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Fun in the sun in the winter at Mimozas Resort Cannes

Escape to the south of France for fun in the sun in the winter!

On a freezing cold February day, I headed by train to Cannes in the south of France. The grey skies of wintery London turned into the grey skies of wintery Paris where I hopped on the 5-hour fast train to the south of France. Speeding through the French countryside, after a couple of hours I started to notice patches of Wedgewood blue appear in the sky. By the time I arrived in Cannes I felt like I’d gone to a different country – one where the sun shines and it’s warm, even in February.

From here I took a short taxi ride to my destination the 4-star Mimozas Resort in nearby Mandelieu.

For a pick me up break or an extended winter break in the south, this place is brilliant value. There’s loads to do and see, an onsite spa and access to the best golf courses in the area. There’s also the chance to relax in the sun, visit Cannes, Grasse and Nice and a host of fabulous hot spots on the French Riviera. From January to March the famous flower of the Provencal hinterland, mimosa, is in bloom making a visit even more special.

Mimozas Resort

I collected the key for my self-catering apartment in the main building. After dumping my luggage, I headed to the restaurant La Table du Lac on the ground floor. The menu is seasonal, diverse and delicious and the starter was substantial enough for a main meal. For anyone coming here for a week of rest and good health it’s the perfect option. There’s a little online shop where you can buy freshly baked croissants and basic supplies. If you want more choice, towns with markets and shops are within walking distance.

Mimozas Resort is not a dressy place, it’s a place to chill. Families, couples, groups and solo travellers like me fall in love with this place and return again and again. The friendly staff speak English. Thibaud the barman was great, he remembered what I like to drink on my second night, something that always impresses me when someone does that. Server Lissiane couldn’t have been nicer, she remembered my name and made me feel at home.

The perfect place to chill in Provence

You can book an apartment in the main building like me, or in the landscaped grounds where there are cottages and apartments. The gorgeous gardens and lake give it a feel of a private estate, spotless and very Provençal in style. There are walkways lined with herbs and rose arbours, the scent of rosemary and thyme even in winter are heady. You’ll find benches dotted around, places to sit and chill and watch the wild birds that flock here thanks to the lakes. Though it’s big, it never feels crowded or like a holiday camp as it’s spread over several acres and the layout is well designed so that you don’t feel on top of each other.

And if I tell you that the Michelin company hold their annual conference here you’ll get just how special this place is as the gastronomic giant is hardly likely to go somewhere that’s not up to their discerning level.

The aim of the resort is to make you feel at home, they’re very customer service oriented and not remotely stuffy.

Close to Cannes and top French Riviera locations

What I love about Mimozas Resort is that not just the fact that its great value, but you feel like you’re in the countryside. And yet, you’re just 20 minutes from Cannes by taxi or the No. 20 bus that stops outside. Plus you’re within easy walking distance of Mandelieu Napoule a picturesque and floral town with sandy beaches, loads of cafes and restaurants and the Château de La Napoule art centre. From here you can take a ferry to the pretty Isles de Lerin. It’s also a short walk in the opposite direction to the shops and markets of Mandelieu. There’s a superb choice of scenic walking and cycling trails close by.

You can take excursions from the hotel or via the tourist office in Mandelieu La Napoule. One of the best in the winter months is the Mimosa trail and Fragonard perfume tour. The thought of all that beautiful yellow mimosa persuaded me to tear myself away from the relaxing and scented environs of the Mimozas Resort and head to the hills.

Activities at Mimozas Resort

mimosa blooming in the hills of Provence in February

There’s a spa on site which is popular. It gets very booked up so if you want a spa treatment – book in advance. This is especially needed at weekends as Mimozas resort is a favourite weekend destination for Parisians.

If you like to jog, there are paths around the resort or outside on the quiet roads. There are less activities in the winter months, the pool is closed as well as the barbecue area. But the famous golf courses of the area are right on the doorstep. In fact, you’re right beside the legendary golf ‘Old Course’ at Cannes-Mandelieu. Founded by Grand Duke Michael of Russia in 1891, it was the first golf course under Mediterranean skies. It has 18 holes and spans 74 hectares plus a ferry between holes across the Siagne River. The perfect place to enjoy a glass of rosé and a spectacular sunset from the clubhouse terrace after your round.

I found that the resort made for a great base. There’s a station in Mandelieu La Napoule, about a 15-minute walk. From there you can take a train round the coast to Cannes, Nice (about 40 mins), Juan les pins, Antibes, Monaco, Villefranche du Mer and more. Be warned, taxis are expensive in this area, take the bus or the train to avoid clocking up the Euros.

Sun in France in the winter

As I sat on my balcony overlooking a lake at 10 o’clock at night I felt blissfully charmed by the beauty, and warmth, of this place. On the phone to my sister in London she moaned “it’s sleeting here in London”.

“I’m outside in shorts and a t shirt” I told her, and I can’t tell you what’s she said next.

It’s surprisingly good value to stay here, in fact I’d go so far to say that a winter break is positively cheap. I could have happily stayed here for several weeks, it’s an inspiring sort of place, you could come here and paint, write, read a book, diet, work on your fitness regime, sight see, tour or simply relax and get to know the area.

ps if you’re wondering – those photos were taken by me in February – the weather really was that good!

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