If you have your heart set on a luxury holiday, then you must go to Monaco and Saint Tropez.
You can fly out to Nice Airport (Air Italia, France, British Airways, Easy Jet, KLM, Norwegian, and Swiss amongst others fly out to Nice) and make your way to either Cannes, Monte Carlo or St Tropez, dependent on your destination. Yes, you may fly by helicopter too, some of the hotel and property locations have helipads!
During a recent stay in Monte Carlo at the luxury Fairmont Hotel (such is the life of digital marketing professional *sigh*!), a wise decision was made to venture out of the Monte Carlo area and take in some more of the fabulous French Riviera. The level of luxury service on offer really does inspire romanticism.
St Tropez is part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, and to get there from Monte Carlo, you can choose to drive or rent a car (hitch a lift if you are brave enough, there are more than enough Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes, Range Rovers and Rolls Royce drivers in the area to try your luck – try to be diplomatic and sensible about it!).
Anyway, we decided to travel via coach and train, to experience life how a local would – You never know, could come in handy if you decide to move out there to live or establish a second home and base to operate from. With the coach journey visitors get to take in the other side of the region including a distant view of the Princes Castle (home to Prince Albert and Princess Charlene) across the Monte Carlo yachting marina and AS Monaco FC’s fabulous stadium. The train (2 stops) is about 16 euros per person, the coach is under 10 euros – about 1 to 1.5 hrs journey – so you have more to spend on food and drink, plus you will not have to worry about drinking limits on driving!
We stopped off in Nice for a spot of shopping, noticeable military presence in the area, but the soldiers are friendly enough. Keep your valuables close to hand though, there are a few smooth operators in the area, probably explains the military presence. However, everyone is friendly and helpful – at least when we asked – for things like directions and recommendations. Direct trains in the area are recommended, as the standard of carriage is much higher than the stopping service.
The weather could have been better, but having enjoyed a previous night at Nobu Restaurant and Twiga in Monte Carlo – tired heads made for a reasonable journey.
So the coach to St Tropez was very scenic, nice homes, great views of the French Riviera coast line and a general feel for the place i.e. close by hotels, service stations, villas for hire and property agencies. The coach service operating in the Nice and Monaco areas is very good – friendly, helpful drivers and good driving, make the journey enjoyable.
In the St Tropez area, the buildings are not very high (low, to mid-level height building structures) quite colourful – think Miami and New Orleans.
There are some great cafes in the form of ‘Restaurant Le Café’, as well as a good range of shops retailing the likes of Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Roberto Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood. All of the major fashion houses are represented in St Tropez to satisfy your designer fashion urges, most noticeably was the Christian Dior garden (a Versace like mansion behind closed gates). They have a Spar! There is also Café de Paris, Restaurant Le Grand Café and Le Saint Amour Restaurant (part of the Saint Amour Hotel, which also manages private bookings to the Baglietto “Chato” Yacht). Café Patisserie Senequier is also on the beach front.
Due to the time of day, I did not get to do my usual luxury club tour and review that you have become used to via MthePro.com. However, I can tell, you that the places to be seen other than being invited to yacht parties are VIP Club, Les Caves du Roy and Papagayo.
The bar du port located in the Suffren Street area of the Cote d’azure location was of the most note during our day time visit.
Our day out in St Tropez was concluded with the obligatory visit to the souvenir shops and St Tropez branded gifts for family and friends.
There is a lot to do for English speakers, those of English culture or similar (I know a little French, and was at conversational level when out there!) – a great place for couples of all ages, honeymooners, stag dos, hen dos, competition winners and playboy billionaires. Dress to impress.
So now you know where to venture out to, when you land in St Tropez!