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La Colombe d'Or
At a Glance
- where else can you have an aperitif under a real Picasso? Where else can you wander in the garden, glass of wine in hand, and stare at a real Rodin?
- some rooms in the adjoining villa have blocked views
- menu often outshone by the art
- service not always a work of art
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La Colombe d'Or Review
Often called the most beautiful inn in France, "the golden dove" occupies a rose-stone Renaissance mansion just outside the walls of St-Paul and is so perfect overall that some contend you haven't really been to the French Riviera until you've stayed or dined here. Walk into the dining room and you'll do a double take—yes, those are real Mirós, Bonnards, and Légers on the walls, given in payment in hungrier days when this inn was known as the heart of St-Paul's artistic revival. Back then, it was the cherished retreat of Picasso and Chagall, Maeterlinck and Kipling, and Yves Montand and Simone Signoret (who met and married here). Today, a ceramic Léger mural still lords it over the famous fig-tree luncheon terrace, a Calder stabile soaks in the giant pool, and there's even a Braque in the bar. This is one of the very few places where movie stars enjoy being recognized. Upstairs, the guest rooms are bewitching, replete with Louis XIII armoires, medieval four-posters, wood beams, Provençal borders, and painted murals (even rooms in the two annexes are flawless in taste). Henri Matisse once called La Colombe "a small paradise," and who are we to argue?
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