In the second part of our luxury travel views column from the Spring/Summer 2023 issue, LUX’s Editor-in-Chief Darius Sanai checks in at the Royal Riviera, Côte d’Azur
What drew us there?
Many of the great hotels of the French Riviera are places to see and be seen. They are the kind of destinations where wardrobe prep and social diary-checking can take as long as the stay itself.
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Wafting through the understated reception of the Royal-Riviera, you realise you are somewhere quite different. Walk to the pool area behind the main Belle Époque building and there is a low-rise building, Villa l’Orangerie, that houses capacious rooms and suites; to your left is an elegant restaurant beyond which you see the Mediterranean stretch to Monaco. Behind the hotel is a dramatic vista of mountains plunging to the sea. Although the hotel sits in the most desirable residential area of the coast, this is an enclave, a place where you put on your Chanel sunglasses only to protect yourself from the sun. Your fellow guests are as discreet as you are; they don’t need to shout about who they are.
How was the stay?
Our suite was in the Villa l’Orangerie, whose rooms and suites are all newly renovated, as is the terrace surrounding the swimming pool and the garden deck, giving us much to admire. We had our own little private garden and could go from our living room to the pool in 12 steps.
Sit by the pool and you won’t feel like leaving: the view of the mountains and the Mediterranean cuisine served poolside or in the restaurant see to that. If you do go out, this is super-prime Côte d’Azur. The village of St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is five minute’s walk one way along a pretty coastal path. The centre of Beaulieu-sur-Mer – another chichi resort in this hallowed region between Nice and Monte Carlo – is five minutes the other way. Outside the hotel is a little sandy beach, a section of which is for hotel guests only. It is delightful and very different to some Mediterranean hot spots: no Instagram celebrities, just people chilling in one of the most spectacular parts of Europe.
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One afternoon, we took a taxi halfway up the mountain to the hilltop village of Èze, a medieval scramble of streets with unbelievable views in every direction. Another evening we went for dinner with friends in Monte Carlo, around 25 minutes away. In both cases, we were pleased to get back to the peace of the Royal-Riviera.
Breakfast is on an arcaded terrace in the original building, where, later, a glass of vintage champagne sets you up well for the evening. From there, it’s a short stroll to the terrace of the Jasmin Grill & Lounge for a glass of Whispering Angel and a main course of grilled turbot.
Find out more: royal-riviera.com
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of LUX