Perched on the tip of the fabled Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the historic Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat is an institution on the French Riviera and is also one of the most beautiful and luxurious destination wedding venues in the South of France. To celebrate our wedding anniversary, Ryan and I were lucky enough to spend nearly a week on this beautiful property which was an absolute dream come true.
When Ryan and I were in our early 20’s we spent three weeks exploring France and Italy, and the one place that really stood out in our mind was Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. At that time we were staying at a tiny guest house in Nice, and we would take the bus every afternoon to Cap Ferrat where we would hike around its famous peninsula and cool off in the Mediterranean Sea. I will never forget diving into the crystal clear water, and everywhere we turned all we could see was the water, the rocky coast, and the trees. Not a single person was in sight (which, in July on the Cote d’Azur is nearly unheard of) and we truly felt like we were the only two people on Earth. We cherished that moment so much and dreamt of someday being able to return. So, when discussing our wedding anniversary, the moment the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat came into the picture it was a done deal.
We flew into Nice and from there it was a short (and scenic) drive to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. As we approached the lush peninsula we rolled down our windows and breathed in the intoxicating smell of jasmine on the sea breeze. I was so excited to be back I could hardly contain my tears, and the second we pulled down the driveway and the Grand Hotel came into our vision I just knew it would be a perfect stay.
The week we spent at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat was completely and utterly perfect. Although it was early-October, the weather remained unseasonably warm and sunny. Our room featured two balconies with French doors – one that overlooked the craggy coastline and the other the Mediterranean Sea. Waking up to the sun rising over the waters, watching, from our bed, the sun change from an inky blue to a pale purple to a vibrant pink and finally to the perfect shade of cerulean was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
The rest of our days were as leisurely as the beginning. We would start with a quick swim in the Mediterranean and then head back up to the hotel in their incredible glass funicular to enjoy a decadent breakfast on the tree-lined terrace. After, would head down to the sea where we would alternate between resting in the sun and swimming in their famous Olympic-sized pool.
Some days we would take our car out to enjoy lunch in the nearby village of Èze (an incredible destination in its own right), other days we would walk along the sea to the charming town of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat where we would eat seafood by the harbor. Or, if we were just too relaxed, we would simply stay at the hotel and order something off their incredible menu (normally, I’m not a huge fan of hotel dining but the food was truly incredible). Afternoons were spent reading in the sun, walking the famed coastal paths of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and exploring nearby sites such as the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
For dinner, we loved being just a ten-minute drive from the beautiful village of Villefranche-Sur-Mer where we would stroll the colorful streets, stopping for a glass of wine before finally settling down for dinner by the sea. After, we would stroll hand-in-hand along the sea admiring the lights of the boats glittering in the harbor. It was completely and utterly romantic – I felt like we were on a movie set. However, when we were just too relaxed to leave we loved being able to dine al fresco at the hotel and had some of the best seafood that I have ever tasted. We would end the night with either a cup of infused tea in the hotel lobby or a cocktail at the bar, and then slowly make our way back up to our room for a restful night’s sleep.
Staying at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat was truly and utterly the most perfect anniversary getaway imaginable. I will forever cherish the beautiful memories that Ryan and I were so fortunate to make and I look forward to returning soon!
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