Provence and luxury go together like fresh grilled fish and a cold glass of rosé. Treat yourself in the balmy south of France with a stay at one of these luxury hotels, all bookable with Culture Trip.
From the yachts and peach facades of St Tropez to the hilltop panoramas of Eze, Provence has long been a favourite summer sojourn for tourists yearning for the finer things in life. The soft perfume of lavender wafts from violet fields and bars of Marseille soap, while sun-dappled restaurant terraces and crisp-white table cloths set the scene for some of the world’s finest cuisine. No matter what brings you here, rest your head in opulent settings at these luxury hotels.
The pink dome of the Negresco has been a celebrated landmark on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais since Henri Negresco opened this iconic hotel in 1913. The interiors are just as grand, transporting guests back to the Belle Epoque era with plush period furnishings, lavish artwork and a Baccarat chandelier containing over 16,000 sparkling crystals. Chef Virginie Basselot and sommelier Florian Guilloteau head up the Michelin-starred offering at Le Chantecler restaurant, which prides itself on sublime local specialities – like flower-crusted fromage from the local cheesemonger.
This sprawling hotel in the hilltop commune of Èze is all about the views, with its many terraces shelved down the hillside, each providing new vistas of the Mediterranean and the surrounding hills. A golden goat statue watches over a fabulous view of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula, sharing its panorama with guests that roam the manicured gardens featuring waterfalls, sculptures and a heated outdoor pool. Even the gym here overlooks the Med, granting one of the best views you’ll ever enjoy from a treadmill.
Once a 17th-century monastery, this property keeps its historic association with the serene and meditative – albeit with a modern-day twist. Global beauty brand L’Occitane is behind the hotel’s headline spa, with guests offered a range of Provence-inspired treatments, using local ingredients like lavender essential oil and honey. If the hotel’s original architecture gives you a taste for exploring the area’s history, take a short walk into the nearby village of Mane, where you’ll discover the medieval citadel and the spectacular view that comes with it.
This luxury hotel and its gourmet restaurant sit at the northern tip of Marseille’s Corniche, or coastal promenade. Named after the celebrated Passedat culinary dynasty, celebrated chef Gerald Passedat is the man in charge today, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Like the high-quality seafood menu here, which gained a third Michelin star in 2008, the hotel is a love letter to the Mediterranean with its long terrace facing the petite Endoume Islands and luxuriously heated, outdoor saltwater pool.
Jutting out on the Cap d’Antibes in between Cannes and Nice, this hotel was built in 2011 and is designed to resemble a luxury yacht – like those moored in the nearby Quai des Milliardaires. Suitably, you’ll find the best seat in the house on the top deck, where the Royal Suite is equipped to sleep up to five. Along with two spacious bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen-diner with white Italian leather furnishings, you’ll find a hot tub bubbling away on the terrace.
At this hotel in the heart of the Luberon, you’ll find experienced yogi Stephanie Guiard leading downward dogs in the tranquil surrounds of the lavender-infused garden. The focus on aromatherapy at the daily spa means Provence’s most famous plant has some fragrant competition. And there’s no shortage of exquisite scents in the kitchen either, with a Michelin-starred restaurant serving classic Mediterranean flavours on the terrace. There’s also a sizzling lunchtime rotisserie served by the pool if you can’t drag yourself from your sun lounger.
The colour blue is a recurring theme throughout this hotel, with everything from elegant chaise longues to hand-stitched serviettes offering a striking sapphire contrast to the minimalist white walls and furnishings. Superior Sea rooms come with a private terrace with views over the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and can be combined with an adjoining second room for families. Then there’s the glittering, turquoise pool, surrounded by an audience of sun loungers facing the Cote d’Azur.
The Fitzgerald piano bar hints at a previous stay here by the famous American author when this place was merely a (fairly plush) villa. In case you didn’t catch the hint, there’s also a Fitzgerald quote about the property engraved in marble and mounted proudly in the hall. A hotel since 1929, it’s not just the name of the bar that evokes a Great Gatsby feel. Art deco glamour infuses the whole space via golden lampshades, columns scrawled in Picasso-inspired doodles and green marble bathrooms.
This resort, in the rolling hills of Luberon’s Regional Nature Park, is enclosed by vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. Not only are guests encouraged to try the hotel’s own award-winning Aureto wines, but in the summer months of July and August, you’re encouraged to dine within the vineyard itself. Surrounded by lavender in full bloom and growing grapes that will become next year’s vintage, it’s as immersive a Provencal experience as you could wish for.
La Magdeleine – Mathias Dandine
4/5 (23 Reviews)
Courtesy of La Magdeleine – Mathias Dandine / Expedia
At this 18th-century manor in the village of Gemenos, guest events are the speciality. Live music, open-air cinema, vegetable garden tours and even yoga picnics are regular features in its lively summer programme. Concierge staff are able to organise additional activities in the area, including recommended routes for hiking and cycling. And if you have any energy left, there’s golf, kayaking, paragliding and even a Formula 1 racetrack nearby.