Luxury Experiences on the Côte d'Azur

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

The Côte d'Azur, France – synonymous with Cannes Film Festival, the casinos of Monte Carlo, multi-million-dollar yachts and high-class living. Whether you wish to spend your days sipping cocktails on a private yacht, creating your own bespoke perfume or enjoying a flutter at the tables à la Mr Bond, you’ll need inspiration on what to do and where to stay. Here are our top luxury experiences on the Côte d'Azur to whet your appetite.

Enjoy a Flutter at Casino Monte Carlo

A playground for the rich and famous, Casino de Monte Carlo opened in 1863 on the instruction of Princess Caroline, wife of Prince Florestan I, to save the House of Grimaldi from going bankrupt. Today, the world-famous casino offers you the opportunity to chance your luck on French Roulette, Baccarat, Poker, Blackjack and more. The exquisite Belle Époque structure in Place du Casino has hosted some of the world’s highest grossing movies including Casino Royale, Ocean’s 12 and Goldeneye, and is one of the most popular year-round attractions in Monte Carlo. 

Casino Monte Carlo

Credit: Matej Kastelic

…And Stay at the Metropole Hotel, Monte Carlo

The stunning Belle Époque building situated in Carre d’Or close to Casino de Monte Carlo was built in 1886 and thoughtfully renovated in 2004 by French designer Jacques Garcia. Although the exterior harks back to a bygone era, Metropole Hotel’s interior is warm and welcoming, boasting 125 rooms and 64 suites which blend traditional and contemporary styling.

The Lobby Bar is the beating heart of the hotel, enveloped in warm tones with artistic floral installations which reflect the season - it’s the perfect place to enjoy lunch, an evening aperitif or a romantic dinner for two.

Step outside and you’ll discover “Odyssey”, a Grecian-themed oasis designed by Karl Lagerfield. The poolside sanctuary recreates the journey of Ulysses through a series of mesmerising panelled murals. During daylight hours guests can relax and sunbathe on the terrace and in the evening enjoy a meal beside a crystalline aquamarine swimming pool which illuminates with LED lights.

Metropole Hotel features four restaurants, two of which have been awarded highly coveted Michelin stars. Restaurant Joel Robuchon Monte-Carlo specialises in tantalising Mediterranean flavours or you can enjoy delectable Japanese offerings in elegant “Yoshi”.

When you’ve exhausted designer boutiques, blackjack tables or returned from a helicopter ride along the coastline, indulge in a luxurious treatment at Spa Metropole by Givenchy. With deluxe treatments utilising the latest scientific discoveries for skincare, a full “Heat Experience” which includes a sauna, hammam and sensory showers and a specialist foot studio on-site, you’ll feel fabulous, refreshed and ready for another exciting day on the Cote d’Azur.

Hotel Metropole's Vue Salon Suite

Credit: Hotel Metropole

Enjoy a Wine Tasting Experience

Wine connoisseurs will adore the opportunity to visit the top vineyards in the South of France. One of these is Clos des Roses, a charming vineyard just a short drive from Cannes and Frejus in the picturesque Provençal countryside. The vineyard was purchased by the Barbero family back in 2006 and today boasts 10 hectares of verdant vineyards growing 9 varieties of grape which include Syrah, Cabernet, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. As the vineyards sit on volcanic soil and red rock, the terroir contributes to rich, full flavours which dance on the palette. You can take a guided tour of the vineyards to learn about the winemaking process and even sample their delicious blends afterwards. 

Vineyards in the South of France

…And Stay at Hotel Martinez, Cannes

Art Deco design Hotel Martinez opened in Cannes in the late 1920s and is well-known for its warm, energetic atmosphere. It’s the place to be seen on La Croisette and is often frequented by A-list celebrities during the Cannes Film Festival. With 409 contemporary guest rooms and suites with sea views, each decorated in subtle maritime shades, it’s a decadent retreat within a short walk of designer stores, nightlife and the hotel’s private decked beach. After a day of Provençal wine tasting, it’s the perfect place to indulge in luxury spa treatments or fine dining courtesy of Chef Christian Sinicropi at two Michelin star La Palme d’Or Restaurant. Here you will discover an innovative tasting menu to tempt your taste buds and after dinner, retire to Le Jardin bar to sip one (or more) of the twenty-two gins in their collection.

Hotel Martinez Exterior

Credit: Semmick Photo

Charter a Yacht for the Day

Live life like the jet-set and charter a luxury yacht for the day during your stay on the Côte d’Azur. With quaint fishing villages, island hideaways and glitzy seafront resorts to explore, it’s the only way to see the French Riviera up close. Whether it’s an evening cocktail cruise, a day trip from Monte Carlo to Nice or a longer adventure you seek, there are many companies such as Arthaud Yachting who offer yacht charters from Saint-Tropez, Nice, Cannes, Monaco and beyond. If you don’t want to travel too far, you can even stay in the harbour and party like an A-lister, so get those champagne corks popping!

Yacht moored in Monaco

Credit: Guas Alex

…And Stay at Hotel Le Negresco, Nice

Designed by Henri Negrescu, Hotel Le Negresco has stood proudly on Promenade des Anglais for over a century. Nestled under a cupola and patriotically flying the Tricolour, its legendary architecture is instantly recognisable to all who visit the city. It’s the choice of artists, royalty and politicians, having hosted luminaries such as Salvador Dali, the Beatles and Elton John. Elegant salons brim with antique furnishings and art collections dating from the 17th century to the present day as glittering chandeliers adorn reception areas. Deluxe Sea View Rooms are vibrant in colour and eclectic in design capturing your attention from the moment you step through the door, whilst suites are romantic with crisp linens and muted florals which transport you back to Louis XV’s era. 

The hotel offers several dining choices, including two Michelin star restaurant, The Chantecler. Promoting a plethora of regional products in its menu, the restaurant is renowned for its tableside flambée and meat carving. 

Le Negresco, Nice

Splurge on a Helicopter Ride

You’ve hired a Lamborghini and cruised the streets of Monaco, chartered a yacht, so the final instalment of your transportation trilogy has to be a thrilling helicopter ride. This is the ultimate way to see the Côte d’Azur. Whether you wish to soar above the Monaco skyline, check out Promenade des Anglais in Nice or discover the waterfront of Menton from a different perspective, this luxury experience ticks all the boxes. You can depart from Monaco’s heliport and choose from several itineraries which transport you inland, along the Riviera or over Monte Carlo. It’s an incredible experience not to be missed, so don’t forget your camera!

Helicopter rides are a great way to see the coast

…And Stay at Château de la Chèvre d'or, Eze

Tucked away on the hillside in the historic Riviera village of Eze, you’ll discover delightful Château de la Chèvre d'or. With breath-taking panoramas, cascading gardens which blend effortlessly with the deep blue and interiors to inspire, this hotel is a 5-star hideaway for discerning travellers who seek peace and tranquillity. Luxurious rooms are steeped in history with exposed stone walls, natural light and exquisite design elements straight from the pages of French Vogue. This is a hotel for romantics and creatives, with an infinity pool, terraces for dining and four restaurants serving the finest Mediterranean cuisine. A wellness spa pampers with massages and treatments to balance mind, body and spirit following a day of sightseeing in Monte Carlo or Nice or you can simply relax on the terrace with a signature cocktail as the sun disappears beyond the horizon.

Château de la Chèvre d'or, Eze

Credit: Mama Mia

Create your own Bespoke Fragrance in Grasse

The delightful hillside town of Grasse lies just 11 miles north of Cannes on the Côte d’Azur. Grasse has been creating perfume since the 18th century and today is responsible for around 8% of aromas around the world and over 60% in France. Although the perfume industry guards their secrets closely, it’s known throughout the region that roses grown around Grasse go into every bottle of Chanel No. 5. The town’s Molinard, Fragonard and Galimard perfumeries create some of the world’s most exclusive scents and in the latter, you can learn the art of perfume making for yourself. Galimard opens its doors to visitors each year offering a unique opportunity to learn the value of base, middle and top notes. When you’ve mastered the art of the composition, you can then create your own fragrance and take your own bespoke perfume home with you!

Fragrance Shop in Grasse

Credit: Laborant

…And Stay at Intercontinental Carlton, Cannes

Intercontinental Carlton Hotel stands majestically on La Croisette flanked by towering palms with the azure Mediterranean Sea stretched out in front. The grand dame of Cannes pairs timeless charm of yesteryear with stylish, modern amenities to create a sophisticated ambience which you will adore. The hotel was a main filming location for the 1955 Alfred Hitchcock movie “To Catch a Thief” starring Grace Kelly and each year it hosts celebrities and film crew who arrive for the annual Cannes Film Festival.

Fashionistas will be in heaven as designer stores such as Cartier, Valentino and Burberry are a short stroll from the hotel and golf fanatics can organise a round at Mandelieu Old Course - the oldest golf course on the French Riviera through the hotel concierge. When you’ve completed your activities for the day, retire to the restaurant to sample their lobster and champagne menu or head to the terrace to sip cocktails under starry skies.

A bar at the International Carlton Cannes

Credit: International Carlton Cannes

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