Archive for the ‘French Riviera’ Category
Earlier this month the lovely Elodie and Camilla from the Pierre & Vacances UK team were lucky enough to spend a week in the South of France discovering the Pierre & Vacances residences along the Cote d’Azur. For one week they went from residence to residence meeting the resort managers, their teams and checking out the holiday apartments, pools and local areas. We know, it’s a tough job but someone had to do it!
Here Elodie shares some of their photos and tips for holidays to Nice, Cannes and St Tropez:
Premium Residence Port Prestige
Only 30 minutes from Nice airport, our first night was spent at the Premium Residence Port Prestige in Antibes.
The residence is a five minute walk to the Port with views of Fort Carre and 10 minutes walk to the beautiful beach of “ Plage de la Gravette”.
This was the view from the balcony of our apartment….
…and what an amazing roof with a Jacuzzi!
The first day of our tour started with a visit to some of the most beautiful self-catering residences in Cannes.
Cannes Mandelieu Holiday Village
Cannes Mandelieu is located just800 metres from the beach and close to the much celebrated Boulevard de la Croisette where the Cannes film festival is held.
Residence Cannes Beach
Cannes Beach is only five minutes from the beach, close to the centre of Cannes. The apartments are spread out over seven floors, and for those wanting to keep their bikini figures while on holiday there is a fitness room also available on-site.
Residence Cannes Villa Francia
Cannes Villa Francia residence has been recently renovated, and the infinity pool is pretty special.
After a long day of visiting the holiday apartments and residences (whilst also enjoying the 30°C sun!), we were off to the holiday village of Cap Esterel for two nights.
Cap Esterel Holiday Village
Cap Esterel feels like a little village, everything is on-site: mini supermarket, restaurants, shops, doctor, six swimming pools all over 200 hectares. Plus lots of activities for all ages available, such as tennis, a circus school, zumba lessons, horse riding, Nordic walking, paintball, diving…. to name a few!
The residence also has its own lake, with bookable activities like the Tree Top Adventure course with the interestingly named ‘devilish’ zipline.
Every week a program is released with all the different activities and events available at the holiday village, we were lucky to see a Provencal market where local farmers came to sell their products on the main street called “Place de la Bravade”. We met local olive producers, wine suppliers, farm produce and also local artists and designers selling jewelry, glass, scarves… Of course it was the food which captivated us the most:
The “Navette”, it’s a biscuit from Marseille, it can be plain or flavoured, generally with an orange or lemon taste.
We also enjoyed, the “Fougasse” which is a type of flat bread made with olives, cheese, anchovies… typically from Provence but with regional variations.
To finish our tasting tour, the Saucisson. They were really good – actually I tasted all of them but I controlled myself and only bought three!
But it wasn’t all work for us, during our stay in the Cap Esterel holiday village we took a little train to the beach to treat ourselves to some rest and a nice tan for our return to the UK!
Thursday was the day for viewing the St Tropez area and the residences in Les Issambres: Les Rivages, Les Calanques, Le Hameau and Les Issambres Holiday Village. Les Issambres is a really peaceful and a pretty part of the Cote d’Azur, perfect for a relaxing holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the main towns in the South of France but close enough to visit them for the day.
The resort manager, Murielle Oger, showed us various accommodation types, some of which have been upgraded in 2007 and to meet our Premium residence standard.
The holiday village sits on the hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean with fantastic views, although we had a short drive to the coast we were pleasantly surprised to find there is a Pierre & Vacances private beach where you can rent sunbeds.
Pierre & Vacances Les Restanques Holiday Village
Les Restanques Holiday Village is situated at only 8km from beautiful St Tropez bay.
The holiday village has two swimming pools, including a heated pool and a wave pool, and two restaurants on-site with a buffet or à la Carte menu. The accommodation varies from studio to a Bastide for eight people. So there really is something for everyone!
Pierre & Vacances Residence Parc des Grimaud
Residence Parc des Grimaud‘s nearby beach is walking distance away, only 400 metres via a private and secure path. As well as the 300 apartments being fully renovated in 2011, the residence has been awarded the “Green Key” in 2010.
The building “Marianne” is the only building in the Residence Parc des Grimaud to have self-catering apartments with air conditioning and separated toilets.
Craving some sun after the British summer wash out? Take advantage of our double holiday discount; with our post-school holiday savings and last-minute booking deals catching some late French or Spanish sun is even more affordable.
We have self-catering accommodation available in France and Spain for as little as £43 per person per week for autumn sun destinations including the south of France, the Ardèche, Atlantic Coast, Picardy, Brittany and the Costa del Sol in Spain.
And if that’s not enough, paying for your booking in Euros will also save you money with the Euro currently at 1.27 versus the pound* - one of the best rates available during the last 18 months!
All of our apartments and Holiday Villages are self-catering and are equipped with cooking hobs, a dishwasher, fridge, microwave oven, coffee machine and full sets of crockery and cutlery. Many apartments also have air conditioning, a dining area and garden furniture on the balcony or terrace. Breakfast, bakery, grocery and delicatessen delivery services are also available for those looking for a part-catered break.
Below are outlined a selection of the top savings on late sun accommodation for holidays taken between September and November:
Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village Cap Esterel, French Riviera – from £85.50 per person
A sea view studio sleeping up to four people from 15-22 September is discounted to £342 from £488.
Perched on a red rock hillside, Cap Esterel overlooks the magnificent Mediterranean Sea. Its self catering apartments are surrounded by a golf course and gardens, and just 30 minutes away from the white sandy beaches and cosmopolitan night life of Cannes. There are also three large swimming pools with wave machines, horse riding, spa treatments, tennis courts and bicycle hire to enjoy in the Holiday Village.
Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village Moliets, Atlantic Coast of France – from £55.25 per person
A studio sleeping up to four people from 15-22 September is discounted to £221 from £276.
This car-free holiday village is set within a picturesque pine forest and boasts four adult pools, bicycle hire, tennis, local sailing and surfing schools, and is within easy reach of sandy beaches, the buzzing seaside resort of Biarritz and the stunning Landes de Gascogne regional park.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Torremolinos Stella Polaris, Costa del Sol – from £58.50 per person
A studio apartment sleeping three people from 29 September 6 October is discounted to £234 from £320.
Located in the centre of Torremolinos on Spain’s sandy Costa del Sol, apartments in this recently renovated residence have direct access to the famous Bajondillo beach. As well as two swimming pools, guests can also enjoy authentic Spanish spots and sights in Torremolinos on their doorstep, such as the ‘La Carihuela’ fisherman’s quarter.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Roquetas de Mar, Andalucia – from £43.84 per person
A two bedroom apartment sleeping up to six people from 6-13 October is discounted to £263 from £376.
Located on the Gulf of Almeria, apartments in this newly built residence enjoy views of the sea or the lush greenery of the Playa Serena golf course. Guests can enjoy the residence’s large outdoor pool and solarium, the sandy Cerillos beach just 450m away and the Puntas Entinas-Dabinar nature reserve just 300m away.
Bookings can be made at www.pierreetvacances.co.uk / 0870 0267 144
*Exchange rate correct on 22/8/2012.
While there is lots to keep every age busy from dawn until dusk at our family friendly Holiday Villages in France, we also want families to take advantage of the real France through the beautiful and varied local areas around our self catering accommodation, which is why we’ve launched a new and exciting range of regional discovery excursions for the summer holidays.
Looking for activities to do in Provence? How about learning to make the region’s traditional lavendar soap. Or if you’re stuck for things to keep the kids busy in the Ardeche, why not try something educational and fun [and delicious!] like visiting a dairy to learn how to make goats cheese. Or if you’re after something a little different to try in the south of France, join beekeepers to make some delicious honey you can take home.
And these French discovery days are only the start of a huge revamp for our popular Holiday Villages in France and Spain – we also have refurbished apartments, more free activities for all the family and new a la carte services for this year’s summer sun.
Kids club holidays
No child is the same, so we’ve also revamped our kid’s clubs to give children of all ages the chance to fill their holidays with activities that match their own interests – whether it’s adventurous activities, scientific discovery, inspiring those with artistic flairs, something sporty, or just good fun to make new friends.
Extra à la carte services
There will be more à la carte services on offer, including a breakfast and bakery delivery service, party orders [such as fondue or BBQ] and excellent value half or full board meal cards.
Holiday activities for all the family
Families will also be able to enjoy more free activities with sports tournaments, fitness courses from Les Mills, concerts and shows, and family games in the evenings to keep the kids busy all holiday. As well as the option to try activities such as horse riding, sailing, canoeing, circus tricks and surfing.
We have 13 Holiday Villages across France and Spain, from Normandy, Brittany, and the Atlantic Coast, to the South of France, Provence, Ardèche and the Costa del Sol. The family friendly villages are located in prime locations near beautiful sandy beaches, golf courses or nature reserves and [as well as the delicious dining facilities on site] near restaurants, shops and picturesque French towns and ports just a short distance away.
For example, our newly re-vamped Belle Dune Holiday Village in north Picardy has houses and apartments built in the authentic 20th century style of the Picardy region, all arranged around a large lake. Belle Dune has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, pedalos, sailing, a petting farm, children’s clubs and a nearby beach is accessible by foot or on a miniature train – we know which one this kids will prefer!
New for this year at Belle Dune is a VIP accommodation range, regional activities and themed kid’s clubs, with prices starting at £65 per child per week. You can search and book your family holiday to France online, or call 0870 0267 145.
Think Cannes and sleek style, glamorous yachts, amazing cocktails and plush VIP parties spring to mind.
And during May the Cannes Film Festival rolls its star-studded party train into the French Riviera, followed closely by the world’s media, fashionable followers and those wanting to dance the night away.
Experience the glamour of Cannes first hand, Pierre & Vacances have a selection of self-catering accommodation to provide a great base to explore one of the most luxurious spots in France.
So whether you want a relaxed glass of wine, or one of the best cocktails in the world: here is our guide to the bars, drinks and dance floors in the most exclusive location on the French Riviera. Just remember to bring your dancing shoes and the very best of your wardrobe: the bars and clubs in Cannes have strict dress codes anytime of year!
Cannes Film Festival Nightlife
During the Cannes Film Festival fortnight many pop-up nightclubs appear, hosting special sponsored and fashion nights, hosted celebrity parties and VIP evenings.
Le Baron and The VIP Room are too of the most famous and popular with the stars. Some celebrities also host luxurious private parties kept secret until the very last moment…
To get into the best parties you have to be on ‘The List’, but it is also possible to sneak your way in to an event, just keep your ear to the ground, your posh clothes on and network with everyone you meet. But Cannes nightlife is always buzzing, and sometimes there’s more fun to be had outside of the VIP rooms!
Just because the glamour of the Film Festival leaves town at the end of May doesn’t mean there isn’t still fun to be had, dancing to be done and decadent cocktails to be drunk. Here are the bars and clubs that are a bit more down to earth and open for business all summer:
Charly’s – Rue du Suquet
A cool, cave-like bar which is the perfect place to start and finish the night. The quirky interior attracts the cool and the hip, with cocktails to match. There’s even a waterfall down one wall and live bands to get the evening in full swing.
La Cave a Vin – 10 Rue Marceau
Perfectly located in the city centre, this relaxed and intimate bar has more than 150 types of wine from around the world and is where locals go for a relaxed glass, or two!
Le Carre Blanc – 14 Rue Macé
A stylish lounge bar with a lively but relaxed atmosphere where the DJs play until late [or early depending on how you look at it!]. Perfect for post-beach drinks, dancing or just relaxing over a bottle of wine.
Le Loft Bar
Sleek and contemporary, Le Loft bar has intimate corners, classy cocktails and a seductive atmosphere. Post-11pm the swish sofas and dark dance floor really fill up.
Caliente – 83 Bld de la Croisette
A lively bar with a sultry South American feel, complete with sea front terrace, live Latino groups playing salsa and samba, and some of the best Caiparinha’s known to Europe.
Dada Da – 15 Rue des Frères Pradignac
This trendy, hybrid club is definitely a non-conformist, bridging cabaret, theatre, disco and midnight movies into one plush package.
La Chunga – 20 Rue Latour Maubourg
A quirky 1950s style piano bar which is a famous post midnight destination, complete with cosy corners, live music and patrons dancing on the tables. It’s also a firm favourite of the festival pack.
And for something a little bit special:
These bars are frequented by the rich, famous and downright fabulous, and so have the price tags to match! So go looking your very best, prepared to queue, and be extra friendly to the door-staff!
Admiral Bar at the Martinez – 73 Boulevard de la Croisette
This luxury hotel bar serves the best cocktails in the Riviera, and that’s not just our opinion, they hold several French Championships for cocktail making and flaring! And if you’re not too distracted watching the bartenders juggling glasses, bottles and shakers, look out for the metal plates with famous names on the bar – these mark the regulars’ favourite spots….
Palm Beach Casino – Place Franklin Roosevelt
Possibly the best destination to dance the night away, the casino turned nightclub boasts some of the most A-List of music stars, from P-Diddy to Eve.
Le Baoli – 1 Boulevard de la Croisette
Frequented by models, actors, millionaires and sports stars this restaurant/club is ultra-swish [and exorbitantly priced] but definitely worth experiencing if just for one drink…
Lights, camera, action! The Cannes Film Festival 2011, the most prestigious film festival of the year, kicks off on 11th May 2011 and runs for 12 celluloid packed days.
So to get you ready for all the glitz, glamour and gossip from the French Riviera we’ve pulled together a list of biggest and brightest French male stars to look out for on the red carpet.
And if you’re wondering where the talented French actresses are on our list? We’ve already paid homage to them here.
For those wanting to experience the glamour of Cannes first hand, Pierre & Vacances have a selection of self-catering accommodation in Cannes to provide a great base for festivals fans.
Gérard Depardieu – The eccentric legend
You’ll know him from: the long-nosed star in Cyrano de Bergerac, fun-loving Musketeer Pothos in The Man in the Iron Mask and rotund Gaul Obelix in the Asterix and Obelix movie series.
What’s his story? Starting his acting career with a small travelling theatre, Gérard then took minor film roles until getting his big break in comedy crime caper Les Valseuses in 1974. By the 80s and 90s he was one of the leading French actors, with his breakout performance coming in the title role for Cyrano De Bergerac. As well as French films, he’s forayed into Hollywood with romantic comedy Green Card opposite Andie MacDowell, war-epic 1900 co-starring Robert DeNiro and The Man in the Iron Mask with Leonardo DiCaprio.
During his 54 year career, Gérard has acted in nearly 200 TV and film productions, winning 16 awards including two best actor César awards and one Cannes Film Festival Award, and been nominated for 19 awards including one Oscar and two BAFTAs. He announced his intention to retire 2005 but as of yet shows no signs of slowing down!
Did you know? Gérard owns vineyards in France, Italy, Morocco and Algeria and two restaurants in Paris: La Fontaine Gaillon and L’Ecaille de la Fontaine.
Watch him next in: World War II thriller So I Say, as painter Claude Monet in Monet, la Lumière Blanche and as Obelix in Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia.
Olivier Martinez – the smouldering heartbreaker
You’ll know him from: playing the baddie in action packed S.W.A.T, the charming book fan in thriller Unfaithful and determined to catch a killer in crime mystery Taking Lives.
What’s his story? Probably [and unfairly] best known for being Kylie Minogue’s ex and now dating A-list actress Halle Berry, Olivier is more than a pretty face, even if he was once [fairly we think] dubbed ‘the French Brad Pitt’. He began acting late, aged 23, after his friends persuaded him that he was wasted selling jeans. And boy were they right! After several small TV roles he gained international interest in Le Hussard sur le Toit opposite Juliette Binoche. From there he has starred in thriller Unfaithful, action-packed S.W.A.T, supernatural adventure Blood and Chocolate and adventure A la Recerca del Grial.
Did you know? Olivier’s original career choice was as a boxer [following in his father's footsteps] and he even fought in European competitions, but an accident finished his career early.
Romain Duris – the leading man
You’ll know him from: the award winning The Beat My Heart Skipped as a troubled pianist/gangsta, and the charmingly awkward Xavier in L’auberge Espagnole and its sequel Russian Dolls.
What’s his story? Romain was minding his own business in Paris as an art student when he was spotted by director Cédric Klapisch who he has since worked with many times. His success is his versatility, being able to play a convincing thug, switching to a charming womaniser and then to a simple French student living in Barcelona. Since being discovered he’s starred in more than 35 film and TV roles.
Did you know? Before acting, Romain started and drummed in an acid-Jazz band called Kingsize.
Daniel Auteuil – the legend
You’ll know him from: being tangled in a love triangle in A Heart in Winter, police thriller 36 Quai des Orfèvres.
What’s his story? After various minor TV and film roles, Daniel’s 1986 starring role in historic drama Jean de Florette brought him international recognition [and a BAFTA award], since then he has become one of the best-known, best-paid and most popular actors in France. Through films such as Cache, Mon Meilleur Ami, Le Bossu and Apres Vous he has since gained greater international recognition. Among his 11 awards is a Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996 for The Eighth Day.
Did you know? Both of Daniel’s parents were accomplished opera singers.
Mathieu Amalric – the acclaimed star
You’ll know him from: playing Bond baddie Dominic Greene in Quantum of Solace, the real life story of paralysed Jean-Dominique Bauby in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and informant Louis in thriller Munich.
What’s his story? The son of a journalist and literary critic, Mathieu first gained fame in the film Comment je me suis disputé… (ma vie sexuelle) (My Sex Life…or How I Got Into an Argument) in 1997 for which he won the Most Promising Actor César Award. More drawn to independent and gritty parts, Mathieu admits he took the role of Dominic Green in Quantum of Solace because he knew he couldn’t tell his sons he refused to be a Bond villain. In 2010 he directed his first feature film On Tour, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won him the Best Director award.
Did you know? As well as acting, Mathieu teaches at La Femis [the French National Film School].
Vincent Cassel – the tough guy
You’ll know him from: playing ballet director Thomas Leroy in Black Swan, thief Baron François Toulour in Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, the voice of Monsieur [Robin] Hood in Shrek.
What’s his story? Vincent has showbiz in his blood, the son of Jean-Pierre Cassel [who was discovered by Gene Kelly], he shot to international attention in 1995 in urban drama La Haine, for which he was nominated for two César awards. Vincent is a flexible actor, and has fast become the go-to guy for the intense and villainous such as roles in Eastern Promises, Doberman, Black Swan and Birthday Girl, while being equally adept at the suave and quintessentially French parts in films Elizabeth, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen. Vincent is also the voice-over for actor Hugh Grant in French versions of his films.
Did you know? Vincent’s has acted in 10 films with his wife, glamorous Italian actress Monica Bellucci.