From Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp to Tom Hardy and David Beckham, the world’s biggest superstars can’t get enough of the azure seas and rolling hills found in Provence, France. Visiting regularly, and even buying property there, the Cote d’Azur region is a hot spot for celebrities to escape their Hollywood lifestyle.
So whether you’re looking for a romantic break, peaceful family escape or a party pad, take a leaf out of these stars’ books to find the most glamorous places to stay in the south of France.
DAVID BECKHAM’S PROVENCAL RETREAT
A 75 minute drive from Toulon and Nice airports lies the secluded Bargemon, a quiet commune in the Var area of southeastern France. It’s here that David and Victoria Beckham bought a £1.4 million (S$2.8 million) property to use as their holiday home back in 2003. The purchase was deemed a bit controversial at the time as it snubbed the glamorous and exclusive lifestyle that came with the footballing culture of the time, with Beckham’s colleagues preferring to live it up in St. Tropez. The purchase showed the couple as a real class act, preferring the authentic countryside to the glitzy atmosphere of the coast – however the property still carries some impressive stats, set in 250 acres of woodland, boasting 15 bedrooms with a private swimming pool, chapel and farm.
STEAL HIS STYLE
Villa Valbois is a stylish property set in a stunning private garden, well suited to a family or large group of friends. In the village of Roquefort-les-Pins, the villa is in a perfect location to enjoy the internal hills, artistic towns and glamorous beaches of Southern France – perfect for those like Becks who want an authentic stay near to the popular coast towns. Guests can dine al fresco in the elegant dining area or relax by the 15m swimming pool surrounded by palm trees. If like Becks you can’t sit still on holiday, the villa also includes a basketball ring, boules pitch and nearby horse riding and tennis facilities.
JOHNNY DEPP’S QUIET HIDE-AWAY
Also in the Var region of Southern France, near the Bay of Cannes, is Le Plan-de-la-Tour, a quiet and peaceful commune where Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis set up a part time residence whilst they were married. Whereas the younger Johnny Depp used to clash with the paparazzi in cities like Los Angeles, New York and London, this sleepy French village appealed to an older Depp as a place where he could enjoy an espresso, pick up supplies at the local market and bakery and then stroll home with his children undisturbed by fans and press. The house and estate is rumoured to be worth around £4 million (S$7.97 million) and commands romantic views of the surrounding valleys and hills.
STEAL HIS STYLE
Although it might not be the paparazzi you’re trying to avoid, you can certainly get away from the strains and stresses of work at one of the many remote villas in this part of the world. The Bellevue Villa in the Bay of Cannes offers guests fantastic privacy whilst still being close to local amenities. With a beautiful private garden filled with olive and cypress trees it’s a fantastic choice for a peaceful French getaway. Sleeping up to six people and laid out with a charming traditional décor, the Bellevue will impress those looking to holiday like an A-lister with a private outdoor pool, separate whirlpool and private chef service on request.
TOM HARDY’S ROMANTIC ESCAPE
From his days as a student backpacker to exotic film locations, British film star Tom Hardy has enjoyed his fair share of travels. He’s been on safari in Namibia and enjoyed candlelit dinners in the Maldives, and most recently looked forward to a family trip to Centre Parcs. However, when it comes to romance, Hardy admits the French do it best. Hardy and his British actress wife Charlotte Riley escape to their place in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence when they’re looking for a weekend retreat together. This small Gallo-Roman town is rich in history and architectural charms, from the 14th century wall ruins to the ancient fountains and gates. Van Gogh painted Starry Night in St. Rémy and it’s a perfect retreat for couples looking to find culture, romantic bistros and elegant hotels.
STEAL HIS STYLE
Founded in 1613, Le Couvent des Minimes Hotel Spa in Provence has been transformed from a peaceful convent into a luxurious and indulgent hotel, ideal for a celeb-inspired couple’s break. Steeped in history, the renovation focused on elegance and style, with 46 light and airy guest rooms, aromatic gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a beautiful restaurant courtyard and an indulgent spa which sources local honey, verbena, lemon and lavender for its treatments.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO’S PARTY PALACE
Ladies’ favourite Leonardo DiCaprio made headlines this year with his Cannes Festival antics. The actor missed his appearance at the Great Gatsby premiere in Sydney after a “schedule change” but photos at the time showed Leo partying in Cannes’ Gotha nightclub, relaxing on a yacht and surrounded by models at the De Grisogono party at the Eden Roc.
STEAL HIS STYLE
If you’re looking for a playboy inspired holiday near Cannes, Villa Oceane won’t disappoint. Close to the bay of St. Tropez, the villa is perfect for relaxing and entertaining in one of France’s most fashionable towns. This prestigious property sleeps up to 10 people and boasts an arc shaped pool with external speakers which allow you to listen to your favourite tunes whilst relaxing in the extraordinary grounds. Inside you will find bespoke furniture made especially for the house and unique pieces of art. The seductive nightlife of St. Tropez and world renowned Tahiti and Pampelonne beaches are just a five minute drive from your door.
BRAD PITT’S GREAT OUTDOORS
Brad Pitt and wife Angelina Jolie purchased a £35 million (S$69.7 million) estate in Provence, close to the attractive town of Aix-en-Provence. Situated in a tiny village called Brignoles, the house and grounds were a big project to take on, with the couple developing it into a luxury contemporary mansion complete with hot tubs, spa, steam rooms, gym, improved helicopter landing and large wine cellar. The house has 35 rooms and the estate includes a private vineyard, moat, forest and lake.
STEAL HIS STYLE
Find sweeping gardens, modern design and absolute luxury in Bastide de la Victoire, a majestic house close to the town of Aix-en-Provence. Set in 25 acres of lavender, olive groves, fruit orchards, interspersed with cypress and oak trees, this grand property has a large swimming pool, tennis court and a gym in the orangery. An ornate fountain adorns the front of the property, with mature trees providing welcome shaded areas from which to enjoy the view of the Massif de l’Étoile. There is an 18-hole golf course virtually next door to the house, and charming Aix-en-Provence, often referred to as the ‘town of a thousand fountains’ is close by, with its picturesque street restaurants and boutique shops.
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