This week we are starting our yearly venue tour and wanted to share some highlights of last year’s excursion through the French Riviera and Provence! Last April, I spent a little time exploring some outstanding destination wedding and event venues in the South of France with my photographer colleague Tanja Kibogo. Much like our venue tour through the Amalfi Coast, I was, as always, in awe and amazed at what the South of France had to offer. These wedding event venues are steeped in history, beauty, and romance, all in their own way. Located on either the glamorous French Riviera or in the rolling, breathtaking Provence, we explored all of the beauty, charm, romance, and heritage that each of these special wedding and event venues had to share with us.
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Located in the well-known resort town, Antibes, Edon Roc is one of the number one, oldest, five-star hotels located on French Riviera, and caters to an exclusive clientele. The hotel itself has been around since 1870, and still maintains the same generational style and charm, with white and cream interiors highlighted with pops of blue throughout the property. Many of
clientele that visit Eden Roc have been going there for generations, visiting at the same time every year with their families. This destination hotel is absolutely luxe, with gorgeous country club facilities, a private bay, and parkland. It also includes a spa and infinity pool for added luxury. There is a gorgeous little boardwalk that runs from the hotel down to the sea, and two restaurants boasting a three Michelin star chef. There is a lovely separate property perfect for an event space or reception with a large, modern yet romantic open terrace that includes its own restaurant and pool. Another stand out factor for this venue is that the hotel supports
L’Espace Mer & Littoral for the protection of the Mediterranean Loggerhead Turtles. Eden Roc truly is a perfect venue for a wedding ceremony and reception or exclusive special event – luxury abounds.
This chateau is a part of the Oetker Collection of hotels, along with the Eden Roc. Chateau Saint-Martin is located quite spectacularly on a hilltop overlooking the French Riviera and is a gorgeous, five-star hotel steeped in history. It was named after and home to Saint-Martin, the Bishop of Tours, in 350. In the 1100s it became the ‘stronghold’ for the Knights of Templar. Over time, the chateau fell to ruins. But in the early 1900s, it was rebuilt and still feeds the legend of the old Templar treasure that was never found. How is that for an eventful destination wedding venue?
Fascinating history aside, the chateau has a gorgeous outdoor terrace that’s perfect for a reception dinner, as well as celebrated restaurants, a sprawling garden, and a pool for special events. At 34 acres, the surrounding property offers much to explore for guests and celebrations, as well as a luxury spa that was voted the “best luxury spa destination in Europe” in the World Luxury Spa Awards, an ideal spot for the bridal party to pamper themselves before the big day.
Quite an exclusive and hidden gem, the Chateau Saint Georges is known as the “Petite Versailles” and is the only chateau in the region that has maintained the picturesque, romantic 18th-century baroque style. The interior is white and gold gilded, with sprawling rooms, a library, salon, and more, and the lawn is expansive. There is this wonderfully romantic dome or “Temple of Love” outside that can be used by the bride and groom during their ceremony that extends out from an exclusive, hidden terrace that practically floats above and overlooks the grounds and whole of the medieval town of Grasse below. There are also expansive halls large enough to host a reception or ceremony for the option of an indoor wedding. An indoor pool and hot-tub offers some extra luxury. If you’re looking for a venue made for a prince or princess, this enchanting chateau is really quite extraordinary.
The last hotel from our visit that’s located on the French Riviera, the Hotel Belles Rives, is an absolute gem that is secreted away on the water. The hotel was absolutely adored by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his time spent on the riviera inspired The Great Gatsby. When Fitzgerald knew the hotel, it was known as Villa Saint-Louis, charming and hidden in a little cove on the Cap d’Antibes. In 1929 it is taken over by Boma and Simone Estène of Russia, becoming Hotel Belles Rives. The hotel is still in the family to this day. Due to the size of the venue and property, it’s ideal for a intimate wedding ceremony itself, however, it is absolutely perfect for a welcome party or farewell event.
Seated right on the water where boats can dock at the private jetty, and the feel of the place is still very much inspired by Fitzgerald’s roaring 20’s art deco style. The outdoor terrace on the water is perfect for dinner and drinks, while the Piano Bar Fitzgerald is part of an exclusive group of historic and heritage cafes in Europe and perfect for an intimate and entertaining gathering. You can also take water ski lessons where the sport was essentially born in the 1930s! Once again, an amazing and very exclusive venue for welcome or farewell celebrations and gatherings for a wedding or special event as a whole.
Beginning our collection of wedding and event venues in Provence in the South of France is Chateau Fonscolombe. This chateau is a hotel as opposed to a private venue, as our next Provence destination venue is. It was built in 1720 and is described as “a large house where all the spaces join in a spirit of family while still preserving individual privacy”, and has been owned by two families, the Fonscolombe’s and the de Saporta’s, who still own it today. Another venue fun fact (there are so many amazing histories here in the South of France!), The Queen of England stayed at the chateau and planted and atlas cedar that still stands strong today. The listed parc itself that is on the chateau grounds has 180 species of trees and plants and is an amazing place for families, guests, and couples to explore, stroll and picnic within.
There is a small but beautiful chapel and a wonderful restaurant suited for a smaller ceremony and reception should you be holding a more intimate wedding, and the gardens and winery are beautiful locations for smaller events and receptions. For guests, the venue also boasts a game room for children in attendance, a wellness centre, pool and pool house, and salon. This venue truly has it all.
The final but no less spectacular destination wedding and event venue is the Domaine des Grottes. This venue is a private rental as opposed to a hotel, and has been family owned since 1729. The space feels both exclusive and welcoming, with aesthetics that marry both an older, rustic, Country-France with a modern flair. The venue also offers a 100-hectare private forest, a swimming pool, tennis court, and sauna. To me, it’s a bit of an unkept secret, a stunning private countryside hideaway. The wine, food, service, hospitality, aesthetic and extensive grounds make it a perfect, private venue for a wedding ceremony and reception.
Whatever your ideal preferences, these destination wedding venues in the South of France truly are spectacular. With stunning architecture, exclusive offerings, so much history, and options for views of the French Riviera or of the expansive, rolling countryside of Provence’s venues, there is so much to choose from. I hope these have inspired you to explore as options for your own special day ahead!
Looking for more information on wedding venues in the South of France? Don’t forget to download your FREE Venue Guide France & Italy, link here!
Photography: Tanja Kibogo Photography