The Ultimate Cote d'Azur Road Trip

May 12, 2018 09.40 AM

For those that have never been, or simply for those who wish to experience it all again, the Cote d'Azur presents the perfect itinerary for a springtime road trip. From Provence to the Monegasque borders, idyllic 70-degree temperatures and hotels that have yet to switch-on their high season attitudes - and nightly minimums. Arrival is followed up with quick transfer to Monacair that offers a 7-minute helicopter transfer between Nice and Monaco with departures 50-times a day. Staff from Hotel De Paris awaits your 1-night stay, upgraded from a 5-year remodel that wraps up next year with its foodie stalwart Louis XV by Alain Ducasse and stunning new Princess Grace Suite inspired by the personal tastes of the late royal cast over two floors with infinity pool and dedicated cabana on Monte-Carlo Beach to indulge away the afternoon.

After a morning gym workout at 39 Monaco, the road and your 1956 Porsche 550 from Riviera Classic Car awaits for a drive up to Eze and lunch at La Chvre d'Or. Heads turn along the way as the valet gladly takes over as you take-on Arnaud Faye's solar, mineral and ocean-inspired cuisine and the incredible terrace with views that seem to go on forever. After lunch, a stroll through town is abbreviated by your need to get back into that car and head towards Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat where a 2-night stay awaits in this newly branded Four Seasons. While the new moniker has brought a fair share of new American money, the magnificent pool and its Club Dauphin havent changed with swanky cabanas and multi-generation pool staff. The long beach break will have you ready for an inland adventure between the hills of Nice and Alps Maritimes and 1-night at La Colombe d Or. La Colombe requires a reservation in writing at least a month in advance, similar to when Picasso and Matisse were both guests. The hotel's art collection includes 20th century masters like Chagall, Braque, Matisse, and Picasso with a large Calder mobile that hangs over the swimming pool.

After a home-cooked French breakfast and prompt goodbye at La Colombe you'll appreciate there's only one lengthy highway ride to St. Tropez on your trip. There, youll check-in to the iconic Byblos for 2-nights where the months of June and September offer the best glimpse of this party hotel bastion. Days rotate between old-school Le 55 and newer Maison Blanca and Les Palmiers - where the crowd is chicer and food sometimes even better. By night Le Quai and L'Opera lure actual locals while Vague d' Or lures foodies and weekends at Les Caves du Roy dont require a magnum of vintage Dom Perignon to get a seat. To close out the road trip, youll head back towards Nice and one final meal at the original La Petit Maison to cap off the ultimate South of France road trip that might not even include a traffic jam - at least if done before July.

Written by:

Michael Martin
Editorial Review Author


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