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10 Outstanding Hotels On The French Riviera

10 Outstanding Hotels On The French Riviera

best luxury hotels french riviera

Here are the best hotels on the French Riviera! Stretching from Bandol to Menton, the French Riviera (also known as the “Côte d’Azur”) is a treasure chest containing some of the most beautiful cities in France, such as Nice, or the colorful Menton, or Eze, a beautiful hilltop medieval village. But the French Riviera is also miles of coastline bordering the Mediterranean sea, where sandy or pebble beaches and enchanting coves meet happily.

If the French Riviera remains a celebrity playground, a place of celebration and glamor (we can mention the Cannes Film Festival, Saint-Tropez evenings, or the Monaco Grand Prix), the region is also home to quieter, more authentic pleasures and also attracts nature lovers. From the picturesque islands of Lérins and Porquerolles to Cap d’Antibes and the Estérel massif, the landscapes offer wonderful hiking opportunities far from the glitz and glitter.

Also, the Côte d’Azur offers an incredible concentration of top-of-the-range hotels, each more breathtaking than the next, competing in beauty, incredible sea views, fabulous restaurants, and exquisitely comfortable rooms. So, without further ado, discover here my selection of the best luxury hotels on the French Riviera.

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

The Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc was first called Villa Soleil and created in 1869 by the founder of France’s Le Figaro newspaper, Hippolyte de Villemessant. It was conceived as an artist’s retreat, where anxious, burned-out artists and writers could recharge on the Côte d’Azur surrounded by sea and mountains for as long as they wanted, and for very little money.

The tropical paradise attracted Lost Generation writers such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose Tender is the Night was set at Eden Roc. Artists —including Monet, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, and Damien Hirst— have drawn inspiration from the enchanted setting and its lush botanical gardens. And this resort has always been a favorite haven on the French Riviera for A-list celebrities —from Marlene Dietrich to Orson Welles, and from John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Sharon Stone. Today, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc continues to captivate an international clientele as an exclusive retreat.

For more about the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, I recommend the coffee table book Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc: A Timeless Legend on the French Riviera.

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

The Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat is a famous five-star luxury resort hotel, located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera. The hotel obtained the “Palace de France” distinction, granted by the French government for its excellence in service in 2011. Illustrious guests included the novelist Somerset Maugham, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor, and Aristote Onassis. Sumptuous rooms with views from Nice to Monaco, Michelin-starred Provençal, and Mediterranean cuisine, and a lively pool club keep this landmark hotel at the forefront of Riviera life.

Le Negresco

For over a century the striking Hotel Negresco has been the favorite holiday destination for celebrities, royalty, millionaires, and politicians. This magnificent belle-époque building, instantly recognizable by its pink domed roof, stands proudly on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The hotel was named after Henri Negresco (1868–1920), who had the palatial hotel constructed in 1912. The myth was perpetuated by Jeanne Augier who purchased Le Negresco in 1957. She personally greeted celebrities — including the painter Dali, Princess Grace of Monaco, the Beatles, Louis Armstrong, Elton John— and started a collection of valuable artwork and furniture.

Hôtel Martinez

The Hotel Martinez is a famous art deco-style Grand Hotel on the Croisette at Cannes. The story of the hotel began in 1927 when Emmanuel Martinez bought a villa facing the Lérins Islands, a few hundred meters from the Carlton Hotel. The ambition was to build the largest hotel on the French Riviera. The hotel finally opened in 1929. As soon as it opened, the aristocrats on holiday on the French Riviera made it their center of attraction. For almost 100 years, the Hotel Martinez has seen a parade of stars who have come to attend the Cannes Film Festival, and the famous dinner of the jury of the Festival takes place in the restaurant La Palme d’Or.

Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo

The Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo is a palace-style Belle Époque in the heart of Monaco on the French Riviera. Built in the early 1900s, its architecture is unique, among which is the sublime Eiffel cupola, located in the Winter Garden and designed by Gustave Eiffel. Ideally located a few steps from Casino Square, the hotel enjoys a fabulous location overlooking the Mediterranean, the Rock, and the Port of Monaco. Guests at Hotel have direct access to its wellbeing and preventive health center, Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo.

Cheval Blanc St-Tropez 

Cheval Blanc St-Tropez is one of the best luxury hotels situated on the French Riviera, in Saint-Tropez, France. When it opened in 1936, La Résidence de la Pinède, as it was then known, was an elegant, uncomplicated Maison by the sea, a short distance from the town center. Since then, actors and writers celebrate this locale and enjoy seaside pleasures on the hotel beach, in a confidential atmosphere preserved from the bustle of the village. It was bought in 2016 by the LVMH group and joined the collection as Cheval Blanc St-Tropez in May 2019.

Épi 1959

In 1959, businessman Albert Debarge and Parisian nightlife impresario Jean Castel opened a new hotel on the Pampelonne beach —a three-mile-long stretch of sand just west of Saint-Tropez proper— to cater to the jet set. The Épi consisted of ten cabins, swimming pools, a games room, and clay tennis courts tucked behind the sand dunes. In the following decades, everyone from Johnny Hallyday to Jean-Jacques Goldman and, latterly, from Sylvester Stallone to Madonna stayed there.

Épi 1959 is the best and most exclusive hotel on the French Riviera. This is the Riviera as it used to be; the boho understated sunny charm of the 1950s. Laid-back, hippy, salty and sexy —in a ‘70s Serge Gainsbourg way.

Hôtel Belles Rives

Heading up the American trend for between-the-wars literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, pack their bags in 1925 for the French Riviera and succumb to the charm of a dwelling called the “Villa Saint-Louis” in a cove on the Cap d’Antibes. It’s here that he writes his masterpiece, Tender is The Night, transforming Villa Saint-Louis into a resort for wealthy Americans discovering the pleasures of wild partying and swimming in the sea. It was in 1929 that the Villa Saint-Louis seeped into history, and became the Hotel Belles Rives.

La Réserve de Beaulieu & Spa

La Réserve de Beaulieu & Spa is a five-star hotel and spa in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France. La Reserve was founded in 1880 by Pierre Lottier, a restaurant owner from Nice. It began as a luxury seafood restaurant, and “La Reserve” was the nickname given to the live fish tank which Pierre Lottier had dug out in order to stock the local fishermen’s catch. Aristocrats, captains of industry, and artists used to meet up at La Reserve: King Gustave V of Sweden, King Leopold II of Belgium, Leo Tolstoy, Sir Thomas Lipton, Gustave Eiffel, and Mistinguett to name but a few.

Hôtel Les Roches Blanches

Built in 1877 on the seafront, this former mansion house takes its name from the limestone rocks which line the coast from Cassis to Marseille. Located beyond the marina, Hotel Les Roches Blanches enjoys a unique location, between the village and the Calanques, with a breath-taking view of the majestic Cap Canaille cliff. The property was turned into a hotel and opened to the public in the early 1920s. Winston Churchill, and later Edith Piaf, stayed here.

One of the best hotels on the French Riviera, visitors can enjoy the nearby Calanques as well as the private beach, accessible by a staircase built from the cliff face, as well as two swimming pools surrounded by lush greenery. It’s definitely the new retreat for guests seeking beauty, luxury, and calm.

Et voilà! I hope this guide to the best luxury hotels on the French Riviera will help you plan your trip to the south of France! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.

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