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RESTAURANTS - CHEFS - HOTELS - REVIEWS & STORIES

 

Introduction to Provence, France

St. Tropez candy moustiers-st-marie
Côte d'Azure & Near Coast | Eze Village | Western Mediterranean | Provence-Inland
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Côte d'Azure & Near Coast

Hotel La Ponche *****, Saint Tropez "Old Town", Var

Aerial view of Hotel La PoncheIf you find yourself in that lovely fishing village (yes they still have working fishermen), and you want to stay in the center of the old town, you have one of the most charming and historic five star hotels located just far enough away from the tourist yacht harbor to avoid the noise yet set in the historic soul of the old town right on the see wall above a pocket beach. Many rooms have a few of the Bay of St. Tropez and you can see the Mediterranean from the front tables of their marvelous restaurant. The rooms are all totally individualized, charming, well appointed and air conditioned. What more could you want? Did I mention its history? Fine restaurant (Below).

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Restaurant " La Ponche", at Hotel La Ponche, Saint Tropez "Old Town"

photo Soupe des PoissonsIf you have ever been surrounded by meals prepared by chefs, good and not so good, who consider themselves artists and very special and you have become a bit jaded and hanker for some good old French country restaurant cooking the way it used to be, this is the restaurant for you - La Ponche. Part of the five star hotel La Ponche, it offers both traditional dishes, regional dishes and Mediterranean dishes with an emphasis on fresh caught sea food, some with a modern twist but all real food that is not fussy and that tastes great - day after day.. 1 flute Rating.

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Bastide de Saint Tropez *****, Saint Tropez, Var

Bastde de St. TropezThis charming, peaceful, upscale retreat is a balm to the soul. Just on the outskirts of the village of St. Tropez, within walking distance of the cafes, the restaurants and the center of town. Perfect for romantic get-aways or family summer vacations. Fine restaurant (Below).

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Restaurant "L'Olivier", at Bastide de Saint Tropez, Saint Tropez, Var

photoImmediately became one of our favorite restaurants of our 2008 trip and even more so Spring 2011. Deceptively simple, delicious cuisine filled with the tastes and textures of Provence from the land and from the sea. A must for any visit to St. Tropez. Open to hotel guests and to anyone else as well. 4 Flute Rating.

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Hotel Château de la Messardière *****, St. Tropez, Cote d'Azur, France.

MessardiereThe luxurious Château de la Messardière is situated just minutes from the beaches of Pampelonne in one direction and the centre of jet-set Saint-Tropez in the other and now awarded the full 5 stars along with a complete make over from tower to toe and that includes the staff who could not be more welcoming and gracious. This is a magnificent jewel on the hill, great food, lovely spa, fabulous views, 25 acres of grounds, 75 rooms and 45 suites. A very romantic spot for couples that can accommodate

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Restaurant "L'Acacia” at Château de la Messardière

crevettesUnder the guiding hand of General Manager Alexandre Durand-Viel, the cuisine of Château de la Messardière has been transformed in the last number of years. The gourmet restaurant "L'Acacia" has been remodeled inside and out and the chefs are providing marvelous cuisine on a high level of quality with respect for the regional tastes both in the luxury restaurant and for snacks and light meals at the pool side restaurant. 4 Flute Rating

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Hotel la Ferme d'Augustin****, Tahiti Beach, St. Tropez, Cote d'Azur, France.

Hotel La Ferme d'AgustinOutside of the famous old fishing village and right up a short walk from the world famous Tahiti Beach, is a lovely hotel converted from an old family farm and, very recently, beautifully remodeled in great good taste with charming individually decorated rooms and suites and some of the nicest and well thought out functional bathrooms we have encountered.It is just a short shuttle ride from the boat harbor and down town St. Tropez, Cote d'Azur, France (although technically its township address is Ramatuelle).Their restaurant serves country food with only the freshest of ingredients either from their own kitchen garden or from the best of local suppliers. The wine comes from their own vineyards and the olive oil from their own groves.

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Hotel La Vague de Saint Paul****, Saint Paul de Vence, Cote d'Azur.

Hotel La Vague St. PaulJust outside St. Paul de Vence, a spectacular village up in the hills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this modern and beautifully refurbished hotel has reopened in the spring of 2013. Quiet and peaceful with a lovely pool and outside lounge areas, it is set back into the tree covered hills and makes an oasis for a sun drenched holiday within minutes of the enchanting hillside villages of Provence or the coastal towns and villages of the Cote d'Azur. Great Bistro style food as well from a talented young chef Emile Sevastakiev.

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Hotel Le Mas de Chastelas****, nr. St. Tropez, Cote d'Azur, Provence, France.

Mas de ChastellasThe luxury hotel Le Mas de Chastelas is a celebrated and historic old mansion positioned on a low rise overlooking the neighboring vineyards just on the outskirts of St. Tropez in the Cote d'Azur. Over the last 45 years since the old manse was turned into a luxury hotel, it has played host to the intelligentsia of the literary world and stars of the cinema of both Europe and America. It was one of the first luxury hotels in the newly emerging mystic of St. Tropez. Today, with fresh management, it is once again entering the club of luxury hotels on the peninsula. An authentic French experience with classic decor that reminds you of staying with a French family in the country but fully equipped with modern conveniences. Perfect for families or anyone searching for a romantic French country experience within a stone's throw of the sea.

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Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel *****, Antibes, France.

Cap d'Antibes Beach HotelSet right on the sands of its own private beach, this new, ultra modern hotel is perfect for a family holiday or a quick getaway. The sounds of the lapping wavelets, the birds in the garden and the water fall from the pool, all sooth away worries and stress. The beach bistro "Le Cap" and "Le Patio Bar" with its deck dining means you never have to leave the sun, sea and sand. Located in a protected cove on the edge of the peninsula with the marina behind but within walking distance of Juan les Pins village, paradise is upon you.

Their Michelin Starred new chef Nicolas Navarro who trained with the chef Alain Ducasse has taken over the kitchens for the flag ship restaurant “Restaurant Les Pêcheurs” that emphasizes the very best in sea food as well as "Le Cap", their bistro right on the beach and the "Pavillion" not to mention the "stand alone" restaurant in historic Antibes "Nacional Steakhouse Restaurant". A real treat that we will be covering spring 2015!

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Hotel Belles Rives*****, Juan-les-Pins, France.

Belles Rives HotelLocated right on the edge of the sea, you just can't get closer to "fun in the sun and the sea" than this lovely hotel that traces its roots back to the 1930's. Newly remodeled rooms and bathrooms, this grande dame of Cote d'Azur hotels celebrates the old and the new simultaneously. Right on the edge of the village of Juan-les-Pins it is nevertheless, private and quiet.

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Restaurant "La Passagere" at Hôtel Belles Rives*****, Juan-les-Pins, France.

StAntoineTalented Chef de Cuisine Guillaume Anor produces meals filled with the tastes of the sea and of his native regions, la Cote d'Azur, in this lovely restaurant that has one of the most glorious sunset dining views on the coastline. It is part of the Hotel Belles Rives (above)
4 Flute Rating.

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Hotel La Tartane St. Amour ****, St. Tropez, France.

StAntoineA quirky hotel on the outskirts of St. Tropez with a great Asian Fusion restaurant. The peaceful and tree shaded grounds house the 20 rooms and 8 suites spread out in numerous independent groupings all with their own terrace or balcony. It is far enough outside the town (about 5 minutes by car) that the peace is unbroken but close enough to whip in to to the the Caves du Roi disko, shopping in the plethora of designer stores or just sip something cold and watch the endless games of boules or the boats in the harbor. You can drive yourself and fight for parking places or use the hotel's shuttle.

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Hotel La Pérouse ****, Nice, France.

StAntoineIn the heart of Nice, near the Saleya walkway and its flowers market, stands the 4 star Hotel la Perouse. From the hotel, you have a view over the Promenade des Anglais and the famous Baie des Anges (Bay of angels), on the Mediterranean sea. There is a restaurant that offers the charms of Provencal cuisine, and a swimming pool on the hillside to refresh your body and mind. For relaxation: a Jacuzzi, a solarium, a sauna and fitness room.

A straight 10 minute drove from the Nice Airport, its location is perfect for exploring the old town of Nice as well as a direct access if you are arriving or departing my air.

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Hotel Byblos *****, St. Tropez, Riviera, France.

StAntoineWith all the rooms and suites now brought up to snuff in 2010 and a whole new approach to 24/7 food service at Restaurant "B", if you are in the mood for a stellar dose of glamour, "Byblos", in Saint Tropez, is the place to stay to see and be seen and just plain enjoy yourself in one of the best run hotels in the south of France now with the full 5 stars.

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Restaurant "Rivea Byblos", St. Tropez, Riviera, France

StAntoine"Rivea Byblos", with it's accent on the Mediterranean cuisines, of the Riviera, Italy, Catalonia, Andalusia, Tunisia & Morocco. Located in the hotel complex of "Hotel Byblos" is one of the many, world wide restaurants of famed chef Alain Ducasse.
4 Flute Rating.

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Hotel La Réserve Ramatuelle*****, Ramatuelle nr. St. Tropez, Provence, France.

bailli-suffrenLa Réserve Ramatuelle****+, Ramatuelle nr. St. Tropez, Provence, France.S is so much more than merely a luxury hotel! This is a destination in itself for the discerning traveler. This newly rebuilt, ultra modern hotel & spa is set in many acres of it own "domaine" that dominates a tree covered hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. The hotel is a reservoir of peace, calm, serenity and discretion. It is another arm of this very deluxe group of destinations and carries through all the understated attention to detail and fine cuisine that their clientele have come to expect.

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Villa Belrose ***** Luxe, Gassin, St. Tropez, France

Oustau HotelPale yellow Florentine influenced luxury hotel high on the hillside overlooking the bay of St. Tropez. Quiet, private, comfortable, superb pool and cuisine. Excellent for family holiday or romantic interlude.

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Hotel Impérial Garoupe *****, Cap d’Antibes, Cote d'Azur, France

Imperial GaroupeThe Hotel Imperial Garoupe, in the heart of the popular Cap d'Antibes region of the Cote d'Azur, is a captivating place to make a home base while visiting the beautiful coast line of the South of France with its innumerable bays and beaches. Located in a sleepy residential section, it is set in a verdant park filled with exotic trees and plants.
The hotel is small and intimate with just 30 rooms and 4 suites. It has a lovely restaurant and a bistro set down at the edge of the waves on its own private beach.

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"Hotel Le Mas de Pierre ****" - St. Paule-de-Vence, Riviera, France.

StAntoineA new hotel dripping with old ambience of Provence, 6 miles from Nice Airport and on the fringes of St. Paule-de-Vence, this one is a must! Rotating chefs, so no update on cusine. Very doggie and family friendly. Relais et Chateau.

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Hotel La Bastide Saint Antoine ****, Grass (near Cannes)

StAntoineThis lovely Provençal manor house surrounded by 400 year old olive trees is not only a marvelous and superbly comfortable hotel but has one of the best restaurants in France if you love modern, Mediterranean cuisine. (See below).

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Rest. St.AntoineRestaurant "La Bastide Saint Antoine", Grass (near Cannes)

Chef Jacques Chibois did some of the very best cooking we have yet to taste. Light, interesting, novel taste combinations, focus on regional produce and flavors. But today, we notice his once superb quality has slipped a bit. He is still a master but perhaps the pressures of maintaining a 5 Michelin star has proved unsustainable. Nevertheless, this is a marvelous chef who would have a hard time not turning out a splendid meal. Served on a terrace overlooking the valley that leads to Cannes and the sea or in four delightful dining rooms.
4 Flute Rating.

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Eze - Medieval Hill Top Village

See our "Introduction to Eze Village" page and its videos - click here

Hotel Château de la Chèvre d'Or*****, Eze Village, Alpes-Maritime, France.

Chateau Chevre d'OrPerched 1,500 feet above the Mediterranean Sea in the Medieval hill top village of Eze near Monte Carlo on the Côte d'Azure, this unique 5 star luxury hotel is a truly magical place with an view that is hard to beat. It is a collection of ancient village houses clustered around the Chateau that have been totally gutted and transformed into luxury rooms and suites. Excellent 2 Michelin star restaurant. (below)

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Restaurant "La Chèvre d'Or", Eze Village, Alpes-Maritime, France.

Rest La Chevre d'OrNew in 2013, Executive Chef Ronan Kervarrec has brought his discipline and love of the sea from Brittany to Provence and fully embraced the cornucopia of produce, products and flavors from Provence. Quietly efficient and friendly service. Views out over the sea from 270º plate glass windows from St. Tropez to Monte Carlo. Constantly changing panorama.
4 Flute Rating.

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The Other Restaurants of Hotel Chateau Chevre d'Or, Eze Village, Alpes-Maritime, France.

Les Remparts RestaurantAs well as the glorious two Michelin starred restaurant "Chevre d'Or" of Chateau Chevre d'Or, the hotel also has three other but more modest delicious, every day restaurants open all day long that between them that offer light and delicious every day meals. All three share superb views out over the Mediterranean sea.

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Provence-Inland

La Bastide de Moustiers-Ste-Marie****, Haute Provence

photoThis is the personal "auberge" of Alain Ducasse, the worlds top rated chef who currently holds 9 Michelin stars and is involved in many other eateries including his three 3 Michelin star restaurants in Monaco and Paris and the chain of restaurants world wide called "Spoon". However, the Bastide is his retreat. Created in 1995 with just five (now twelve) charming rooms in this old, stone farm house, the food is sophisticated and delicious. This is a must for anyone staying more than a couple of days in Provence.
3 Flute Rating.

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Chateau d'Esparron, Esparron-de-Verdon, Haute-Provence.

Chateau d'EsparronA charming upscale Bed & Breakfast Chateau set back from a lake in Haute Provence that offers time travel back a good 50 years to the France of yesteryear. Filled with antiques, texture, and an authentic experience of what it was like to spend time in the family country seat but with modern bathrooms, comfortable beds and a true warm welcome.
if you want to really feel that you are in the heart of France, this is the place for you. From here you can explore the Haute Provence. Esparron is set right at the edge of one of the lakes created on the Verdon river on one side and on the other a vast, high plateau, Le Plateau de Valensole, famous for is fields of lavender and hard wheat.
Breakfast supplied but no Restaurant.

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Hotel Chateau de Berne ****, Lorgues, Var, Provence, France

Le Couvent des MinimesSet in the middle of 1,500 acres of luxuriant vineyards, the Château de Berne offers the luxury of peace and quiet in the Provencal countryside up in the hills away from the coast and its hoards yet close enough to everything to make a complete holiday. It's wines are superb, its restaurants delicious and service with a smile. Comfortable rooms, plenty of sportive opportunities, cooking classes, bikes for exploring. A great place for a vacation, wedding or honeymoon or just as a week end get-away.

The cuisine is well presented and many will be delighted with the creativity and talents of chef Sebastien Nouveau, but we found the complexity of many of the dishes tended conflict rather than create a harmony.
3 Flute Rating.

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Hotel Le Couvent des Minimes****, Mane, Haute-Provence, France

Le Couvent des MinimesFounded in 1613 for the nuns of Les Minimes, this delightful former convent was opened in 2008 after total renovation and transformation into a modern luxury hotel fitted with state of the art features yet retaining the textures and ambience of the ages. A place to restore one's soul and body from the cuisine to the restful gardens, from the l'Occitane Spa to basking in the sun by the pool. A good base to explore this region that is filled, like Le Couvent, with centuries of history.

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No copying, reuse or partial reproduction permitted without written permission by the authors, Peter and Linda D'Aprix.


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