Côte d’Azur FranceGalavante Confidential - Hotel du Cap
If you’ve ever wondered where moguls, financiers, movie stars and the very beautiful escape to, the answer is the Hotel du Cap. A destination unto itself, this grand hotel on the Côte d’Azur is the definition of living the dream.
The hotel once only accepted cash, so you literally needed a suitcase of it, like Bernie Madoff, who was a frequent visitor. They’ll now take your Centurion Amex, but you’ll soon forget about cost. Serenity will come over you with that first glimpse of the great lawn, which looks like a painting, its perfectly manicured green backed by the Mediterranean Sea. The estate grounds are so beautiful, they’ve been known to bring a tear to the eye of even the most jaded jetsetter.
Not just a hotel, the Côte d’Azur is like the country estate of royalty. Yet, you’re treated as a personal friend, which many of the clientele become as they return year after year. It’s clear from this track record that perfection never gets old. The rooms are comfortably elegant – no over-the-top gilt here – with baths that are updated, yet retain an old-fashioned feel. Even the views from the bathroom look like a postcard, adding to the surreal experience.
While stately, the Hotel du Cap doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s no need to pretend here, but rather just enjoy. Most guests are happy to stay put for their entire stay: The restaurant and grill are extraordinary and the tennis courts are worthy of the French Open. The La Prairie Spa a pamper palace, though beauty does come at a price. The highlight is the pool, which sits on a rock, where you can plunge into the Mediterranean Sea from the diving board, floating staircase or even a trapeze. Tom Cruise in his recent film Knight and Day dreamed of kissing a stranger on the balcony of the Hotel du Cap. You will too – it’s one of the most romantic places in the world.
If you’d like to explore beyond the property, a worthy choice is the nearby restaurant Kellar, right on the beach. The delicious Mediterranean spread includes mussels and fresh mozzarella, accompanied of course by a bottle of rosé. Bring your suit and relax on the pier, surveying the beautiful scenery, both the sea and the people. On any day, you’ll see yachts in the distance, with people back-flipping into the Mediterranean Sea. Such is the life on the Côte d’Azur.
In the afternoon, wander the old streets of Antibes: Stop in at the Picasso Museum, enjoy a coffee at La Mur and then go in search of the perfect gelato. Later, do the strenuous circuit between pool and Mediterranean Sea at Hotel du Cap, or just snooze in the sun.
In the evening, head to the lively little town of Juan les Pins. Try the raw bar at Festival de la Mer, followed by drinks at Pam Pams. Anywhere else, this would be your average tropical bar, but here it’s the center of the party – no velvet rope, just pure fun.
The next day, go to Cannes for lunch and shopping. The places to eat are right on the Croisette, where the French have mastered the art of the beach café. Le Martinez is our chic favorite, as well as the classic Carlton. You can stay all day in Cannes into the evening for dinner.
On your last day at the Hotel du Cap, disappear into La Prairie Spa for their caviar facial and a decadent massage. The last evening should unquestionably be spent at the hotel restaurant. The cuisine is classic French – which includes Steak Diane and fresh fish in a beurre blanc, followed by a superb cheese cart – but the biggest draw is the view of the sun setting over the Côte d’Azur. As evening turns into night, your fantasy of a kiss on the Hotel du Cap balcony may well become a reality, whether with a stranger or lover – or both.