Quietly unassuming, secluded and unpretentious, this delightfully low-key location in the French Riviera, which once inspired the likes of Nicolas de Staël, Picasso and Gerald Murphy, still manages to encapsulate all of the area's natural beauty and fascination.
The Hotel Imperial Garoupe nestles demurely amongst the stone pines and sandy beaches that captivated many of the great artists of the 19th century, proclaiming itself to be the 'green spot in the heart of Antibes', and forging a compelling alliance between the inner and outer worlds. In this alluring setting, sandwiched between Cannes and Nice and hidden from view, guests can enjoy gourmet dining, personalised rooms, beachside hospitality and, above all else, peace to take things at a meandering and leisurely pace on the Cap d'Antibes.
Tucked away within the pines and sienna-tinted rocks, the Hotel Imperial Garoupe's location on the Cap d'Antibes means guests are blessed with delightfully expansive views of this legendary coastline, while retaining sanctuary in one of the Mediterranean's most inviting coves.
This unaffected villa is yards away from the famous Plage de la Garoupe, and just around the corner from celebrity-favourite Hotel du Cap. Antibes Cathedral is within easy range and, for cultural aficionados, attractions such as Musee Picasso are only a small drive away, while Cannes City is less than half an hour in the car. The resort is less than two miles to the nearest train station, and 16 miles to the international airport of Nice.
It may not be a big residence, but the Hotel Imperial Garoupe offers unparalleled peace and seclusion amidst some of the most charming surroundings of the Riviera. Cradled in the lush, green stillness of impeccably maintained gardens and succulents, imbued by the subtle fragrances of overhead stone pines and beguiled by the soft, pink lines of stucco walls, this is truly a place of intimacy and restfulness.
As you make your way down tiny pathways laced with flowers, you can choose between reflective contemplation poolside, precious moments languishing on the private beaches surrounded only by the sounds of nature, or a leisurely Margarita supped in the quiet beachfront café by the waters of this transfixing coastline in the South of France.
There is something truly special about the intimate and serene feeling conjured up by this hotel: the vibe is palpably one of being at home, but with all the clear benefits of staying in a luxury resort. The Hotel Imperial Garoupe's chic yet relaxed sophistication is visible everywhere, from the gently flowing fountain to the discreetly maintained, exotically fragranced medleys of Star Jasmine, encapsulating all the natural charm synonymous with the Riviera whilst also enabling you to reconnect with simultaneously simpler and more profound pleasures. It's almost as if you are visiting the home of a generous friend, such is the aura of inimitable ease that sustains it as its core.
You can tell that the Hotel Imperial Garoupe has been designed as a private residence, with its assortment of separate quarters loosely arranged around a protected inter courtyard and including a relatively modest selection of 30 rooms, four suites, one apartment and a private villa. While modest, however, these individually designed rooms are spacious, tasteful and genuinely capitalise on their natural surroundings, with a plentiful supply of natural light, garden views, large terraces and charming balconies.
Signatures of luxury can still be discerned in the marble bathrooms and large lights, and the nods to flat-screen television, air conditioning, mini bar and free WiFi reflect the need to merge the soothing earthiness of Provence with every possible comfort. Yet above all this, the restful individuality of each room, from colour tint to textile positioning, coupled with the residence's overall sanctuary manifesto, make this hotel feel as though it has been made just for you.
Hotel Imperial Garoupe's service is friendly, warm and very helpful, so even as you experience all the benefits of seclusion and intimacy that this delightful residence maintains, you can be sure that you will be treated to excellent levels of attention.
The staff is dedicated, observant, polite and considerate, and we have to say that the barman makes a truly decadent gin and tonic.
TOP 5 REASONS TO STAY AT THE HOTEL IMPERIAL GAROUPE
Culinary delights in a green oasis
Beach-side cuisine with a stylish and artistic twist comes courtesy of hotel chef Jean Paul Cudennec, who oversees the menus of both the main restaurant Le Pavillon and its sister eatery Le Pavillon Beach. An 'earth and sea' assortment, featuring such delights as John Dory with Arugula Gnocchi and Perle Blanche Oyster and Langoustines, is served as fragrant breezes tease the main restaurant terrace, whilst the beachside option serves charcuterie, ravioli and other delicacies, and at the weekend guests can enjoy the rotisserie and grill, before exploring the unadulterated pleasures of the sweet 'gourmet endings'.
Insightful cookery lessons taught with humour
As a delightful bonus, guests at the hotel are invited not only to enjoy the dishes at the Hotel Imperial Garoupe but also to try making a few of their own - with a little help, of course. A proclaimed 'thousand and one secrets' of worldwide gastronomy are yours for the taking as the supervising chef encourages you to try your hand at cookery classes where the onus is on quality and enjoyment. Using warmth and humour, you'll be guided through the process of preparing a delectable starter, main and dessert, and there's also the option of a shared sampling session so you can swap ideas in a friendly, collaborative environment.
Wellness area nestled in the gardens
While the accent is firmly on doing things at your own pace, the hotel's highly personalised spa treatments aim to give you a helping hand towards restored equilibrium of body and spirit.
The hotel's wellness area offers a range of massages and treatments using the 'massothermie' system, as well as a sauna, and it's all geared towards intense relaxation and healing adapted to your needs. Guests can also visit the Clinique Science et Beauté, which uses preventative medicine and health optimisation techniques to promote 'the beauty of being'.
Exclusive relaxing boat trips
For those who aren't content to just gaze out at the crystalline expanse of the Cote D'Azur from the water's edge, the hotel offers guests a real treat in the form of boat expeditions manned by a professional skipper.
Sailing off into the blue on this 11-metre yacht, guests at the Hotel Imperial Garoupe can further remove themselves from the everyday worries of modern living while exploring one of the most charming stretches of the Riviera or, if they so choose, they can bring the glamour and seduction of Nice and Cannes tantalisingly nearer.
Luxurious pool and enchanting walks
Simple yet stunning pleasures are, of course, also to be found much closer to your luxurious home from home. You'll be encouraged to make time to do nothing more strenuous than strolling down the perfumed pathways that connect your quarters with the gorgeous outdoor pool.
There, you can settle in for some deeply satisfying R&R the good old-fashioned way, taking a dip, soaking up the rays or just lounging amongst the wild flora and olive trees: bliss.