Two types head for the Côte d'Azur: those who want to be seen, and those who don't. Those who do crowd together on the coast, jangling their jewels on the Corniche and in St-Tropez, enduring nose-to-tail traffic jams as they crawl along the coast. Those who don't want to be seen head to one of our Guru’s best hotels in the Côte d'Azur hills, and love the region as much for its broom-covered hills as for its raffish, scintillating seaside; for the dry heat, clear light and scent of pine in the air; and for the heady fusion of art and landscape, wine and sunshine, ancient villages and modern sophistication that gives the Côte d'Azur its dazzling character.
Only a handful of the hotels that are set in the foothills of the Alpes Maritimes just behind the coast have made the cut to our Guru’s list of the best hotels in the Côte d'Azur hills: here they are, both contemporary and traditional, to suit all pockets.
If you can’t find your idea of the best hotel in the Côte d'Azur hills on our Guru’s list,
A Provencal farm conversion, beside the road to St Paul de Vence, overlooking the valley. Simple but elegantly rustic bedrooms and a large infinity pool surrounded by beautiful fragrant gardens. a peaceful, charming haven just 15 minutes drive to the beach and a ten minute walk to St Paul.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Côte d'Azur
Gloriously luxurious 18th century country house with valley and coastal views. Sumptuous rooms and suites in creams with all the mod cons and private balconies. Enormous swimming pool, hot tub, and plenty to do at the beach. Not far from NIce, it epitomises the romance of Provence.
Vence, Côte d'Azur
A fairytale chateau in the hills, with coastal views. Boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant and luxury spa. The classically sumptuous suites with balconies and private villas encapsulate French country chic. Luxury and tranquillity with fine dining.
Tourrettes-sur-Loup, Côte d'Azur
Charming boutique B&B. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and the serenity of Provence's hills. Contemporary elegant rooms with private terraces overlooking olive trees. Spa, swimming pool, and close to gourmet restaurants. Utterly romantic.
Peillon, Côte d'Azur
Enchanting family-run inn perched on a cliff-edge high above the Med, with fabulous sea views. Fantastic on site restaurant serves locally grown produce to the highest standard. Understated rooms with private balconies boast spectacular views of the orchards, olive groves and distant sea. Romantic.
A chic hotel in the Provencal countryside. Large, elegant rooms are filled with antiques, white washed walls, and rustic furnishings. Outdoor pool, terrace, and a shady garden. Michelin starred cuisine, intimate bar. Grown-up, peaceful, gourmet.
A gorgeous B&B in a 17th century farmhouse. Rooms are rustic-chic with stone walls, bare wooden floors, and fireplaces alongside large bathrooms. Salt water outdoor pool, terrace and gardens. Spa treatments available. Romantic, laid back and welcoming.
St-Paul-de-Vence, Côte d'Azur
A family run hotel steeped in history. Unpretentious style and service lay the set for legendary art work including Picasso and Matisse. The Provençale cuisine is worthy of a visit alone and served in a laid back atmosphere. A truly unique property.
Le Rouret, Côte d'Azur
A lovely village hotel with a Michelin star restaurant. Rooms and suites in contemporary elegant style. Olive trees scatter the garden and breakfast terraces. Great value for money in a great location.
Vence, Côte d'Azur
Strikingly done-up 18th century house. Vibrant decoration, large airy suites and a truly amazing private art collection. House party feel and exuding plenty of character. A luxurious a chic townhouse stay and a good base for local exploring.
Grasse, Côte d'Azur
Eighteenth century country house in Grasse, surrounded by lovely gardens and olive groves. The romantic rooms are a triumph: simple, stylish and effortlessly elegant. The on site restaurant is famed in the area for its astute use of local flavours. Grown up, charming and wonderfully French!
Nice, Côte d'Azur
Attractive hotel and restaurant set in acres of private grounds 15km inland from the coast in charming Vence. Stylish rooms in a cluster of artfully old-fashioned ochre-roofed buildings. Gourmet restaurant, bar, swimming pool and spa. A lovely place to relax and while away a few days.