Les Rosees

Mougins, Cote d'Azur, France Book from Eur177

Reviewed by Tom Bell
Intimate elegance at this peaceful, romantic retreat in the Mougins hills above super-cool Cannes
A gravel path leads up through four terraces, past rambling roses, honeysuckle and the pool to the shade of a tamarind tree, where lines of lavender direct you to the front door; at night candles illuminate the path. This 400-year-old mas is a magnificent house, both inside and out, endlessly beautiful yet very homely, a place to escape the coastal crowds and luxuriate in blissful tranquility.

Silks draped over elegant sofas, a candelabra on a grand piano signed by Liza Minnelli (who stays for the Cannes Film festival), lime-washed walls, and an open fire in one room with a pane of glass in the bathroom so you can watch the flames flicker while you soak. The suites are stunning and impeccably thought out: beamed and warm in colour, with huge baths, sublimely comfortable beds, fine Ralph Lauren linen and Bose sound systems. Breakfast, a feast, is taken wherever you want: in your room, on the terrace, in the dining room. Mougins has fine restaurants and a food market; art galleries, perfume factories and golf are nearby. Perfect.

Highs

  • The owners, Kilpérick and wife Jenny, will look after you with great charm; they're a font of local knowledge and pull out all the stops to make your stay as special as possible
  • Gorgeous rooms with a real sense of space and comfort, plus a spectacular level of craftsmanship in the house
  • Come in summer and you can stay in a prettily refurbished gypsy caravan hidden in the gardens; it's a great romantic bolthole
  • Delightful, slightly wild and wonderfully scented gardens, a great spot to top up the tan
  • Great home-cooked food with ingredients plucked straight from the mas' organic garden, plus a good selection of restaurants in nearby Mougins

Lows

  • The house is overlooked by a couple of houses across the road
  • You’re on a country lane, the odd car or tractor passes by
  • Airport transfers can be arranged but we recommend you rent a car - Mougins' historic centre and eateries are a 25-minute uphill walk (or a 5-minute hop in the car)
  • Traffic in the Cote d’Azur can be crazy in summer
  • No TV or phone in the rooms but you do have Wifi internet, mobile reception and a CD player

Best time to go

With 300+ days of sun, this area of France is great to visit at any time of year. July and August see the region packed with holiday-makers.

Our top tips

St Paul de Vence is well worth a visit, a picturesque hilltop village packed with expensive art galleries. We loved the famous Fondation Maeght with a large collection of works by Chagall, Braque, Giacometti and others.

Great for...

Eco
Foodie
Honeymoon
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 5
  • Restaurant (open daily in high season)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Suite Isadora

Rooms

Peaceful Suite St Honorat on the ground floor, has French windows in the sitting room opening onto the garden. The antique panels in the bedroom have been lime-washed first in black, then in white, then orange, finally in grey; different colours surface depending on the light, and when the sun sets olive tree silhouettes dance on the walls. Its bath is so big they had to knock down the wall to get it in!

Romantic Suite Isadora is on the first floor and has a big fat ancient beam bisecting the ceiling of the room. It also has a rather large and expensive bed covered in a thick Provencal quilt. The sitting room is wrapped in curving glass - it is one of the loveliest rooms in the house.

Technically speaking, Suite Serguey is not a suite, but in our opinion it is the best room. It’s up on the top floor, airy, light-filled and has a stone fireplace in one corner. You spark it up, stick on some music, then swing next door, pour a deep bath and watch the flames through a pane of glass. Its roof was made for stargazing, too.

The fourth suite, Suite St Marguerite, is on the ground floor with direct access to a leafy garden (small private terrace), and is particularly suited to a couple with 1 child. Its walls are distress-painted with natural pigments in rich gold and green.

If you come in summer, you can stay in a refurbished gypsy caravan, named Suite Gypsy, parked out in the gardens, a charmingly quirky option, with its spacious wood-lined interiors (double/twin room, sitting area, bathroom with big tub) and its flower-ringed wooden deck outside.

All have large double/kingsize or twin beds, grand bathrooms with inviting tubs or powerful rainfall showers, CD players, air con/heating and a minibar.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Radio
  • Terrace
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Sublime food throughout the day flows from the kitchen. Breakfast (extra cost for all rooms except Gypsy) is mostly taken somewhere in the garden, either in the shade of a tree or under a parasol: jugs of orange juice, baskets of freshly-baked patisserie, home-made jams (they collect the berries from the Murrier tree outside the house and forage for figs in the woods of Mougins to make preserves), goats cheese and scrambled eggs, Herbes de Provence hams, creamy yoghurts, French coffee or English breakfast tea. If you come in winter and breakfast inside, the candelabra on the grand piano is lit.

If you want to stay around all day, Kilpérick can whisk up something for lunch: salads, sandwiches, a plate of cheese, local mushrooms in season, and a cool glass of wine.

For dinner, there's a set daily menu consisting of 3 delectable courses. Kilpérick cooks. You might get ginger and chicken soup with crème fraiche, local trout in a white wine sauce, and raspberry tart with vanilla ice cream and a fruit coulis. Sometimes a barbecue can be fired up. Thanks to the thriving garden, much of the fresh produce is plucked straight from the plant and into the pot. Note that dinner is served daily during the high season, and on request at other times.

There are plenty of places to eat out should you desire to leave the gardens. In the nearby ancient hilltop village of Mougins (a 5-minute drive) you’ll find the Michelin two-star Le Moulin de Mougins. For good country cooking and friendly service, try Le Petit Fouet, which doubles as a shop selling jars of truffles, fois gras, coq au vin. Our favourite spot was the busy Bistro de Mougins where we ate the most delicious duck breast with ginger and honey.

Features include:

  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take a trip to nearby Mougins, a pretty medieval hilltop village famous for its restaurants. It also has a number of commercial art galleries and a photography museum which is worth a stop to see the permanent top floor collection of photos of Picasso taken by Robert Doisneau, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, André Villers and others
  • Visit the beaches of Cannes and Antibes. You can hire a lounger on a private beach, be served on hand and foot, saunter down to the clear blue sea and dip in a toe. Try La Garoupe on the Cap d’Antibes for the real Riviera experience, a little like being an extra in a Jean-Luc Goddard movie. Fabulous.
  • Go to the markets at Biot, Tourette-sur-Loup and Valbonne, ancient small towns of impeccable architectural beauty to which the loveliest local produce comes once a week
  • Grasse is famous for its perfume factory, visit and you can make your own scent. Alternatively go to Bar-sur-Loup for the sweet factory and the waterfall
  • Nice is great for Matisse and Chagall; both have museums dedicated to their work here. There’s also the flower market and the old town is worth a peek
  • Cannes is excellent for shopping, also for daytrips to the local islands in the bay, or for watching the world go by. Cannes is cool, no doubt about it
  • Sit around by the pool and do nothing! You can also indulge in a massage (they have a special treatment room)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Although the house is small, up to 3 children at a time are very welcome and extra beds are available.

Family friendly accommodation:

Suite St. Honorat is the best option as it can accommodate up to 3 extra kids on rollaway beds. All the other suites can fit either an extra bed or baby cot. We'd recommend either Suite St. Honorat or St. Marguerite (depending on the size of your family) as they are on the ground floor and have easy access to the gardens.

Kid Friendly: Suite Isadora

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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