- Food & Drink
- Design & Culture
- Cars, Jets & Yachts
By Chris | December 30 2012
Whether you’re seeking true extravagance or pure relaxation, we have chosen the perfect 9-day itinerary that has it all
The elite traveler will need no excuse to explore the world’s most famous coastline, and certainly the finest way to see it is on a yacht. The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, is almost tailor-made for cruising, and a private yacht will allow you to both see it all and escape from it all in your own luxurious floating villa.
The French Riviera seduces all who go there, with a coast riddled in history and fortified medieval towns still resting like crows nests on top of the Riviera’s rugged inland peaks. While these towns are now home to Michelinstarred restaurants and boutique hotels, their stories are testaments to the colorful history of the Côte d’Azur.
Europe’s greatest royal families became enchanted by the coast’s warmth in the 18th century, believing it was good for one’s health. Aristocracy followed them, building their stately piles and grand villas wherever there was a good view. The Belle Époque and “Roaring Twenties” came and went, leaving a legacy of art and literature unrivaled by anywhere in the modern world. Today, Belle Époque grandeur still lines the promenades of the towns and cities that so inspired F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Then there are the artists: Monet, Renoir, Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso, Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh have all been inspired by the Riviera’s dramatic landscape. Today, their vistas and visions remain intact, the Riviera’s beauty having changed little since then. And in modern times, artistic creation continues through film: this coastline not only celebrates film at the annual Cannes Film Festival, but has provided the backdrop for many a classic movie.
Day 1: Saint-Tropez to Pampelonne Bay
Day 2: Pampelonne Bay to Porquerolles
Day 3: Porquerolles to Cannes
Day 4: Cannes and Îles de Lérins
Day 5: Îles de Lérins to Cap d’Antibes
Day 6: Cap d’Antibes to Villefranche-sur-Mer
Day 7: Villefranche-sur-Mer to St-Jean- Cap-Ferrat
Day 8: St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to Monaco
Day 9: Monaco and disembark
FLY TO TOULON -HYÈRES , CANNES OR NICE AIRPORT AND TRANSFER TO SAINT -TROPEZ WHERE YOUR YACHT AWAITS .
While Monaco stands at one end of the Riviera, as a playground of the wealthy, Saint-Tropez rests at the other end, the traditional resort for models, film stars and artists.
This trend started with Bridget Bardot appearing in the classic movie And God Created Women, and wave upon wave of celebrities have since made their pilgrimage to this unassuming provincial village. Despite its celebrity fame, it was the works of Matisse and Picasso that originally transformed this modest fishing village into Europe’s most famous seaside resort.
Exactly as the name suggests, this club is full of VIPs.
It is the most glamorous competitor to Caves du Roy, so much so that many VIPs frequent them both in one night. A typical summer’s night crowd may include Madonna, Jade Jagger and P Diddy.
+33 4 9497 1470
Residence du Nouveau Port, 83990, Saint-Tropez
You can expect an experience like none other when you visit Saint-Tropez’s most glamorous nightclub.
Come here on any night during the height of summer and you can expect to see celebrities throughout: George Glooney, Kate Moss and Robbie Williams have all frequented the dance floor. Under a psycodelic interior well dressed party goers sip Dom Perignon until the early hours or at least until they are invited to an after party onboard a superyacht. Those hosting their own party can either reserve one of the exclusive tables or rent the VIP area that comes complete with its own security. Located in the Byblos Hotel, Caves du Roy’s reputation of being Saint-Tropez’s hippest nightclub has been undisputed for 40 years and it is unlikely to fade any time soon.
Deschene Andre, Director
+33 4 9456 6800
Byblos Saint-Tropez, Avenue Paul Signac, Saint-Tropez
Cuisine: Mediterranean gastronomy
Style / Ambiance: Although moments away from Saint-Tropez’s bustling center, La Résidence de la Pinède occupies pride of place on Bouillabaisse Beach, an unspoilt spot secluded in a beautiful pine grove with fabulous views of the sea.
Normandy-born chef Arnaud Donckele has earned the restaurant two Michelin stars, his remarkable technique and fertile imagination creates unusual flavors including garden peas with caviar, calissons (ground almond lozenges) with pigeon, lobster, basil and black Carpentras truffles. It’s complex, subtle, daring yet always a success.
+33 4 9455 9100
Résidence de la Pinède, Plage de la Bouillabaisse, Saint-Tropez
Treatment and facilities: Just six miles from Saint-Tropez, this 10,000 square foot spa is the perfect place to recover after a night spent in one of Saint- Tropez’s stylish nightclubs.
Choose between an ultimate pampering session in 13 treatment rooms, or enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools, the steam room and fitness center with the panorama of the sea stretching out before you. Signature treatment: Take a look at their intensive, personalized seven day ‘Better Aging’ program – a comprehensive assessment of your well-being needs, and strategies to develop inner and outer health and beauty, with the goal of enhancing youthfulness and improving the effects of aging.
+33 4 9444 9444
La Réserve Ramatuelle, Chemin de la Quessine, Ramatuelle
6 nautical miles
Pampelonne Bay is a privilege for those with a yacht.
Relax and enjoy your freshly prepared breakfast during the short cruise around the peninsula from Saint-Tropez. Once the yacht is resting at anchor explore four miles of stunning golden sands at your leisure; a spot that is frequently noted to be the French Riviera’s answer to Ibiza. Pampelonne Bay is lined with beach clubs; for a laid back experience visit Les Palmiers and dine on a gourmet lunch before relaxing in oversized day beds. Alternatively, embrace the contagious party spirit of Saint-Tropez, where a light lunch will last long into the early hours and celebrities and models are frequently spotted in the summer months.
Style / Ambiance: Club 55’s extravagant reputation has turned it into one of the most envied lunch clubs on the French Riviera.
Once frequented by Brigitte Bardot, it is now a favorite both for those on yachts and visiting celebrities in the summer. Club 55 is a ‘lunch club’ rather than a restaurant as lunches often linger on into all day affairs. After lunch, most lounge on day beds, before sipping champagne and mingling with other celebrity guests long into the night. While relaxing at the bar in Club 55, you can truly feel like a part of F Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.
+33 4 9455 5555
Pampelonne Beach, 83350 Ramatuelle, Saint-Tropez
Style / Ambiance: Of all the hedonistic destinations along Pampelonne Beach to moor your yacht, in view of Nikki Beach is as exclusive as it gets.
Nikki Beach is one of the most ostentatious beach clubs on the Côte d’Azur, and is not a location for day-time activities or cultural excursions. It is a place to be seen as well as to see. Whilst lounging on over-sized day beds or dining in bamboo cabanas on modern gourmet inventions, you are likely to see celebrities such as George Michael, Naomi Campbell and P Diddy. Fridays at Nikki Beach are particularly lively, and parties that begin at lunch often continue long after dusk.
+33 4 9479 8204
Route de L’epi, 83350 Ramatuelle, Saint-Tropez
30 nautical miles
Finally, after the glamour and pace of Saint- Tropez and Pampelonne, take time to see the natural French Riviera as it once was, relax on its sandy beaches and in harbor-side cafes.
Porquerolles and Îles d’Hyères are the preserved holiday destinations of 19th century English monarchy and aristocracy, and also inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island. Eucalyptus woods cover their interiors and under their branches weave walkers and cyclists, while French “BCBGs” (bon chic bon genre) are known to frequent the islands’ northern beaches. The vast expanses of uncluttered waters between these islands allow ample space to enjoy the yacht’s onboard watersports facilities, or ‘toys’. Make further use of the yacht’s onboard facilities and have the chef prepare your desired dinner served by the crew under the stars. Many yachts now feature open-air cinemas, the perfect after-dinner entertainment for a balmy Riviera night.
42 nautical miles
With the city of Cannes awaiting, an early departure from Porquerolles is necessary to enjoy the full range of attractions that lie in wait.
Cannes, known as the “Pearl of the Riviera”, manages to combine the notoriety of Saint-Tropez with the grandeur of Monaco, making it the confident center of the Côte d’Azur. Behind its Belle Époque façade lies a myriad of history where the old fishing port combines with 19th century grandeur and present day celebrity. Its palm-lined promenade hides Michelin stars, chic boutiques and nightlife that lives up to the Riviera’s renowned grand flair. Every May, Cannes turns into something of a “Hollywood-on-Sea” during its annual film festival; an event that has gained worldwide fame for attracting the finest movie stars and film directors and creating headlines the world over.
Cuisine: Mediterranean with Asian inspiration
Style / Ambiance: When Chefs Stéphane, Antoine and François Raimbault founded their restaurant they wanted somewhere where seasonal produce could work in harmony with tradition.
The spot they found in La Napoule fits the bill perfectly; the restaurant is shaded by century-old plane trees and surrounded by lush gardens. With the freshest and most local produce, Stéphane and his brother Antoine blend traditional Mediterranean recipes with Asian inspiration. Pastry Chef François Raimbault’s ‘Caravane des Desserts’ lets you into a world of seasonal tarts, pastries and cakes while Head Sommelier Pascal Paulze manages a wine list with some of France’s rarest biodynamic vintages. Michelin critics were so impressed by this combination that they awarded L’Oasis its prestigious twostar award. But for those who are eager to learn the secrets behind two-starred cuisine, Chefs Stéphane and François Raimbault run a cooking school where beginners can learn the delicate art behind Sushi, carpaccios, macaroons and many other exotic creations.
Pascal Paulze, Restaurant Manager and Head Sommelier
+33 4 9349 9552
6 Rue Jean-Honoré Carle, 06210 La Napoule, Cannes
Cuisine: Mediterranean gastronomy
Style / Ambiance: Diners who find it difficult to decide what to order at two-Michelin-starred establishments will be pleased to find at La Palme d’Or an uncluttered menu with dishes named simply as “Turbot” (which is pan-fried in a sauce flavored with vin jaune, blue cheese and segments of tangerine, splits of walnut and truffled honey) or “Frog” (which comes served with thinly-cut wild mushrooms and a mousseline of potatoes with parsley, splits of perugina sausage and gnocchi flavored with spinach).
The service is as luxurious as the food is meticulous, from the valet parking on arrival to the attentive waiters and sommelier. La Palme d’Or’s reputation makes it a favorite with celebrities during the Cannes Film Festival.
Philippe Caillouet, Maître d’
+33 4 9298 7414
Hotel Martinez, 73 La Croisette, 06400 Cannes
Treatment and facilities: The newly-renovated U Spa Barrière, with its four treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, relaxation room and fitness hall, works in partnership with Sisley, a brand known for its use of essential oils and natural plant extracts in its beauty products.
While the spa offers a full range of body and beauty treatments from shampoo treatments to waxing to pedicures, its highlights are its specially-created aromatic facials and oil massage experiences based around the Sisley philosophy. Each treatment is carried out in a specialized ‘cubical’, you will therefore find a pedicure-manicure cubicle, a double cubical for two, a hammam and a ‘multi- sensorial’ cubical that uses a combination of alternating fragrances, sonar and lighting ambiances to create a unique setting for complete inner peace. Signature treatment: The three-hour-long Ultimate Ritual is an indulgent full-body massage experience designed to transport you to a dream-like state of relaxation.
Spa Manager: David Lestelle
+33 4 9298 7749
Hôtel Majestic Barrière, 10 La Croisette, Cannes
The French-Heritage-listed La Croisette Boulevard, along the iconic Cannes Shoreline, is where you will find a wealth of top international designers and brands to choose from, including Blancpain, Breuget and Ferret along with a plethora of well-known international names such as Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier. The intersecting Rue d’Antibes features equally stylish names such as IKKS, Mercedeh and Lancel.
Behind its unassuming façade, 55 Croisette houses a surprising list of brands. Some of these include Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney and Valentino.
+33 4 9361 4569
55 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400, Cannes
Since 1955 Cannes’ iconic shopping street has been home to the exclusive Jacques Loup store, which offers refined high-end fashion for men and women, including clothing, shoes and accessories from the most prestigious designers and brands.
Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Prada and many more are offered here, while the exquisitely elegant interior makes for a luxurious and exclusive shopping experience. The store also has an iPhone application, which visitors can use to locate the store and its details, and view the collections at their discretion and ease.
+33 4 9339 2835
21 Rue d’Antibes, 06400, Cannes
2 nautical miles
Anchoring in the waters of the Lérins islands provides a welcome respite from the bustling city of Cannes, while keeping it in full view.
Îles de Lérins are rich in history and offer a surprising wealth of curiosities. The larger Île Sainte-Marguerite is home to the Fort Royal, where Louis XIV jailed the famous man in the iron mask, and the old prison is now the Musée de la Mer, an interesting little museum of the island’s history. The smaller Île Sainte- Honorat offers a quieter environment and its network of paths shadowed by eucalyptus trees are perfect for evening sojourns. Shipwrecks lie just off the coast and are ideal for snorkeling or diving, whilst the quiet waters surrounding the islands are perfect for swimming and water sports.
7 nautical miles
Cap d’Antibes is a five mile limestone peninsula fringed by illustrious villas and Michelin-starred restaurants.
On its eastern edge is Antibes itself, a historical town with an ancient walled harbor; a haven for super yachts. A slow cruise around the Cap will take you past Juan-les-Pins where your crew can whisk you ashore for a lunch at Les Pêcheurs. Antibes itself is not only a spectacular location to tether your yacht, but the perfect gateway to the region’s fascinating interior: a short drive will take you to the medieval village of Saint Paul de Vence, while nearby lies the town of Grasse, the international capital of perfumery.
One of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera is just a short drive inland from Antibes.
Saint Paul de Vence with its stone houses clinging onto the hilltop is instantly recognizable, and its ancient walls and cobbled streets are home to an astonishing array of restaurants and galleries. These are admirable in their own right, but are made even more spectacular by their hidden position in this charming village and their history of attracting the Riviera’s most famous artists.
La Colombe d’Or has embodied the unique history of the Côte d’Azur since its establishment in the 1920s.
In the 1940s, artists and thinkers came to the region and their meetings in this restaurant left an indelible mark. Encouraged by the charismatic Roux family, the restaurant became a social epicenter for art through the eras of Miró, Chagall, Calder, and Cesar. Each piece of art heralds a fascinating story that is unique to La Colombe d’Or, and its two Michelin-starred cuisine is almost a secondary attraction.
+33 4 9332 8002
La Colombe d’Or, 06570, Saint Paul de Vence
Housed in this modern museum are some of the most important collections of 20th century sculpture.
Figurative bronzes by Giacometti and colorful shapes by Calder are displayed alongside drawings and paintings by Bonnard, Braque, Chagall, Léger and Miró. This year the Maeght Foundation hosts a retrospective exhibition of the blacksmith-turned-sculpture, Eduardo Chillida, whose bizarre shapes are as much chilling as they are curious. Much of the Fondation’s collection is arranged outside in the sculpture garden, scattered across green lawns and shaded by pine trees.
+33 4 9332 8163
632 Chemin des Gardettes, 06570, Saint Paul de Vence
Art lovers will find themselves exhilarated and challenged at the Picasso Museum, housed in the medieval Grimaldi Castle and built on the remains of an ancient Greek acropolis.
In 1946 Picasso established a studio in the museum, and in the short year before he returned to Paris, produced some passionate works of art. Created with experimental materials such as house paint and fibrocement, many of these paintings expressed the joy of freedom in post-war France. Since then, many more of Picasso’s works have been added to the museum as well as collections from other artists, including a series of impressive sculptures. However, this remarkable ancient building remains at heart a homage to one of the greatest artists Europe has ever produced. Musée de Picasso is simply unmissable for both lovers and doubters of Picasso’s unique style.
+33 4 9290 5426 / 20
Château Grimaldi, 06600 Antibes
Style / Ambiance: Nestled between grand villas jostling for seafront space is Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel, a discrete hideout for many VIPs.
This stunning boutique hotel combines the charm of a family run hotel with contemporary design and architecture, and visitors can enjoy its beach club, spa and restaurant. Les Pêcheurs is passionate about seafood, and local and seasonal catches are served with simplicity, grilled and garnished with herbs de Provence; surely the finest way to taste turbot, brill or langouste. Despite this simplicity, Les Pêcheurs holds a Michelin star thanks to Chef Philippe Jégo’s gastronomic flair. Dinner at Les Pêcheurs is more formal than the lunch scene; although it is not unknown for a spontaneous party to occur in the lounge bar, and visiting DJs frequently entertain crowds under starlit Riviera nights.
Angelo Gelpi, Restaurant Manager
+33 4 9293 1330
10 Boulevard Maréchal Juin, 06160 Cap d’Antibes
10 nautical miles
Juxtaposed between Nice and Cap Ferrat, the sheltered natural harbor of Villefranche-sur-Mer is the perfect anchorage for those wanting to explore the grand city of Nice and it’s Cornishes: Villfrance-sur-Mer and Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
As one of France’s largest and most visited cities and the hub of the Riviera, Nice dominates the region, and behind the famous Promenade des Angles the city stretches up into the hills that cradle it. Several days can be spent exploring Nice, its Cornishes, galleries, markets and restaurants, but below we have selected the city’s finest.
The Matisse Museum is situated on the hill of Cimiez, not far from the Franciscan monastery with its Italianate gardens, the Hotel Regina where Henri Matisse lived, and the Gallo-Roman ruins.
Since the 1960s this museum has been welcoming visitors to its collection of Matisse’s works. Visiting this museum you will witness not only Matisse’s famous passion for color, but also his iconic figurative silhouettes, sculptures and many of his personal possessions. The museum itself is just as seductive as Matisse’s paintings, its terracotta façade and symmetrical design overlooking the city seem the perfect resting place for his finest works.
Cuisine: French Mediterranean
Style / Ambiance: Housed in the most iconic building on the Promenade des Anglais is Nice’s finest dining room.
The Regency-style interior with eighteenthcentury woodwork comes a close second to the sweeping view across the Promenade des Anglais and the Baie des Anges. However, with the ultimate seal of approval in the form of a Michelin star, it is the cuisine that is the star attraction of Le Chantecler. The innovative and sophisticated menu is largely traditional but prepared to the very best standards.
Jean-Denis Rieubland, Head Chef
+33 4 9316 6400
Hotel Negresco, 37, promenade des Anglais, Nice
3 nautical miles
A leisurely cruise around Cap Ferrat will allow you to see the beauty of one of the world’s most sought after addresses.
However, you will have a tricky decision to make: spend the night in the peace offered by the lee of the Cap, where superb hotel restaurants line the shore, or move on to the glamour of Monaco.
Once the home of the ‘extravagant and eccentric’ Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild, this spectacular villa is a haven for lovers of art, architecture, landscapes and history.
Beauty is in abundance, from the extravagant architectural flourishes, sumptuous interiors and tranquil, uniquely-themed gardens, to the wide-ranging eighteenth century art collection and glorious view over the bay of Villefranche. As well as tours of the gardens, interiors and art collections, the villa hosts a range of receptions and events. This beautiful venue is also available for VIP bookings and events, such as private dinners or cocktails on the dining room terrace, looking out at the endless blue Mediterranean.
+33 4 9301 3309
Style / Ambiance: After 130 years of regaling the world’s gourmets, La Réserve de Beaulieu is still living up to its name and its two Michelin stars.
Even the most discerning customers are ever astonished by its terrace overlooking the sea, its stylish service, its elegantly, faintly ‘Vieille France’ decoration, and its cellar full of the best French vintages, chosen with care by Jean-Louis Valla, the hotel’s sommelier.
+33 4 9301 0001
5 Boulevard du Maréchal Leclerc, 06310 Beaulieu-sur-Mer
6 nautical miles
The final destination of our itinerary is undoubtedly the most spectacular: a sovereign principality, filled with more millionaires per square mile than anywhere else on the planet, and ruled over by one of Europe’s last remaining royal families, Monaco has ‘elite’ written all over it.
Port Hercule is one of the world’s most exclusive marinas, and is a viewing platform for the Monaco Grand Prix and port to the Principality. At its heart is Monte Carlo, a name with global associations of affluence and allure, and home of the world’s most famous casino. Monaco is an oasis of wealth where the superyacht is dominant, and the only way that one should to arrive.
Monte Carlo Casino is the cornerstone of the legend of Monaco, the undisputed symbol of its glamour.
Its architectural magnificence dominates the center of the Principality, Formula 1 cars race past its doors every year and supercars idle past every day, while inside celebrities are often spied gambling their fortunes. The interior optimizes Belle Époque grandeur, and under gilded ceilings there are tables for almost every sort of game. Private gaming rooms and exclusive restaurants offer unrivaled facilities for the elite traveler.
Style / Ambiance: The most awarded restaurant on the French Riviera boasts a number of titles: member of Les Grandes Tables du Monde and the first hotel restaurant to be awarded three Michelin Stars, which it has retained since.
Together Alain Ducasse and Executive Chef Franck Cerutti create Mediterranean haute cuisine that astonishes, charms and beguiles diners. The restaurant has not earned these awards through food alone however; the service is meticulous, the table décor is immaculate and the wine list is legendary. The restaurant’s cellar boasts 600,000 bottles, and 950 different references and rare vintages lie deep below the hotel. Finally, there is the Versailles grandeur of the restaurant, gilding, chandeliers and precious fabrics adorn the dining room and the summer terrace offers a priceless view.
Michel Lang, Maître d’
+377 9806 8864
Hotel de Paris, Place du Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Jimmy’z is as synonymous with the city’s party crowd as the Monte Carlo Casino is with old-school Monaco grandeur.
No two nights at Jimmy’z are ever the same, the music, the ambiance and visiting celebrities change daily. The club is located in the Sporting Monte Carlo complex where its unique architecture fills the space with an outdoor dance floor, Japanese garden and Pagoda Bar.
+377 9806 3636 / +377 9806 7068
Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, 26, Avenue Princesse Grace, Monaco
The Oceanographic Museum is Monaco’s finest museum and principle cultural attraction.
The museum is housed in the grandest setting you will ever find for an Oceanographic Museum, perched on the Rock of Monaco, straddling the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. Inside, the renowned ethnographic collection is housed in fabulous antique glass cases, while in the basement a modern aquarium is home to some bizarre and fascinating species. Still a world famous research institution, the displays are ever changing according the frontiers of science so, although anchored in time, the displays here are also contemporary and cutting edge.
Patrick Maute, General Manager
+377 9315 3600
Avenue Saint-Martin, Monaco Ville, Monaco
The thousand-year-old Eze Village clings, almost impossibly, to a hilltop 1,300 feet above the Côte d’Azur. Although not in Monaco itself, it is an ideal day trip from the crowded city.
Have your captain or concierge arrange a car or chauffeur to take you on the 20 minute drive up the steep roads, and as the village itself is too narrow for cars, explore these charming cobbled streets on foot before dining at one of the village’s fine restaurants. In Eze Village you are spoiled for Michelinchoice, there is the one-starred Château Eza and the two-starred Château de la Chèvre d’Or. Whichever one you choose, the view is undoubtedly the most spectacular in the Riviera, the Côte d’Azur is laid out below from Monaco to Cap Ferrat, providing a spectacular backdrop to Michelin-starred cuisine.
Treatment and facilities: As a member of Leading Spas of the World, and having won numerous spa awards, the legendary ESPA brand is going from strength to strength.
ESPA is not just about cosmetics, but state-of-the-art facilities; this sanctuary in Hôtel Metropole has Crystal Stream rooms, a soothing caldarium, a stimulating ice fountain and two lifestyle showers that create a refreshing burst of cool mint mist, or tropical rain. To rest the mind as well as the body there is a candle lit relaxation room where guests can cocoon themselves away in a sanctum of calm, or a private sundeck on which to enjoy some natural sunlight. The ten treatment rooms are adorned with natural materials, Pallasandra wood, slate and shimmering leather, and the natural fragrance of ESPA candles wafts throughout. Two private suits are also available. Signature treatment: ESPA day spa rituals, or ‘journeys’, allow guests to lose themselves in a world far removed from the bustle of Monte Carlo for an entire day.
+377 9315 1370
Hôtel Metrople, 4 Avenue De La Madone, Monaco