A Real Bride's Tips for a Glamorous Honeymoon in the French Riviera

Learn more about visiting Monaco and the South of France for a fun girls trip or romantic honeymoon!

Take inspiration from an Inside Weddings bride who visited Monaco and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the South of France for a memorable vacation filled with shopping, relaxation, and luxurious accommodations.

travel photo and travel tips for honeymoon or bachelorette to french riviera south of france view of mediterranean sea
Photo: Whitney Spielfogel

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The French Riviera (known in French as Côte d'Azur) is famous for its picturesque Mediterranean coastline, with crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns. From dazzling destinations like Monte Carlo, Cannes, and Nice, to more secluded spots like St. Tropez and Antibes, the region offers a variety of exquisite destinations and experiences to delight all. 

For advice on having a romantic honeymoon or fun girls trip (either a bachelorette trip or a weekend away before or after the "I dos") in the South of France, one of the former brides showcased in the Travel Diaries feature of Inside Weddings magazine is sharing details from her trip. Read on for her travel tips and advice for visiting Monaco and the South of France!

Traveler at Maybourne Riviera Oversized Sling Chair

Photo courtesy of Whitney Spielfogel 

As the summer solstice approaches, the French Riviera puts on a splendid show, coming alive with various events and festivals. Cannes hosts the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, attracting celebrities and film enthusiasts from around the world, as well as Cannes Lions for media executives. The Monte Carlo Grand Prix is another major highlight, drawing Formula 1 racing fans to Monaco, and fireworks light up the sky on Bastille Day. If you’re searching for a romantic getaway or pre-wedding girls trip, filled with lots of glitz and glamour, fabulous food, and luxurious accommodations, look no further than the South of France.

Where to Stay in Monaco

If you're looking for a luxurious and convenient base from which to explore Monaco and the South of France, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo provides an ideal setting whether you are seeking relaxation, cultural immersion, culinary delights, or exciting events. The prestigious property is located in the heart of Monte Carlo, Monaco – around 30 to 45 minutes from the Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport (NCE). It is one of the most iconic hotels in the region, offering a blend of tradition, elegance, and ultra-modern amenities. 

The location of the hotel is truly unbeatable, as guests have easy access to the vibrant nightlife, high-end shopping, and numerous cultural attractions of the region. Adjacent to the iconic Casino de Monte-Carlo, the alluring property also overlooks the marina, which provides a continuous display of the world’s most impressive yachts. 

Mediterranean Sea in the South of France

Photo courtesy of Whitney Spielfogel 

Known for its exceptional service, exquisite décor, and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, the rooms and suites are beautifully decorated with both classic and ultra-luxurious touches – think vaulted ceilings, heated bathroom floors, and the list goes on... – offering one of the most comfortable and elegant retreats in the region. 

The South of France and Monaco have a rich history and are home to numerous cultural attractions. Monte Carlo does opulence like nowhere else on earth, and at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, you are at the center of it all. Between its prime location, newly refurbished contemporary interiors, and ultra-personalized service, the majestic property is the place to see and be seen this summer. 

What to Eat in the South of France

The South of France is a gastronomic paradise, known for its fresh seafood, Provençal cuisine, and world-renowned wines. The region is dotted with Michelin-starred restaurants, local markets, and numerous vineyards, offering a culinary experience that is sure to delight even the most discerning food enthusiasts. 

Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo boasts several restaurants offering the most upscale dining experiences with elegant settings, impeccable service, and remarkable culinary creations. This includes standouts such as the renowned Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse, which has been awarded three Michelin stars, and Le Café de Paris Monte-Carlo, another outstanding dining option on premise. 

Alfresco Restaurant in the South of France

Photo courtesy of Whitney Spielfogel 

One of the most memorable meals during our stay was at Pavyllon, at the neighboring Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo (also part of the Société des Bains de Mer family). The restaurant is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno and offers a gastronomic journey through his innovative cuisine. A contemporary design of sleek lines and a minimalist aesthetic creates a tranquil and sleek ambiance, and the dining area also has a beautiful rooftop garden overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and marina, providing an incredible backdrop for your meal. 

The menu showcases a creative blend of flavors and textures, prepared with the highest quality ingredients. The dishes are meticulously crafted – still dreaming about the lobster tart with edible gold and caviar – combining classic French techniques with creative, unexpected twists. Each plate is a work of art, beautifully presented and bursting with flavors. Throughout the dining experience, the attentive and knowledgeable staff provides impeccable service, guiding you through the menu and offering wine pairings from their extensive selection of fine wines.

Tony Restaurant in the South of France

Photo courtesy of Whitney Spielfogel 

Another remarkable meal was in Menton, France, a 30-minute drive from the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo, at Tony Restaurant, where the veal Milanese and the eggplant appetizer were not to be missed. Lastly, two new food-and-beverage concepts opened after our trip as part of the Société des Bains de Mer portfolio: Maona and Club La Vigie – both highly-anticipated openings. 

For lethargic, sun-soaked days when the only decision to be made is whether to sip frothy cocktails or freshly squeezed juices, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo offers a quick five-minute shuttle to its sister property, the Monte-Carlo Beach, which is the place to relax and recharge both by the pool, in a cabana, or on the dock. Embodying the golden age of the Côte d’Azur, sun loungers look out to the glistening Mediterranean Sea, while the hip and happening on-site restaurant offers an upscale fine-dining menu. 

Sun Loungers at Monte-Carlo Beach

Photo courtesy of Whitney Spielfogel 

Where to Stay in the South of France

If you’re looking to add a second stop to your honeymoon or bachelorette party travels abroad, The Maybourne Riviera is one of the most buzzed about properties in the region right now. Situated in the village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, also 30-45 minutes from the Nice airport (NCE), it has quickly gained a reputation as one of the hottest new destinations. Known for its luxurious accommodations and breathtaking views as it's perched atop a hillside cliff, high above the Mediterranean Sea, The Maybourne Riviera offers a well-appointed and romantic setting. 

Providing a sense of exclusivity, the property will ensure you have an intimate honeymoon experience. Its unique layout coupled with the hotel’s attentive staff allow you to create special memories with your beloved. Between the on-site gourmet dining options and the bespoke spa facilities – one of the best massages I’ve ever had! – the hotel strives to offer unparalleled experiences for its guests. 

Infinity Pool at Maybourne Riviera

Photo courtesy of Whitney Spielfogel 

The design and architecture combine modern elegance with classic Riviera charm, creating a captivating ambience that adds to the allure of the property. The dramatic views of the French coastline also take in Italy to the east and Monaco to the west, all bathed in brilliant light. The never-ending sea and sky views are seen from every room and part of the property, making the setting of this hotel unrivaled. 

The infinity pool is the focal point of the property, where couples can enjoy lunch at La Piscine by Jean-Georges, with wood-fired pizzas, unique cocktails, and specialty salads that were extraordinary. If you’re able to peel yourselves away from the picturesque pool, the property’s newest offering, the Maybourne La Plage beach club, is another great alternative for sun seeking in a picturesque setting. 

For more travel tips and advice, take a look at travel tips for Croatia and Montenegro, view a stateside honeymoon itinerary for Maui and Napa, learn more about one couple's relaxing honeymoon in the Maldives followed by a safari in Kenya, and see tips for a luxurious honeymoon in Cabo!