Luxury Hotels in the wonderful South of France
Great location, great service, memorable food – all these hotels have that, and more. The list is in no particular order; it made sense to us to let all hotels be viewed as equals. Hotel Martinez had the benefit of being the first hotel we chose for the list this year, so it occupies top slot for no other reason than that.
1. HOTEL MARTINEZ – CANNES
Classic luxury in the middle of Cannes
The Hotel Martinez has been a presence on the Croisette since the 1880s and, with the most event space after the Palais, is still the place for its most stylish gatherings. Recent renovations include that of its private beach (“Zplage”). The Martinez is part of the Concorde Hotels group, owned by the Taittinger champagne family – appropriate since a touch of the bubbly is the perfect accoutrement for a meal at the hotel’s the highly regarded La Palme d’Or restaurant, its piano bar or perhaps a treatment at its Givenchy Spa.
Hotel Martinez – Cannes
73, La Croisette
06400 Cannes, France
Tel: +33 (0) 4 92 98 73 00
2. PALAIS DE LA MEDITERRANEE – NICE
Southern French chic in Nice
Located in a renovated 1930s casino building that once hosted the likes of Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier, the Art Deco-style Palais de la Mediterranee offers a rich sense of history along with the most modern of amenities. The luxury hotel, part of the Concorde Hotels group, also features Le Padouk restaurant, the hip Pingala Bar and an indoor-outdoor pool.
3. LE MERIDIEN – NICE
Very large hotel in Nice, France, but still able to offer intimate ambience.
Overlooking the Baie des Anges, the Mediterranean and the historic center of Nice, Le Meridien has been recently renovated and offers a modern ambience and the latest in technology. Part of the Starwood group of hotels (for those who like to use points), the hotel has a private beach and a terrace with a heated swimming pool. Le Meridien is also close to the Acropolis Convention Center and offers its own meeting facilities for groups of up to 600.
Le Meridien – Nice
1, Promenade des Anglais
06046 Nice, France
Tel: 33 (0) 4 97 03 44 44
4. HOTEL COUR DE LOGES – LYON
Experience the storied Cour de Loges hotel in old-town Lyon, France.
Lyon has long been known for its food and Renaissance architecture. The Cour de Loges adds a savvy design and a hot young chef to the mix.
Created by combining four buildings, with architecture from the 14th to the 17th centuries, the Cour de Loges’ 62 unique guest rooms are accessible by a pedestrian-only cobblestone road in old-town Lyon.
Cour de Loges – Lyon
2, 4, 6, 8, rue de Boeuf
69005 Lyon, France
Tel: +33 (0)4 72 77 44 44
5. MAJESTIC BARRIERE HOTEL – CANNES
Any Lucien Barriere hotel is dazzling. In Cannes, more so
Majestic is right. With a location across from the Festival Hall where the premieres take place (and the beautiful people walk the red carpet) at the Cannes Film Festival, the Majestic Barriere offers a striking presence on the Croisette. Not one to rest on its laurels, the beachfront hotel underwent a renovation in 2008 that brought a brand new façade and upgraded guest rooms and public spaces — and is planning an expansion project for 2010 that will add a second wing.
Majestic Barriere – Cannes
10, La Croisette
06408 Cannes, France
Tel: 33 (0) 4 92 98 77 00
6. ROYAL MOUGINS GOLF RESORT – COTE D’AZUR
5 Star amenities with a 4 star price in the Cote d’Azur countryside – Royal Mougins Golf Resort – located in the rolling hills along the Cote d’Azur, this luxury retreat features only 29 rooms – all suites. No seaview, but gorgeous vistas of the pristine countryside. Preferred greens fees at the adjacent private gold club, on site spa. Gourmet restaurant focusing on seasonal Mediterranean cuisine. Wine cellar emphasizes Bordeaux. Heated pool and 24 hour room service. If you golf, prepare for Hole # 2 “Angel’s Dive” – truly a majestic setting.
7. LA VOILE D’OR – ST JEAN CAP FERRAT
Gorgeous sea and port views combine with dining elegance and a welcoming staff
In the quaint seaside village of St. Jean Cap Ferrat (a jewel in the South of France) between Nice and Monaco, La Voile d’Or sits on a point with the Mediterranean on one side and the port on the other. With just 45 guest rooms and the ambiance of a Florentine palace, the hotel offers an intimate experience and an expressed desire to see its guests happy. Dining options are available both in the hotel and down by the beach.
La Voile d’Or – St Jean Cap Ferrat
7 Avenue Jean Mermoz
06230 Cote d’Azur, France
8. LA MAS DES HERBES BLANCHES – PROVENCE
Farmhouse restorations are all the rage and Provence offers the finest
La Mas de Herbes Blanches is a restored farmhouse with a highly regarded restaurant off a quiet road in the same Provencal countryside that inspired artists like Chagall. The focal point of the 19-room hotel is its outdoor terraced pool with views of the Luberon Valley. Pool, view, fine food – and a lot of quiet – combine to create a relaxing ambiance.
La Mas des Herbes Blanches – Provence
Lieu dit Toron
84220 Joucas, France
Tel: +33 (0) 4 90 05 79 79
9. HOTEL LE PRIEURE – AVIGNON
Where religious devotees once worshiped, guests are now pampered
Originally a 14th priory (hence the name), Le Prieure has been a hotel since the 1940s. In 2006, the hotel changed ownership and underwent an extensive renovation project before reopening in 2007 with contemporary elements blended in with the historic facade. The focal point of the hotel is the extensive priest’s garden, into which Le Piliers Bar opened last year with an extensive wine list and small bites in an area hidden from view from the rest of the garden. The restaurant’s menu is refreshed four times a week based on fresh produce from around the region.
Hotel d’Europe – Avignon
14, Place Crillon
Tél : 33 (0) 4 90 14 76 76
10. HOTEL EMERAUDE – JUAN-LES-PINS
Gorgeous seaside without massive crowds, and a free airport shuttle
Not as well known as its glitzier neighbors (Cannes and Nice), Jean-les-Pins offers a beautiful beach, a quaint village and classical and jazz music festivals each July. Within the town, the Hotel Emeraude extends an “un oasis de calme” while also providing easy access for those touring the Cote d’Azur – not to mention reasonable prices, free transportation from the airport in Nice and, according to one guest, “great showers.”
Hotel Emeraude – Juan-les-Pins
11 Avenue Saramartel
06160 Cap D’Antibes, France
Tel: +33 (0) 4 93 61 09 67
11. SOFITEL MARSEILLE VIEUX-PORT – MARSEILLE
Evoking a seafaring theme, this hotel is an oasis of calm in a rough and tumble port town – True to its name, the Sofitel offers a unique view of the old port in Marseille from many of the guest rooms and its Les Trois Forts restaurant on the top floor. The hotel was recently renovated in a style meant to remind one of a sumptuous yacht on the Mediterranean. With a location in the city center, business services and meeting rooms, the hotel is popular with business travelers.
12. LA BASTIDE DE TOURTOUR – PROVENCE
Built in the 20th century with a rustic flair, this luxury hotel has a health focus – The word “bastide” originally referred to the fortified Medieval towns. Although constructed in 1967, La Bastide de Tourtour was built using 1,500-year-old materials in the original Provencal manner, including the addition of a tower from which views of the gorgeous Haut-Var can be seen. The hotel offers 25 individually decorated rooms and a wellness center, if, that is, the views, the food and the wine don’t provide enough rejuvenation on their own.
13. HOTEL D’EUROPE – AVIGNON
Don’t miss the Pope’s Palace, near this fine hotel
Near the Palace of the Popes of Avignon in the historic city of Avignon, the Hotel d’Europe was built as the Marquess of Gravezon’s mansion in the 16th century. In 1799, it was turned into a luxury hotel by a lady friend of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Hotel d’Europe makes for a great base camp when visiting the towns and famous Cote du Rhone wineries of Provence – the hotel even offers eight different day-trip itineraries and, for a fee, a multi-lingual hostess to do the driving for you.
Hotel d’Europe – Avignon
14, Place Crillon
Tél : 33 (0) 4 90 14 76 76
14. INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL – CANNES
Mediterranean glamour is epitomized at the Intercontinental’s Cannes suites.
Built in 1911 as the Carlton, the InterContinental Carlton Cannes has a rich history that includes the filming of “To Catch a Thief” in 1956 and a façade listed as a one of seven splendors of the Cote d’Azur. As a tribute to its location overlooking the Mediterranean near the Cannes Palais des Festivals, the hotel recently added 10 new suites on its 7th floor named after movie stars.
Intercontinental – Cannes
58, BD. La Croisette, BP 155
06414 Cannes, France
Tel: 33 (0) 4 93 06 40 06
15. VILLA FLORENTINE – LYON
Dine above Lyon and take in a gorgeous view in a luxury setting. – Villa Florentine is — as its name suggests – designed in an Italian style as a tribute to the marriage of Henry IV and Maria de Medici (and thus the blending of Italian and French culture) during the Renaissance. The boutique hotel’s hillside location offers spectacular views of Lyon – the “city of a thousand splendors” — and, in the distance, the Alps. The region is celebrated in its Michelin-rated restaurant, Les Terrasses de Lyon.
16. HOTEL ABBAYE DE SAINT CROIX
Stay in a Saint’s namesake room and dine on Provence’s finest fresh cuisine – Set on the extensive grounds of a former Benedictine monastery, the Abbay de Saint Croix’s 21 rooms and four apartments have been built into the former living quarters for the monks. As such, each is named after a saint and given a unique personality – along with Provencal-inspired furnishings. The hotel’s central location allows for easy day trips to the most popular sights in Provence, from the market in Saint Remy to the city of a thousand fountains, Aix.
17. BEAU RIVAGE HOTEL ET PLAGE – NICE
The Beau Rivage Hotel et Plage is nestled between Nice’s quaint old town, with its flower market and squares filled with cafes, and the seaside Promenade des Anglais. The hotel was renovated in the 2000’s and offers a contemporary design and one of the area’s largest private beaches, which includes a beach restaurant during warmer months. If you’re traveling to Nice, the Beau Rivage is a great accommodation choice.
Beau Rivage Hotel et Plage – Nice
24, Rue Saint Francois de Paule
06300 Nice, France
Tel: 33 (0) 4 92 47 82 82