Finding the perfect holiday combination of peace, luxury and fine dining can be tricky. But head to the south coast of France and you can get all three.
The medieval village of Eza winds around the top of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean. It is situated between Monte Carlo and Nice, but feels as though it's a million miles from the flash, brash crowds of the rest of the south of France. The narrow streets mean that most of the village is inaccessible to cars, so you can wander the slopes in peace. Yet it still manages to cram in two luxury hotels, a Michelin-starred restaurant and fantastic views of the Mediterranean.
Sitting right at the top of the village is the luxury boutique hotel Chateau Eza. It has just ten guest rooms, in buildings dotted around the village. Each is individually decorated in a style sympathetic to the medieval buildings and most offer unrivalled views out across miles of coastline. Opt for the suite and you can even enjoy the view from your own private hot tub on the balcony.
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But the pice de rsistance is the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant. Situated in a room that practically hangs over the edge of a cliff looking out over the Med, it offers stunning views and delicious French cuisine without the pomp and ceremony of many other French restaurants.
If you tire of the peace and quiet on offer in Eza, Monaco where another great Michelin-starred restaurant awaits is just a ten-minute drive away. Monte Carlo is mainly a tax haven for the hugely wealthy, so there are relatively few things for tourists to do in fact, you can cover everything in a day. The main sights to take in are the palace, the main casino and, of course, the various high-end forms of transport docked in the marina or parked by the side of the road.
After a day's yacht-spotting, settle down on the terrace at the Restaurant Mandarine at the Port Palace hotel and prepare for another great meal. This restaurant earned its Michelin-star for its fabulous fresh fish. The Mediterranean sea bass is particularly tasty and worth the €45 price tag. As you eat, you can enjoy the view of the port and the roads that become the Formula One race track once a year the Port Palace is Monte Carlo's only hotel to look directly onto the course.
Rooms at Chateau Eza cost from €280. For more information, visit www.chateaueza.com, or call 00 33 4 9341 1224.
Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.
Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.
Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.
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