John Gregory-Smith discovered sun kissed terraces and succulent seafood at the Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel and Spa in the South of France.
After a short flight to Nice airport and an even shorter drive to Théoule-sur-mer, we arrived at the Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel and Spa, tucked into the rugged coastline of the stunning Cote d’Azur and only a short drive from the glitz and glamour of Cannes.
The hotel was an oasis of contemporary cool, centred around a rugged concrete beach with neat rows of crisp towelled sunbeds and killer views of the azure blue sea that shimmered in the light blue haze of the late summer sun.
Lunch came first and we devoured plates of freshly made salty tapenade with lusciously red tomatoes and peppery olive oil, a fabulous fish salad made with local crab and pan fried sea bream served on a bed of mixed leaves, fennel, olives and sun dried tomatoes. Washed down with plenty of cold rosé, it was an utterly divine welcome to the hotel.
The elegant bedrooms were simply decorated with teak cupboards and antique mirrors. Morrocan lamps cast shadowy light across the magnificent bed that was piled high with huge pillows. A private balcony framed the spectacular view of the bay and was the best place for a quite read in the early morning sun.
Having just left a damp dingy London for a few days of sun in early October, I flew down to the picture perfect pool that hung on a ledge just above the sea, overlooking the mansion-littered hills of the cote d’azur. It was heated, making it ideal for a dip and a great spot for afternoon beers and banter, the hotel served a rather wonderful Corsican brew called Pietra that I highly recommend.
We dined at the hotel’s sister restaurant Yaktsa, an intimate boutique hotel just around the corner from the Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel and Spa, which was voted Best Hotel for Romance at the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards 2011. We ate a feast in the elegant dining room, then rolled into our beds full, happy and blissfully content.
The sea is simply stunning in this part of France, and despite the time of year, it was still warm enough to enjoy. So we jumped onto jet skis and raced off towards Cannes. It was choppy, so we tumbled and turned, rolling with the waves towards the city, all the while passing hidden coves and slick yachts. After the excitement of the morning and a long rose-sodden lunch, we slipped onto sunbeds to soak up the rays and enjoy the sounds of the sea for the rest of the day.
The hotel is perfectly placed as a base to explore the surrounding areas of Cannes, Nice and the beautiful hillside villages of Antibes and Saint Paul de Vence, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the countryside from the walled ancient town and even bump into Brangelina dining amongst the Picasso paintings at the iconic La Colombe D’Or Hotel. Dress smart and bag a table in the courtyard for lunch and enjoy fabulous French fare with the locals in the know.
If that all sounds too much, you can enjoy a relaxing massage at the hotels spa, then sink into a Balinese day bed for afternoon of Gone Girl and snoozing! Trust me it’s just as good!
Nightly rates at Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa start from €160 based on two sharing a double room on a B&B basis.
For more information visit miramar-beachspa.tiara-hotels.com