Résidence de la Pinède
With Saint Tropez less than a two-hour drive away, you don’t have to be a serious foodie to visit Résidence de La Pinède, which is undergoing a massive facelift now that luxury hotel group Cheval Blanc (of LVMH) has taken over the management. Everything from the waterside three-Michelin-starred La Vague d’Or (headed by chef Arnaud Donckele) to a dozen newly outfitted rooms designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte (know for La Réserve de Ramatuelle) is an ode to sleek, understated elegance. The property welcomed a sleek, five-room Guerlain spa in May.
Also on our radar is Couvent de la Visitation, an 88-room luxury palace, opening in 2019. The sprawling 17th-century convent in Vieux Nice is now in the throws of a massive 30-million-euro restoration.
Gastronomy and Museums
Maria Private Dining Room
Provence’s culinary scene is even more noteworthy now that chef Christophe Bacquié was awarded the holy trinity of Michelin stars at his restaurant at the Hôtel & Spa du Castellet, in the hills near Bandol, which recently received a design refresh.
If you’re starting or ending your journey in Nice, don’t miss a meal at Maria, a new stylish private dining room connected to (and across the street from) Restaurant Jan, located behind the Old Port. Designed for special occasions, this bespoke annex is the brainchild of talented Michelin-starred chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, whose exquisitely flavorful mix of South African-meets-French cuisine is as wildly original as it gets. Named after the chef’s mother and grandmother, Maria seats 6-14 guests. Guests dine comme à la maison at a long oak table in a room lined with vintage portraits of women, as the chef whips up meals (many of which are elevated interpretations of South African dishes like melktert and biltong) from the open kitchen.
French art lovers and foodies find common ground with an ultra-special dinner experience now offered at Villa Santo Sospir. The former home of socialite Francine Weisweiller, the seaside villa was the location of many star-studded 1950’s parties, playing host to the likes of Coco Chanel and Pablo Picasso. But Villa Santo Sospir is widely known for the intricate frescoes painted on its walls by artist Jean Cocteau, many of which were inspired by Greek mythology, which led to the villa’s nickname of ‘the tattooed house.’ Today, guests of the iconic Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat can arrange a private dinner prepared by chef Yoric Tièche, whose Provençal-meets-contemporary French flavors have earned him a Michelin star. A visit offers guests a glimpse into the lives of the residence’s former bon vivants—reminding us just how grand the living can be. Contact Indagare to arrange.
Related: First Look: Villa La Coste
Porquerolles, courtesy Lionel Barbe
If you’re sailing to the island of Porquerolles this summer, don’t miss a visit to the newly opened Carmignac Fondation, a contemporary art center built on a vineyard in the heart of the woodsy government-protected National Park, just minutes from the beach. The inaugural exhibition, “Sea of Desire,” features an eclectic combination of 20th-century American icons and contemporary European artists, plus a Louis Benech–landscaped garden lined with sculptures. There is also a wine tasting lounge.
Read… Provence Destination Report
Contact Indagare to learn more and book a trip to the South of France. Our travel specialists can match you with the best hotels, arrange great meals and activities and organize special excursions.