A celebrity playground for decades, the French Riviera’s glitz and glam is mostly thanks to the vast assortment of luxurious hotels that dot the coastline. Whether you’re hoping to stay at a trendy beach club or an Art Deco relic, these nine hotels offer posh accommodations, decadent world-class dining, and often other top-tier amenities like swanky spas or outstanding personalized service.
Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat
A Four Seasons property that dates back more than a century, Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat has housed the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill. Perched above the Mediterranean, the views can’t be beaten. However, the hotel’s centerpiece is the famous pool club, Club Dauphin, which showcases a cerulean infinity pool that blends into the adjacent sea. If you want to splash out, book a pool suite, which boasts a private infinity pool shrouded by Aleppo pine trees.
An Art Deco beauty, Hôtel Martinez was recently overhauled by famed French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who breathed a touch of modernity in the property while retaining vintage vibes and breezy marine-inspired accents. Boasting 409 spacious rooms (99 of which are suites), Martinez is just steps from the Palais des Festivals and overlooks the Bay of Cannes. It’s also home to La Palme d'Or, a recipient of two Michelin stars—the only restaurant in Cannes to receive the distinction.
Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc
Even if you don’t know Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc by name, you almost certainly know it by appearance. The hotel’s iconic saltwater swimming pool, perched on the rocks, is instantly recognizable and has appeared everywhere from Slim Aarons photographs to Vogue magazine shoots. The rooms are predictably plush, with classic Louis XV furniture, chinoiserie draperies, and gilded mirrors. In May 2021, the hotel will add a new private villa, accommodating up to 12 guests.
Hôtel Nice Beau Rivage
This contemporary beachfront hotel is another classic of the French Riviera, and—as a bonus—it’s slightly cheaper than many of its ritzy neighbors. Despite the more wallet-friendly rates, you’ll want for nothing as Beau Rivage is still situated right on the beach (you can go straight from check-in to the sand!) and has fun, colorful contemporary quarters. When it first opened in 1860, it was a regular haunt for Henri Matisse, Anton Chekhov, and other artistic luminaries.
Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel
Situated directly on the water, Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel is a smaller, friendly property that channels contemporary villa vibes as opposed to the opulent mansion style of many other Riviera hotels. Rooms are decorated in neutral colors with local olive wood accents, and many offer views of the idyllic Port du Crouton. Dining options abound, but the Michelin-starred Restaurant Les Pêcheurs, where you can enjoy local-caught seabream accompanied by beets and Siberian sturgeon caviar, is the standout.
Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo
This Belle Epoque grand dame of a hotel is steps from the Casino de Monte-Carlo and overlooks the infamous hairpin turn of Monaco’s Formula 1 Grand Prix track. Rooms are spacious, and most overlook the cypress-lined driveway. If you’re feeling spendy, the Jacques Garcia-designed Carré d’Or suite has Louis XVI furniture, sumptuous crimson and lilac interior fabrics, and sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea and Metropole’s popular pool.
Hôtel Byblos Saint Tropez
Among the finest hotels along the French Riviera, the colorful stucco-clad Byblos opened its doors in 1967 and has since been a favorite destination for celebrities and the global jet set. Unlike some other hotels in the area, it’s easily walkable to the village, including the Places des Lices market. The hotel is also home to Les Caves du Roy, one of the world’s best nightclubs, and makes a mean tarte tropézienne, a classic French pastry that originated in the village and was a favorite of Brigitte Bardot.
Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo
Recently renovated, this legendary hotel is situated just across the street from Monaco’s famous casino and chic shopping from Saint Laurent, Hermes, and Cartier. If you’re planning to splash out, this is your place: Hotel de Paris is home to the three Michelin-starred Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, and the truly unique Princess Grace Diamond Suite, a 10,000-square-foot room that’s home to personal effects and souvenirs from the beloved princess. A stay there will run you upwards of $30,000 per night but includes a helicopter transfer, a private pool, a jacuzzi, and a luxuriously outfitted kitchen.