Upmarket Cote d’Azur hotel heralds arrival of spring/summer season

The Four Seasons Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera has marked the start of the spring/summer season with the reopening of its seafront Club Dauphin.

“This year, the season has started off in full swing and hotel guests are enjoying swimming, sunbathing and sea front lunches, with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean overlooking one of the most beautiful pools in the world,” the hotel said in a statement announcing the reopening.

Poolside at Club Dauphin
The pool is one of the club’s foremost features. It is an Olympic sized, heated, seawater infinity swimming pool. Guests reach the pool by taking a glass funicular down the rocky slopes leading to the Mediterranean where they can enjoy spectacular views with the brilliant blue of the sea as a backdrop. While the social scene in and around the pool is a point of attraction, private seaside cabins are available for those who seek privacy.

So that all guests can make the most of its remarkable pool, the club also offers swimming lessons from its resident swimming instructor Pierre Gruneberg. Over the years, Gruneberg has used a combination of simple techniques and a sense of humor to teach many guests to enjoy the water, from the children of Charlie Chaplin and Gerard Depardieu to Somerset Maugham, the Kennedys, Paul McCartney and Ralph Lauren. Rarefied company indeed.

Club Dauphin serves lunches, cocktails and snacks throughout the day as well as buffet lunches on weekends throughout the summer season. Access to Club Dauphin is complimentary for Grand-Hôtel guests and from €40 to €105 per day for outside visitors.

The club also offers early- and late-summer brunches for visitors not staying at the hotel. On Saturdays and Sundays from May 30 through June 28 and again from Sept. 5 through 27, outside guests can take advantage of a buffet brunch and access to the swimming pool for €125 per person. Hotel guests are free to enjoy the pool and daily seafront a la carte dining and Club Dauphin’s buffet brunches on weekends.

Dauphin Lounge
The associated Dauphin Lounge, located above Club Dauphin restaurant, will open May 21. With what is described by the hotel as “a cool vibe with a lush backdrop of Provencal trees and plants and 360-degree views of the Mediterranean,” the lounge is a relaxed and elegant bar where guests can enjoy listening to music while enjoying adult beverages. In addition to its signature mojitos and champagne cocktails – including Dom Perignon cocktails – the lounge features new seasonal cocktails made with Cointreau and MountGay rum, the hotel said.

On Fridays starting July 3, the Dauphin Lounge will feature a live DJ from 6pm – 8pm.

The Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat is seaside retreat housed in a grand palatial mansion on the Côte d’Azur, on 17 acres at the tip of the peninsula of Cap-Ferrat. It features 49 guestrooms and 24 suites, a private villa, an award-winning spa with products and treatments by Carita and Bellefontaine and an outdoor spa garden with sea views, Michelin starred restaurant Le Cap, in addition to casual dining at La Veranda and seafront dining at Club Dauphin.

It is also the very definition of an upmarket property.

Because I have a “milestone birthday” in July (euphemism for “getting old”), I decided to see what it would cost to celebrate my birthday week on the Cote d’Azur. The available rooms, which range from the Deluxe Pool Terrace Suite to a 5,900 square foot four-bedroom villa, start at €5,900 per night. For six nights, that would be €35,400, or approximately US$40,000.

Although truly stratospheric, a public relations representative for the hotels pointed out that the room rates were a reflection of the fact that summer is high season in France. According to the hotel's web site, if I were to defer my celebration for three months - to October - accommodations starting with a Superior Sea-View Room could be had for as low as €731 per night, making much more attainable an upmarket experience with memories that would no doubt last a lifetime.

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Photos provided by Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat
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