The Côte d’Azur translates to blue coast and, I assume, refers to the exquisite color of the water and sky. From Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport, both public and private beaches line the seafront in both directions from Beaulieu-sur-Mer to Saint-Tropez. Most are easily accessible to visitors traveling by bus, train and car (drivers can park on the side of the seafront road, D6098, if they can find a space). At public beaches, sun-lovers carry their chairs, rattan roll-ups, net bags filled with beach toys and pique-nique on the pebbly shore. Private beaches, including those affiliated with haute hotels, charge a daily fee for a towel-covered transat (sunbed), umbrella and food and beverage service. They are ideal for those who prefer to sip a chilled rosé, while the kids play, then, linger together over a fabulous, even gastronomic, lunch. In September, after the August crowds flee, the beaches are particularly lovely.
Royal Riviera, Beaulieu sur Mer
This private sandy beach overlooks boats in the Bay of Beaulieu, the exquisite Villa Kerylos perched on the shore and the cliffs at Eze. Families frequent the Royal Riviera and Children are equally at home on the breakfast buffet, the pool or at the beach — where they are gifted with buckets and spades for the sand — at this family-friendly hotel. Kids can paddle board, trampoline, play table tennis or take water ski or swimming lessons. On the patio, at the Jasmin Grill, where you choose to sit determines the view: the swimming pool and garden or the exquisite seaside-to-cliffs topography.
In Nice, a wide seafront promenade separates the pebbly shorefront from the broad, tree-lined Promenade des Anglais. The promenade has a dedicated bicycle lane, hundreds of iconic blue chairs and is studded with white, shaded-structures with seating. Neptune Plage, the private club affiliated with The Negresco — a posh hotel furnished with antiques, charm and whimsy that’s affiliated with Leading Hotels of the World — boasts blue-and-white striped umbrellas and a seafood restaurant and separated from the public beach by a low picket fence.
Hotel du Cap d’Antibes Eden Roc
Reserve one of the rustic cabins by a bit of sand on this exclusive, shaded, park-like estate called Hotel du Cap d’Antibes Eden Roc and savor a view that stretches from Cap d’Antibes to Cannes to the Lérins Islands. Footsteps away in the seafront Eden Roc complex, the chic Le Grill and the posh Le Cap restaurants view the iconic seawater pool, blasted from the rocks — the daredevils who delight on the trapeze above the sea by diving off or jumping in and climbing high to do it again and again.
Hotel Martinez, Cannes
Hotel Martinez attracted the beau monde since its debut in the 1930s and was among the first to import fine sand for its guests. Descend the ship-like steps to La Plage by Martinez to reach the wide white pier that juts out to the sea. At the end of the pier, beyond the beautiful sunbathers, kids don life preservers for les sports nautiques: tubing, water skiing and parasailing in colorful rafts and boats. There are also rows of transats on the sand, where toddlers play by the shore and a marvelous outdoor restaurant, where some folks dine in business clothes, others in beach cover-ups. In season, there’s dinner, music, dancing and even occasional fireworks.
Byblos Beach, Saint- Tropez
The newest beach to welcome Saint-Tropez visitors is Byblos Beach, one of the private clubs along Ramatuelle’s glamourous coast, which offer double sunbeds, umbrellas and stunning, shaded seafood restaurants, just a short drive distant from the port village. Here, Executive Chef Rocco Seminara from Cucina Byblos serves exquisite Mediterranean food. Near to Le Byblos hotel (and down the hill), Les Graniers beach offers a sliver of sand facing Colombiers Bay and simple, Michelin-recognized fare served on a postage stamp-sized wooden deck.
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.
Zermatt’s colorful ski boutique-lined Bahnhofstrasse, stylish apartment-style lodgings of every description and views of the Matterhorn from every angle make up one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations — and it certainly does not hurt that it is proclaimed the “world’s best ski resort” by organizations like SnowOnline.com year after year. During the warmer months, meanwhile, you will see many family groups with kids strolling the shopping streets (sometimes alongside a herd of about 50 free-range Valais Blackneck goats around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.), enjoying fondue and pizza at nearby cafés, and taking advantage of the many hiking and bike trails.
By Hainan Airlines
In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial travelers said the hotel amenity they'd like to see more of is plants in hotel rooms. The same number said they seek plant-filled spaces and activities on vacation, including parks and botanical gardens.