Let’s be honest: the French Riviera was never meant to be subtle and understated. When it comes to all things luxurious, whether it be accommodation, shopping or activities, there are very few places on earth which can offer what the Cote d’Azur offers. Want to know just how incredible it can get ? Then book your stay at the affordable but luxurious Villa Hippocampo in Villefranche-sur-Mer and use the money you saved to book an opulent 3-day itinerary with your personal concierge.
DAY ONE: Come fly with me
Waking up to breathtaking views of the Villefranche Bay from Villa Hippocampo is an impressive spectacle. But… taking in the views from the air is a truly once in a lifetime experience. On your first morning of your 3-day itinerary at Villa Hippocampo, you’ll be picked up by a chauffeur and driven to the helipad in Nice, where a helicopter will await your arrival. You and four friends will be privately escorted on board and piloted on a scenic flight right along the most famous coastal stretches on earth, overlooking scenic ports, outlying islands and stunning beaches. Your destination? Chez Bruno’s world famous restaurant in Lorgues where you will enjoy an unforgettable small meal (you’ll need to save your appetite for later on in the evening.)
Monsieur Bruno is renowned for his passion and skill at preparing delectable meals using white truffles, and the meal is guaranteed to be a taste treat you’ll never forget. After dining, you’ll be guided through the Château de Roseline, one of the most famous and respected wineries in the Provence region. The winery is also home to a splendid 12th century Roman chapel, and your guided tour will be both enlightening and totally captivating. Your tour will conclude with a wine tasting in a lovely garden setting where you may linger to anticipate the evening’s events.
The return helicopter flight will be inland, and you’ll have the chance to admire the luscious hills, postcard-perfect medieval perched villages and castle ruins which make this one of the most picturesque regions of Europe.
Once back at Villa Hippocampo, you’ll have a chance to decompress, refresh, and enjoy a serene nap or a book on one of the quiet verandas overlooking Cap Ferrat. Mid-evening, your chauffer will return to take you for a 10 minute ride to the quaint seaside town of Beaulieu to the La Réserve Hotel where you will enjoy a magnificent sunset dinner at the Michelin rated ** Restaurant des Rois. The restaurant has been at the top of the French Riviera epicurean game for over 150 years and offers outstanding choices made from organic, locally grown produce. The restaurant’s expansive terrace, bay windows and old-school charm setting promise to deliver an unforgettable dining experience. And after all of this, you are just a 10 minute ride home on the coastal road overlooking twinkling village lights and Cap Ferrat’s famous lighthouse at the end of its promontory.
DAY TWO: Time for Some R&R
A relaxing morning may be just what the doctor ordered, after such an exhilarating start to your vacation. Today, why not spend the first few hours being pampered at the Grand Hotel du Cap-Ferrat health spa? Treat yourself and your loved one to a morning of deluxe treatment in the aptly named Deluxe Suite. The spacious and elegant suite is equipped with a double spa bath, twin massage tables, private steam and sauna rooms and a relaxation chamber. The spa uses the prestigious French Bellefontaine skin care line and offers a myriad of treatments including full body scrubs, masks and massages, as well as rejuvenating facials –including a totally decadent caviar treatment– invigorating pedicures and much more. You may also choose to arrange a customized massage and spa treatment regimen to enjoy at the villa if you choose to luxuriate at home instead. Just ask Patrice!
For a superbly picturesque and relaxing afternoon, board your privately chartered yacht in Villefranche Harbor and enjoy a gourmet lunch while leisurely cruising to the posh shopping mecca of St. Tropez. Once there, spend your afternoon shopping to your heart’s content in some of the Rivera’s premier boutiques. From haute-couture to hip unusual brands, there’s a shop in St. Tropez to suit every taste. Once you (or your spouse) is ready “to drop”, enjoy a glass of champagne (or two) at the Maison Blanche Champagne Bar, one of St. Tropez’ oldest and most elegant drinking spots. The villa dates back to the 18th century, is tastefully furnished and still manages to attract all of the Riviera’s rich and famous. Return to Villefranche Harbor on the yacht, enjoying the sunset and a light chef-prepared dinner upon your return in the privacy of your villa. Sweet dreams!
DAY THREE: Marrakesh for the day …yes… Morocco!
An early morning wake-up call may not be what your heart desires most while on vacation…but if it’s to be whisked off to the airport for a short commercial flight to another continent , well—we think that you will want to rise to the occasion!
Marrakesh is just a two hour plane ride away, but it is also a world away. It will be a long day, but you’ll feel as if you have been away for at least a week and there is nothing quite like it!
Upon arrival (with absolutely no customs issues), you will be driven to a lovely terrace garden restaurant—Dar Les Cigognes—for a lovely breakfast in a remarkable setting with exquisite service. Once acclimated, you will embark upon the most energy intensive part of the day—the souks—where you will be treated to the most amazing combination of colors, sounds, tastes, scents, and options to observe or to buy. Our guide will help you bargain for those items without which you may not want to depart!
Ready for a slower pace? Well, we have you covered! You’ll be whisked off to an authentic but premium quality hammam where you will be pampered with an intense but relaxing full body treatment consisting of steam treatment, warm salt water rinses, full body exfoliation and massage, and a decadent skin hydrating treatment. For those of you who need to recover in a salon to look your best, we have a staff at your service for a full hair and make-up regimen to get you ready for the rest of your day.
Hunger pangs kicking in? Relax and dine in one of the ten best luncheon spots in the city—your choice! Our favourite is in the courtyard of a most splendid house where tables are beautifully set under a massive sprawling tree—where the word “picnic” is taken to an extreme.
Follow lunch with higher end shopping, a visit to authentic Moroccan tanneries for the best in leather, museum browsing, visiting historical sites such as ancient tombs or Sultan’s palaces. You still have a few hours to explore the safe but exotic sites of Marrakesh before your return trip to “base camp”—the unforgettable Cote d’Azur and the unparalleled Villa Hippocampo!