Unlike many other parts of France, the French Rivera has seen no signs of an economic slow down, continuously fuelled by the world’s rich who flock to the destination up to 10 months of the year. Whether it is for a long weekend or a longer vacation, rich travellers from around the world check into the wide selection of luxury hotels or stay at their own villas. Regardless of their nationality, they all soak in the magnetic appeal of the Riviera – dining, shopping, nautical sports or simply sunbathing – with the choice of a secluded location or the most vibrant.
The Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azure region, as it is officially known, tourism on the French Riviera employs over 150.000, many of whom other E.U. nationals, including Italians, Spanish etc. The luxury hospitality offering has been expanding in the past year, this June, three hotels in St Tropez (Byblos, Messardiere and La Reserve) being named Palace, the highest distinction for a luxury hotel in France, with a very strict criteria to meet. Hotels cannot apply for the distinction but rather ”be considered” and a committe made up of officials and well known personalities judge the selected hotels two times per year. On the Cote d’Azur, there is already one Palace hotel, Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat. This new ranking has allowed the lucky few hotels to increase prices by at least 20 to 30% and distinguish themselves from the other ”regular” five star hotels.
Interviewed by French daily Le Figaro, the Manager of La Reserve says clients who come from all over the world are more demanding and in order to ensure top service levels, the resort employs additional staff during the summer season. A 550 sqm villa can cost up to 49.000 euros per week. A manager from real estate broker John Tailor says ”Russians and fascinated with Saint Jean Cap Ferrat – one of my clients rented a medium size villa this summer for 2 months paying a staggering 600.000 euros.
Yachting is another major attraction of the French Riviera, world’s rich clientele spending a fortune – a 25 -30 m boat with capacity for 12 can be rented for 120.000 euros per week, while a 60 m yacht can be rented for no less than 400.000 euros per week. Splurges nowadays include a mini submarine, helicopter rides, speed boats etc.
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