8 exciting seaside experiences at the most beautiful palace-hotels

How does a stay at one of France’s coastal palace-hotels tempt you? Perhaps the tropical delights of the French Caribbean, the invigorating waves of its Atlantic beaches, or the azure tints of its Mediterranean resorts? Here, right by the stunning footpaths that skirt the country’s coastline, take full advantage of the exhilarating activities and unique experiences on offer. Explore in intimate detail the colourful world of renowned artists along the French Riviera, explore from one pirate’s bay to another in the French Caribbean, or savour exclusive vintage wines along the shores of the Mediterranean. Let’s head to the coast to discover some of France’s stunning palace-hotels!

Recharge your batteries on the Mediterranean at La Réserve Ramatuelle Hôtel Spa & Villas

What would you say to a rejuvenating wellbeing break along the Gulf of Saint-Tropez? At La Réserve Ramatuelle Hôtel Spa & Villas, all you have to do is to walk a few steps to reach the coastal footpath which winds its way along the shores of the Mediterranean between umbrella pines and vineyards. This idyllic setting provides the perfect backdrop for the wellbeing programmes created by this waterfront palace-hotel, a specialist in fitness and anti-ageing treatments. Choose between Nordic walking from one creek to the next (with plenty of stops for a swim!), or a mix of stretching, yoga and Pilates classes in order to get your fill of oxygen and restorative sea air!

Stay at La Réserve Ramatuelle Hôtel Spa & Villas (External link)

Taste exclusive vintage vines along the Provence Wine Route with the Byblos Saint-Tropez

Provence is the land of verdant olive groves, azure blue sky… and rosé wine! The Byblos Saint-Tropez, a palace-hotel located by the sea in the iconic village of Saint-Tropez, is offering a unique experience for its guests at the heart of Provence’s wine routes, with a chance to discover the exclusive rosé produced at Le Clos Mireille in La Londe-Les-Maures, near Hyères, one of the Domaine Ott’s three vineyards. As you gaze out towards the island of Porquerolles and the Mediterranean, immerse yourself in the delightful maritime climate here before savouring some extraordinary wine and food pairings. The star of the show here is, of course, Le Clos Mireille and its beautiful opaque white bottle. And, to add a distinctive Provençal touch, why not take part in a game of pétanque, a quintessential aspect of Provence’s legendary art de vivre?

Stay at the Byblos Saint-Tropez (External link)

Enjoy a picnic at the Villa Ephrussi with the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel

Château Saint-Jean in Venetian neo-gothic style, Villa Santo Sospir with frescoes by Jean Cocteau or Villa Maryland with Florentine inspiration... The most extraordinary villas on the Côte d'Azur can be found in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, near Nice. To soak up the Belle Epoque atmosphere of the peninsula, head for the gardens of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild for an intimate interlude. Bay of Villefranche on one side, Bay of Beaulieu on the other, the concierge of the Grand-Hôtel Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel, one of the most beautiful Palaces on the seafront, organises a romantic picnic between waterfalls, ponds and rare species on request: nine different gardens make up this landscaped jewel, which is completed by a visit to the interiors, where a collection of paintings by masters, period furniture and porcelain from the Royal Manufacture of Sèvres are on display.

Staying at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel (External link)

Sail through the Caribbean’s most beautiful bays with Le Cheval Blanc Saint-Barth Isle de France

We would all happily just drop anchor at the stunning Plage des Flamands, the setting for Le Cheval Blanc Saint-Barth Isle de France, however the turquoise waters of the Caribbean are much too tempting not to explore further afield! On board a catamaran, the “Alchimists” at this sumptuous waterfront palace-hotel invite guests to take to the water to explore the idyllic hidden recesses of this most chic of all France’s Caribbean islands. Explore its underwater world with a mask and snorkel, then curl up on the pristine white sand of the Plage du Gouverneur where, according to legend, pirate treasure is still buried. And once you’ve savoured a gourmet picnic concocted by the hotel chef, allow yourself to be transported to another world with the melodic surf as a backdrop while you enjoy a massage overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. Truly divine!

Stay at Le Cheval Blanc Saint-Barth Isle de France (External link)
(opening from 21 October 2022)

Savour a wine-paired Michelin-starred meal overlooking the Mediterranean at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes

With its light-blue, powdery coral-inspired decor that calls to mind a stunning Mediterranean sunset, and its extensive picture windows that look out to the sea and the Lérin islands, the Michelin-starred Le Louroc restaurant at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes on the French Riviera invites guests to head full sail on a journey that explores French gastronomy and its bountiful terroir without ever leaving port! Through its six courses conjured up by chef Sébastien Broda, this palace-hotel’s tasting menu showcases its sumptuous wine pairings which provide a wonderful insight into the wines of Provence before you head out to discover the region’s dedicated wine route!

Stay at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes (External link)

Pick your own rustic lunch with Le Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez

Welcome to the vegetable garden of Sidney, Saint-Tropez’s star gardener, who supplies chef Arnaud Donkele’s Michelin-starred restaurant at the Hôtel Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez with his winning trio of Provençal produce (tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines) as well as aromatic herbs, and edible flowers such as cornflower and borage. To share his passion for Provençal flavours, this Mediterranean palace-hotel invites guests to immerse themselves in the life of this enthusiastic market gardener on a rural adventure full of flavour to the neighbouring Grimaud plain. Donning a gardener’s apron and equipped with a basket, learn all about the benefits of plants grown in harmony with nature while picking some of the earth’s bountiful produce as you do so. And once this has given you an appetite, savour a rustic snack prepared by the chef, featuring all the sun-blessed flavours of the French Riviera together on a single plate!

Stay at Le Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez (External link)
(winter closure from 10 October 2022).

Learn how to play Basque pelota, with the Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz, in the Pays Basque

In between swims in the Atlantic, why not learn how to play this iconic Basque sport in Biarritz? This is what the Hôtel du Palais, the legendary palace-hotel along the Basque coast, is offering with its haute-couture introduction to the game in the company of two professional players who also happen to be French and world champions in this discipline! To familiarise yourself with the unique equipment required for this renowned Basque sport, start with a visit to workshop that makes the pelota itself – the “ball” made from latex, wool and goat skin parchment, as well as gloves such as the “chistera”. Whether you choose to play cesta punta (with a glove), pala (with a racket), or bare-handed, the principle of hitting the pelota against the frontis wall is the same! May the best man or woman win!

Stay at the Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz (External link)

Enjoy a private visit to the Musée de l’Annonciade with Les Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de La Messardière

Head out from Les Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de La Messardière by mini moke, the iconic vehicle of the Côte d’Azur, for a private visit to the Musée de l’Annonciade, home to works of art such as “Femme à la fenêtre” by Henri Matisse, ”Saint-Tropez, le quai” by Paul Signac and “Paysage de l’Estaque” by George Braque. The former Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-l’Annonciade, nowadays converted into a private museum, is teeming with stunning modern masterpieces inspired by Fauvism, the Nabi Movement and Pointillism. Delve deep into this glittering array of colour before discovering the inexhaustible nuances of the French Riviera’s landscapes and its special light which, in the wake of Paul Signac, have inspired the entire avant-garde pictorial movement of the early 20C.

Stay at Les Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de La Messardière (External link)
(annual closure from 17 October 2022 to 27 April 2023)