Riviera Retreats


July 22, 2020

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The French Riviera is more than just a playground for the rich. This part of France is rich in history too. As the setting of famous films such as To Catch a Thief and The Talented Mr. Ripley and books by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night, and Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden, the Cote d’Azur is a place of legend and imagination… a place where anything can happen.

My first backpacking trip through Europe (I was 21) included a week on the Riviera that one of the happiest weeks of my entire life. I stayed in places that were one up from a hostel, where you had to pay extra to take a shower.

The air, and the light and the history make magic.

Here are just three place to consider for your next stay ::

Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa

With only 44 rooms, you’ll relish the pampering and privacy at the Chateau Saint-Martin. Strolling through the 300-year-old olive grove will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. While you feel the warmth of the sun, the only sounds will be from nature itself… or occasionally, the distant splash of laughter from the outdoor pool. Private villas each offer a terrace where you can enjoy breakfast or a leisurely evening meal.

Each room beautifully blends historic features with subtle contemporary designs. And hat truly impresses me is the art all around the property, indoors and out. Until October 2021, their grounds offer guests works of art to lift your soul: sculptures by the great Valencian, Manolo Valdés, standing in relief to the rolling Vence hillside.  The art is stunning and stands along side the spectacular views that stretch gently toward the warm waters of the French Riviera.

As for the history – this property dates back to the 12th century when the Château was a Knights Templar Commandery. Known as a destination for art, romance and wellness, this retreat in Vence is truly something special.

Pro tip :: Make time to visit the nearby Matisse chapel.



Hotel Martinez

Hotel Martinez is a hotel steeped in history. Built by English nobility during the real estate boom of the late 1800s, the villa was known as ‘La Coquette.’ Then bought by the exiled King of Naples, he renovated and expanded the property and rechristened it ‘Villa Marie-Thérèse. For 50 years, the villa was a party house for the social scene in Cannes. During the early part of the 20th century, the property fell into decline. The old villa was demolished and the new owner erected a new building which opened in 1929, as the largest hotel on the French Riviera, and call Hotel Martinez.

A large-scale renovation finished in 2018 brought the legendary property into a contemporary era that honors the Art Deco era. The interior style also exudes the spirit and colors of the Cote d’Azur and the hotel offers over 400 rooms and nearly 100 suites. Several restaurants are on property including the only two Michelin star restaurant in Cannes : “La Palme d’Or” with a terrace facing the sea for a unique culinary experience. The “Martinez Bar” is a casual chic yachting spirit, serving Iberian-inspired creative cocktails and gourmet pintxos to the upbeat soundtrack of electro-swing music.

As an advisor in the the Hyatt Privé program, I can offer you special privileges such as exclusive opportunities, local recommendations, and VIP benefits, upgrades, early-check-in, hotel spending credits, late check-out and more.

Pro tip :: This hotel sits on the Promenade de la Croisette, a famous boulevard that is two kilometers long and which is listed in the cultural heritage general inventory of France. The Croisette is known for the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, where the Cannes Film Festival is held every year. Visit!



Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc another very special place to experience those rare and delicious pleasures of the Rivieras. This luxurious retreat offers carefree days, secluded spaces between our private bay and parkland and elegant country club facilities. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is the quintessential Riviera playground, with a stretch of private shore, parkland, pool and pontoon.

When Auguste De Villemessant, first set eyes on ‘Le Cap’ (meaning the rock), he envisaged Villa Soleil, a place of inspiration for writers. Dashing Russian aristocrats Paul de Fersen, and then Alexis de Plestcheyeff, eventually brought his idea to life, and in 1870 Grand Hotel du Cap began her elegant history. It was visionary hotelier, Antoine Sella, who established a halcyon retreat for creative spirits and grand romantic encounters. And the Riviera legend was born. 

Pro tip :: Check out their spa body treatments to nourish and protect both your skin and precious nature. They use the natural brand, Bamford, with aromatic essential oils blended purely from herbs and plants.



Additional Resources

The Best Luxury Hotels on the French Riviera – from Forbes

The Shady History of the French Riviera: Rachel Rhys on the allure of writing a novel set in the dazzling French Riviera – from Penguin Books

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