Live the experience
Hôtel Les Roches Rouges, Saint-Raphaël
On a fragrant cape at the foot of the Esterel mountains, the Hôtel Les Roches Rouges stands amongst ochre red rocks and overlooks the infinite blue waters of the Mediterranean. In this unique preserved natural environment, Valéry Grégo and his company, Les Hôtels d’en Haut, opened their first waterfront site last year: a five-star hotel with a holiday home atmosphere, which turns travel into a celebration and invites guests to live it to the full. People come here to get away from it all, to suspend time, to refocus on what really counts: enjoying the company of one’s family and friends, appreciating the great joys and simple pleasures in life, in a place where everything urges you to disconnect.
Housed in a late-1950s Modernist building, this sun-drenched hotel has been given a facelift by Charlotte de Tonnac and Hugo Sauzay, the interior design couple behind Festen Architecture. Pared-down but cuttingedge describes the decor well. Burnt sienna, ochre, azure blue and pure white. Concrete, oak, terracotta, linen and ceramics… Vintage and contemporary furniture and works from an artists’ colony create a relaxed setting with a “barefoot luxury” atmosphere. The French Riviera spirit lives on here; the mood is nonchalant and carefree enough to make guests forget their everyday reality.
Everything at Les Roches Rouges prompts you to (re)discover Provence, admire its colours, breathe in its fragrances, savour its delights… In addition to its 47 rooms and suites (equipped with tablets but televisionfree), practically all of which have a view of the sea, the hotel boasts three bars and two restaurants. The kitchen, under the baton of chef José Bailly, focuses on the treasures of regional Provençal produce and puts seasonal cuisine on the menu for young and old alike. The thyme honey ratatouille is to die for, as are the aubergines à l’estrassaire…
For those who like to try new things on holiday, a host of activities run by local specialists are on offer: yoga, cookery classes, fishing, diving, paddleboarding, snorkelling, table tennis, pétanque and even pampering at the SPA Esthederm (there’s a special programme for 7-15-year-olds, too). Intrepid guests may like to get up at dawn to go fishing with the local fisherman who supplies the hotel, while foodies may prefer to have a cookery lesson with the chef himself. Families with plenty of energy can borrow kayaks and sail towards the Île d’Or, just opposite, which, for the record, is said to have inspired Hergé when drawing the Scottish landscape in Tintin’s adventure on The Black
Island. Rambling fans can set off from the hotel along the hikers’ trail with Joseph Di Caro, who’ll tell them stories about the mountains and their secrets. Then everyone can dive into one of the hotel’s two pools – a swimming lane and an incredible natural seawater pool hollowed out of the rocks – while waiting for nightfall and the open-air cinema or concert.
Les Roches Rouges, rooms from €160 per night, 90 Boulevard de la 36e Division du Texas, 83530 Saint-Raphaël, hotellesrochesrouges.com
The French Riviera spirit lives on here: the mood is nonchalant and carefree enough to make guests forget their everyday reality.