Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Saint Tropez Designer Beaches

Summer beach collaborations have been taken to the next level this summer in the sunny Saint Tropez area and here is where to find them.

The best place to get a true feel of Saint Tropez is by heading to the sandy coastline of Pampelonne, home to some of the most iconic beach clubs in the whole of the south of France.

Style has always been the name of the game here and where better to show off what you’ve got than at one of the many glamorous and reputable locations such as Nikki Beach, Byblos, and Club 55.

Let’s start with the super sexy Simon Porte Jacquemus, who is a native of the region and who has exploded onto the fashion scene with a range of vibrant, fun clothing and accessories. This year, he has chosen to open a pop-up boutique with the Été capsule collection at the amazing Indie Beach where you can also get a bright sun lounger to help you capture some rays.

Loulou Ramatuelle and Gucci have formed a partnership this season that showcases all the best aspects of this area of Saint Tropez while providing a strong presence in terms of the Gucci brand. Capture this look from the beaming yellow parasols to the recognizable red, white, and navy will delight anyone looking for that perfect Instagram shot in the sand while on vacation.

To get the full experience of the Gucci capsule collection housed in the pop-up boutique, you can book an appointment with a dedicated client advisor for a memorable holiday shopping experience.


Loyal followers of the Loro Piana brand will find the cool, sophisticated fashion and homewares featured at the renowned La Réserve à la Plage at their own pop-up boutique. La Réserve is where people come to get away from the party scene and relax surrounded by a beautiful, natural environment at the end of Pampelonne Beach, making this collaboration ideal for both brands involved.


Christian Dior himself had a long history in the Cote d’Azur so it’s no surprise that the Dior brand would match itself with Shellona Beach, a laid-back seaside location that has been enticing visitors since 2017.

Affectionately named “Dioriviera”, the brand has lovingly taken over Shellona beach with hints of its recognizable Toile de Jouy in pinky hues, from the numerous loungers and deckchairs to parasols and even the scatter cushions to name but a few items. Here, Dior also has a pop-up boutique displaying this season's capsule collection from Maria Grazia Chiuri.


Sunday, July 23, 2023

French Riviera Real Estate Options Twelve

For the summer month of July, we are focusing on properties in the captivating city of Cannes.

Known for its sandy beaches, luxury shopping, and the famous Cannes Film Festival, as a local you will quickly discover there is so much more to offer from this once sleepy fishing village.

Over the years many updates have been made to the city, the train station has been completely refurbished and extended to accommodate any number of visitors traveling through the Cote d’Azur, the variety of shops has increased, along with restaurants offering a global taste to suit any foodies palette, all situated throughout any number of pedestrian zones in the downtown core.

The seaside hotels are continually being kept the highest standards for guests and offer a wide range of price points to suit a traveler in an area that gets 300+ days of sunshine a year making it a worldwide travel destination.

And because of the number of congresses held throughout the year, this makes most properties an ideal rental investment, no matter the size and location of the property in the safe, secure community of Cannes.

Cannes Waterfront Penthouse
2,580,000 EUR

In one of the few waterfront residences of Cannes, come to discover this magnificent Penthouse with its sumptuous view of the bay of Cannes and the Islands of Lerins.

This unique property offers 4 rooms of 84m2 and is composed of a large living room with an open kitchen, fitted and equipped.

Plus, 1 master bedroom with a sea view, as well as 2 bedrooms en suite with shower room. Cellar and parking

A magnificent terrace of 40m2 allows you to take full advantage of this sublime sea view.

Direct access to the beach completes the comfort of this rare property.

Cannes Modern Villa
4,390,000 EUR

In the Californie district, a modern villa with hints of art deco style throughout, close to the city center and the beach is on the market.

Offering 350 m2 of living space with 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms situated on a well-maintained plot of 1528 m2 with a swimming pool and wonderful panoramic views.

Super Cannes
7,900,000 EUR

This magnificent villa of 325 m2 has 5 bedrooms, and 5 bathrooms and is perfect to both entertain and relax with friends and family while offering you an incredible panoramic sea view with a gorgeous garden of 1980 m2 in the heights of Cannes.

Cannes Penthouse
9,600,000 EUR

On the penthouse floor of a renowned residence on the Croisette, a magnificent 270m2 flat with a panoramic sea view over the Bay of Cannes, the Lerins Islands, and the Esterel Hills is on the market.

It consists of a large entrance hall, leading to a magnificent living room of 95m2, with direct access to a terrace of 48m2. A separate kitchen, 4 bedrooms, and 4 bathrooms.

The flat extends into a beautiful 2 rooms directly connected but with the advantage of an independent entrance. Plus, 1 Studio of 15m2, 3 garages, and 3 cellars complete the comfort of this rare property.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Loulou Pirate Restaurant


The French Riviera has a longstanding tradition of seaside restaurants open for the summer season along the coastline, and this year is no exception, that is until the revival of a most legendary location on Roquebrune Cap Martin.

Le Pirate, as it was formerly known, is situated along the entrance to the Cap Martin Peninsula. It is here in the 1960s and 70s, where the owner, Charles Albert Viale, aka ‘Le Pirate’, transformed a fisherman’s hut that practically clung to the rocks on the edge of the sea into a summer hotspot where such notable celebrities such as Roger Moore, Brigitte Bardot, Frank Sinatra, and even Prince Charles came to eat and party at the height of a season.

Being an almost mythical spot to see and be seen, this summer, 13 years after the death of the illustrious patron of the former establishment Charles Albert Viale, Loulou Pirate has now brought new life to this location.

"The Loulou group invests the Pirate, after Paris, Ramatuelle, Val d'Isère, and pursues the legend, flowing out of rock. Relaxed elegance, simplicity, and joy of living: these are the words of the Loulou group and this destination not to be missed, at the crossroads of France, Italy, and the Principality of Monaco,” writes the Restoration Group.

Here, at Loulou Pirate, the new owners plan on instilling their signature balance of everything from the décor and ambiance to the menu and live music.

The restaurant provides a number of splendid sections to suit every occasion, with a few that are intimate for gatherings, along with some tables that are as close to the sea as possible, and all offer stunning Mediterranean views.
Loulou cuisine is all about simplicity, and a fresh local variety, brought together by the talented Executive Chef Benoit Gargère. Plates of food here are designed to be shared around the table for everyone to pick and choose what they desire, almost like a picnic at the beach.

The restaurant, having opened on July 10 and will close for this season in October with Lunch from 12 pm to 3:30 pm and Dinner from 7 pm to 11:30 pm.

It is advised to book early and enjoy!

Photo credits: Matthieu Salvaing, Loulou Group

Monday, July 10, 2023

Monaco Summer Beach Clubs


Monaco has never been traditionally known for their beaches. Still, there are numerous hotels with swimming pools, restaurants, and of course, the revamped Larvotto Beach in Monte-Carlo with its sandy beach and numerous restaurants to explore and all, very LGBTQ-friendly.

Larvotto Beach

Next to the Grimaldi Forum, this sandy beach is frequently cleaned with the crystal clear blue water of the Mediterranean practically begging you to jump in and cool down. This swimming area is also protected by a weighted net to keep the jellyfish (medusas) away from swimmers.

This is a public beach but there are private beach areas here too if you want to rent a sun lounger with a parasol while enjoying a cocktail.

Miami Plage Restaurant

Located along the promenade at Larvotto Beach is Miami Plage Restaurant. This establishment has a long history in the area and offers a relaxed atmosphere with a range of cuisines from French and Italian at reasonable prices with large, taste-filled portions.

This is a great place to stop in for lunch while taking a break from the beach or to enjoy dinner after a day under the sun with friends.


Neptune Monaco Beach

Close by Miami Plage is the fab Neptune Monaco Beach which has garnered quite a local following with numerous sun loungers available at a range of prices depending on the location with the beach club itself open from 9 am to 6 pm. The restaurant offers a myriad of delicious, classic Mediterranean dishes and cocktails to enjoy. 
La Note Bleue

La Note Bleue
is a very entertaining place, great for people-watching, with something always going on due to the live performances. Situated here, seemingly forever, this beach club is known for having some of the most reasonable prices with an ideal location at the water’s edge. This is the perfect spot for taking in a lovely, sunny day with amazing seasonal food and live music providing a memorable atmosphere.

Nikki Beach Monte-Carlo

Not technically a beach spot, Nikki Beach Monte-Carlo is still a well-known place on the rooftop of the Fairmont Monte-Carlo where both locals and visitors alike tend to gather.

The pool is open from 11 am to 8 pm every day, and the restaurant from 12 pm to 7 pm.
This is the place to see and be seen as it is known as a prime party beach club while also taking in the surrounding architectural and sea views and not only listening to but perhaps dancing to the sounds provided by a resident DJ on most days.

Monte-Carlo Beach

Last but not least, Monte-Carlo Beach. This place has a fascinating history and also manages to provide a classically updated environment.

Dive into the Olympic-sized saltwater pool just metres from the Mediterranean Sea and relax in a private cabana on the sand. With summer being all about watersports, this beach club has every type of water activity imaginable that will keep you entertained all day long.

There are three wonderful restaurants to choose from at Monte-Carlo Beach; Club La Vigie seems to be the most popular with its amazing views; Elsa has an array of organic food items, and Le Deck offers numerous dining options for the seaside lunch crowd. The beach club is open from 9 am to 6 pm, with extended hours during the height of the summer.

Photo credits: Monte-Carlo Beach, La Note Bleue, Nikki Beach, Neptune Monaco Plage, Miami Plage Restaurant, Larvotto Beach

Thursday, July 6, 2023

The Demand for French Properties Still Strong


With markets around the world seemingly all over the map in regard to real estate values, a recent report by Sotheby’s International Realty has stated that although the second home market in France is currently plateauing, demand is still high in the French Riviera.

“The Covid period was exceptional for real estate in all of its markets,” says Sotheby’s International Realty France-Monaco Chairman and CEO Alexander Kraft, while noting strong growth in the second home market during that time.

This latter segment of the market is now reaching something of a plateau, says the report, a trend that is “probably as a result of the current economic crisis, difficulty in obtaining financing, rising interest rates and global political tensions”.

“This decline in activity is a normal phase of the market cycle after three record years,” explains Kraft, “and remains far less pronounced than among buyers of primary residences.”

Most of our clients at Experience The French Riviera tend to come from countries such as the UK, Dubai, the USA, and also Canada. And for many reasons, either they are seeking a safer country, currency exchange, or overall lifestyle change whether they are looking for a primary, secondary, or even retirement home.

Although France itself may be experiencing a slight slowdown, demand for villa rentals and secondary homes continues to stay strong.

Peter Illovsky, the president of Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty group that represents five agencies between Saint Tropez and Menton, has added his local knowledge to the report, explaining that “the Covid period brought strong activity characterized by a buying appetite focused on properties with outdoor space, sea views or proximity to the sea”.

Though not as hearty as during the health crisis, the market on the Côte d’Azur is playing to its natural strengths and, in many places, prices and demand continue to rise. Nice, for example, is seeing first and second-home prices on the rise, a trend that does not seem to be abating.

Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, featured prominently on a recent Sotheby’s list of locations to consider when buying a second home in the region, alongside Cannes, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Saint Tropez, and the other towns found in its gulf. 

We’ve noticed since last summer when the currency rate between the US and Europe went to par, we experienced a massive demand for secondary homes. And now prices are going up in Nice, around 10% over the past year, in Cannes they went up a similar 12%, but in Antibes, they went up 20%.

According to one of the local papers, Antibes are seen as "like Cannes but cheaper". The average budget for buying there is only €800,000 which is half the average €1.8m buyers in Cannes usually like to spend. This is attracting buyers that would have otherwise bought further up the coast.

The market for villas is also strong there, with Antibes having more on the market and an average price of €2.4M compared to Cannes average price of €3.8M. As a comparison, the Q1 this year an average house in France cost €407,000.

Taking into account the latest price increases, the price per square metre in Cannes is now €11,748, in Antibes €9,355, and in Nice €6,466.

We’ve always known the Cote d’Azur as being an international destination people want to travel to, and we’ve certainly met a lot of people who over the years, on their first visit then want to make the region part of their lifestyle, so we are not surprised to find out that demand is still strong here.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Pink Parade 2023


Coming in strong with the message, “Brisez les normes. Pas nos vies.” (Break the norms. Not our lives.)

It’s obvious this year, most certainly due to what has been seen throughout the global media networks, that the LGBTQIA+ community is reflective and concerned while taking a stand in how those of us are currently being treated around the world due to inequality and violence.

Although in the Cote d’Azur, forms of violence are fortunately sporadic it is important we stand together in solidarity with those not so lucky while continuing to push for equality.

This year, the Pink Parade (Pride) takes place on Sunday, July 9th.

The parade will start at 16h at the Port in Nice (Île de Beauté), and follow along the port and on to the Promenade des Anglais towards Le Negresco Hotel and end with a festive evening at the Théâtre de Verdure with a Pink Party from 18h to 23h.

Since the city of Nice is considered central to everything pertaining to the gay community, this tends to be where everyone in the region gathers as one for Pride, and here, instead of watching the parade from the sidelines, one can instead walk in the parade which is typically a fun and most memorable experience.
Photographer credit: Guillaume Eymard