Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel
Iconic, grand, elegant
71 Boulevard du Général de Gaulle Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France (33) 4-9376-5050 www.fourseasons.com
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At a Glance
Sitting on the idyllic peninsula between Nice and Monaco, Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat is one of the South of France’s most iconic properties, exuding pure elegance and serious glamour within its perfectly manicured grounds.
- The easy location: from the Nice airport; it’s about a 30-minute drive to the hotel; from Cannes, it’s about an hour drive.
- The chic Club Dauphin, accessible by funicular—the perfect place to spend a day by the sea
- The suites in the Residence wing, which come with private terraces and infinity-edged pools
Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat Review
The Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, one of the South of France’s most iconic properties, looks better than ever after a $100-million renovation and expansion. Sitting on the idyllic peninsula between Nice and Monaco, the hotel was showing years of wear, so the owners shut the property for 14 months and invested more than $1 million per room to refashion the hotel for the 21st century. French star designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, the creative mastermind behind Joël Robuchon’s restaurants worldwide, was entrusted with the redesign and he said of the Grand-Hôtel: “I try to respect the architecture when I undertake a renovation. I am like a surgeon, I have to repair it. What I have from the beginning is a picture of what was before.”
What was there before, most noticeably the hotel’s creamy-and-white colored marble throughout and the lobby’s rotunda (designed in 1909 by Gustave Eiffel), has been painstakingly restored, and the property’s seventeen acres of gardens were given an overhaul by landscape designer Jean Mus. The interiors remain light and airy, with an understated white-on-white design that occasionally breaks into splashes of color: an emerald Murano chandelier here, a colorful tapestry there.
What is generating the most buzz, however, is the addition of the Residence wing, which houses sixteen rooms and eight exclusive suites. The pale wood floors, predominantly white décor, including sprawling marble bathrooms, and understated furnishings are a perfect extension of the main hotel’s elegant interiors. The newly renovated rooms have a fresh, bright feeling and are a beautiful contrast to the blue sea in the distance. Each room is also decorated with the prints of artists famously associated with the region.
Best of all, the suites make the most of the outdoor panoramas: large sliding-panel window walls lead to private terraces and infinity-edged pools (amazingly, the hotel is the first and only along the French Riviera to offer suites with private pools). The deep-blue Cote d’Azur vistas are visible in the distance.
If you can pull yourself from the refined privacy of the new Residence wing, the hotel kept its celebrated beach Club Dauphin, located on the rocky shoreline and accessible by a glass-encased funicular (very James Bond) that leads from the lofty property to the Club and its Olympic-sized heated infinity pool. The other place where you feel the—decidedly French—history is the Grand Hotel’s cellar, featuring one of the world’s best wine collections. In 2007, the hotel acquired a unique collection of 135 rare bottles of Château d’Yquem (with vintages from 1860 to 2003), as well as 38 bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild (from 1799 to 2003).
For those who associate pampering less with culinary delights and more with facials and mud treatments, there’s the new 8,000 square-foot spa, located in the Residence and accessible via a subterranean passage. Serene, contemporary and featuring a long list of treatments using Carita and Comfort Zone products, the Grand Hotel’s spa is another indication that this venerable property has successfully moved into the 21st century.
Acquired by the Four Seasons in 2015, the elegant grande dame of seaside palaces has seen no major changes thus far, with the exception of a few new offerings: the poolside restaurant of Le Club Dauphin now serves a sumptuous Provencal buffet (in July and August) and a delicious Sunday brunch with a jazz trio has been added for September; the spa menu now includes signature treatments with Carita and the Swiss Bellefontaine beauty products that are infused with caviar, gold and silk (from Dr. Burgener and Biologique Recherche). Guests can also partake in complimentary bi-weekly free yoga and Pilates classes and get in shape at the outdoor fitness center, under the parasol pines.
Who Should Stay
Those who like hushed tones, pure elegance and serious glamour.
Who Should Not Stay
Anyone looking for a buzzing and hip scene will not be happy here. And although plenty of families do stay, parents might feel self-conscious of noisy youngsters in the serenity of the main hotel.