Five Best: French Villas

For a holiday home with that certain je ne sais quoi, check out these chic retreats.
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The Independent Travel

Villa La Tour, Eze-Bord-de-Mer

You'll need to book early for this chic, quirky villa; used as a family house for most of the year, it's only available to rent in the summer months (between 19 May and 28 September this year). Around 10 miles from both Monaco and Nice, it features cool, contemporary décor, a stunning pool and panoramic sea views. The main house has scope for a live-in nanny and office space and there's also an annexe with its own double bedroom, shower room and kitchenette.

Villa La Tour, Eze-Bord-de-Mer, Côte d'Azur (0845 070 0618; Weekly rental starts at £4,305, including twice weekly maid service. Sleeps eight.

La Réserve, St Tropez

Set against the hills of Ramatuelle, six miles from Saint Tropez, this small collection of private villas is right in the chi-chi heart of the French Riviera. Each one looks out - more often than not over an infinity pool - on to the Mediterranean and comes with its own private garden. The interiors are as classy as the surroundings, with decoration that blends classic provençal features with up-to-the-minute luxury.

La Réserve, Chemin de la Quessine, Ramatuelle, St Tropez, Côte d'Azur (00 33 4 94 79 14 28; Weekly rental starts at €18,000 (£12,860), including a "conciergerie". Villas sleep eight.

Villa Eve, Aix-en-Provence

This five-bedroom property is just outside Eze, the village where the artist Paul Cézanne once lived, and looks out over the hills and vineyards of the Luberon. Recently renovated by a local architect, the house celebrates the best of contemporary French style. Modern touches include a home cinema and a teak gym. If you're feeling really indulgent, private chefs, bar staff and masseurs can all be arranged - for an extra charge.

Villa Eve, Aix en Provence, Provence (07979 506913; Weekly rental starts at €22,000 (£15,715), including breakfast, daily housekeeping, Wi-Fi and the services of a private host and shared concierge. Sleeps 10.

Le Luc, Biarritz

The quintessential traditional French hideaway, though it's in Basque country, this "maison bourgeoise" dates back to the 18th century. It stands in 12 acres of wood and parkland, and is constructed around a 17th-century staircase the original owner brought in. This is the place for a grand house party - its seven bedrooms sleep 16 guests. If you're looking for somewhere with character, Le Luc has oodles of it, with large open fireplaces, flagstone floors, period furniture and boldly painted bedrooms. There's also a pool.

Le Luc, Sainte Marie de Gosse, Biarritz, Aquitaine (01886 853 920; Weekly rental starts at £2,500, including maid service, a gardener and a welcome hamper with wine, olive oil, coffee and more. Sleeps 16.

Casa Azura, Corsica

Part of the new villa portfolio from Coastline, sister company to Snowline chalets, this colourful property features spectacular views across the Gulf of Ajaccio through expansive picture windows. All three bedrooms open on to a sun deck. Outside, wooden decking surrounds a sleek infinity pool. The villa is set at the end of a secluded, private lane, but is just a few minutes' drive from Cala d'Orzo beach.

Casa Azura, Acqua d'Oria, Corsica (0844 557 1020; Weekly rental starts at £649 per person including return Gatwick flights, car hire, twice weekly maid service, daily bread, croissant and newspaper and concierge service. Sleeps six.