Falling head over heels for Château Saint-Martin & Spa (3) is easy. Encircled by rosescented gardens that appear to go on forever, and outfitted in a palette of delicious sorbet shades, this Côte d’Azur hideaway – a short drive out of St Paul de Vence – is a place you’ll want to return to time and time again. When you’re not sprawled poolside, how about a leisurely turn around the grounds, strewn with works by sculptor Manolo Valdés?
Summer mornings ought to be spent sipping coffee and watching the world go by at sundappled Café Timothé. As the day draws on, join locals beneath the charcoal-toned parasols on Sol’s chic patio for a light lunch. The ever-evolving seasonal menu at Le Saint-Martin – Château Saint-Martin & Spa’s Michelin-starred haunt (2) – is a gastronomic tribute to the Côte d’Azur, while the more relaxed yet no less enticing L’Oliveraie turns out rustic dishes from the wood-fired oven.
Performed in a foliageshaded gazebo in the gardens (or, should you prefer, in one of the chic treatment rooms), therapies at Spa Saint-Martin by La Prairie feel undeniably spoiling. From reflexology and shirodhara to powerful Balinese massage, no stone is left unturned. But best of all is the Platinum Rare Haute Rejuvenation Facial, designed to bolster the skin barrier and replenish lost moisture.
A few miles inland from Nice, you’ll find St Paul – a village with an artsy side perched high above the Med. It’s heart-stoppingly charming, with ancient ramparts, tall cypresses and powder-blue shuttered houses (1). Get lost amid the cobbled streets then make the pilgrimage to the world-renowned Fondation Maeght for its sculpture collection (including works by Giacometti and Miró) and be sure to visit Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence – designed and decked out by the artist Henri Matisse.
Rates at Château Saint-Martin & Spa begin at €660 per night (approx. £560) on a room-only basis; visit oetkercollection.com. British Airways flies London to Nice from £32 one way; visit ba.com. For guidance, visit gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.