Stuck happily between a coast and a perfume-y place (Cannes and Grasse), Mougins Luxury Retreats is a boutique hotel in the heart of a pedestrianised, pre-Roman, Picasso-frequented village. It’s a simple set-up, with a laid-back café offering an antidote to the fine-dining fanfare – a celebration of all things Michelin is held every June and several restaurants tote a star or two. The rooms and apartments are spread throughout restored, original-stone buildings, and everyone gets the favourite-guest treatment with the best beds, plush towels and staff with insider Riviera information ready to impart.
Nine, including five one-room suites and four apartments.
11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $264.85 (€239), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.30 per person per night on check-out.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast (€15 for adults; €10 for children).
Check out the mural to Mougins’ famous former resident, Picasso, at the village church (which has some pretty notable old stonework and belfry, too). There’s also an ancient bread oven to gawp at, where the villagers of yore would gather to cook a communal loaf.
At the hotel
Free WiFi, carpark. In rooms: minibar, TV, kitchenettes with a kettle, microwave and Nespresso coffee machine (apartments have kitchens), air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms and apartments are furnished with top-drawer linens and fabrics, with original features such as oak beams and local tiles well preserved. Of the four one-room suites, we loved Suite Anais – mainly due to the fact it has its own small private terrace; for space, choose Suite Alexander. Families or groups should go for Maison de Village Marion, which sleeps six and has a bedroom with bunk beds for kids. (It’s also in a particularly charming spot, next to the church square, with a courtyard-facing terrace.)
There’s no pool, but Mougins can arrange driver drop-offs and pick-ups to and from the beach.
Mediaeval alleyway-friendly footwear; an impressive knowledge of Cubism and modern art; and an appetite for some Michelin stars.
None of the rooms or apartments have wheelchair access.
All ages are welcome, but there are no special facilities for children. Cots can be added to all rooms, or book a two-bedroom apartment. Maison de Village Marion has a room for kids with bunk beds.
Out on the terrace, knocking back absinthe, Picasso-style.
Cubist and colourful.
Franco Belge café, a short stroll from whichever of the rooms or apartments you call home, serves classic French snacks and light bites (croques monsieur et mesdames, quiches, salads). You can eat breakfast – a selection of pastries, eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice – here or have it brought to your room. There’s outdoor seating on a cobbled-stone terrace, or a banquette with four tables inside.
Staff are on hand in the café between 9am and 8pm.
Some items from the café are available to take away and breakfast can be served in-room.
The rooms and apartments are dotted around in the ancient village of Mougins, in between Cannes and Grasse in the South of France.
Nice’s airport is closest; transfers can be arranged for the 30-kilometre journey (€100 each way).
Nice has a TGV train station – the high-speed service connects the southern city with the capital in under six hours.
Mougins is a 10-minute drive from the Cannes coast, and a 20-minute drive from Grasse. The village is pedestrianised but Mougins can arrange parking nearby – you can drive up to drop off your luggage first.
Worth getting out of bed for
Mougins is perfectly placed to explore all of the Côte d’Azur, whether you fancy a quick hop north to the perfume capital of Grasse, a drive south to Cannes or something further afield (Saint Tropez is an hour and a half away). Also within easy reach are Eze, Monaco and Saint Paul de Vence. There are markets to visit in Antibes and Valbonne, assorted golf courses and Ile Sainte-Marguerite, which has its own fortress and lively beach club, La Guérite, which will helpfully collect guests from the port in Cannes via its private boat. In Mougins, don’t miss the impressive collection (Picassos, Chagalls, Hirsts) of the Musée d’Art Classique. Fancy a dip? The natural river pools at Pont des Tuves, 20 minutes away, are perfectly placed for refreshing swims and leisurely picnics. And if you're a golfer, tee off at the well-regarded Cannes-Mougins Golf Country Club, which welcomes visitors and was described by Seve Ballesteros as one of the best in Europe.
For a tiny village, there are a hell of a lot of Michelin stars, including two at Paloma and Archange, and one at Le Candille. Fine dining is given its own festival here: the annual Les Etoiles de Mougins is held every June. At La Place de Mougins, the chef creates an affordable daily set lunch menu based around one central seasonal ingredient, such as truffle or asparagus; be sure to book a window table.
Le Petit Fouet on Place du Commandant Lamy is where to head if you fancy a change of scene from the Michelin-blessed hotspots.
Every stay featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this array of stylish rooms and apartments in France and unpacked their Breton stripes and brie, a full account of their seaside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Mougins Luxury Retreats near Cannes…
Good things come in small packages, especially if you’re in Mougins. Not only is this pre-Roman, Provençal village a pedestrianised hilly haven, where circular ancient streets wind their way to fountain-lined squares, it has views of the sparkling French Riviera sea in the distance. If you want to see Grasse, just look the other way. The suites, apartments and maisons are set across various original-stone buildings, with terracotta-tiled roofs, shuttered windows and potted plants hanging from Juliette balconies tending to your Francophile fantasies. The renovation was completed to the highest standards, with luxurious linens, earthy-coloured rugs and throws, super-comfortable beds, oak floors and handpicked artworks adding to the illusion that this is actually just your fabulously stylish (rich) mate’s house. Staff are discreet and there’s no formal reception, but they’ll be on hand in the café for when you need help deciding which at Michelin-starred restaurant to feast that evening or in which coastal town to drop anchor the next day.
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