hotel La Perouse in Nice: Bay Views & Quiet Charm
One of the most elegant places to stay in the old city of Nice, this remarkable independent hotel boasts breathtaking views over the Angel Bay, affording visitors peace, quiet, and a glimpse at some local natural wonders. Nestled on Castle Hill at the far end of the iconic Promenade des Anglais, the Hotel La Pérouse is just a short walk away from the old harbour, luxury boutiques and fine restaurants.
Its 56 painstakingly decorated rooms and suites, some with private sea views and access to the private beach just outside the hotel, offer contemporary charm blended with French tradition. Fine woodwork and marble add touches of true luxury to the airy, bright rooms here.
Need to put your feet up and let your cares float away? The hotel’s onsite Relaxation area features a heated indoor pool, sauna, open-air jacuzzi, fitness room and solarium. After a long day exploring one of the Riviera’s finest cities, what could be better than allowing your mind and body to completely relax?
The chic bar and restaurant at the hotel serves gastronomic, Provencal-style cuisine in lavish surroundings. In spring and summer, the lemon tree-lined patio is an ideal place to enjoy lunch or dinner al fresco, and all the seasonal dishes were expertly conceived by French chef Pascal Gorris.
Le Negresco in Nice: For Art & Culture Lovers
We’d be remiss in our coverage of Nice even we didn’t mention Le Negresco. Open for over a century, this classic establishment is another iconic place to stay in Nice, and a preferred spot for art and culture lovers, since it houses a remarkable onsite collection comprising some 6,000 pieces of fine art. Many famous figures have passed through the doors here and stayed in its opulent rooms, from royals such as Queen Amelie of Portugal and Princess Grace of Monaco to wealthy families such as the Vanderbilts and rock stars like The Beatles and Elton John. To say that the place embodies glamour is an understatement…
Each of the 100 rooms are decorated with elegant period furniture, and draws inspiration from different periods in French art. Whether you prefer the Baroque style or modern art, there’s a room suited to your tastes. Many overlook the lovely bay with its crystalline blue waters. If you’re after a truly exceptional stay, the suites and junior suites offer lavishly decorated, spacious apartments appointed with style and elegance.
For fine dining, you have a choice between the gastronomic Chantecler restaurant serving innovative modern cuisine; the summer terrace offering an exceptional BBQ by the sea, or the more relaxed French brasserie. There’s also an onsite partner spa offering relaxing treatments, and close access to the finest shopping streets, promenades and beaches in the old city.
La Reserve de Beaulieu: For Sea, Sand and True Luxe
Situated in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, an idyllic spot on the Riviera between Monaco and Nice, La Reserve de Beaulieu is another five-star palace hotel on the Cote d’Azur that attracts a strictly discerning clientele. The magical pale pink palace, owned since 1997 by the prominent Delion family, was first founded in 1180 as a luxury seafood and shellfish restaurant. It since expanded to become one of the most relaxing, and opulent, places to stay in the region. Royals and celebrities have long frequented its prestigious rooms, from King Leopold II of Belgium to the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy and the famed architect Gustave Eiffel, designer of the eponymous tower in Paris. Later, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and other Hollywood studio icons also chose it to hang their hats while in France.
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Each of the luxuriously appointed rooms and suites is impeccably decorated in a classic French style; many have sweeping sea views. Stay in the tower room for an especially romantic occasion, or in the two private villas, each sumptuously appointed and affording a level of comfort and luxe that’s rarely matched. Meanwhile, the enormous outdoor, heated saltwater pool overlooking the Mediterranean offers an opportunity to unwind and relax, as does the onsite Marie Galland spa. For fine dining, the Restaurant des Rois offers fine and creative gastronomic experiences; you can also opt to enjoy meals at two other hotel restaurants, or a cocktail at the indoor and poolside bars.
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo: For Timeless Glamour & Fine Dining
Another glamorous hotspot on the Riviera, the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo combines timeless elegance and tradition with a decidedly contemporary touch, having been renovated and updated in 2004. Founded in 1886 and designed in a typical Belle Epoque style, the hotel still conserves many of these elements, but also offers a fresh sense of style and modern luxury that many travellers will appreciate. Throughout, fidelity to the Mediterranean spirit and aesthetic reigns.
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The beautifully appointed rooms and suites are all thoughtfully decorated with opulent touches that add both style and luxurious comfort; they feature marble bathrooms and top-quality linens. For an especially remarkable stay, opt for the “Suites Prestige” which offer sweeping views over Monte Carlo and the sea, and are decorated by celebrated designer Jacques Garcia.
Fans of fine cuisine will be delighted with the onsite restaurant helmed by famed French Chef Joel Robuchon and Christophe Cussac. With an innovative menu focused on local produce and seafood, dining here is a must for guests seeking refined gastronomy. Meanwhile, for a moment of pure relaxation, visit the Spa Metropole, featuring products and treatments by Givenchy, or take a dip in the outdoor pool. The “Odyssey” wellbeing complex features a saltwater heated pool, luxurious bar and restaurant that was also co-conceived by Joel Robuchon, and a solarium. It was designed by celebrated designer Karl Lagerfeld.
Heading to the Cote d’Azur? Book a Private Tour With Us
If you’re tempted by a meticulously tailored luxury getaway to the French Riviera, we’ll create the perfect bespoke itinerary for you. Simply get in touch to start making your vision a reality. Whether you’re interested in yachting, art, gastronomy or beaches, your private tour will show you luxury of a higher order.