Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat
About Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat
- high speed internet in room
- swimming pool
- free internet
- bar lounge
- fitness center
- business services
- public wifi
- wheelchair access
- free wireless internet in room
- air conditioning
- room service
- dry cleaning
- meeting room
- non smoking rooms
- laundry service
- flatscreen tv
- concierge desk
- banquet room
- family rooms
- multilingual staff
- breakfast buffet
- airport transportation
- outdoor pool
- conference facilities
- pets allowed
- private balcony
- breakfast available
- reduced mobility rooms
- hot tub
- heated pool
- indoor pool
- kids activities
- tennis court
- poolside bar
- infinity pool
- butler service
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A Magical Thanksgiving Experience
"Contradictory to the below review "Beautiful hotel but.." (July 1, 2005), my friend and I just spent Thanksgiving week at the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat and can give it an outstanding review!
Even before our arrival, the email correspondence from the hotel was very polite and accommodating. Approximately one month before arrival, we chose to downgrade our original room request from "Garden Room - Superior" to the lower priced "Garden Room - Standard". The hotel pleasantly fulfilled our request but to our surprise upon check in, upgraded us to the Superior room and charged us the lower rate.
We were also pleasantly surprised to find a complementary bowl of fruit in our room along with fresh roses in the bed and bathrooms. Both the fruit and roses were refreshed during our entire weeks' stay! Upon evening turndown service, the maid even left a beautiful personalized note on our nightstand along with a weather forecast for the following day (noted by placing a check mark next to either "sun", "partly sunny" or "cloudy" in Fahrenheit and Celsius).
Room service staff was very prompt and courteous. We ordered a pot of coffee every morning and it was delivered within minutes. We unfortunately did not have the opportunity to experience the hotel's fine dining as we spent most of our day sightseeing in our rental car.
As for our rental car, valet parking at the hotel is complementary. I especially appreciated the hotels "cruise ship" style tipping policy. We were able to add a lump sum gratuity for all of the hotel staff upon check out. I remember one morning even catching the valet shining the windows on our rental car!
The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat must have a very good reputation in the area. For every restaurant reservation made by our Concierge, the maitre'd welcomed us with either a complementary appetizer or bottle of wine. One restaurant even altered it's smoking policy when we entered and asked existing patrons to please refrain from smoking! Is this France? Were we members of the Grimaldi family?
When we expressed our sadness at leaving the hotel to the front office Manager, he offered to give us a tour of their unoccupied Junior and Senior Suites. Their top floor suites are absolutely spectacular. We will certainly return to this tucked away paradise on this gorgeous peninsula."
- Travel date: Sat 10th of December 2005
Luxury Without Value
"My wife and I just returned from a three night stay at the Grand Hotel. We paid $550 Euro/night for a deluxe sea-view room. We were on the top floor and had an absolutely stunning double exposure view to the Mediterranean Sea. We were awoken each morning (because we intentionally left the curtains open) to three of the most beautiful sunrises we have ever seen. The grounds are just as beautiful and well-manicured as advertised, and the Hotel itself is quite elegant. The meal we ate at the restaurant was one of the best we've ever had, and surpassed some of the best meals we've had in New York City, where we live. The poolside area is also quite nice and the staff there seem to have their act together. There is also a lovely walking path (more like a hiking path) which goes around the Cap, and which we really enjoyed.
However, the couple from the South who wrote a prior review basically hit the nail on the head with this place. We are also accustomed to "Four Seasons" type service and treatment. This place doesn't even come close. It caters to the European super-rich. If you are the kind of person in the (shocking!) habit of actually looking at a bill before you pay it, you will probably not love this hotel, and frankly probably not be made to feel welcome by the staff there. You can almost hear them thinking, "Oh, here we go again, one of those Americans who actually looks at the bills..."
Allow me to illustrate: We went down to the Hotel dining room for breakfast our first morning. We ordered an omelet and scrambled eggs ($20 euro each) and two cups of coffee ($7 euro each). While we were eating, a basket of bread/pastries was brought over. Nobody informed us that taking a bite from these forbidden breads would incur a FULL $25 euro EACH for "continental breakfast". Long story short, when I explained that we never ordered the continental breakfast, the snobby waiter pointed to the munched-upon bread basket. I responded, "so that was $50 euro"? And he responded, "you only got one?" Talk about missing the point. The concierge was even less helpful when I explained to him the general principle of economics that you can't give something to someone and then later charge them for it. They ended up crediting us $25. Highly unsatisfactory.
The other downsides mentioned in the prior reviews were also true. The Hotel is isolated, so you can't simply walk out the door and grab breakfast or lunch someplace else. Thus, you will either have to drive into town or pay $37 euro for the hamburger. Seriously. And there is no fitness center, spa, or anything else of a resort nature. (They are planning an expansion, but have not yet broke ground). There is also no beach anywhere nearby. There is a ladder where you can lower yourself into the Sea near some craggy rocks, but the waters were too rough when we were there to do that. The maid service was extremely slow and generally mediocre.
The attitude problem with the staff seems to get worse the higher up you go, topping off with the most arrogant and useless concierges on the planet. Don't be surprised if you call down for some help and are informed that the concierge is "very busy" and so can't help you. Last time I checked, that wasn't the Hotel guests' problem. At the Grand Hotel it is. They take the position that you should feel lucky you are even staying there.
Thus, despite dramatic inherent geographical and structural advantages, our view is that the Grand Hotel really is a bit of a pretender. You can do better elsewhere at this price point. Hence, luxury without value. Show up for dinner one night. That should be plenty."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of October 2005
"Extremely recomendable !!
We stayed here this summer 5 nights and we had a very very good time.
The area and place is fantastic (wonderful for relaxing), with a stunning view and beatiful sunset, while hearing the piano in the terrace.... ItÂ´s not a resort-style hotel, itÂ´s a nice and historic/charming european hotel.
In my personal opinion, the staff was very good, the rooms were good, the pool fabulous and the fireworks & dance nights in summer very very special. Although the food is a little bit expensive, itÂ´s very nice. Maybe a little "sophisticated" in dinner time. Conde Nast Traveller readers can search for more typicall & provenzal small restaurants.
I never in my life been in a hotel with such charm and style guests.
ThatÂ´s the difference between the good hotels and the best hotels, Service and Guests."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of October 2005
the grand Grand
"Having read a few good reviews before we booked our week at the Grand, It was with some trepidation that we then read the review, which to say the least was not very inviting from one of the American visitors.
The Hotel and Club Dauphin are superb, situated in a knockout location at the end of the Cap. However - you can walk to St Jean, the old port in 10 to 12 minutes, there are Mountain Bicycles you can have (for free) to get about the cap - which is only a couple of miles long. And a Taxi is about 15 euros to either Beaulieu or Villefranche, from where you can get a TER train to either Nice or Monaco - ten minutes either way for about 8 euros. The trains are far superior to anything qwe have in England, double decker, air conditioned and mostly efficient. So you can escape if you wish.
The staff where without exception friendly and helpful, Christiane the Concierge was really very nice. Room service was prompt and we really can't fault the staff throughout our stay.
Cost - well, yes, it's expensive, but we found that even in the villages a meal for two with a bottle of wine could soon come to 80 or 90 euros. it is Cap Ferrat after all.
It's a beautiful place and you can see why the rich and beautiful make that their home. It was a delight to share that for one week, and you're worth it aren't you?"
- Travel date: Sun 4th of September 2005
wedding day bliss
"We have recently returned from our honeymoon having had our wedding day at the Grand Hotel, and it truly was one of the best days of our lives.
We first visited the Grand a year ago on a day trip to see if it was suitable for our wedding, and i fell in love with it instantly. I could only guess how many zeros it would cost to get married there.
However it is free, yes FREE to get married in their beautiful gardens, as long as you eat there afterwards.
Ah, the catch, i thought, how much would that be per person?
Well we had 1h30mins of an open cocktail bar, with endless champagne, olives and strawberries, then a fantastic 4 course meal, including a bottle of wine per person, followed by cheese, chocolates, coffees and a 2ft profiterole tower. This cost Â£100 per person, which i thought was very reasonable. We've chewed through over cooked beef in lumpy sauce at English weddings at Â£40 a head.
Dinner on the terrace was beautiful, and the day after spent swimming in the infinity pool at the Club Dauphin was the most relaxed day of the honeymoon.
We found that staff to be friendly and helpful and at all times through out the day and the year of planning. Our french wedding co ordinator had dealt with many prestigious hotels in the area, and commented particularly on how helpful the staff were.
We could only afford to stay the one night, but if we win the lottery we would be straight back!"
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of September 2005
Everything you'd Expect
"Let's get something straight from the start. This is the French Riviera. There is only one. This is one of the MOST prestigious hotels on the Cote, in some of the MOST expensive few acres (the Cap) on the Cote. Anybody expecting anything other than snooty French doormen, especially Monsieur Jacques, and high prices should look somewhere else. However, if you are still reading and have Â£60 to spend on a pool-side burger and chips (fries for you Americans) for two, then prepare to stay in one of the most idyllic places on earth. My girlfriend and I shared a beautifully furnished, large sized room on the top floor, with views to the mountains one side and over the restaurant terrace to the sea on the other. Wonderful.
Having walked through the lush garden of the hotel, you must cross a quiet road to access Club Dauphin, the hotel's pool paradise. Within the rocky hillside gardens is a 50m salt water infinity pool overlooking the Med. It's doesn't get better than this. On a busy day I shared this pool with maybe two others for 10 minutes, otherwise I was free to plough up and down, catching a solid blue horizon stretching out from me at every breath.
The Restaurant terrace was beautiful in the evening, with soft lighting and wonderful food. The only downpoint here being rain one evening when we had to eat in the old-fashioned restaurant inside. Disappointingly drab.
To sum up. It is hugely expensive, a little isolated from other distractions, and full of stuffy french waiters, but you'll never stay anywhere like it. I'd recommend a night here just to swim in the pool. (Phil Green worth Â£500million plus chose here for his son's 4day-long bar mitzvah. He could have surely chosen anywhere, but not everywhere looks as good as this!)"
- Travel date: Sun 14th of August 2005
Beautiful hotel but..
"Foreward: I am completing this review to provide full disclosure for those who may consider staying at this establishment.
We just stayed three nights at the Grand-Hotel du Cap Ferrat ending June 26th. Let me give you some straight skinny:
We just completed an 8 day trip from Paris-to-Loire Valley-to-Riviera (3 nights at the Grand-Hotel). The dollar is very weak against the Euro, so high prices get even steeper when you land. By the time we got to the Hotel du Cap at the end of the trip, I thought the FX sticker shock had subsided....wrong. It was just starting...
My wife and I are well traveled, graduate level educated, high income earners who currently live in the SE part of the USA. We typically stay at a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons when vacationing. We stayed at this hotel based on the recommendation of a close friend (who cannot spend all the money he earns. The guy has the midas touch, God bless him. We, on the other hand, earn our moolah). That said,
If you seek to maxmize value for your weakening USD, this is not the place. While the RCarlton and 4Seasons seek to make your stay pleasant, this place is very similar to the Breakers in Palm Beach. They assume you will not even look at your bill when you check out (and I assume many, if not most, of the guests, do not). This place will nickel and dime (I mean quarter and dollar) you for everything they do. Do not expect anything gratis (i.e. Club Level treatment or bennys as found at the RCarlton or 4 Seasons).
This hotel is located at the end of a penisula in a very toney resdential area known as Cap-Ferrat. There are no immediate alternatives or cafes to the Grand-Hotel, you wanna eat or drink, you do it here.
We arrived about 9pm on a Thursday night after a 6 hour ride on the TGV. The dining room closes at 10p, so we quickly went ot our small 12' x 12' room (yes, I said 12 foot by 12 foot), changed and went to eat. We had a superb dinner (cocktail, appetizer, main course, dessert and a $80USD bottle of wine). The bill? $400 USD.
The next morning we had coffee on the restaurant patio (4 small cups of outstanding coffee in a small carafe). No food. The cost? $40 USD.
Warning: When we left for breakfast, we placed everything we could in the too small in-room safe (cameras, cell phones, i-pod, etc.). We placed the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and left the room. As we were leaving, we said good morning to the the maid (who saw us leave). When we returned, the DND sign was gone and our room had been cleaned (including 60 Euros that my wife left in one of her travel purses on the desk). Needless to say, 60 euros won't throw us into taking welfare, but the real crime was the maid had violated our request for privacy (and security) by entering the room despite the DND sign.
When I complained to the Front Office Manager, he actually rolled his eyes at me and sneered! I thought I was in a Peter Sellers movie. I almost opened up a can of good 'ol US of A whip *** on his skinny underdeveloped frame right there. But, being the diplomat I am, I decided to use my Wall Street developed trader experience and drill through that little brain of his. We met in the lobby with the housekeeping manager and, I could tell by the way they responded, this must be a frequent occurance. By the time I finished, I'm sure they were looking forward to the day we left. "Do not Disturb means DO NOT DISTURB! STAY OUT OF MY ROOM! Do I need to say it english, french, italian and russian?". They understood.
I also demanded he keep my company laptop in the front desk safe so it wouldn't grow legs either. It seems they have very nice safe deposit boxes behind a secure metal door, to which YOU keep one key and they the other. (My advice: If you have anything you cannot live without, put it there. The digital room safes can be compromised because a master code exists and God who knows who in this place has access to it.)
"Why do you rob banks, Willy?"
"Cause that's where the money is"
Wille Sutton, famous bank robber
"Why do you rob the guests at the Grand-Hotel du Cap Ferrat?"
"Cause that's where the money is"
Anonymous Grand-Hotel housekeeper
(Once I returned to the US, I spoke with a friend of mine from France who told me that labor laws in France prohibit firing someone unless they show cause (i.e. theft of guest's property) three times in a six month period. So, he said, the hotel management couldn't have done anything anyway.)
But I digress...
Some pricing facts:
-One Dewars on the rocks: $26USD
-One bottle of beer: $19USD
-One hamburger at the Grand-Hotel swimming pool: $47USD
-One small bottle of Avian water: $15USD
-Ironing 2 pairs of pants (for the bride, not me): $40USD
-Cost of $1 Euro at Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat: $1.40USD
-Cost of $1 Euro at current open market exchange rate: $1.23USD
-Limo (Mercedes S-Class) from Nice train station to hotel:$215USD
-Taxi to Monte Carlo (20 minutes): $78USD
-Taxi to Nice Airport (20 minutes): $91USD
-The least expensive room: $720USD per day (that comes to $1 per minute).
-My total bill for 3 nights / 2 days: $3,007.55USD
-The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is a hotel not a resort.
-The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is a place with snooty, not warm, service.
-The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is a place with very small rooms.
-The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is not a secure place. (Bring your own security detail).
-The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is an expensive place with no competition.
-The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is a place for the super-rich, super-rich wanna-bes or the ignorant (make sure you fall in one these categories, I place myself in the last category).
-The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is a place that expects you to pay for anything they do on your behalf (and make an Enron size profit in the process).
-In my opinion, the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is more flash than actual substance (the service measurement is not in the effort expended, but in the actual deliverable).
This is the Riveria, so keep in mind there are NUMEROUS high-end places to stay that offer as much or more for the money. If we were to return, we would stay in one of the hotels north of Monte Carlo. There is more to do, better views, and more alternatives (no Grand-Hotel monopoly on food or bottled water) and while busy, not over-run with activity (at least not in June).
Finally, we had an unpleasant experience (the theft and DND sign), so please qualify this review accordingly. Bon voyage."
- Travel date: Thu 30th of June 2005
Superb hotel, amazing views.....
"Just recently stayed 2 nights at the Grand Hotel. The location, staff, pool, rooms, food are all top notch. This is the place to come if you want to relax like royalty. Very highly recommended. The only down-side would be the expense. The rooms are well worth it, the food was a bit outrageous at times."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of October 2004
Nice in Nice
"Lovely hotel. Went with a few friends, accomodating staff, good food, great pool area.
One of the most expensive hotels I have ever stayed tho, and I've stayed in quite a few."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of September 2004
"If you're looking to spend some quiet time soaking up the sun on the Med, this is the place. We were treated like royalty even though we were in one of the least expensive rooms on a last minute booking.
The room itself, which the management apologized for, was excellent. The food and service were top notch.
We can't say enough about this hotel. Very private, yet minutes from Nice, Eze and Monaco."
- Travel date: Mon 6th of September 2004