Monday, February 21, 2022

Summer 2022 Holiday Villa Rental Season


It’s definitely started.

The requests for summer holiday villa rentals from my business, Experience The French Riviera have been coming in fast and furious the past week, almost as though winter has been forgotten about already and people are ready to move on.

Reminiscent of before the Covid19 pandemic took hold of all our lives, with restrictions slowly lifting globally, it’s time to live fully again with those planning ahead to have the best summer vacation season.

The consensus seems to be the same with our regional villa rental partners, the time to book is now, as we mentioned in our recent meetings, we fear those who hesitate are sadly going to miss out.

All the travel reports we are reading state that although last year felt very much like before, there was still a lot of caution in the air as restrictions could change quickly with most villa requests being last minute. 

You can tell already due to the number of requests and confirmed bookings, this season will be crazy busy.

Smaller quality villa rentals at the lower end of the budget spectrum are already about 70% booked out.

People are also booking for longer periods as they seem to want to discover their holiday surroundings more but also have a base to stay without moving frequently. Weekly rentals are still available with just over half of our clients looking for a month or two vacation stay to enjoy with their friends and/or family.

Helpful tips:

The time to plan is now.

Sit down with who you are traveling with and decide where in the region you would like to be most that will cover your holiday interests.

This next one is big - be realistic in what you can get for your budget.

We want to make your holiday dreams come true but again, in the meetings with other partners of late, if clients are asking for something that completely surpasses their budget, they are going to be left feeling disappointed and we don’t want that for you.

Here in the French Riviera, anything by the sea and within walking distance to everything is going to be expensive, especially at the height of summer.

Keep in mind, even those with a high range of disposable funds, still have to make sacrifices so it comes down to what is more of a want than a need.

Ask yourself what is most important for your holiday rental.

What are your plans while here? Will you be staying in the villa most of the time or out and about? What kind of place will you require that you can afford? What is important in terms of amenities close by? Beach? Shops? Restaurants? Nightclubs?

Most everything in the region is accessible, it comes down to how you will spend your time.

Dates for your holiday are also important for us to know. If you are a bit flexible on those, great! More options might be available.


Villa owners book weekly, usually Sunday to Sunday as it works best for their calendars and is easier to manage with maintenance and cleaners for the next guests arriving.

Weekend rentals are very rare to come across and there is really no such thing as renting a villa overnight.

Have an event or wedding in mind? Villa owners usually need a permit for those types of things but we can certainly introduce you to the right partners in mind who work solely with people wanting to have an event.

The number of total guests is also important. It will be one of the first questions a villa owner will ask, also if there will be any children and their ages so that they can make sure their property is safe for them over anything.

Something that also came up quite frequently last summer was clients seeking a 4-5 bedroom villa rental but intending to have 15-20 people stay. Owners won’t go for that and if they find out, the client may be asked to leave their property. Two villa rental options close by might work though as an option.

Having a budget range is also key. This helps us narrow down the search quickly for what is available for the dates requested and again, also offers you more choices.

We are used to and can always negotiate with an owner on rates depending on the situation. We also have a reputation for not being commission hungry and are happy to be more flexible on our commission to get the client what they want.

Again though, a budget has to be realistic. We understand talking about money can be a delicate subject so feel free to connect with us one on one and we can confidentially let you know honestly what properties tend to rent out for in the location desired and what we can do for you.

We don’t want your time wasted, so this helps move things a bit faster for both of us and we can then work on a plan together to get your holiday villa rental.  

When you are ready, it's time to book as what tends to happen here is when stock becomes low for everyone, then the bidding wars for a villa rental start.

Keep in mind, if our properties become completely booked, we can certainly and without hesitation introduce you to one of our local business partners who might be able to help.

One of the main ideas behind starting Experience The French Riviera 11 years ago was to form long-term legal business partnerships with others as part of a shared economy to help those discover the region at its best and so that you have the most memorable stay ever.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

La Fabrik Bar in Cannes

Cannes may not have the big nightclubs that one might expect when you think about the city but what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in terms of entertainment.
Situated in the center of Cannes, close to the main beach and numerous luxury hotels and designer shops is La Fabrik Bar

Known locally as a hotspot for basically everything in terms of house and techno music with a range of DJs appearing throughout the week. Of late, especially for those of us in the LGBTQ community, this is the place to be.

Offering a wide array of reasonably priced and delicious food and cocktails, this gathering spot is ideal for hanging out with friends or easily making new ones.

To add to it all, La Fabrik Bar has been regularly putting on drag shows utilizing all the local talent available for you to also enjoy.

At La Fabrik Bar, no matter your sexual preferences, everyone is considered family.

Images courtesy of La Fabrik Bar

Friday, February 18, 2022

Goldman Sachs Returns to Monaco


File this under things that make sense.

New York-based multinational investment firm Goldman Sachs is setting up shop again in Monaco, expanding operations for HNWI's as part of its “regionalization strategy”.

Many of the world's super-wealthy own a home in Monaco, where almost a third of its 39,000 residents are millionaires.

The lush Mediterranean playground, which covers an area smaller than New York’s Central Park, doesn’t typically impose taxes on income or capital gains and is the scene for the famous Monaco Grand Prix and one of the biggest luxury yachts shows around. 

The American financial services company reportedly received approval last month and will re-establish a private wealth unit branch here, six years after it closed a former location.

Two Barclay’s veterans, Arnaud Caussin and Thibaut Lambert will be in charge of the new office, and wealth advisor Serge Olive will also be joining them from the British bank.

The company’s private-wealth unit has added numerous key advisers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in recent years as part of a strategy outlined by Chief Executive Officer David Solomon to make one of the world’s largest banks less reliant on trading.

“The opening of our presence in Monaco is critical to delivering on our regionalization strategy and overall growth plan,” Chris French, co-head of private-wealth management for EMEA, said in the statement. “Monaco represents a significant jurisdiction for our Private Wealth business in Europe.”

The return of Goldman Sachs to Monaco puts them in good company, joining other global institutions such as UBS Group and Citigroup.

In February 2020, Swiss private bank Pictet opened a banking branch in Monaco in response to rising demand from the region’s private clients.

Goldman joins global banks including Citigroup Inc. and UBS Group AG in having a presence in Monaco. Revenue at Goldman’s wealth-management and consumer unit rose 25% to $7.5 billion in 2021 from a year earlier. It had about $751 billion of assets under supervision at year-end.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

LGBTQ Cote d'Azur Yacht Charter Holiday

Word on the street in the French Riviera of late has been that summer 2022 is going to be a big one.

With all kinds of Covid19 restrictions currently being lifted globally, including here in France, every indication through my business partners, emails, messages, and DM’s from clients suggests that although last summer was a very good one, most everyone will be traveling in full force this upcoming season.

Anticipation and expectations are high. And compared to last summer when people were booking their holidays very last minute since restrictions could change practically on a whim, there is now more of an air of positivity to be felt when it comes to travel.

Honestly, at the moment it feels like before the pandemic hit, with people booking their vacations months ahead again to be sure everything is ready to go and so that they won’t be disappointed to find their favorite luxury villas or the location they love are fully booked out.

I thought since part of this article was already on my business blog last year, I’d update it here as an option for those of us in the LGBTQ community as well.

When planning a holiday, we all love to have our choices open and available in hopes that we will have both a relaxing and entertaining time away, but most of all, it’s about a memorable experience.

For just over the past 11 years, clients have come to us at Experience The French Riviera for luxury villa rental options, which we are more than happy to provide.

We have found clients generally want to be in the prime areas of the French Riviera so that they can be close to all local amenities that enable them to indulge upon their every whim while on vacation.

Since Covid19 was thrust upon us, this means life, in general, had changed for the moment and we have already seen how the villa rental world is evolving with what has all taken place in the past couple of years.

Without hesitation, as soon as borders opened, many who booked a property rental last season but who had to cancel due to the Coronavirus situation have been able to carry that stay over to this summer, meaning rental stock became low immediately after travel restrictions started to be lifted yet new requests still had to be filled.

For us, since we have over 60 partners throughout France that we work with, this has been a benefit when seeking out a villa rental. Of late, we have also started to suggest other alternatives, that maybe even our guests haven’t considered and that will offer the “Wow” factor for their trip.

One of them is, how about a yacht charter rental for your holiday stay?

The Cote d’Azur is known worldwide for its yachting industry and we are well connected within it. In this part of the globe, as many will attest to, yachts come in a variety of styles and sizes to suit the requirements of everyone.

Best of all, on a holiday yacht charter, you can wake up in a different location along the French Riviera every day if you choose while exploring numerous natural settings within a short amount of time. More so than one would with staying in one place at a villa and from a new vantage point, and always with a magnificent sea view.

Like luxury villa rentals, rates and services can be very much the same, only on a yacht, you are more mobile.

Want to check out a specific cove, beach, or diving area? Want to taste the local cuisine at a seaside restaurant? Need to do a little shopping? Let your captain take you where you want to go.

The calming clear blue Mediterranean Sea will consistently soothe your senses both day and night while also providing you with the utmost social distancing benefits with no worries of unexpected guests stopping by to interrupt your private holiday stay.

With those few ideas, we’d like to introduce you to Inge Nielsen, founder of the Inge Nielsen Collection. Curator of spectacular moments at Inge Nielsen Collection.

Not only is Inge an exceptional business partner in the villa rental industry but she is also an expert in the yachting world. With 10+ years of experience, able to offer all the aspects and services one might not even be aware of when chartering a yacht.

Together, as in what we do daily in the realm of luxury villa rentals, we will work as your team with you directly on how you envision your yacht charter stay looking, with everything from the gourmet food and drink choices, locations to discover on your journey, to the suitable size of the yacht charter you will require so that everything is responsibly set up for the minute you arrive in the Cote d’Azur.

Let our combined years of experience and services make your yacht charter holiday wishes come true.

Connect with us today.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Lou Queernaval 2022

Cancellations and Covid19. Both have been going hand in hand with life as we all know it for the past couple of years.

Finally, after the past two years of cancellations due to Covid19 and the pandemic, perhaps not quite at its usual full tilt, but still happening. Queernaval will be making its LGBTQ presence known at this year’s carnival on opening night.

We are pleased to announce the participation of a delegation of Queernaval at the opening ceremony of Carnival 2022 on Friday, February 11 at 6:30 pm on the Place Masséna.

A small but strong contingent of entertainers will be on hand: gogo dancers, drag queens, members of LGBT associations in costume ... who will parade among King, Queen, and their entourage, flowered floats, flag bearers, musical troops, dancers, and visitors.

Celebrating diversity and tolerance among everyone, you will see an array of sequins and rhinestones attached to some of the most amazing costumes along with rainbow flags, a feeling of extravagance, and a surge of happiness and love for all.


Lasting one hour, this free ceremony is the official kick-off of the Carnival of Nice with an outstanding sound and light show.



Tickets are to be collected at the Ticket Office of the Paillon - Promenade du Paillon from 10 am to 6 pm (except on 6/02) and on 11/02 until 7 pm.
Access to the grandstand: Zone A only.

For any further information please consult the following link:

The participation of this delegation will give all the spectators a forecast of what will be in store for Queernaval 2023!

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Sunset Nice Bar & Restaurant

It takes a lot of balls to open up a restaurant during a pandemic but if anyone can do it, it’s the owners of Le Sunset Nice.

When Covid19 hit France and the lockdowns went into effect in the middle of March 2020, the owners of L'Omega Club had to temporarily shut their doors to the public.

As time went on and as restrictions started to be eased, the same people associated with the nightclub, used their entrepreneurial skills and opened Sunset Nice on the edge of Vieux Nice along the famous Promenade des Anglais.

Although still limited in their capacity of what they wanted to provide customers at first, they followed the Covid19 guidelines set into place and were allowed to serve a variety of drinks and take away food items out front of their establishment.

Quickly, Sunset Nice became known as a safe gathering place for those both in and out of the LGBTQ community to meet up outside and garner at least a small amount of human interaction during the pandemic.
Becoming increasingly popular while restrictions continued to be lifted. Before long, Sunset Nice was the place to hang out both day and night and still is today.
Given its prime location, The Prom (as us locals call it), is always active with people strolling by or heading to the beach, and with the opening of Sunset Nice, things just became that much more positive and brighter during Covid times.
The bar-brasserie-restaurant offers more than delicious drinks and a wide range of splendid food items at reasonable prices to enjoy. Here, it’s not unusual for a cabaret night to take place, a DJ to spin music alongside the crowd, or for the most memorable occasional outdoor drag show to happen.
You can sense the enthusiasm behind the owners, with a fresh, ever-changing menu to go with the seasons, and a happy, attitude-free environment, Sunset Nice is a welcoming venue for everyone to enjoy.
As a side note: L’Omega Club was still able to open when the lockdowns got lifted during the pandemic and will be open again this month. Très excité !

Photos courtesy of Sunset Nice

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Revitalization of Cap d’Ail France

Located next to the Principality of Monaco, Cap d’Ail is popular with many people, whether they be on holiday or live in the area.

Not traditionally known as a LGBTQ travel destination, yet still definitely worth the visit. Cap d'Ail is peaceful seaside town has always been more laid back with a strong sense of community. The area is filled with historical estates, most still occupied and from a bygone era, while its quaint shops and restaurants are popular gathering spots for locals.

There is a sporty side to Cap d'Ail, with many people from all over coming here to take advantage of the hiking trails above town towards the Tete de Chien and the swimming at Plage Mala, the gay nude beach in St. Laurent Eze is only minutes away as well. So put those hookup apps to work, if that's what you are after.

Down towards the sea, you will come upon the Sentier du Littoral that offers outstanding sea views with a couple of beautiful restaurants to enjoy while taking in the scenery. The choice is yours on which direction you want to take on the footpath. By walking West, you will be led along the path to the famous Plage Mala; go East, and you will be strolling into Monaco. Either direction you choose, it’s a leisurely way of getting to know the coastline.

Like many that want to live in the Principality of Monaco but can’t afford the prices, Cap d’Ail has always been known as one of the best alternatives. If you are a local or on vacation, property rentals are of a good size and reasonably priced while within walking distance to all amenities.

Suppose you are looking for a real estate investment. Many people in Monaco tend to be looking for more space, and Cap d’Ail is usually one of the first places they consider due to the proximity to the Principality and the numerous established and new properties to choose from on the market. For example, a two-bedroom detached home can range from just over a million euros to some of the most breathtaking sea view properties available well over the 10 million euro mark. Usually, if you have a decent budget, you can find something that will suit your requirements.

Several revitalization programs are currently underway in Cap d’Ail to update accessibility and infrastructure to the area.

One of those upcoming private projects is in Cap d’Ail with the proposed Kempinski luxury hotel offering 130 rooms, located on the road to Marquet beach. Once administrative issues are complete, the project will be presented to residents and the press in February on the site. The permit is expected to be issued this summer, and work could start in the last part of 2022 for a period of two years. The ambitious project, located only 150 metres from the Principality, is expected to both transform and be a big draw to the neighborhood for the better.

The new Maritime shuttle, a joint project between Métropole and the Principality, is in its early stages. The first selection of candidates has been made, and they are expected to submit their proposals soon. If all goes according to plan, the new shuttle service may be ready by year-end.

As for traffic flow, the Beausoleil motorway exit is a project which should lighten traffic on the Moyenne Corniche. In addition, the Mayor of Cap-d’Ail, Xavier Beck, has recently proposed removing a line of thirty time-stamped parking spaces to create an additional entry and exit lane at the Exotic Garden roundabout, above the hospital. Construction should start at the end of the year. New speed cameras are also in the works, as they were supposed to be installed on the Moyenne Corniche last summer.

The Moyenne Corniche hopper has recently been a topic of discussion for commuters leaving the Principality in the morning and would save motorists between four and seven minutes to return to the Principality. But at the moment, the project is still under discussion.

Overall, Cap d'Ail is steeped in history and a wonderful place to discover during a holiday or if you are looking for a property investment.