Côte d'Azur's New Generation of Style
After my visit to La Réserve Ramatuelle, outside St-Tropez, I decided to check out some other grande dame hotels in the South of France that have been recently refurbished to the tune of millions of euros.
The first stop was the storied Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, tucked away in one of the Côte d'Azur's poshest seaside enclaves. Facing the sea, the imposing building has a beach club with an Olympic-size pool and a new spa by Carita and pretty restaurant space for the property's Michelin-starred Le Cap. But it was the rooms that received the most attention during the overhaul: They are now airy and bright (with a cheery canary-yellow and white palette) and feel very spacious. If you stay in the main building, be sure to book a sea view rather than a forest view, and if you can afford to splurge, the newly built suites behind the main hotel are done in the same style as the rest of the guest rooms but some have private pools, which feels wonderfully decadent.
In nearby Monaco, the Monte Carlo Beach hotel got a similar revamp in time for summer thanks to India Mahdavi, the talented interior designer behind such projects as London's Connaught and Mexico City's Condesa DF. In a matter of months, Mahdavi transformed the Monte Carlo from tired to chic, giving the interiors a nautical feel with porthole windows, 1930s black-and-white photos from the hotel's glam days, and custom-made furniture that makes you feel like you're heading out to sea on a retro cruiser.