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5 tips to take luxury to the next step on the French Riviera

From the Monte Carlo casino to the five-star hotels on the Croisette, when it comes to luxury, the French Riviera has a lot to offer. Over 10 million tourists visit the Côte d’Azur for a holiday in the sun every year, but very few are lucky enough to experience the grandiose lifestyle that makes it so desirable. Here are five tips that will ensure you make the most of your luxury holiday in the South of France. Timing is everything There is one month in the year when everyone on the Riviera steps up their game to welcome the world’s glitterati—May. The Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix are two of the most globally publicised events, making the area the place to be for a couple of weeks. The best restaurants and nightlife venues migrate to short-term locations on the coast, giving visitors the opportunity to taste food prepared by top chefs and dance to mixes by hot DJs. Heaven’s Floor in Cannes and Amber Lounge in Monaco are among the most select clubs, and Alain Ducasse’s Electrolux Agora pop-up restaurant created a huge buzz last year. Location, location, location Although quite small, the Côte d’Azur offers a lot of variety when it comes to choosing where to stay, and there is a location for every type of holiday you can wish for. If you enjoy 24-hour activity and don’t feel like driving too much, book a hotel or a penthouse apartment on the Croisette in Cannes, or on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Both the Carlton and the Negresco are registered historic monuments due to their beautiful architecture, and the Palais de la Méditerranée offers a terrace with a great sea view. All three hotels also have a selection of restaurants and bars accessible to the public. If what you’re looking for is a quiet haven away from the crowds, look along the cliff roads between Nice and Monaco. The area is home to some of the prettiest towns, including Villefranche, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu and Eze, all full of sumptuous villas, more intimate than a hotel yet close to the beaches and other amenities. And for a real feel of Provence, go further inland; Grasse and its surroundings offer a choice of authentic village houses that will give you a taste of the history and traditions that made the Riviera what it is today. Maximise the private beach experience Beaches on the Côte d’Azur can get very crowded, so sometimes there is no better satisfaction than having one all to yourself for a day. A few restaurants in the Cannes area allow you to book private events for special occasions. La Guérite, on the Lérins Islands, offers a shuttle boat service to and from Cannes, and can take care of the whole organisation of your party, leaving you free to relax and enjoy the peacefulness of the islands with a panoramic view of Cannes. See it from above Spoiling yourself with a helicopter tour over the French Riviera is something you will never regret. From the azure of the Mediterranean to the majestic peaks of the Alps, the view is absolutely breathtaking. Various providers advertise transfers from Nice to St Tropez in less than half an hour, probably the most worthwhile trip as it would take you over the Esterel Mountains, its pine trees and red rocks— the natural jewel of the Riviera. You ought to rent a yacht There is a reason the area between Antibes and Juan les Pins is called Baie des Milliardaires (Billionaires’ Bay). The most luxurious way to enjoy the French Riviera is from the water. There you can appreciate the weather, the sea and the view, all from the quiet intimacy of your boat. To rent a yacht, you will need your passport and a deposit of about 50% of the total amount. There are a variety of sizes and charter durations available but Alexander J. Coles, senior charter broker at Moody Yachts France, recommends booking as far in advance as possible, as most summer charters are booked four to five months ahead. Taking the time to make your selection in advance will prove worth it, because with the perfect yacht, your trip will take on a completely different dimension. Melodie Michel is Marketing Manager at Riviera Rental Guide. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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