On-line Guide: Join the Club… the beach clubs of the French Riviera
Summer is upon us and so is all the glamour of the French Riviera Beach Clubs. For a sublime holiday experience, you just can’t miss a day at a beach club. Locals grow to prefer pebbles over sand, but there’s no denying feet need to navigate tricky terrain. To eliminate this hassle, thick hessian carpets right down to the water’s edge can be yours at a beach club. You also benefit from toilets, showers, lockers and of course waiter service right to your matalas. Better still, this sunny club-land of sugar daddies, bronzed beauties and Russians in head-to-toe Cavalli is just as entertaining as a visit to Nice’s flower market or the Picasso Museum in Antibes.
Firstly a word of etiquette. While some beach clubs offer children’s beach toys, and others take pouting to a whole new level, most are trendy, relaxed and baby-friendly. Most clubs charge about €20 per day for a mattress by the water and use of all facilities including showers and changing rooms, and sometimes magazines, snorkels, board games and Wi-Fi too.
Blue Beach opposite the Negresco in Nice is resolutely chilled, and a tad less expensive than other clubs. Kids up to ten will love the pen of huge plastic toys and slides. A short walk west is Hi Beach . The epitome of low-key hip with its yoga space, eco-friendly approach and hi-tech assessories. Install yourself on a swing-chair, dump the children in the UV-resistant kid’s zone and eat your way through eco-inspired sushi menu.
From sunrise to sunset, Castel Plage at the end of the Promenade draws an affluent and attractive clientele ensconced in their comfy deck chairs sipping cocktails or enjoying an upscaled dining experience. Our team also find here has the most friendly waiter service. The restaurant offers a delectable Mediterranean menu served in a tranquil setting. The early evenings are given over to leisurely conversation and as the sun sets, often the dance floor on the beach and a DJ gets the bronzed clientele moving and shaking under the starlit sky.
If you want to head out of Nice, the summertime scene in Cannes is summed up by ZPlage , the aristo-cool beach club of the Hotel Martinez. Ditch the Crocs in favour of Gucci shades and take your lounger alongside Europe’s minor royals. Less luxurious but a better bet for beachy fun is Plage les Pirates in Juan les Pins. Friendly waiters dish up great steaks and signature burgers next to the shallow, sandy-bottomed sea.
One final favourite is Paloma Plage on Cap Ferrat which boasts shabby chic sunbathing on an otherwise deserted beach. As a trip advisor reviewer (really pickytraveller) reviewed Paloma beach in July 2014: "Somebody earlier on here complained about the pebbles?????!! All I can say is if you wanted sand and long beaches go to the boring Caribbean or Egypt. People come to this area for the style, class, history and ease of it all." That about sums it up for us.
Between now and 20th August, our guests and fans can enter our competition on facebook to win a day at a beach club of their choice for two. If you’re not planning to stay with us between now and the end of September, there’s still the chance to book! Or if that’s not possible, we can always send you a couple of Pebbles beach towels and you can live out the French Riviera dream at home. Yes, sorry we know it’s not quite the same, but still…. Enjoy!