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Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat

by Irvina Lew

Sep 29, 2019

Kids Enfants à l’hotel James Pouliot (9)

Luxury

Dating from 1908, the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, a member of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and one of France’s 25 Palace Hotels, perches above the sea on a 17-acre, terraced-garden estate. It’s located at the tip of Cap Ferrat, a gorgeous peninsula that thrusts into the Mediterranean between Villefranche harbor and the bay of Beaulieu, less than six miles — and a world away — from Nice.

 

From babyhood on, everyone is a VIP here. I watched a waiter carrying strollers down the few steps to the terrace and kids sipping mini-mocktails. They also attend the barman’s Mocktail Masterclass complete with recipes, indulge in pastries and participate in a pastry chef-led pastry-making session.

 

Along with welcome amenities and presents, there are swimming lessons, tennis lessons and a scavenger hunt. (Kids who complete the answers to questions in a story receive a complimentary kid spa treatment.) Concierges can also customize a whole program for kids and, at Easter, there are family packages. En route to the spa, I met a family of four while the young sons were being fitted for bikes and helmets to take a bike tour of the peninsula. And they can drive the miniature sport cars waiting for them in the driveway. We actually arrived at the majestic 74-room hotel on the same day as an automobile club. I can only wonder if the little ones were as excited with their sports cars as we were just admiring the spectacularly colorful classic sports cars assembled out front.

Kids Enfants à l’hotel James Pouliot

At meals, there were as many babies and children as designer bags and shoes. Baby-sitting services are available for those who want some adult time. We lunched outside on the tree-shaded terrace of La Véranda on Chef Yoric Tièche’s new seasonal Mastegagna menu, which features typical Nicois family-style dishes. Chef Tièche focuses on a Mediterranean menu, which is the healthiest in the world, and he offers locally sourced vegan, veggie and gluten-free options.

 

For dinner, we dined in the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Cap. At both meals we ended with some of pastry chef Florent Margaillan’s magical desserts, including amazing frosted fruits, a chocolate mousse cake within a cocoa bean boat and a coconut mousse inside a coconut ice-lined coconut shell.

 

From the terraces, guests can walk through formal gardens and down a rustic, landscaped path carved through rock (or take the funicular) to descend to the heated, seawater pool complex Club Dauphin, which has its own casual restaurant. There are no beaches here, but there is a path with direct access to the sea; there’s even a platform where you can sunbathe or from which you can dive into the sea.

 

The 8,000-square-foot, recentl -refurbished spa was originally constructed in 2009 on the lower level of La Residence — which houses eight suites, each with its own private pool. The spa can be reached from outside or from the hotel via a winding underground walkway lined with photographs of famous guests: Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Pablo Picasso. The extraordinary spa features a boutique, nail salon, Technogym-equipped fitness studio, indoor pool, hammam, ice fountain, Jacuzzi, sauna, sensation shower and sound-proofed cabins. The Grand Salon, a private duo-suite as ideal for moms and daughters as couples, boasts a whirlpool tub, hammam, sauna, shower, bathroom and lounge. Outside the spa, there are three cardio-cabanas with spectacular sea views (one has a rowing machine).

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