An Irishman has created a high-class home from home on the French Riviera, writes Eva Hall.
One might expect a 10-year-old resort with a recent change in management, slap bang in the centre of the Cote d'Azur, to have a certain air of haughtiness.
And while Mimozas Resort, set halfway between St Tropez and the Italian border, is situated on a lake with a man-made island, the ambience couldn't be more Oirish. Dubliner Ray Byrne (who owns the Wineport) is the new owner, and he's made the 200 apartments something of a home away from home - with high-class hospitality - on the French Riviera.
Chef Alex Licacis, poached from a Biarritz kitchen, takes more pride in his work than a ranting Ramsay on camera, and his lobster calamari salad will leave you hankering for more.
Relax, ask for a signature Mimosa cocktail, and bar staff may even serenade you with a little ditty en Francais if you're lucky...
The Radisson Blu Hotel in Cannes (radissonblu.com) offers a rooftop bar - think Richard Branson's Kensington Roof Gardens. A pink mojito will set you back €20, and a bottle of beer €18, but bring your selfie stick, as the views of Cannes and the nearby Esterel Mountains are magnificent.
Cannes prices are not for the faint-hearted (some might even say the town itself can be exorbitant), so get that French feeling by sampling some seafood in one of its seaside huts. A salmon main course and large glass of Sauvignon Blanc will set you back around €30, while just five feet away a Nutella crêpe, scoffed while watching the sunset, costs around €12.
In the opposite direction to Mandelieu-la Napoule, a cluster of small cafés offering pizza, crêpes, and burgers and fries all look out to sea.
Make sure your air-con is turned right up, or the heat is turned right down, because I found the rooms at Mimozas can get quite stuffy, especially at night. And if your room overlooks the golf course, keep your window closed - unless you want to be woken by cries of 'fore' early in the morning!
Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly to Nice Airport, a 20-minute drive from Mimozas Resort (mimozascannes.com). Going to press, the resort is offering an advance purchase offer with 10pc off, while a one-night stay in a three-bed apartment with a view of the golf course or lake during May is priced at €359. A two-bed with a view is €259; and a large studio room without a view €189.
See also cannes-destination.fr.