For decades, the lure of the Riviera has attracted those with a penchant for beauty; look no further than Slim Aaron’s work captured here which he described as “attractive people doing attractive things.”
Between France’s romantic coastal villages and its neighbor Monaco’s regal history, this region exudes a timeless allure. We’ve got you covered with help from our on-the-ground SmartFlyer travel advisors who’ve just returned from the Riviera with Monte-Carlo SBM and Maybourne Hotel Group.
To kick off your trip, fly to Nice. Just a helicopter transfer away, Monaco provides a taste of seaside living and access to world-renowned events like the Grand Prix, the Rolex Masters, and festivals celebrating the region’s rich ties to music, arts, and renowned cuisine.
Don’t miss out on the chance to take a brief ride up the coast, where you can explore the many coastal villages and UNESCO World Heritage sites. And as always, we’ve curated a collection of vetted properties to serve as home bases for this South of France itinerary.
Whether it’s a hotel that honors the grandeur of 1960s royalty or one that celebrates minimalism’s chic and subversive flare, your accommodations will be met with warm and personalized service felt at every touchpoint on your trip.
Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo
The majestic Hôtel de Paris is just one square in the tapestry that is Monte-Carlo SBM’s collection of esteemed Monaco hotels. This hotel is a breathtaking sanctuary in Casino Square, with the scenic Prince’s Palace and Mediterranean as a backdrop. This iconic palace pays tribute to old-world glamour with its suites, Michelin-starred restaurants, jeweler’s courtyard, spa, Casino de Monte-Carlo, and haute-couture boutiques from the Monte-Carlo Shopping Promenade. The hotel’s prime location at the heart of Monaco also provides immediate access to the various nightlife opportunities nearby.
The Maybourne Riviera is a part of the Maybourne Group’s Palace Hotels as their first foray into the French Riviera. Entering this hotel is like walking through a kaleidoscope of 1960s pastels. This property is one part a stunningly designed hotel and another part a wellness sanctuary. Their highly personalized take on wellness will leave you feeling fully refreshed for a new day of exploration. Dining here is also a gastronomic treat, boasting three restaurants, including a Michelin-starred establishment. Their lush well-being facilities include a private beach club, a spa, and heated infinity pools to complement the rocky peninsula of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin overlooking the glistening Mediterranean Sea. When it comes to getting around the Riviera, the Maybourne provides a private house car to drive you across the region.
Unwind in an exclusive beach club, dine in Michelin restaurants, gain VIP access to a royal car collection, and race through the Riviera in a Ferrari, all in less than a week. Ready, start, go.
Day 1 – Touchdown in Monaco
After you’re wheels down in Nice, you’ll be met by your private driver and ushered to the steps of the acclaimed Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo. Alternatively, for those who appreciate an adrenaline rush, we highly recommend opting for a private helicopter transfer booked by your SmartFlyer travel advisor. While aboard, you’ll be able to fully take in the shimmering landscape as you touch down in Monte-Carlo for check-in.
Expect to be transported into a world of the moment you walk through the revolving doors and enter the palatial Hôtel de Paris lobby. If arriving in the morning, you may be able to catch their onsite florists at work; the hotel staff treats its guests to a new arrangement every day to ensure the aesthetic continuously matches the mood of the day. Following check-in, find your way to your lunch reservation at Le Grill – one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants that grace Monte-Carlo. This restaurant serves grilled meats and seafood and exceptional panoramic views over the Principality.
For the first afternoon, feel free to enjoy Hôtel de Paris’s many activations or explore Monte-Carlo at your leisure. The hotel’s Wellness Sky Club on its top floor is an ideal way to bask in the Monaco sun. No matter what the weather, their heated seawater pool and cabanas make for an idyllic setting to help you unwind and fully sink into the Riviera lifestyle. You can also indulge in a double treatment at their Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo wellness center, combining cryotherapy and a state-of-the-art massage.
If you prefer to dine onsite, consider a dinner reservation at Pavyllon Monte-Carlo by Yannick Alléno. Boasting a Michelin star, this restaurant is the ideal place to have a taste of the local Monaco cuisine: a fusion of French and Italian classics, all composed of fresh seasonal ingredients. The menus here focus on plant-based produce paired with fine wines from the Riviera. Take in the views of Monaco’s famous old town, Le Rocher, as the sun sets while you dine before turning in for your first night.
Day 2 – Exploring Monte-Carlo, Dusk to Dawn
Today, wake up and pack your beach gear for your concierge to collect and deliver to you later in the day (more on this later). Following your ballroom breakfast – the very same ballroom where Grace Kelly held her wedding reception – meet your private guide for a walking tour towards Le Rocher. Here, your guide will introduce you to the various local shops and farmer’s markets that line the streets.
Stepping up the red-brick ramp and through Le Rocher’s 16th-century gates is like traveling back in time. The district is perched high above the city and filled with winding streets from the Middle Ages and Roman-Byzantine cathedrals dating back to the 19th century. Your guide will also grant you VIP access to the Palace’s changing of the guards, a daily ceremony dating back to 1817. Afterward, enjoy lunch at the local La Mome Monte-Carolo, a new dining experience that pays homage to cinema history – before returning to the hotel for an afternoon at your leisure.
Following lunch, your private driver will meet you with the items you packed this morning in tow and drive you out to Monte Carlo Beach Club. As a guest of Monte-Carlo SBM, the collection grants unfettered access to this exclusive beachfront. In addition to a heated outdoor pool, the club also features The Monte-Carlo Beach spa: an elegant wellness sanctuary that features ethically made wellness products by Paoma. For those looking for a more active afternoon, the beach club also has a fishing program where you can reel in fresh Mediterranean catches for the onsite chef to prepare specific to your tastes.
For the evening, we love starting with a pre-dinner drink at Le Bar Américain. There, you can sip on craft cocktails within a Gatsby-inspired atmosphere and enjoy live jazz, swing, blues, soul, and French music performances. Dinner tonight is at the Buddha Bar, which boasts Thai and Japanese cuisine. This fusion restaurant’s design takes cues from the Parisian Garnier Opera House and Asian sculptures and trimmings. After dinner, we recommend dancing till dawn at the local-favorite SASS Café.
Day 3 – Cars and Casinos, Monaco-style
Start your final day in Monte-Carlo on the right foot with breakfast at your leisure, followed by a private e-bike tour. Your guided tour will take you through the must-see landmarks via the Grand Prix route used for the city’s famous annual races. This includes experiencing one of the fastest turns in the world – all while still maintaining a steady pace on your bike.
Your guide will also make a stop at the Prince’s Private Car Collection – a must-visit for any auto enthusiasts. With over one hundred classic and luxury vehicles on display, including vintage Rolls Royce, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis, the museum offers an in-depth look at the evolution of automotive design and engineering dating all the way back to the horse and carriage. Each car in the collection has its own story to tell, from iconic championship wins to the very car in which Grace Kelly was driven to her wedding. We recommend making a stop by the shop later to pick up merch from your favorite auto brands.
This afternoon is dedicated to classic Riviera R&R with a return to the Monte Carlo Beach Club, where you can enjoy lunch and unfettered access to the water. For those looking to soak up the sun a little further from the coast, your SmartFlyer travel advisor can also help you organize a private yacht charter out of the marina. As night falls, head back to the hotel for your reservation at Hôtel de Paris’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse. Dinner tonight features menus Christian Têtedoie, and Davy Tissot curated, focusing on artistic takes on Mediterranean cuisine. The famous casinos of Monte-Carlo come to life, offering an ambiance of glamour and excitement. Close out the day with a nightcap at Casino Monte-Carlo to channel the inner high roller in everyone.
Day 4 – Monte-Carlo to Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
As you bid adieu to glamorous Monte-Carlo, it’s time to check out and pack your bags for the next leg of your journey. Meet your private driver for a brief fifteen-minute drive up the coast over to Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Upon arrival to your next stay at the Maybourne Riviera, you’ll be greeted by the sight of sleek Ferraris and Lamborghinis parked outside the hotel’s entrance. The check-in process is sure to be seamless, complete with a playful-yet-clean mix of baby blues, pastel pinks, greens, and bright pops of orange to lift your spirits.
To become oriented with your location at the Maybourne Riviera, we recommend taking a self-guided hike through one of the many nearby nature trails. The biodiversity found along the trails provides a perfect escape from the world, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of the Riviera. After your hike, make your way back to the hotel’s Le 300 for a delicious lunch. We recommend trying the burrata appetizer and pesto pasta or seabass for your main course. Don’t forget to save room for the heavenly meringue dessert, which pairs perfectly with a refreshing midday cocktail on the panoramic terrace. From here, you can soak up breathtaking views of the Riviera.
In the afternoon, take a private transfer via the hotel’s house car down to Eileen Grey Villa E 1027, one of the many UNESCO world heritage sites found across Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. This preserved residence served as a direct inspiration for the Maybourne Riviera’s minimal-retro design philosophy. The villa features replicated furniture, minimalist design, and beachfront views of the water, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the slow-living style for which the Mediterranean is famous. This private tour is a must-do for art and design enthusiasts with a love for intentional modernism. This iconic village is renowned for its lush garden and unbeatable views of the coastline.
Afterward, your private driver will transfer you south for a visit to Èze. Perched high above the Riviera and hugged by stone castle walls adorned with flowers, this iconic village is renowned for its lush garden and unbeatable views of the coastline. On the way to the village’s peak, you’ll be able to duck into workshops and galleries and observe local life in motion.
As evening approaches, head back to the Maybourne Riviera to freshen up before enjoying a pre-dinner drink at the Le 300. Then, take a short ride up the Riviera cliffs to La Grotte & L’Olivier, located at the center of a small historical village. We recommend trying the steak tartar, sea bass ceviche with local fruits, or the rigatoni with seasonal mushrooms, paired with a bottle of local wine. End the evening with a nightcap back at Le 300, reminiscing on your idyllic day.
Day 5 – Ride Through Southern France in Style
For your first full day in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, start it off right with a delicious in-suite breakfast while taking in the stunning sea views from your window, followed by a private yoga session on the lawn overlooking the glittering water. Afterward, channel your inner Grace Kelly on a private sports car tour through the Riviera. Experience speeds up to 200 kilometers per hour as your personal driver races you past the picturesque coastal villages. You’ll even have the chance to take the wheel yourself and drive along the famous Grand Prix race track in nearby Monaco. Marvel at the unmatched views of the Riviera as your driver winds you up to the top of the cliffs for some champagne and stunning panoramic vistas before returning to the Maybourne. We highly recommend the red Ferrari and black Maserati for the ultimate high-octane experience.
In the afternoon, soak up the sun at the beach club, located just a ten-minute drive away via the hotel’s car service. An afternoon here is best spent lounging on daybeds with a glass of rosé in hand before enjoying a delicious lunch. If you’re in the mood for something more exclusive, the private pool is the perfect spot to relax in a more tranquil setting. Being a guest at the Maybourne Riviera ensures you a reserved seat poolside as you soak in the Mediterranean sun.
This evening after returning to the hotel and freshening up, head up to Ceto on the fourteenth floor of the Maybourne Riviera for a prix-fixe Michelin-starred meal. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a panoramic terrace, this open-kitchen concept offers stunning views of the water and the sunset. The VIP service includes multiple staff members per table, ensuring that your every need is met. The menu focuses on sustainable fishing and is inspired by the changing rhythm of the water throughout the seasons. For a decadent end to your savory main course, we particularly love the Nori seaweed marine Mille Feuille filled and the bourbon vanilla and toffee sauce.
Day 6 – From France to Italy and Back
For your final full day along the French Riviera, wake up to breakfast at Le 300 and enjoy a morning at your leisure before hopping on a private yacht tour along the coastline. To ensure the smoothest – literally – experience, your SmartFlyer travel advisor will schedule your tour earlier in the day to beat the high tide. While aboard, the hotel staff will invite you to indulge in some champagne and a light midday snack.
For a vibrant afternoon, take a private transfer south to Menton. This charming village is known for the analogous hues of yellow, orange, and red fused into the architecture, as well as its local food markets. You’ll also notice how French aesthetics begin to blend with more Italian-inspired architecture due to Menton’s proximity to the Italian border, making this a popular checkpoint for travelers moving between the two countries since the 1700s. We love taking a private walking tour through the town and visiting a l’huillier – a store dedicated solely to olive oil.
The highlight of this walking tour is getting behind-the-scenes access to the Menton Lemon Gardens. La Maison Gannac boasts the largest lemon production in the region, with over one hundred olive and lemon trees. During your visit, you’ll meet the small, dedicated team who meticulously looks after the ecology here, as well as learn how they go about producing this iconic fruit. Some landmarks include their local apiary filled with bees that pollinate the farm and a 700-year-old olive tree. After your tour concludes, enjoy some light bites and a refreshing drink in the garden. Don’t forget to try the lemons: the farmers here encourage you to eat the whole slice – peel and all!
For your final night on the Riviera, take a private car transfer into Italy – sans the need for a passport – to the town of Bordighera, located just twenty minutes away from the hotel. There, you’ll dine at Amarea Romolo Mare for a tranquil seaside dinner. Specializing in seafood, make sure to try the clam pasta and the fish of the day, served as a full fish. Take in the sunset as you sip on classic Italian wines and reflect on the past week.