Glass has a special rendezvous at the Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel and Spa on the French Riviera

AT JUST 40 kilometres from Nice and 10 from Cannes, surrounded by the majestic Esterel Mountains, lies the charming town of Theoule-sur-Mer. The town, dedicated to fishing, is home to the Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel and Spa a five-star boutique hotel. With only 40 bedrooms – and 20 more in its sister hotel just down the road, the Tiara Yatsa –  the hotel has the feel of a Mediterranean maison with strong Arabic influences. For guests, the perk of staying at a small hotel with limited capacity is that its attentive staff ensure individual treatment and the utmost attention to your wellbeing – and your wishes.

The pool overlooking the oceanThe pool overlooking the ocean

The hotel operates under the philosophy of giving the guest “what they want when they want it”. This desire to please at all times, along with the hotel’s amenities and proximity to the sea – where guests can literally jump into the Mediterranean from the poolside decks – will put the recently opened Tiara Miramar on the map as one of the best hotels on the Riviera.

As champagne is served to me and the other members of our group right before dinner at the hotel’s wonderful Bistrot M restaurant, the sky is pitch black and the view to the sea is nothing but a blank canvas of high expectations.

Bed at the Miramar Hotel and spaBed at the Miramar Hotel and spa

The Tiara Miramar offers a range of bedroom options, from cozy rooms for one or two people, to spacious suites suitable for large families. The Junior Suite with a sea view is where I’d lay my head to sleep during my stay in the Cote d’Azur. The configuration of the room is linear, slowly opening itself up to the exterior through a serious of thresholds and divisors at different levels, and with varying degrees of light exposure. The room is cosmopolitan while undeniably Moroccan. Dark brown oak with patterned latices are combined with deep, rich purples and greys that bring a modern touch to the decor.

Sunbeds in the evening overlooking the oceanSunbeds in the evening overlooking the ocean

As the sun rises on the following morning, the suite is illuminated with the soft light of dawn; your eyes will glimmer along with the blue hues of the sea that seems to nearly reach the edge of the room’s private balcony. No amount of gazing out to the Mediterranean is ever quite enough for one to feel satisfied at gawking at its beauty, but I remember the hotel general manager’s words the previous night, “I have a very special surprise for you tomorrow morning.”

As I go up to the hotel’s entrance for our special rendezvous, the doors open and I see three buggies. With 20 degrees and perfectly clear skies, a drive along the French Riviera was the most exhilarating way to start the day.

Outdoor dining at the Marimar Hotel and SpaOutdoor dining at the Marimar Hotel and Spa

The buggies go fast enough to get the adrenaline pumping, while still ensuring our safety. I’m not sure if it’s the adrenaline or the crisp, chilly breeze that’s forced into my eyes, but a non-stop flow of tears trickle down my face as my driving partner and I laugh incessantly, marvelling at the view around us. The roads wind left and right, up and down on the edges of the town’s red, rocky cliffs, as the smell of the breeze reminds me of pines, maple and of warm, home-made pancakes.

If Cannes is the place to be seen, the Tiara Miramar is the place to not be seen: a private retreat, the hotel’s concept is to be a guarded secret for anyone who wishes to escape. But for those who want to see the sights and do as the locals do, Cannes is about a 30 minute drive away. Walk down its pedestrian streets and catch snippets of conversations between friends, families and lovers having their coffees – if you understand French, of course – and if you happen to be hungry, stop for lunch at Yo’Mo, the city’s trendy Lebanese restaurant.

Dinner at the Miramar Hotel and SpaDinner at the Miramar Hotel and Spa

Not to be missed, is a visit to the town of Antibes. With its Picasso Museum, historic stone Romanesque buildings and its proximity to the sea, as well as its narrow streets with houses in hues of peach, yellow and pink, crowned with a blue, cloudless sky from above, Antibes offer a delightfully picturesque visit to a lesser-known gem in the Cote d’Azur.

by Regner Ramos

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 here

Room rates at The Miramar: Nightly rates in Junior Suite start from 390 GBP on a bed & breakfast basis

Off-road Buggies: Prices for the Tiara Buggy Excursion are 110 GBP, based on two people sharing a buggy for an hour and a half journey.