The Cote d'Azur is renowned for its captivating coastal towns, glamorous lifestyle and impossibly blue water that attracts the super-rich, A-list and royalty to park their yachts for the summer, attend the region's world-famous film festival and rub shoulders with other well-heeled travellers. But a holiday in the South of France can be understated and Paparazzi-free while still luxurious.
Whether you're a superstar in search of a peaceful sanctuary or someone looking to escape for a weekend of indulgence, the picturesque village of Théoule-sur-Mer, just a 30-minute drive from Cannes, and its five-star Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel and Spa should be on your radar.
See also: Where to go in the Cote d'Azur
Essentially a place not to be seen, the Miramar is an elegant hotel gem, offering a wonderful retreat in the Cote d'Azur. With its spectacular location overlooking the glistening Mediterranean Sea, its second-to-none service and a warm ambiance that makes you never want to leave, the hotel is a lavish home from home. Its boutique style, kooky touches and cosy yet opulent interior create the perfect setting for a weekend break or week-long holiday.
The beautiful Mediterranean and Arabic-style décor gives an exotic feel: think dark woods, Middle Eastern-style lanterns and a decadent scent throughout the hotel, combined with modern art and sculptures for a contemporary effect. The attentive service is beyond what you expect of a five-star hotel and there is a selection of spaces to socialise for those who like to stay holed up in the hotel (we loved sipping tea in the gorgeous Lounge).
Tiara Miramar's rooms are exquisite with a zen-like atmosphere and rich décor. The Sea View Junior Suites are a dream. The endless sea view from the large terrace with sun loungers and a table and chairs ideal for enjoying breakfast in your room and the spacious lounge area that is both luxurious and homely provide a chic and relaxing place to escape - especially for couples on a romantic break. For families, there are 30 interconnecting rooms at the Miramar and restaurant menus for little guests, while groups will adore Villa Azur, which is separated from the hotel and offers a fabulous space for parties with three modern bedrooms, including one with a hot tub on its terrace.
See also: The world's most impressive hotel gardens
The hotel's dining spaces include trendy restaurant Bistrot M, where you can sample chef Guillaume Anor's exciting French cuisine influenced by locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal produce - the hotel is open year-round so you can expect delectable offerings whichever season you visit. Anor's parmesan and truffle risotto during our autumn stay was divine! Downstairs on the beach level, restaurant MoYa has a more casual feel, serving up charcoal-grilled dishes and buffet-style dining in an al-fresco-style setting. Just minutes away, sister hotel Tiara Yaktsa is home to fine dining restaurant L'Or Bleu, where the emphasis is on creative culinary concoctions using local harvests and Provencal-style cooking with a twist to impress diners.
For the ultimate experience at the Miramar, visit the amazing spa where a wonderful oasis of calm awaits. The Tiara Spa combines treatment rooms with a spacious sauna and beautiful mosaic-clad steam room. Book the Tiara Miramar massage, a soothing and utterly indulgent treatment (90 euros for 45 mins.) which is perfect for melting away your stresses. The therapist uses the most relaxing massage techniques to leave you feeling restored and restful.
A dip in the hotel's heated outdoor pool is a must and overlooks Théoule's distinctive red rocks and sun loungers await on the private beach for soaking up the sunshine closer to the sea. The Miramar's gardens are one of its most idyllic features. A perfect reflection of the hotel's commitment to privacy, guests can take sanctuary among the pine trees and oleander on sun loungers, rattan couches and Balinese beds scattered throughout the garden away from prying eyes.
Outside the hotel, Théoule is a wonderful place to explore. Active travellers will love an off-road buggy tour of the area which can be arranged by the hotel. It's a terrific way to take in the views of the splendid location, discover the pine-scented forests and enjoy the twist and turns of Théoule's coastal road. A visit to the village is also worth a trip to browse the boutiques and galleries, while taking in the local life.
If you fancy checking out the lively cities of the French Riviera, Cannes and Antibes are excellent for day trips. Art lovers should check out the Musée Picasso, one of the top things to do in Antibes, complete with glorious sea views and located just moments from the sandy Gravette Beach as well as the ancient Port Vauban. Foodies visiting Cannes will adore the Lebanese cuisine at Yo'Mo, a stylish restaurant serving Middle Eastern favourites, such as tabbouleh, grilled meat and kanafeh in a lovely, contemporary setting.
Book it: A Sea View Junior Suite starts from £390 on a bed and breakfast basis throughout the low season. Summer rates start from £728. The Tiara Buggy Excursion costs £110, based on two people sharing a buggy for an hour and a half. Call +33 (0)4 93 75 05 05 or visit miramar-beachspa.tiara-hotels.com for reservations.
Get there: Monarch offers flights to Nice from Birmingham and London Gatwick with fares starting from £42 one way (£98 return). For further information or to book Monarch flights, Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, visit monarch.co.uk