There are literally hundreds of beach clubs on the French Riviera and sometimes it’s a tough decision to decide which one to go to! From the rugged beauty of Cap d’Ail west of Monaco to the legendary beach clubs at Pampelonne Beach near St Tropez. Some are infamous, some lesser-known! Here are some of the best beach clubs on the French Riviera:
Plage Keller – Cap d’Antibes
La Garoupe is a beautiful sheltered bay on the stunning Cap d’Antibes peninsula, between the towns of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. The water here is gorgeous and it is a very popular anchorage for luxury yachts on charter from the nearby ports of Antibes and Cannes. There are various beach clubs at La Garoupe, but Plage Keller, with its signature yellow umbrellas is the original, and I believe the best! Swim in the beautiful crystal clear shallow waters, dine on fabulous fish in Le César restaurant, Plage Keller is a very special place indeed and one of the most popular beach clubs on the French Riviera with those in the know!
Plage Keller – Chemin de la Garoupe, 06160 Antibes Juan les Pins, France – +33 4 93 61 33 74
Z Plage – Cannes
The Promenade de La Croisette that runs between the Vieux Port and Port Canto in Cannes is one of the most instantly recognisable stretches of seafront to be found anywhere in the world, and no list of beach clubs on the French Riviera would be complete without including at least one beach in Cannes. There are about thirty beach clubs here and we believe that Z Plage belonging to the Hotel Martinez is one of the best! The subtle art-deco elegance that the hotel is legendary for extends to their beach club, with chic furniture and a relaxed but highly refined atmosphere reigns supreme here. Z Plage has a trendy feel, but not overly so. It is a very popular chill-out spot for the stars during the Cannes Film Festival, who enjoy the excellent cocktails and great food that combines the best of Mediterranean and Asian flavours. There are also excellent DJs and live music. Z Plage is also a very popular place to have dinner and watch the Cannes Fireworks which are set off directly opposite the beach!
Z Plage – 73, La Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France – +33 4 92 98 73 19
Eden Plage Mala – Cap d’Ail
This gem of a beach is located in the beautiful Mala Bay at Cap d’Ail near Monaco. Located at the bottom of steep cliffs that plunge into the Mediterranean, the beach is relatively inaccessible and this in part is what adds to its magic! To get here you either take a steep flight of over one hundred steps from the main road or the coastal path that runs from the Port of Cap d’Ail just west of Monaco. Of course the best way to get here is by yacht, and that is exactly what many of the customers coming from Monaco do. There are two private beach clubs at Mala, the all white La Reserve and the more colourful Eden Plage Mala which is my personal favourite. Eden Plage Mala is a real oasis. As cliched as that sounds, you really do lose yourself here. The beach club has stunning views! All around you, steep cliffs rise from the Mediterranean, pine trees and spectacular villas cling to every available surface. Eden Plage Mala has a tropical feel to it, perhaps it’s the colours, reds and greens, or the food which is to my mind, the perfect fusion of Mediterranean and Asian. Sure it’s nothing spectacular, but it’s good, very good. The atmosphere here is casual, kick back and enjoy a cool cocktail with live music. Swim is crystal clear water with stunning views across the bay to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Eden Plage Mala is a very special place indeed!
Eden Plage Mala – Allée Mala, 06320 Cap-d’Ail, France – +33 4 93 78 17 06
Anjuna Beach – Eze
The small town of Eze-bord-de-Mer lies between Beaulieu-sur-Mer to the west and Cap d’Ail to the east. Eze is of course renowned for the hilltop village (Eze Village) and its’ legendary hotels, Château Eza and Château de La Chèvre d’Or. In fact, lots of people don’t even seem to know that Eze has a beach. It’s rocky, but my god it’s spectacular! This has to be one of the greenest beaches on the Côte d’Azur, forests of pine trees surround you, interrupted only by the bright turquoise sea that lays before you. The best thing about Anjuna Beach is that even in season, it never gets too crowded! Like Eden Plage Mala at Cap d’Ail, the vibe at this beach club is a tropical one. Bright colours and exotic wood furniture bring the feeling of Bali to the French Riviera. Good food is on offer for lunch and dinner, and you may bump into Bono of U2, who lives in the villa next door!
Anjuna Beach – 28 avenue de la liberte, Eze bord de mer, 06360 Eze, France – +33 4 93 01 58 21
Paloma Beach – Cap Ferrat
Gorgeous Paloma Beach is found on the incredibly wealthy Cap Ferrat peninsula just east of Nice, between Villefranche-sur-Mer and Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Since 1948, Paloma Beach has been the beach club of choice for those lucky enough to own one of the stunning villas dotted all over Cap Ferrat as well as monied residents of nearby Monaco. The bay in front of Paloma Beach is one of the most popular anchorages for luxury yachts on the French Riviera and the huge yachts that spend their summers here will blow you away. Despite attracting a wealthy clientele, Paloma Beach avoids the rather “in your face” displays of “bling” that you can find at some of the beaches in St Tropez. Instead, the vibe here is very much of the Riviera of old, chic, refined but pleasantly understated. Paloma Beach has a great restaurant serving fresh fish and classic Mediterranean cuisine with which to soak up the magnums of Minuty Rosé that just keep coming! The beach club at Paloma Beach is open all day from Easter through to the end of September, early October and in the evening from around the time of the Monaco Grand Prix (late May). Arrive in style on a yacht, drop anchor and the beach club will send a tender to pick you up and take you ashore. A day at Paloma Beach is for many the quintessential Côte d’Azur vacation experience!
Paloma Beach – 1, route de Sainte-Hospice, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France – +33 4 93 01 64 71
Club 55 – St Tropez
Everyone has heard of this place! “55” or Club 55 is the definitive St Tropez beach club. Founded in 1955 as the onset “cantine” during the filming of Brigitte Bardot’s “And God Created Woman”. The film defined modern St Tropez and made it the legendary jet-set resort we know and love today. This is the original Côte d’Azur beach club and many people still consider it to be the best. Club 55 is not flashy. It is family owned and discreet. Do not come here if you’re looking for tabloid-style debauchery. Do come here if you are looking for a sophisticated, friendly and reassuringly expensive place to enjoy a summer holiday on the Riviera. Make your reservations well in advance and arrive by yacht, it’s the only way to do it! Lounge on the beach, swim in the sea and enjoy fabulous food in the shaded restaurant. This is a very special place that transcends trends, fads and fashion. Long may it stay that way!
Le Club 55 – 43 Boulevard Patch, 83350 Ramatuelle, France – Tel. +33 4 94 55 55 55
Nikki Beach – St Tropez
Nikki Beach St Tropez is the place that gets the press all excited back in the UK. Jet skis in swimming pools, tanned playboys spraying €5,000 bottles of champagne all over bikini-clad beauties, it all happens at Nikki Beach St Tropez. Nikki Beach St Tropez is fun with a capital “F”! It’s actually not really a beach at all, but more a nightclub set around a pool that happens to open during the day! Waiters circulate with the aforementioned methusalems of Dom Perignon and “boats” of sushi. From the moment you enter the car park full of Bugattis and Ferraris, life is one big party at Nikki Beach St Tropez, the champagne flows and internationally famous DJs provide the soundtrack. Nikki Beach St Tropez is worth a visit. Come here once, you’ll either love it or hate. Either way, it’s an eye-opening experience that everyone should have once!
Nikki Beach St Tropez – 5 Route de l’Épi, 83350 Ramatuelle, France – Tel. +33 4 94 79 82 04
This article was written by Alexander Coles, Senior Charter Broker at Bespoke Yacht Charter who have a combined 20 years of experience arranging luxury yacht charters in St Tropez, the Cote d’Azur and throughout the Mediterranean.
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