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A la Colthard/ Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat

Polly and I decided to go to her favourite place on the Riviera, Cap Ferrat. For those that do not know it, it is very much the enclave of the super rich.

Aside from Paloma Beach, the Rothschild villa and the Grand Hotel, there is not that much to do. The Grand is now under Four Seasons Management and one of the finest hotels any where.

Yet even here we encountered that unhelpful attitude that characterizes the French national personality.

At the entrance I was told it was 42 euros for the half day rate beginning at 2.00pm so we would have to pay the full day rate of 60 euros.

It was now 11.00am, so we were faced with paying a whole day’s rate even though we would only use the pool for less than 2 hours.

I got angry over this. I was repeatedly told these were the rules to which I countered they were not explained on the phone nor on the website:

(“We can’t put everything on the website …”).

Eventually I won the day.

The pool itself is an infinity one with salt water.

Something of an institution here is Pierre Grunberg Le Nageur and possibly the best-known swimming instructor in the world.

He pitched up here after the war as a nineteen-year-old Jewish emigre and never left. He sits atop of a ladder pool-side like a tennis umpire, Lord and Master of all he surveys. He arrives later in the summer.

Another irritation is that the opening hours are defined as winter and summer. We are still apparently on winter hours even though Polly got sunburnt.

It would be more helpful if actual months are specified but I have long given up on expectations of such client assistance.

However, the food service and ambience were all spectacularly good so you have to just accept any such unhelpfulness comes with the territory.

We took Uber back with a cheerful Neapolitan driver trying to earn a living as barman/part-time driver in Nice. I could not but notice his eyes settling on my exposed thigh!!!

About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts