After driving through the congestion of the Cote d'Azur, we heaved a sigh of relief when we found ourselves heading up the pristine driveway of Villa St Maxime. Villa St Maxime sits elegantly beneath the ancient ramparts of Saint-Paul, overlooking the heart of Cote d’Azur and down to the sea. Surrounded by lush and manicured gardens, this space and light filled villa boasts an exceptional swimming pool and an expansive terrace area with a commanding view of the French Riviera.
Villa St Maxime was perfectly located for us. A short drive from Cannes, Monaco and Italy, it’s also well away from the madness of Nice and a short stroll up the road to the breathtakingly beautiful fortified village of Saint-Paul, with all its quaint restaurants and boutiques. This was going to be our home for the next 6 days and we couldn’t wait to get settled.
After meeting gracious proprietor John, who kindly insisted on helping Peter carry one of our suitcases up two flights of stairs (and nearly suffering a coronary in the process), we indulged in a refreshing shower and fresh change of clothes before relaxing on the terrace for an evening aperitif with John. The evening drinks with John and Ann would become a daily ritual that Peter and I looked forward to before heading out for dinner each night.
Throughout our stay, we enjoyed delicious breakfasts on the terrace by the pool (with the option of champagne had we wanted it), served to us by 2 delightful ladies who also cleaned our room. Chatty and gracious, they never failed to give us great recommendations on where to go and what to see. The rooms were pristine, spacious and more than comfortable. The internet connection was superb, a great relief for me as I depend on it for my writing. As for our hosts, John and Ann, they were ready to assist at all times and a delight. Coming back to Villa St Maxime every afternoon after a heavy day of sightseeing was always a pleasure.
But on our last evening at Villa St Maxime, were we in for a surprise!! I had volunteered myself to participate in a special ritual that dated back to the times of Napoleon (or so John had me convinced), which involved the popping of a champagne cork with the use of a saber blade. Yep, you read right. Not having a clue what I was in for, I was game.
Nervous that I would end up slicing my own arm instead, or worse, John’s, I approached the task with trepidation. However, with John’s patient instructions, I was able to execute the task at hand with great aplomb. My privilege was to be knighted “Ladye Victoria of the Knights of the Champagne Sabre of Villa St Maxime.” Thus, we completed our delightful stay at St Maxime with a toast and a certificate of “knighthood”. I was chuffed!
While the knighting ceremony didn’t come out the best on video, you can see me deftly slicing the cork off with the blade by clicking on the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hznvya7EKeY
I highly recommend Villa St Maxime if you're visiting the Cote d'Azur. And do give the popping of the champagne cork with the saber a shot. It isn't as daunting as you think.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC