All roads lead to the Riviera
Grand-hôtel du Cap-ferrat: a Four Seasons Hotel, France
THE crown jewel of the French Riviera’s famed peninsula, the Grand-hôtel du CapFerrat continues to dazzle decades after its 1950s heyday. Previous guests, including Elizabeth Taylor and Sir Winston Churchill (whose portraits line the walls), would undoubtedly still recognise the grand façade, framed by heavenly perfumed gardens and pine trees, the once Olympic-sized seawater swimming pool and rocky coastline beyond.
There has been more change inside. Communal areas are a masterclass in modern Art Deco—think swathes of gleaming white marble and bespoke crystal chandeliers—and the guestrooms boast oversized bathtubs looking out over the Côte d’azur as well as ludicrously comfortable beds.
For the ultimate road-trip experience and a slice of La Dolce Vita, reserve an original classic car (the 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, perhaps?) and set off for one of the Four Seasons’ sister properties in Milan or Florence. Beforehand, the concierge will prepare a personalised itinerary, highlighting points of interest along the way, and there’s a handy radio connection between you and a discreet assistance vehicle throughout. RP Double rooms from €320 (00 33 4 93 76 50 50; www.fourseasons.com/ capferrat)
While you’re there
• Our favourite rooms were the 1950s-style Residence pool suites. Actually built in 2009, the terracotta-coloured, gently curved building also conceals a tunnel to the hotel spa • Take a ride in the glass funicular, which whisks guests from the hotel to the renowned Club Dauphin, private cabañas and an infinity pool below • Johann Burgos, Club Dauphin’s director, is always on hand to recommend a cooling cocktail or two. For lunch, we couldn’t get enough of the carnaroli risotto with greens, mint and lemon • Make the most of the Grand-hôtel’s private access to the smooth coastline path. Head down to the port of Saint-jean-capferrat and spend an afternoon at Paloma, a private beach and restaurant, or head to the bijou Bar-restaurant du Port for supper • Be one of the first guests to experience Michelin-starred chef Yoric Tièche’s new menu at hotel restaurant Le Cap, inspired by the herbs and fruits growing in the gardens and the 1897 cookbook La Cuisinière Provençale