Les Roches Rouges, Côte d’Azur

Roches Rouges has had a makeover and it glows with a
newfound confidence. Perched on the rocks of St Raphael just an
hour away from Nice, this design-led waterfront hotel is perfect if
you’re looking to toe the line between the hedonism of the
French Riviera
and a laid-back

You’re greeted by a Mondrian palette; modernist whitewashed
architecture is set against the twinkling sapphires of the
– and then there are those egg-yolk yellow 1950s
chairs. The colours lull you into a sense of calm as you listen to
the gentle lapping of waves against burnt-red rocks – that is,
until you realise that the waves are unfurling into a private
salt-water infinity
, and a childlike urge to jump straight in is most
certainly forgiven.

As for the interiors, your eyes will dart from rustic terracotta
vases filled with lavender and wild wheat to eclectic paintings by
local artists and long wooden tables well-stocked with books (hello
there, first edition Picasso and Brigitte Bardot biographies) in
what the owner told us is “a collaboration with everyone bringing
their passion”.


With impeccably crisp, white sheets and polaroid pictures dotted
next to the bedside table, the 50 rooms are simple yet elegant.
Each is individually decorated, underlining the feeling that you
could be in somebody’s home, with its own memories and stories. The
sea rooms are a treat, with an overview of the hotel’s primary
colours and Tintin’s golden island on the horizon. Watching the sun
rise from your balcony is a must.

What’s for breakfast?

Granola and yoghurt, soft boiled eggs with yolks that match the
chairs, a rainbow of fruits, hefty charcuterie board and endless
fresh pastries. In their words, this is a place that goes “back to
our roots”.

How about lunch and dinner?

restaurant serves refined Mediterranean dishes that
change to reflect the catch of the day. Channel Audrey Tautou in
Hors de Prix and slip on your heels for the occasion.
Alternatively, enjoy a more relaxed Provençal meal downstairs,
where the rich ratatouille is the star of the show. If you’re
peckish, the beach hut offers light bites to complement your rosé.

Is there a bar?

Both the bar and its menu are a focal point at Les Roches
Rouges. Masterfully created by a mixologist who cut his teeth at
Chiltern Firehouse
, it’s a tough call choosing your tipple –
but you can’t beat the vin d’orange for a post-swim aperitif.


Snorkel at Ile d’Or (the island that inspired Tintin), unwind in
the wellness spa
or kick back at the
cinema with the sea as the backdrop. Les Roches lets
you be as social or as solitary as you wish.

Things I should know

The hotel is a destination
in itself, so don’t expect to wander into town on foot.

Within a short walk I can find…

See above – but if you feel like exploring St Raphael, jump in a
taxi and head to the main square where you’ll find the market. The
streets are vibrant in both colour and spirit making for an
enjoyable morning jaunt.

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