This Relais & Châteaux 16th century bourgeois residence and its peaceful atmosphere has captured the minds of many an artist
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History & culture | Relaxation
Set on a hilltop and overlooking the surrounding countryside to the sea beyond, Saint-Paul de Vence is one of the French Riviera’s most picturesque villages. Its medieval beauty has played host to the likes of Chagall and Picasso while, more recently, Roger Moore and Yves Montand have fallen under its spell. The hotel itself is centrally located on Rue Grande meaning the village’s cafés, restaurants and art galleries are just a short cobbled walk away. The Maeght Foundation and its world-class modern art is equally accessible.
Each room is enhanced by typically Provencal touches including bed canopies, floral curtains, woodwork adorning the walls and light colour schemes, complemented by window boxes packed with red roses. Luxury suites all benefit from personalised interior design from Charlie Montemarto, the contributing factor behind the hotel’s 2013 listing in the Leading Hotels of France. Montemarto’s work includes furniture tailor-made by an artisan cabinetmaker, wing chairs, cashmere throws, silk fabrics and Louis XV writing desks. Some even come with terrace views that stretch to the blue coast.
Sheltered by the building’s ramparts, the hotel’s terrace restaurant serves delicate Mediterranean dishes. Enjoy al fresco dining surrounded by hibiscus and bougainvillea or the vaulted ambience of the hotel’s historic dining rooms, accompanied by a 17th-century fountain. Menus feature seasonal flavours as locavores are well catered for. Thanks to its coastal location, seafood is a particular joy with only free range, not farmed, fish being used.
This landmark hotel is best seen as an authentic way of experiencing the medieval village that charmed Matisse and continues to attract visitors in search for that idyllic French Riviera experience. Lobbies and fitness centres are swapped for art galleries and castle keeps making for a sophisticated, rejuvenating stay complete with village chapels and fountain squares.
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