Friday, June 2, 2023

Monaco Pride 2023

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the second annual Monaco Pride, and I have to say, it was one of the most memorable Pride events I have ever experienced.

One could feel a sense of optimism and comradery as everyone gathered in the main social area of the hotel, set aside, especially for those of us in attendance.

Over 150 representatives of the State, including three National Council members, public authorities such as the Department of External Relations, the Directorate of Judicial Services, the Directorate of National Education, Youth & Sports, the Office of the High Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms and the French Ambassador to Monaco honored the event with their presence, along with various business owners, volunteers, and the Monegasque community celebrating the second edition of Monaco Pride on Thursday, June 1 at the Hotel Novotel (the first Monaco Pride took place in June 2022 at Stars'n'Bars).
Speakers included Gérald Mathieu, CEO of Barclays Private Bank Monaco, Hervé Aeschbach, Fight Aids Association coordinator, Guillaume Rapin, General Manager of Novotel Monaco, and the phenomenal Annette Anderson, who in my opinion is the glue that keeps us all together.


Barclays Bank and Novotel have dynamic programs set in place to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace and their efforts were greatly appreciated by all.
Speakers highlighted positive developments in Monaco for the LGTBQIA+ community, including the support of Princess Stéphanie and her family for the Fight Aids association. Also mentioned was the participation of the ASM Football Club, which in recent years has worn rainbow-decorated shirts on the International Day Against Homophobia every May 17th.

In 2022, the European Commission Against Racism and Tolerance (ECRI) asked Monaco to examine and eliminate unjustified differences in rights between same-sex and opposite-sex couples. And although signs of progress have been made, there is still more to do.

This past April, the Commission organized a round table in Monaco to discuss its recommendations with representatives of the Principality's government and community.

All the speakers on Thursday evening agreed that diversity, inclusion, and equal civil rights for all Monegasque workers were essential elements of a growing economy and a healthy community.

This Pride event is sponsored by Barclays Private Bank and the Fight Aids Association. This year, during the month of June, the front façade of Barclays Bank will be illuminated in rainbow colors to mark Pride Month.

With positivity, we all look forward to what is yet to come by working towards equality together and by presenting Monaco as a gay-friendly and safe place for visitors.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

French Riviera Real Estate Options Ten


Since the season of Summer is seemingly on the minds of everyone, we thought we’d feature some of our prime holiday villa rentals in the Cote d’Azur.

As mentioned in previous posts, the key to obtaining the vacation villa rental of your choice is to book as far ahead as possible since it is not unusual for people to book as early as six months to a year or more in advance.

Although many villa rentals are done on a weekly basis, we have noticed over the past years people are booking from one month to even three months so that they have a place to call home longer without packing up and moving to another property during the busy season.

With that being said, a beautiful villa can still be found for a week or two if that is all you require.

We have over 200 properties to choose from in the region, and we can easily introduce you to one of our other real estate and villa rental business partners.

The following is a general selection of villa rentals we have in the French Riviera.

Roquebrune Cap Martin

An exceptional hillside home nestled in Roquebrune Cap Martin with some of the most breathtaking sea views on the Riviera. This newly built villa boasts a modern style with warm wood finishing that creates a truly unique atmosphere, perfect for any type of holiday.

Elegance, design, and architecture come together seamlessly in this villa, offering a perfect blend for an unforgettable experience. The villa comprises of five bedrooms, including the master bedroom which occupies the entire upper floor, providing panoramic sea views from every corner of the room. Guest suites also offer stunning sea views and luxurious bathrooms.

The high-tech open-plan kitchen leads into a spacious living room with floor-to-ceiling bay windows, providing an unobstructed view of the sea. The main terrace is exceptional, featuring a pool and multiple spots for relaxation and dining, all surrounded by olive trees.

Below the main terrace, you'll find incredible gardens filled with citrus, olive, and almond trees, transporting you to another world of relaxation. With its incredible views, luxurious amenities, and inviting atmosphere, the villa is the perfect destination for your next holiday.


A stunning sea view villa situated in the picturesque area of Cannes Croix des Gardes, offering contemporary accommodation for up to 12 guests with a total of 6 bedrooms.

From the moment you step into the villa, you'll be greeted with a sense of tranquillity and serenity, making it an ideal choice for a relaxing vacation.

The lounge area is stylishly designed and decorated, with large descending windows that fill the villa with natural light and panoramic views of the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

From the lounge and pool area, you can look out over the magnificent Lerins Islands and the Esterel Mountains beyond.

The living room opens onto a spacious terrace, perfect for outdoor dining, and overlooking the glistening endless swimming pool (adjustable current to swim against). The pool can be heated and treated with salt, ensuring that guests can enjoy a refreshing swim all year round.

The villa is nestled in a quiet residential area, providing a peaceful and private setting for guests to enjoy. The villa is only a short five-minute drive away from the bustling city center of Cannes, where guests can explore the vibrant nightlife, world-class restaurants, high-end shops, and a range of exciting activities.

In addition, there is a terrace with a barbecue, summer dining area, summer lounge area, sunbeds, chlorine swimming pool (9X2) 3 parking places.

Cannes - Sainte Marguerite Island

A truly memorable holiday villa rental experience as part of a private island in Cannes.

12 bedroom(s)
24 sleeping(s)
Land: 1.5ha

Located on the picturesque Sainte Marguerite island, this 12-bedroom property offers the ultimate luxurious escape. As the only property on the island, guests can revel in complete exclusivity and indulge in the opulent amenities that the villa offers. This exceptional property is fully staffed with a chef, butler maid service, and concierge service as well as offering a helipad, and direct access to the sea via its own private beach.

The interiors of the seven separate buildings, including a Governer's House, a turreted fortress tower with a roof terrace, three quaint cottages, a guest house, and a pool house, have been carefully restored with sustainable materials, creating a perfect balance between luxury and eco-friendliness.

The white walls and high ceilings, combined with plush furnishings, modern artworks, and state-of-the-art decor, exude elegance and sophistication.

The villa offers twelve well-appointed bedrooms, each with en-suite or private facilities, balcony, or terrace access, and can comfortably accommodate up to 24 guests, making it perfect for large groups.

With its exquisite grounds, luxurious amenities, and unparalleled exclusivity, this property is the perfect destination for a memorable and indulgent getaway.


Your spectacular holiday villa rental in Mougins.

Area: 550m²
5 bedroom(s)
10 sleeping(s)
Land: 2800m²

In the heart of one of the most popular areas of Mougins, located in a quiet and green environment, this magnificent property of 550 m2 offers very spacious rooms, a top-of-the-range kitchen with wall-mounted wine cellar, a spacious living room, 5 en suite bedrooms with walk-in closet and marble bathroom.

There is also a gym with a hammam and sauna, a cinema room, a caretaker's apartment, and a large garage.

The fully landscaped 2,800 m2 garden features a heated swimming pool (15 x 4m), a beautiful terrace, and a 5-hole golf green.

This recently built contemporary property extends over 3 levels and enjoys panoramic views of the Mougins skyline down towards the sea.


5 bedrooms including 2 VIP suites
3 large luxurious suites
6 bathrooms
1 independent studio
1 gourmet kitchen
1 wine and champagne cellar
1 summer kitchen
1 wellness spa with sauna and hammam
1 state-of-the-art fitness center
1 Dolby Atmos 4K cinema
Garage for 8 cars
Home Tech System Bower and Wilkins sound system in all rooms
Heated infinity pool
Elevator for 8 people
Outdoor lounge area
Pool House
Golf putting 7 holes 90 m²
Minotti and Poliform furniture and decoration

Cap d’Antibes


Waterfront holiday living in Cap d'Antibes.

Area: 470m²
6 bedroom(s)
12 sleeping(s)
Land: 1650m²

Magnificent water’s edge villa enjoying private access to the sea located on the Cap d'Antibes, only a few minutes walk to the town center of Antibes and beaches.

With stunning views of the old town of Antibes and Salis Bay, this property has 5 en suite bedrooms, an independent apartment with 2 bedrooms for the staff, and an extra bedroom on the top floor.

A triple reception room of approx.100 sqm opens onto a large terrace facing the sea and the swimming pool which can be heated. This exceptional property has a beautiful garden of approx. 1 650 sqm; at the end of the garden, a small gate leads to the sea.

Let's start planning your holidays today!
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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

A Rebrand at Castel Plage in Nice


As a local, one could sense something special was taking place over the past couple of years or so at Castel Plage, one of the most popular private beach locations in the French Riviera.
For those that may not know, the longstanding, LGBTQ-friendly Castel Plage is neatly tucked away at the end of the Promenade des Anglais, just steps from historic Vieux Nice.

Suspicions were confirmed when work started to take place next to Castel Plage where once was Bains de la Police, a small swimming area that was once reserved only for the local police after World War ll. This area was given to local police in 1947 for their heroism during the liberation of Nice during the Second World War. It was managed on a voluntary basis and became a popular spot for brave swimmers who dove from the platforms into the sea.

Unfortunately in November 2014, waves from a massive storm damaged the footbridge connecting the old blockhouse to the beach. This happened just as the Prefecture was about to renew the authorization for occupation, and despite efforts from the Policemen’s Association, the site was not repaired enough to be considered safe.
Demolition of the platforms came next in 2017, and it seemed it may be the end of this historic site.

That is until Castel Plage took an interest in the neighboring site, and business-wise, it just made sense to undertake the renovation project, revitalize the area, and provide it as a natural extension of its current brand.

Unseen by the public, a full working kitchen has been carved into the rocks, while dining areas on two levels will give customers the feeling of being on the water, making it ideal for both Instagram photos and romantic dinners. In addition, touches from the old days have been retained, like the old footbridge, which has been recreated to withstand bad weather, with that came many safety and technical issues to undertake.
“We had to make a ventilation duct which was quite complex, given that we had to drill through the rock 12 meters high. It was a real achievement,” Ali Abdelhafidh, the manager of the establishment, told France 3.

Bains de la Police, which is set to open this May, involved months of work and hundreds of thousands in costs.

The menu will consist mostly of seafood. “It’s going to be a lot around Mediterranean fish,” said Abdelhafidh. “We’re going to have a menu with oysters, sashimi, and whole fish. Obviously, we’ll do a little catering for the people who don’t like seafood, but it will be predominantly Mediterranean.”

Fish dishes will start at €32 and starters will come in at €22. The view, on the other hand, will be free and definitely worth the memorable visit for both locals and those visiting the Cote d’Azur.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Nice Rainbow Festival 2023


The month of May brings with it the Nice Rainbow Festival from May 17th to May 21st, 2023.
As a connection with International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, the LGBTQIA of the Côte d’Azur in Nice is offering numerous fun and educational events over those days to promote the values of inclusiveness, respect, and diversity with the help and guidance of various local associations and businesses committed against discrimination and human rights.

This International Day on May 17th refers to the decision made by WHO (World Health Organization), to not consider those of us in the LGBTQ community as having a mental illness because of who we are around the globe.

With that, the Nice Rainbow Festival has been organized by the LGBTQIA Côte d’Azur Centre.

The LGBTQIA Centre is an association that for more than 10 years has been receiving visitors with questions about their sexual orientation and gender identity, and accompanies and guides LGBTQIA people and their loved ones in their access to rights, health, discrimination, rejection, violence, or assault. 
The popularity of the LGBTQIA Côte d’Azur Centre brings people together and helps those with concerns discover a normal way of life for themselves and carries the demands that advance respect, solidarity, and equality in France.

Over these following days, a number of events will take place, with the main event happening on Saturday, May 20th at the Nice Rainbow Village at Jardin Albert 1er in Nice.

This is a free event, and open to everyone will offering a sense of belonging in a playful environment. There will be round table discussions, workshops, drag queen shows, dance, and sports activities in a carnival type of atmosphere brought to you by a number of highly regarded local associations and businesses.

Check the LGBTQIA Côte d’Azur Centre Facebook page for more event listings as they become available.