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“Cap Ferrat encore”

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Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 July 2011

My husband and I love staying at the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat and have been coming back each year for the last 7 or 8 years. To us it is the perfect place for a long relaxing weekend. The annual stay here is one of the few constants in our year, and equally the hotel continues to provide constantly excellent service. The refurbishment of the main house some years ago has improved the room standard in the main building and added a gym, and some additional rooms - mostly suites, as I understand. We still prefer to stay in the main building in a room looking out onto the sea. Those rooms are small-ish but, don't necessarily have a claustrophobic feel, and are quite a bit larger than the rooms of a similar category at the Hotel Splendido in Portofino. Additionally, as we are always going during the last week in June, the amount of time that we are spending in the room is minimal.

A couple of years ago the hotel added Le Veranda as a "cheaper" alternative to their gastronomic restaurant Le Cap. We had dinner in both restaurants: Service at Le Cap was impeccable; the Maitre D' has been with the hotel for a long time (which is true for a lot of the staff), and never fails to make one feel truly welcome; though I am not sure, how Robert Redford at the next table felt, when the Maitre D' told him that "The Great Escape" was one of his most favorite movies of all time. The food at Le Cap was the best dinner (and most expensive one as well) that we had during our four day stay. Le Veranda is a bit more of a mixed bag. Service took a rather long time to make an appearance with the menus and an equally long time to take orders; though the quality of the food is good, it is rather bland. It was the first time we had dinner here, and I wouldn't return, as it definitely was not worthwhile the money. It is a general trend in the area for hotels with Michelin starred restaurants to introduce a lower key restaurant; Eden at the Chevre D'Or is another example and was actually more expensive and worse than Le Veranda; it seems to be concept that does not work (yet). My advise is, if you feel like non-gourmet food: Try one of the beach restaurants like Paloma Beach or Plage de Passable; both are excellent and value for money - as far as one can say that on the Cote d'Azur - is much better.
The Club Dauphin is the pool area of the hotel, and has direct sea access as well as a restaurant. Whilst the hotel refurbished the pool itself, they left the changing rooms as they were. The logic of this totally escapes me, as they are somewhat ratty; the paint in the restrooms is coming off every now and then, and the showers are rather moldy. The pool is a salt water pool and is a decent size; having said that, we always try to make it into the sea, as the swim to the point where the lighthouse sits is a really nice one. The restaurant at Club Dauphin serves fresh fish and everything else, you would expect to find on a menu - the food and choice here is actually better than at Le Veranda. One thing I will say, though, is that the choice of lighter food, such as salads is rather limited. After the fourth day of tomato and mozzarella, I was sure that I had this year's supply covered. Staff here are friendly yet very efficient, which they have to be, as the turnover especially on weekends can be huge.

So, are we going back next year? Definitely; we love coming here, escape the usually rather coolish English summer, and just do very little. We do a 8km run every morning, read a lot, have a light lunch, then swim 1km in the afternoon in the sea and ponder where to have dinner in the evening. Staff at the hotel - at least the one which has been there for a long time - is usually very helpful and friendly. Would we stay for a week? Apart from the fact that we had to remortgage the house in this case, no, we wouldn't. The maximum I would want to stay here is 5 days and that is pushing it. Usually after day 4, I had enough of the good life and need to get a little more active again. If you expect this to be an activity holiday, don't go, as there is not a lot around. Even golf is a fair bit away. There are other - more suitable places - on the Cote d'Azur and Provence for that. Is it value for money? Difficult to say; we stay in a lot of places where the cost per room per night is around the GBP 1,000 mark, but - aside from the fact that the rooms for that price are usually bigger - the additional cost in most places are usually less. Thinking of your bank account when staying here is definitely not advisable, but again, this is true for a majority of the Cote d'Azur.

NB - the different restaurants and their very different quality is the reason why I am saying that I am not sure in regards to the quality of the restaurant below.

Room Tip: Sea view in the main (old building); avoid the mezzanine level, as ceilings are lower. Corner rooms...
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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13  Thank FerkelSuzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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307 - 311 of 529 reviews

Reviewed 1 July 2011

I'm sad to say that our stay at this hotel is one of the most disappointing we've ever had. Fair enough, our expectations were high. Firstly, it was our honeymoon, secondly reviews of the hotel and St Jean Cap Ferrat had all been fantastic, and thirdly, at €980 per night we had the right to expect something extra special. We could not have been more disappointed.

The room we were given on check-in was tiny - barely room to move once our suitcases had been delivered. After a fairly painful discussion, we were given a slightly larger room, although this was only available for a few days and still was too small to sit in and relax. Whilst I didn't do a full review, I don't think there are many rooms at this place which have either space, or any form of terrace or balcony.

The hotel itself is undeniably stylish but the atmosphere is soul-less and the service is remarkably poor. When busy, it can take 15 to 20 minutes to even catch a waiters eye and as long again to get a drink. The attitude of the hotel staff is clearly unfriendly and there was a strong sense that the regulars ( who have no doubt been coming since 1943) are much better looked after than those who are visiting for the first time.

The food in the Veranda restaurant is remarkably poor and the menu is very unimaginative - ideal for the relatively sterile atmosphere, which on paper would seem difficult to create given the beauty of the hotel and it's surroundings.

The pool here is a good size and the food in the restaurant is an improvement on the hotel. Even here, there are some surprising features. The sun loungers are rammed in like sardines so it all becomes a bit unpleasant and the chairs and umbrellas themselves all look as if they were purchased in 1983 when plastic garden furniture was all the rage.

Because St Jean is relatively isolated, there is little to do once you are at the hotel other than leave the Cap and go somewhere else. The walk around the Cap is nice, but you wouldn't do it twice and there is nothing to see in the port.

Everything in this hotel is obviously unfeasibly expensive, but on the Cote d'Azur, I think you can accept that if you are well treated and receive great quality. At this hotel, you pay for small rooms, poor service, poor food, rude staff and and a vacuum of atmosphere all day long. My guess is that many people fail to acknowledge this, because it's the "Grand Hotel du Cap", so it must be good...

  • Stayed: June 2011
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23  Thank SIMONandCARO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2011

We were travelling as a couple and a friend and had planned to stay In Monaco. But due in part to some transit issues with new car we had purchased in Munich we were advised NOT to stay in Monaco. So we stayed eight days in The Grand Hotel. This is not the most luxurious hotel we have been acquainted with but it has a certain elegance that cannot be replicated anywhere. I don't recall the price but in the neighborhood of 900 Euros/day. The grounds are exquisite and our suite at the top overlooking the Mediterranean was enough to seek an annual contract. It is convenient to other towns villages and some of the local restaurants were superb.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Stuart33706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2011

We had booked and paid for 4 nights for a room overlooking the garden. We arrived at mid-day and were shown to a triangular shaped room No 101, which was very small and claustrophobic, even though bevelled mirrors were stuck to the wall behind the bed. We were told the hotel was full and we would have to pay EU900 a night if we wanted to change. We asked to see the Manager who was helpful and immediately offered us Room 102 which is square shaped with two windows and was acceptable. Unfortunately the owners insist on everything being white, even the flowers, so it is not as attractive as it used to be. We have stayed twice prior to the refurbishment. If you love beautiful gardens, peace and quiet, lovely views, a wonderful pool (open to the public) and everything clinically white then you will be very happy. We will certainly return again. We had three dinners at the Verandah restaurant and considered the food unacceptable and ridiculously overpriced. If you eat at the 1 Star Michelin restaurant the cost is even higher but it is the same chef. So unless things change in future we will stay at the hotel but eat elsewhere.

Room Tip: Insist on a square shaped room with 2 windows
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Roger312659
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2011

Well, I think I've just found my all-time favorite hotel! Our visit to the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat was wonderful and worth 380 euros/night which we got by booking through Tablet. Here are the many highlights of our stay:

1. Location: The Grand Hotel is located on the Cap Ferrat peninula where the writer Somerset Maugham used to hold parties long ago. The hotel itself is housed in an elegant white mansion that faces the sea and has extensive magnificent gardens, as well as a beach club (more below).
2. Decor: If you are a fan of understated, elegant French style with a hint of modernity (think "The World of Interiors" magazine), you will love the nearly all white decor at the Grand Hotel. Everything has been styled in a quietly luxurious way with a nod to old world elegance (ie. the bird cage elevator surely dates back to the early 1900's) and it's a visual joy to stand there and take it all in.
3. Room: Although our room was small, the all-white decor and clever use of mirrors made it feel rather spacious. Our bed was made up with ironed heavy linen sheets and there was even a "pillow menu" in case we desired such things as a pillow infused with Vitamin E to benefit our skin.
4. Toiletries: There was a bountiful array of Bulgari's White Tea shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soap (in the large size, no less).
5. Spa: The Grand Hotel's spa was minimalist and tranquil, and had a lovely aroma due to the many Carita candles that were lit and placed about. There was a private ladies sauna and whirlpool area as well as a number of treatment rooms.
6. Fitness Facility: There were 2 cardio-exercise areas- one in each locker room and then a communal one in an open air pavillion in the garden facing the spa. I worked out on the elliptical machine where I had a magnificent view of the Mediterranean. The exercise pavillion also had a refrigerator stocked with complimentary mini-bottles of Evian.
7. Food: We had dinner at the hotel's Terrace restaurant which was the more casual of the two. I had the penne pasta with bolognese sauce (good, not great) and for his entree, my husband had their grilled salmon glazed with soy and sesame seeds which he really enjoyed. The service was courteous and very polished.
8. Pool: The Grand Hotel's large salt water pool was located down the hill at the "Club Dauphin" which was accessible via a stair-stepped path or a funicular. There were many decks, lounge chairs and pink and gray striped umbrellas around the pool as well as a large open air restaurant. It was possible to reach the sea via concrete stairs but there was no beach. From what I could tell, Club Dauphin was a open to the locals for a fee. There was also a small gift shop which sold the ne plus ultra of men's swimwear, Vilebrequin trunks.
9. Hotel Clientele: The only disappointing aspect of our stay were the Russian guests who loudly yammered away on their cell phones at all times, chain-smoked, drank bottle after bottle of Veuve Cliquot and consequently were obnoxious. The staff did the best they could to minimize their impact on the hotel's other guests. This is just my impression but it seemed like these people were there more because it was "the place to be" rather than appreciating the hotel's beauty, service and atmosphere.

Despite them, it is a magical place and I dearly hope to return. Full marks to the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank Jemimagold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat

Address: 71 boulevard General de Gaulle, 06230 St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
Phone Number:
Region: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Price Range: €286 - €2,337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat 5*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy the glamorous resort lifestyle of the Cote d’Azur – close to Nice and Monaco – in the iconic luxury of the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel. Among the 74 light and airy guest rooms – including 24 suites and one villa – some feature private terraces and swimming pools. Chic, modern design by Pierre-Yves Rochon features gleaming white marble and textures of white and beige, putting the emphasis on colourful artwork and signature French Riviera views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Du Cap Ferrat
Grand Resort Du Cap Ferrat

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