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The 15 Best Luxury Hotels on the French Riviera

The 15 Best Luxury Hotels on the French Riviera

best 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.

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1. Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d’Antibes

best hotels french riviera Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc
Photo: 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. 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. It’s definitely one of the best and most iconic hotels on the French Riviera.

2. Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

best hotels french riviera Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat
Photo: 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, and Elizabeth Taylor. 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.

3. Le Negresco, Nice

best french riviera hotels Le Negresco
Photo: Hôtel 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, and Elton John— and started a collection of valuable artwork and furniture.

4. Hôtel Les Roches Blanches, Cassis

best french riviera hotels Hôtel Les Roches Blanches
Photo: Hôtel Les Roches Blanches

Built in 1877 on the seafront, this former mansion house takes its name from the limestone rocks that 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 breathtaking 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.

It’s 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.

5. Hôtel Martinez, Cannes

best french riviera hotels Hôtel Martinez
Photo: 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, 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.

6. Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Monaco

best french riviera hotels Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo
Photo: 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 the Hotel have direct access to its well-being and preventive health center, Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo.

7. Cheval Blanc St-Tropez

best french riviera hotels Cheval Blanc
Photo: Cheval Blanc St-Tropez

Cheval Blanc St-Tropez is one of the best luxury hotels situated on the French Riviera in Saint-Tropez. 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 have celebrated this locale and enjoyed 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.

8. Lily of the Valley, La Croix-Valmer

best hotels french riviera Lily of the Valley
Photo: Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is a 5-star luxury hotel dedicated to wellness, weight loss, and sports, located just a short drive away from Saint-Tropez. Surrounded by the untouched landscape of the Cap Lardier estate, the hotel overlooks the Plage de Gigaro, a beautiful and untouched three-mile fine sandy beach. At one end, on the edge of the pine forest, Lily of the Valley has set up its own private beach.

Designed by Philippe Starck, the estate blends in with nature, drawing inspiration from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Provençal abbeys, and Californian villas. The hotel seamlessly adapts to its surroundings and appears to be a natural part of the landscape. A simple yet luxurious setting that exudes warmth and comfort.

9. Épi 1959, Ramatuelle

best french riviera hotels Épi 1959
Photo: 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. It’s definitely one of the best and most exclusive hotels on the French Riviera.

10. Hôtel Belles Rives, Juan-les-Pins, Antibes

best french riviera hotels Hôtel Belles Rives
Photo: 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. Here, 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.

11. Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel, Cannes

best hotels french riviera Carlton Cannes
Photo: Carlton Cannes

In 1909, Grand Duke Michael of Russia, grandson of the Tsar, moved to Cannes to escape the imperial court and pursue a forbidden romance with Sophie De Meremberg, a commoner considered to be of a lower rank than him. Banished from Russia, the Grand Duke renounced the title of Tsar for her. As the accommodations in Cannes did not provide the desired level of comfort and luxury for the receptions he planned to host there, he financed the construction of a new hotel called “Carlton,” which means “free man” in Scandinavian. Henri Ruhl, a famous hotelier and sponsor, and Charles Dalmas, a renowned architect, took over the project.

12. La Réserve de Beaulieu, Beaulieu-sur-Mer

best french riviera hotels La Réserve de Beaulieu
Photo: 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 Pierre Lottier had dug out 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.

13. Tuba Club, Marseille

best french riviera hotels tuba club
Photo: Tuba Club

Tuba is a hotel founded by Grégory Gassa and Fabrice Denizot, a “friends collective” of locals in Marseille. The name Tuba comes from its previous life as a scuba diving center, which famous oceanographer and filmmaker Jacque Cousteau used to visit. The hotel has 5 rooms and 3 suites, all designed by Parisian Marion Mailaender, who grew up in Marseille’s famous Cité Radieuse, designed by Le Corbusier. The decor style is vintage glam from the 70s, with deep ochre, ocean blue, and sunny yellow colors. Tuba Club offers luxury in its simplest form.

The hotel is located in the Marseille neighborhood of Les Goudes. Located on the outskirts of town, it’s an excellent starting point for exploring the National Park, known for its breathtaking limestone cliffs known as “calanques.”

14. Hotel Lou Pinet, Saint-Tropez

best hotels french riviera Hotel Lou Pinet
Photo: Hotel Lou Pinet

Hôtel Lou Pinet is conveniently located just five minutes away from Place des Lices and on the way to Pointe des Salins. The hotel is renowned for its bohemian Tropezian charm, which has captivated the likes of Françoise Sagan, Boris Vian, Picasso, and Juliette Gréco, among many others. The property has managed to preserve its boho-chic ambiance, making it an ideal sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of Saint Tropez. The estate features the typical charm of southern architecture, a Tropezian garden, and a swimming pool that happens to be the largest in Saint Tropez. This is the kind of address you would only share with your closest friends ;).

15. Les Roches Rouges, Saint-Raphaël

best hotels french riviera Les Roches Rouges
Photo: Les Roches Rouges

As you travel along the coast, between the beautiful ochre-red rocks of Cap Dramont and the deep blue sea, you’ll notice a stunning modernist white building that stands out: Les Roches Rouges. This hotel was constructed in the 1950s and boasts breathtaking views of the Mediterranean from its rooms, wellness spa, restaurants, large seawater pool, lap pool, and lush, pine-filled garden.

Les Roches Rouges’ salons, restaurants, and rooms are situated right by the sea, giving you the chance to experience its beauty up close. The interior design seamlessly blends the outdoors with the indoors, incorporating vintage items, carefully selected books, curated artworks, and local flowers and plants to create an authentic Côte d’Azur feel.

Et voilà! I hope this guide to the best luxury hotels on the French Riviera will help you plan your trip to the Côte d’Azur. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.

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