As spring approaches, the coastal beauty and creative splendor of the French Riviera beckons again. In 2023, visitors will find everything that made this region synonymous with glamorous summer vacations—glittering beaches, Michelin-starred restaurants, and artistic inspiration—along with new and improved hotel offerings and events. Picasso painted here, Fitzgerald penned Tender Is the Night, and socialite Sara Murphy made it a habit to sunbathe wearing her pearls. The summer is the perfect time to find out how the coastal enclaves of Juan-les-Pins and Cap d’Antibes have inspired so many. Both hotels offer an unpretentious, unassuming ambiance. They aren’t a place to stargaze; rather it’s a chance to enter the constellation and shine.
Where to Stay
Hôtel Belles Rives
Located in Cap d’Antibes, just a few minutes away from Cannes and Nice Airport, the Hôtel Belles Rives is an Art Deco gem that stands above the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean. The property—with an ownership bloodline dating back to the 1930s—is now helmed by the fourth generation, the 41-year-old, Antoine Chauvin-Estène who is imparting an egalitarian and refreshing approach to this emblematic riviera classic. He is currently overseeing the massive renovation of the hotel’s iconic Bar Fitzgerald, which will greet visitors with a new, contemporary ambiance encouraging hours of lounging. The property is a testament to the breezy extravagance of a bygone era yet reveals a modern design, offering 43 recently renovated and richly appointed rooms and suites, complete with Hermès wallpaper and luxe amenities.
While the days of when Picasso, Hemingway, and Valentino came for dinner, visitors to the area can now enjoy their own unforgettable evenings at La Passagère, the onsite, one-star Michelin restaurant led by young, culinary maestro, Aurélien Véquaud whose nouvelle vague approach to fish and seafood is creating a buzz on the Côte d’Azur. The restaurant’s breathtaking terrace is one of the French Riviera’s most beautiful places to indulge in a gastronomic, Mediterranean experience. Casual lunches and classic cocktails can be found at the newly renovated Bar Fitzgerald, named for the property’s original resident. Or, head to the hotel’s private beach to indulge at the Belles Rives Beach Restaurant, splash out at the Water Sports Club, sun your own pearls on the terraced deck, or stroll the jetty that’s home to the hotel’s private boat dock. Extend that sun kissed, blissed-out feeling with an innovative treatment by luxe Swiss skincare house, Valmont onsite at its namesake beauty corner.
Hôtel Belles Rives opens for the season on March 10, 2023 and operates through January 2, 2024; the Beach Club is open from April 7 through October 22, with dinner at the Beach Restaurant served from late June through August. La Passagère is open for dinner only Wednesday to Sunday from late April to January 2. A special menu created by Aurélien Véquaud will also be on offer at Bar Fitzgerald.
Winston Churchill and Wallis Simpson slept here, as did Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. That’s because jazz musicians have been drawn to the Hôtel Juana in Juan-les-Pins since the Jazz Age, and often check in during the Antibes Juan-les-Pins Jazz Festival that has taken place every summer since 1960. Once checked-in, guests will wonder where to look first: the Art Deco splendor of the 40-room hotel which dates back to 1931, the idyllic Mediterranean setting or the spectacular views of the sea, the Lérins Islands and the Massif de l’Esterel mountain range.
When not wrestling with that decision, visitors can enjoy the marble outdoor pool, the health club, and access to sister property, Hôtel Belles Rives’ private beach, where water-skiing, swimming, massages, and boat rentals are all on offer. This year, the new concept at Hôtel Juana’s restaurant, PASEO, creates a communal atmosphere buzzing with locals and expats. Here, you can start with coffee during a breakfast meeting, take a dip in the pool after a break from working on your laptop, meet friends for lunch and then continue with your lover for dinner in the newly renovated interior dining room which spills onto the colorful garden terrace where guests can fully experience a true Juana celebration, like so many legends before them.
PASEO is currently open, and Hôtel Juana will open for the summer season on April 14, 2023 and close on January 2, 2024.
What to Do
Write a bestseller, paint a masterpiece, or just relax by the pool or on the shore. For a truly memorable experience, plan your trip around one of these can’t miss events:
Parcours Ceramique: May 7th
Each year, the Hôtel Belles Rives in Juan-les-Pins hosts the “Ceramic Journey” auction presented by Pichon & Noudel-Deniau. Among the 220 lots of ceramics, there are often pieces from Capron, Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and other legendary artists. If you don’t win the auction, you can still pick up noteworthy ceramics; the nearby town of Vallauris is well known for its terracotta pottery enameled with a clear glaze, which evolved from traditional culinary pottery likely created from nearby clay deposits during the Roman empire.
Prix Fitzgerald: June 9th
Every year in June, the Hôtel Belles Rives hosts the Prix Fitzgerald, which honors a novel or short story that reflects the elegance, spirit, and art of living embodied by the American writer, and adopted son of the French Riviera, F. Scott Fitzgerald. The tradition was initiated by hotel owner Marianne Estène-Chauvin, who is also president of the Francis Scott Fitzgerald Academy. This year’s winner, selected by a jury of renowned writers and literary critics, will be announced on June 9 at an unforgettable event.
Bal des Rêves: September 16th
The Bal des Rêves, is an annual charity gala dedicated to a different cause each year. The honored philanthropy of this year’s grand ball, on September 16, has yet to be officially announced, but the formal affair promises to be the social event of the season.
Various bespoke experiences are also available throughout the season, such as casting a rod into the waters of the Med with a local fisherman to catch your dinner, or a Pic Nic at Plage Garoupe, the strip of sand made famous by American expat socialites Sara and Gerald Murphy and their friends. Wine tasting are also on offer, along with exclusive dining options throughout the property.