Life was tough for Queen Victoria. During her reign in the late 1800s, vacation was an ordeal. Just to enjoy a little royal R and R at her favorite hotel on the French Riviera, shed have to tow along a staff of 60 to 100 of her peeps. She even brought her chef and her dentist. They shipped in her own bed and her own food(!)

Things have changed on the French Riviera. You don’t have to squeeze into a cramped, noisy hotel. You and your entourage can spread out in a world-class luxury villa where every bed is fabulous. No need to lug along a chef when our Time & Place Concierge can dial up a 3-star Michelin cuisine artist (and/or mixologist) ready to pack his knives and meet you at your place. Heres how you’ll vacation BETTER than royalty in the exclusive, ultra-glam principalities that dot the Cote d’Azur:

* St. Tropez:

Your breakfast swim in the blue waters of your private pool starts your day. The sun is golden already, even as your coffee cools in the loggia. Tonight? The party. Just a few friends youll have picked up from their ships. The gifts are ready, the cute Baby Louboutin bags from Battaglia, and the one-of-a-kind bijoux from the Joallerie. The champagnes cooling while the kitchen staff unpacks the boxes from Chateau Minuty; a local early red, and Chefs got fish from the dock for canaps. The organizer your concierge recommended asks a last minute question about flowers you think lavender and miniature golden sunflowers. You text the staff at Heraclea: Lomi Lomi massage, half an hour? As you head to the shower, Chef hands you a cup of almond milk, fresh made with a hint of Grand Marnier. Outside the open windows the sea looks like a gem.

* Villefranche-sur-Mer:

You’re thinking about turning over, the sun baking away the tension in your back, along your hamstrings. The masseuse is coming later to get the very last of it; what you cant get rid of here by the pool just right outside your villa door. The mixologist sent by the Time & Place concierge has already been by, made up a few pitchers of detoxby which you both meant detox the stress. In your hand, the chilled crystal feels like the color of the cool blue sea. The drink, flavored with local herbs from the mountain, a little piney, a little citrus, a little flirt of champagne, smoothes that last bit of wrinkle between your eyebrows. You turn over, adjust your Phillip Lim shades, and sink into the chaise just that much deeper.

* Sainte Maxime:

In the stateroom, the kids play a familiar video game, the quiet punctured now and then by electronic beeping. You hear Lucy say in her perfect baby-French, Well beat those Romans, wont we, Mira? The staff has everything ready for your stay ashore at the luxury villa Romarine. Your sister and her boys are already there, the chef has come by, along with the florist. You text, Bikes there? WINE? She writes, Wine! Bikes coming. Nanny arrived! Tomorrow, Mirielle and Lucy’s pool party for their friends and your nephews. You text the party planner, make sure the Obelix character you hired brings the petits-cadeaux made up by your shopper. The week after? The train up to Parc Astrix for all of them and a nip into Herms for the bag they’re saving for you. You call the captain and tell him to meet you in Monte Carlo at the end of the month. You hear Mirielle giggle and tell the staff youre ready for the car.

* Cannes:

Youve always been spiritual, just not church-spiritual. The way a chair sits in a room. The perfect clean lines of an elegant table. The lack of clutter of a Stieglitz black and whiteGeorgia OKeeffes hands, a single defoliated tree in a stark landscape. The clearness of Rothkos palette. The clean, rectilinear spaces of the Abbaye de Lrins on the le St. Honorat, just a quick sail from Cannes. Its perfect complex buffs and almost-yellows, the faded terra cotta roofs against the greens and blues of the South-of-France pines, the sea and the sky in the summer. You’re there to taste wine made from grapes in vineyards tended there by Cistercians since the days of Honorat the Eremite. You run a hand over the cellar wall, know that this wall has been here forever – will be here forever. You sip the wine the monks have been making here for sixteen centuries, taste the way it opens the senses; the way it lifts you into a more spiritual place. You feel clean, lighter, more present. The monks smile, pour you another taste – a white that matches the sunlight outside and is just as warming. You may never leave.

Keep the entourage, but leave your bed and dentist at home. Your Time & Place Concierge already has you covered. Talk about a royal treatment! Contact the experts at Time & Place today for rates and availability on your next luxury vacation villa in the French Riviera.

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