Luxury travel to the South of France
ITC Luxury Travel Chairman's Club Account Manager, Natalie Russell-Blackburn Perkins, tells all on her recent trip to the South of France...
“Only a quick hop over to Nice and I was rubbing shoulders with the bold and the beautiful people in the South of France!
My first stop was Terre Blanche resort in the beautiful unspoilt region of Provence. This is an absolute haven for a whole range of different travellers; from families to golfers, spa seekers to gastronomes, it really would not disappoint anyone!
On exploring the resort I discovered not just one but two championship golf courses, along with a fantastic driving range fully-equipped with the latest in swing technology and golf pros, all capped off with a drink in the lovely clubhouse overlooking the greens. As I am not a golfer I was keen to discover the treats awaiting for me in the spa, and what can I say? It had an indoor and outdoor heated pool, a whole range of treatments including Carita products and an equally well-equipped gym with the latest technology, even offering aqua biking (spinning under water) – ensuring you could have a whole body makeover in one go! Back in the main hotel and dinner was fantastic. A range of cuisine from fresh lobster (picked from the tank) to French cuisine along with the lovely waiters encouraging me to use my very rusty French! Over all too quickly I was checking out of my suite (complete with extra large bath, lounge and terrace) and heading back to the hustle and bustle of Nice.
Royal Riviera was the next stop – here it felt like stepping back in time with a classical high society feel. This hotel is the perfect spot, nestled between Nice and Monaco and with great sea views. I experienced a delicious three hour lunch, surrounded by locals and international guests; the food being exquisite with a wealth of choice including fresh fish, homemade desserts, handmade chocolate and of course an abundance of French bread. The atmosphere was decadent, with a real buzz in the air and lots of Champagne popping. The hotel boasts its own compact beach and lovely swimming pool and there are also little areas of garden which are wonderful suntraps and very peaceful! The rooms follow the theme of the hotel, in a classical French design, light and airy with beautiful paintings and sculptures throughout.
My last stop was Cap Estel. This hotel has the most stunning views from it envious location set on an elevation and was actually a private mansion prior to becoming a hotel. Each of the rooms offers something slightly different and there is a choice of being located at the waters edge, high up in the house with a lovely terrace and spectacular views, or down in the gardens. Although not a big hotel it hides lots of little extras; like a private cinema room and a spa with hammam, indoor pool and gym - which is water level so you can watch the boats sailing past. The hotel is also lovely as the sun is setting, watching it cast its last rays over the water, sipping peach Bellini’s from the bar terrace with homemade canapés. The food was also delicious here, with a fine dining restaurant and amazing wine cellar to pick the perfect accompaniment for your gourmet meal.
From my short trip, I have seen that the South of France is not only full of beautiful people, shops and cars, it is also full of these hidden beautiful gems; all unique in their location and offerings, but each as dazzling as the next. I would really recommend a trip here and now the season has started the weather is perfect for your luxury holiday to the South of France.