Glass discovers the joy of excellence at the Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa and Yaktsa Côte d’Azur

YOU have to love airports in the South of France; tiny, unfussy and a sign that you have reached the land of relaxed, simple pleasures. This is the feeling that embraces you as you arrive at Nice airport and take the scenic journey though the rolling mountains that hug the azure blue shoreline on your way towards the Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa and the neighbouring Yaktsa Côte d’Azur – sister hotels of Tiara Hotels & Resorts. It is fascinating to get accustomed to the landscape – multi-levelled, with impressive dwellings nestled within the folding topography. One of these is Pierre Cardin’s Bubble House, which has hosted many renowned parties and catwalk shows for the fashion and film worlds – a small view into the heartbeat of the area.

Miramar Beach Hotel and SPA, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d'Azur, France, vip lounge terraceThe VIP lounge terrace at Miramar Beach Hotel and SPA, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d’Azur, France.

Immediately upon arriving at the Miramar we are whisked into its enchanting interior by the friendly and professional staff. Built on a plethora of levels to sit seamlessly within the terrain and scenery of the Esterel, the building flirts with the landscape and sea around it, nestling comfortably in its own private creek – from the lower levels that touch the sea, right up to the higher levels that soak up sun along its impressive southerly facing elevation.

Miramar Beach Hotel and SPA, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d'Azur, France, hotel's roomA Room at the Miramar Hotel Beach and Spa.

The lower levels contain the alfresco Moya Beach restaurant which serves locally sourced cuisine in a carefree and jovial atmosphere. The design embraces relaxation, surrounded by clever pockets of privacy, with canopy beds, deck chairs and rattan couches alongside more social spaces. Watersports are offered along the sea line, alongside the infinity pool that cascades onto the beachfront and out onto the horizon. Guests can arrive in style by boat or utilise the sea exit for easy access to nearby Cannes, Saint-Tropez and the Lérins Islands in a few minutes – perfect for Cannes Film Festival.

Also accessible from the lower levels is the wonderful Villa Azur; it’s hidden away in its own private garden, perfect for guests that want to spend private time with family or friends, yet with easy access to the hotel. Quirky, contemporary and upbeat decor graces the three bedrooms, three terraces overlooking sea and garden, lounge, dining room, kitchen and jacuzzi – totalling an impressive 1830 sq ft.

Miramar Beach Hotel and SPA, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d'Azur, France, external view of the hotelMiramar Beach Hotel and SPA, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d’Azur, France.

As one elevates though the hotel levels, more facets come into play. The array of rooms all feature impeccable design, comfort and views. In all there are 60 rooms including 12 suites and junior suites, the pinnacle being the impressive 2200 sq ft Royal Suite. The decor echoes Arabia and the Orient, and rooms combine contemporary decor with modern technology. At the entrance level sits the Miramar’s signature restaurant, bursting with Provençal charm and style, with exquisite views of the Mediteranean Sea.

One element that particularly stands out is the Spa and fitness area, which includes a well thought out gym and tennis courts. The spa, encompassing two floors, is a perfect way to relax after sporting activities; I found it a haven of calm, with sauna, steam bath, sumptuous beauty treatments, muscle-easing massages and experienced, attentive staff.

A short five-minute ride away is Miramar’s impressive neighbour, the Yaktsa Côte d’Azur, whose renowned L’Or Bleu restaurant is the toast of the area. The cuisine is a celebration of the Mediterranean, with the freshest ingredients, locally harvested, delicately manipulated by Chef Guillaume Anor, with spicy flavours of remote lands taking diners on an impressive culinary journey.

Tiara Jaktsa Resort, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d'Azur, France, hotel's roomTiara Jaktsa Resort, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d’Azur, France, hotel’s room

The Yaktsa, placed at a slightly higher elevation than the Miramar, provides excellent views of the Mediterranean, especially when relaxing in the well thought out organically designed gardens. Thoughtful placement of herbs, pine trees and floral notes punctuate areas of privacy and calm. The building has a unique architectural design; formerly a manor house, it was cleverly combined with Art Deco influences and refined details taken from the orient. A more intimate affair than the Miramar, it has a total of 21 rooms, including a penthouse of 1300 sq ft.

Tiara Jaktsa Resort, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d'Azur, France, swimming pool and viewTiara Jaktsa Resort, Théoule-sur-Mer, Cote d’Azur, France, swimming pool and view

The finesse and attention to detail that both of these hotels champion is a joy, from the charm and attentiveness of the staff to the delightful room design and faultless presentation, and the innovative cuisine, deeply rooted in the essence of the area. It is an experience to cherish and learn from – a lesson in how luxury should be done.

by Ben Slater