Why You Should Visit Château Saint-Martin in Vence, France

A visit to the CÔTE D’AZUR should be on your list this summer and this is the hotel to stay in …

VIEW: Best enjoyed with a glass of Pétale de Rose, the view takes in the Côte d’Azur from Nice to Cannes. The Oekter Collection, (of Le Bristol, Paris and Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc fame) bought this property in the hills between Nice and Antibes for the view alone.

VIBE: A former Knights Templar castle dating from 1150, the isolated romantic property boasts an estate of 34 acres replete with infinity pool and olive trees. Refurbished and reopened last year, the hotel update is classic and contemporary – using Pierre Frey, Colefax & Fowler, and Manuel Canovas fabrics which combine in refined rustic perfection.

ROOMS: There are 46 rooms (choose between château or Provencal décor) and six villas dotted on the hillside in bastide style. There’s a honeymoon duplex, while bibliophiles will love one of the book-lined boltholes; Tender is the Night is required reading.

GUESTS: Who’s that by the pool? Laura Bailey, Poppy Delevingne, Oliver Cheshire and a host of VIPs love the spaciousness and privacy the grounds provide.

GOURMET: Michelin-starred Le Saint Martin, and its panoramic terrace, under the chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois draws inspiration from the seasons. L’Oliveraie is the casual, but no less delicious, dining option.

DID YOU KNOW?: There is a contemporary art trail of Bernar Venet installations beginning in the chapel on the grounds leading to the terrace in keeping with the artistic vibe of the surrounding area: Musée Renoir is in Cagnes-sur-Mer, eleven kilometres away.

DAY TRIPS: The Maeght Fondation and Matisse’s Rosary chapel in Vence are only 15 minutes from the hotel, while the Picasso and Chagall museums in Nice complete the art tour. Pick up some glassware in Biot and nose around Grasse. Or make use of the helipad and ‘copter to Monte Carlo. Alternatively spend a day at the hotel’s La Prairie spa, on the tennis courts or by the infinity pool.

BOTTOM LINE: A haute Provencal retreat within easy reach of Nice airport (15 minutes to be precise), this could be habit-forming for its ease of access and relaxation.


Penny McCormick

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