Luxe Côte d'Azur

On the coast that defined seaside glamour, you can never be too rich or too tanned.

This is where rustic glamour was invented: a balmy playground, equally endowed with show-off glitz and craggy, pine-clad coastline. Beautiful beaches stretch east from Hyères towards the Italian border; the celebrated hot spots – Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo – are synonymous with unashamed ostentation, and have Italianate architecture and rock-star villas to match. When the boats and Bulgari get too much, you can retreat to the region’s mediaeval villages. Èze, Mougins and Saint-Paul- de-Vence crown the cypress-dotted hills, all quaint cobbled alleys, casual cafés and ruined ramparts. The one thing you can’t escape is the Mediterranean, its blue brilliance a timeless lure, whether you’re Pablo Picasso or Paris Hilton.

La Réserve Ramatuelle St Tropez France Mr & Mrs Smith (CheckAvailability)

When the brightly lit bustle of St Tropez gets too much, La Réserve Ramatuelle is your release, offering heart-stoppingly magnificent views over the Med from a crow’s-nest setting just outside the city. The spectacular spa is the star performer, but the imaginative detox-friendly cuisine and the modern all-white rooms turn out memorable supporting roles.
Worth getting out of bed for
It’s easy to forget about the outside world in the spoil-yourself spa and pools of La Réserve but the shops and beaches of St Tropez are worth a trip (although the traffic and crowds during summer might make you think twice). For a more off-the-beaten-track excursion, visit the lighthouse at Cap Camarat, just a few minutes’ drive away: it’s the second largest in France and on a clear day you can see Corsica from the top. Afterwards, quench your thirst and give your taste buds a treat with a visit to a local cave to sample wine from the region: Château de Pampelonne (+33 (0)4 94 56 32 04) and Château Minuty (+33 (0)4 94 56 12 09;, both in Gassin, 13km away, produce excellent rosé.

Cap Estel Côte d'Azur France Mr & Mrs Smith (Check Availability)

On a secluded peninsula snaking out into the Med, Cap Estel’s gated mansion is a shot of Riviera glam amid the azure. Surrounded by palms and terraced gardens, with an elegant restaurant and Monaco and Nice close by, this exclusive retreat is A-list alluring.
Worth getting out of bed for
The terraced gardens make for a romantic promenade – wander down to the tiny, stone beach and pull up a deck chair. If you’re feeling active, improve your backhand on the tennis courts, then cool down in the saltwater infinity pool at the edge of the gardens. For another kind of pool experience, shoot some balls in the downstairs lounge area. Ask nicely and you might be able to watch a film at the private cinema. Having fully scoped out Cap Estel and its five acres, drive 11km to Nice, or 9km to Monaco, and explore the designer boutiques, chic eateries and glamorous bars. Èze’s ancient fortified village, crowned with 12th-century castle ruins, also deserves a recce, as does the seaside town of Èze-sur-Mer, which boasts some pretty beaches and perfect picnic spots. Seek out floral blooms and scents at the Jardin Exotique ( and continue the fragrant theme at Grasse perfumeries Galimard and Fragonard, which both have shops in Eze village.

Muse St Tropez, St Tropez France Mr & Mrs Smith (CheckAvailability)

At Muse St Tropez hotel, a free shuttle will take you to the town centre (or Pampelonne and St Tropez beaches), and you'll be royally spoilt the whole time – you won’t even have to leave your room for a massage. We reckon that’s about all you need to know about this boutique bolthole in the heart of Ramatuelle, where the gardens are blooming, the pool is cabana-lined and the rooms are the very definition of peaceful havens.
Worth getting out of bed for
Watersports enthusiasts will find a second home on Pampelonne Beach, which offers water-skiing, parascending, cat-sailing and wakeboarding. Walk along to the Eglise de St Tropez for the best views at sunset. Stock up on everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to antique mirrors and slippers at the lively Place des Lices market; if the stalls aren’t there, enjoy admiring the plane trees and pétanque players from one of the square’s many cafés instead. The portside Musée de l’Annonciade on rue Georges Clemenceau, in St Tropez houses works by Matisse, Bonnard and Seurat. It’s open every day except Tuesday, from 10am–1pm and 2pm–6pm; closed during November (+33 (0)4 94 17 84 10).

Les Roches Rouges Côte d'Azur France Mr & Mrs Smith (CheckAvailability)

Boutique hotel Les Roches Rouges has sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, a sleek aesthetic, a carefully-curated cocktail list and a photogenic stoned-lined pool by the surf. This effortlessly cool hideaway is set along the coast from Nice, on the edge of L’Esterel National Park. The petite spa doles out Polynesian massages and mineral-rich scrubs, hearty Provençal feasts can be taken alfresco, and sea-view private balconies are the perfect place for evening glasses of wine.
Worth getting out of bed for
Active types can swim laps in the long pool, partake in the hotel's weekly alfresco yoga session, and follow experienced field guide Joseph di Caro as he leads guests through Esterel National Park every Monday. Get playfully competitive with table tennis in the garden or on the full-size pétanque court – once a week, the president of the neighbouring village’s bowling club gives free lessons at cocktail hour – or relax with a summer read by the pool.
Smooth seas are perfect for paddleboarding (there’s gear for guests to borrow); the hotel has snorkelling equipment on hand too if you’d prefer to dip below the waters in search of anemones, scorpion fish and other life aquatic. Borrow the hotel’s two-person kayak to explore the calm waters of Calanque de Saint-Barthélémy or the coastline to gaze up at the magnificent Esterel mountains from the sea. The hotel’s fisherman Olivier Bardoux will show guests how to angle like a pro. Take to the waves on windsurfing boards and Hobie Cats at Agay Wind Club, a 10-minute drive from hotel. For land-based exploring, wander the streets of Saint-Raphaël and stop by the Basilique Notre Dame de la Victoire, or spend a morning trekking through the red-rock Massif de l'Esterel mountains.

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