The South of France is a world-renowned holiday destination, with plenty to offer. The region is celebrated for its rich history, sophisticated cities, balmy weather, and pristine Mediterranean coastline.
We have rounded up three of the best hotels in the area; Terre Blanche Hôtel Spa Golf Resort (pictured), Hotel Byblos Saint Tropez and Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo. Each hotel is based in a different area of the region and offers a completely unique luxury experience for its guests.
Hotel Byblos Saint Tropez
Steeped in history and founded on love for French actress Brigitte Bardot, Hotel Byblos was built in 1967. A family-owned Palace hotel, it remains to this day an iconic destination on the French Riviera.
Hotel Byblos features 87 rooms and suites, including the Missoni Suite, a pool at the heart of the property with its bar le B, a Sisley spa, two fitness centres, Italian trattoria Cucina overseen by Alain Ducasse, Byblos Beach Ramatuelle, their beach club located 10 mins drive from the property, Les Caves du Roy nightclub, and gastronomy restaurant Arcadia that transforms into Le Jardin d’Arcadia at lunch.
This year, Hotel Byblos has launched a freshly renovated Sisley spa with a new holistic programme. The spa is designed to facilitate wellbeing for Hotel Byblos’ guests, reopening with five individual treatment rooms, including a new Waterfall room with sensory showers for visual and physical relaxation. There will also be new personalised treatments using Sisley products, made from essential oils.
The holistic programme allows guests a unique wellness experience by immersing them in a variety of activities and workshops aimed at self-discovery. Designed to inspire guests to step away from their busy lives and reconnect with their inner selves, the programmes are available in three stages, each offering a combination of bespoke workshops, nutritious meals and tailor-made spa treatments.
Alongside this new wellness endeavor is a renovation and menu redesign at Byblos’s restaurant Arcadia. The restaurant offers poolside fine dining, serving all-day Mediterranean cuisine. At lunch the restaurant transforms into Le Jardin d’Arcadia, where guests will be able to sample from a new menu created by executive chef Nicola Canuti, who has put emphasis on local produce and Mediterranean flavour as well as using produce from the hotel’s vegetable garden to offer guests a taste of the Riviera.
Terre Blanche Hôtel Spa Golf Resort
Terre Blanche is a 750-acre eco-luxury property situated in Pays de Fayence, Provence. Located 45 minutes from Nice airport, the destination boasts a range of activities nearby, including Château d’Esclans – one of the most iconic vineyards for rosé which produces the world famous ‘Whispering Angel’ – where guests are able to enjoy an exclusive private visit to the chapel, normally closed to the public, alongside a wine tasting.
For golf fanatics, you can find two 18-hole championship level golf courses on the 750-acre resort which are perfectly suited to beginners and professionals alike. After a morning on the course, guests can enjoy a delicious lunch at Les Caroubiers gastronomic clubhouse restaurant for a reinvigorating meal.
Terre Blanche’s two-storey luxury spa allows guests to relax and recuperate during their stay. It features an indoor pool, an outdoor heated vitality pool, a sauna and steam room, and a modern fitness area with state-of-the-art equipment amongst other facilities, catering to every request. Guests can enjoy a range of treatments provided in partnership with Swiss skincare brand La Maison Valmont in the spa, voted one of Europe’s best.
Most noteworthy for Terre Blanche this year is their new Michelin star, awarded to one of the hotel’s restaurants, Le Faventia in March. The restaurant is led by Executive Chef Christophe Schmitt and offers guests panoramic views of Pays de Fayence’s natural beauty alongside fresh, seasonal cuisine which is sourced responsibly from local suppliers with longstanding relationships with the hotel.
Terre Blanche’s spa also has new treatments available, including a ‘Cure Detox’ Retreat, a minimum 3-day programme combining a balanced diet, physical activity, and skin treatment. Nutritionists are on hand to offer guests dietary advice accompanied by coaching, yoga, pilates, mediation and spa treatments. This retreat can be organised as part of a traditional holiday, offering specially tailored meals and activities for individuals within a group who wish to take part.
Terre Blanche also has various new exclusive eco-experiences available. The hotel prides itself on environmental awareness which is demonstrated through their green initiatives. Some new family-friendly initiatives are the animal release, where rehabilitated wildlife is released back into the wild with children able to watch, and ‘Bike + Bites’, a bespoke excursion curated by a local guide where guests may cycle between the surrounding forests, vineyards and olive trees, savouring magnificent views over the medieval villages whilst visiting local producers to taste Provençal delights such as cheese and olive oil.
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Ideally located in the Carré d’Or, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo was built in 1889 and renovated in 2004 by famous French designer Jacques Garcia, who created a 125-room Belle Époque style property with a Mediterranean charm.
The hotel is home to one-Michelin star Yoshi, the only Michelin star Japanese restaurant in the South of France, and the new restaurant Les Ambassadeurs by Chef Christophe Cussac, opening on 22 June 2023.
Hotel Metropole also offers guests the Spa Metropole by Givenchy, designed by architect Didier Gomez, and the hotel's pool area features an Haute Couture décor designed by Karl Lagerfeld.
Executive Chef Christrophe Cussac is taking on a new challenge this year with the opening of his restaurant Les Ambassadeurs at Hotel Metropole. The restaurant will offer gourmet yet contemporary Mediterranean cuisine, inspired by Chef Cussac’s own gastronomic heritage. Guests will be invited to rediscover the flavours of the Mediterranean in a warm setting, designed by French architect and interior designer Jacques Garcia. The restaurant also offers guests an opportunity to dine at the Chef’s counter, fully immersed in the culinary process, with an opportunity to speak with Chef Cussac himself.
Hotel Metropole places great emphasis on sustainability and is continuously improving their eco-friendly initiatives. This year, Metropole Monte-Carlo has introduced a new range of green cocktails in support of Reforest’Action, a company whose mission is to preserve forests worldwide, and the Green Riders – a fleet of electric scooters for guests to use to explore Monte-Carlo in a more sustainable way.
And two luxurious Paris hotels:
Hotel Saint James - Relais & Chateaux
The only chateau-hotel in Paris -- an architectural jewel tucked away in Paris’ most exclusive district, the 16th. The Saint James Paris invites guests for an amazing journey through time and cultivates the quintessential Parisian art de vivre. Unforgettable emotions come to life with the creations of Chef Julien Dumas. An experience in its own to be enjoyed at Bellefeuille, the gastronomic restaurant, in the muthic library-bar, under the graceful pergola in the garden or for a romantic in-room dinner.
Relais Christine - Relais & Chateaux
A secret, tranquil world in the heart of Paris' Left Bank, Relais Christine is a Relais & Châteaux boutique property set in a 17th century mansion, surrounding a flower-filled cobblestone courtyard and hidden behind pretty entrance gates.
Originally a 13th century abbey, Relais Christine retains some fascinating historical features, has a delightful garden, a flowered courtyard, an atmospheric drawing room and bar, as well as an inviting spa. The ambience is cozy and relaxing with rich fabrics and antiques in the lounge, which has its own honesty bar and where a rich buffet is served in the morning. The Guerlain spa is set under the stunning 13th century vaults and offer single and double treatment rooms, Jacuzzi, sauna and an extensive fitness.