The French Riviera is an iconic honeymoon location. Not only does this region enjoy a great climate but there are sumptuous sea views, renowned culinary delights and above all, a love of the high life. From an upscale spot where the Scott Fitzgeralds once took up residence to the hotel where Rita Hayworth met her real-life prince during a dinner in the 1940s, here’s our look at the finest couples’ resorts in the French Riviera. Impress your other half by hiring a yacht for the day through SamBoat – no experience necessary. Alternatively, make your honeymoon a week-long sailing adventure with Dream Yacht Charter.
Half of the 45 rooms at this boutique hotel in Cannes are suites, with the pick of the bunch being the presidential suite complete with a terrace and jacuzzi crafted from glass and steel. For a more intimate choice, ask about the ‘secret suite’ on the fifth floor, which is accessed via a secret staircase. Like the other suites, the interiors are contemporary and stylish but the loftier location brings added perks including stunning views over the port and an in-room telescope for stargazing. Come day or night, the rooftop is a top spot for ‘gram-worthy panoramas, with a pool and restaurant to skip between as you snap.
Tucked away from the hubbub of central Saint-Tropez comes this relaxed spa hotel. There are 27 rooms here, 19 of them suites, but for a real honeymoon treat plump for one of the 14 villas, as they come with a private garden area and outdoor pool. The mind and body retreat offers boot camps that include the input of sports coaches and dieticians, with personalised Provencal menus at La Voile served up by two-starred Michelin chef Eric Canino.
At the east side of Cannes’ harbour, it’s easy to spot the gleaming white facade of the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic. With 257 rooms and 92 suites, this property is on the larger side but with that, it brings plenty of guest benefits. The hotel has a private outdoor pool heated to 27 degrees all year round, though given that the Mediterranean is but a short skip away, guests may prefer the option of sauntering to the hotel’s private beach in the summer. Other perks include a spa, a fitness centre, a varied mix of restaurants and bars and a private screening room, in true Cannes style.
The terracotta dome of the Hotel Negresco forms an iconic part of Nice‘s cosmopolitan Promenade des Anglais, with its views over the Mediterranean making it the ideal venue for a romantic getaway. Inside, the interiors are vivid and varied, with rooms ranging from modern chic to Louis XIII retro. The white and gold tones of La Rotonde brasserie were inspired by a fairground carousel, while The Chantecler restaurant serves Michelin-starred dishes with old-school French panache.
With a private port, secret coves and direct sea access, this luxury hotel in the less touristy Cote d’Azur town of Saint Raphael is a dream come true for water lovers. Guests can enjoy the privilege of an infinity pool, jacuzzi and sauna all looking overlooking the Mediterranean, while the same view can be enjoyed during an oceanfront massage. For something a little bolder, ask the hotel staff for a loan of their kayaks, sea canoes or inflatable zodiac boats. The restaurant, which overlooks the bay of Saint-Tropez, serves fresh fish with a creamy tiramisu to finish things off.
For sporty couples, this slick Philippe Starck-designed hotel hits the mark. This place is open all year round and it prides itself on being dedicated to wellness, weight loss and sport. There is a 2,000sqm (21,527sqft) wellness centre with experts on hand to offer treatments, nutritional support and personal training. For those who take a more chilled approach to wellbeing, there is a stylish outdoor pool ideal for lounging and don’t skip chef Vincent Maillard’s Le Vista restaurant, where the desserts include chocolate hazelnut eclair and vanilla ice cream. In terms of location, the hotel is a few minutes away from the town of Saint-Tropez by car and it overlooks Plage de Gigaro – a fine sandy beach that stretches for more than three miles.
Explore the French Riviera from the water by chartering a boat for the day with SamBoat, or book a luxury catamaran for the week through Dream Yacht Charter.
The Hotel La Perouse is located right on the beach at Nice and offers a honeymoon that feels a little distant from the crowds, though you will still be able to watch over them from your pool terrace. The restaurant, Le Patio, is set beneath lemon trees and the cooked breakfast buffet promises to satisfy the heartiest of appetites. Swim off your meal in the heated outdoor pool and come a suitable hour, whet your whistle with a French Kiss, one of the signature cocktails featuring a heady blend of champagne, strawberry liqueur and honey.
The Pan dei Palais is a little Asian-inspired boutique hotel in the heart of Saint-Tropez. It has all the romantic history that honeymooners need – a French general fell in love with an Asian princess and commissioned this royal residence for her in 1835. You can relax poolside, recline in the walled garden or enjoy a massage in the spa. When that’s done, you can book a trip on the hotel’s yacht.
This hotel is where the Scott Fitzgeralds took up residence when Francis was writing in the south of France and where they entertained all the jazz greats during wild parties. F. Scott Fitzgerald set his book, Tender is the Night, down the road in the illustrious Hotel du Cap, but it’s here that he lived. The hotel is art deco in style, with sea views everywhere you look – including from the restaurant and Fitzgerald’s bar. There are two beaches – one rocky and the other a gentle sandy slope. This is a hotel with history and glamour, situated right on the beach in the centre of the action. A perfect honeymoon spot for those seeking a smaller hotel.
The Tiara Yaktsa, a 20 minute drive from the centre of Cannes in Théoule-sur-Mer, is picture-perfect for an intimate honeymoon. With 21 Moroccan-inspired rooms, the pool is surrounded by greenery and there’s a Balinese sunbed for every couple (with waiter service). The restaurant extends across a terrace overlooking the bay below whilst the beach itself is just 1km (0.6mi) away. If you are looking to travel in style, the hotel offers a chauffeur service to wherever you please.
The Hôtel Byblos in Saint-Tropez is, to quote one review, ‘the most famous hotel in the world’s most famous resort’. Naturally, it doesn’t come cheap and you’ll find A-listers hanging around, as well as people who have saved for their special occasion. Everything centres around two places – the pool and the legendary night club, Caves du Roy. It has just under 100 rooms and suites, all offering a different level of luxury and the spa is the first Sisley spa in France. This is the ultimate five-star chic French Riviera experience.
The Hôtel du Cap in Antibes is legendary. It’s where F. Scott Fitzgerald spent many an evening during his years living nearby in the 1920s and is the backdrop for his classic novel, Tender is the Night. Rita Hayworth met her real-life prince here during dinner in the 1940s and Edward Windsor took refuge here after his abdication in 1936. The hotel covers nine hectares with sumptuous villa after sumptuous villa. With a guest list that leaves other hotels green with envy, there are five clay tennis court, a boutique and many pools, restaurants and beach cabanas. A honeymoon here combines history and style in the most luxurious manner.
The Bastide de Gordes provides a different honeymoon experience in a part of Provence tucked away from the sea. High on a hill in the medieval town of Gordes, this hotel sits in a perfect spot. With an infinity pool looking out over the entire Luberon valley, the spa treatments are renowned whilst the terrace offers romantic dining opportunities. What’s more, the village of Gordes sits right on the doorstep, offering plenty to do.
If your idea of a perfect honeymoon is one that involves a parade of pampering, then this spa hotel metres from Antibes’ harbour ticks the box. Treatments can be enjoyed as a couple and they range from Indian-inspired oil body wraps to Japanese reflexology sessions. Other facilities in the wellness centre include a steam room, sensory shower, hammam, heated outdoor swimming pool and a relaxation room with herbal tea on offer. Once you’re in a sedate state, slink off to one of the funky bedrooms for further opulence and relaxation.
If you’re still craving the salty sea air along the French coast, have a glance at the most beautiful seaside resorts in France – all bookable with Culture Trip.
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