Last Sunday, I tried out Staycation, a new service on the French Riviera. The concept: go on a holiday close to home! It’s thanks to Staycation that I was able to enjoy a 24-hour experience at Mas Candille, the 5-star spa hotel in Mougins. Taking a breath of fresh air without having to travel hundreds of kilometers, it’s now possible – I’ll explain everything!
Staycation, a holiday in your own city!
Already available in Paris and London, Staycation is moving to the French Riviera to offer mini-vacations in dream locations. Have you ever thought of booking into the Negresco or the Tiara Miramar up in Théoule-sur-Mer? Personally, it had never occurred to me, but after hearing about Staycation, I thought it was a fantastic idea.
Indeed, what could be better than relaxing without having to travel too far (or at least not too much)? No flights, no endless driving to get to your final destination, Staycation offers you stays close to home. Because Staycation = Stay + Vacation: stay in the city to go on holiday. It’s the perfect way to break your routine, celebrate a birthday, have a good time with your best friend or mum, or just get some fresh air in the middle of the year.
The Gist: the best 4 and 5-star hotels are chosen and then uploaded on the website every Wednesday at 9am. With Staycation, you get an experience that includes a night away, an activity, breakfast and some little extras.
In terms of prices, the offers go up to 70% off – what a deal!
24 hours at Le Mas Candille
I confess that I didn’t choose the closest hotel to Nice, but my desire to go green was the strongest. We set off for Mougins on a mild February morning. The mimosa flowers bloomed in the distance, and the hilly landscapes of the surrounding countryside welcomed us. At the top of the hill, Le Mas Candille‘s beautiful gates opened and its breathtaking view over the valley cuts us straight off from the rest of the world. And thus, the Staycation experience began in a dream location.
Welcome to Le Mas Candille
Our own little terrace, and the incredible vue on arrival
The reception reflects the hotel, 5 stars! As soon as we arrive, we’re off on a tour of Le Mas Candille: an intimate bar with a lovely fireplace, a restaurant, an indoor spa, and also an outdoor spa with a gym full of high-tech machines, a swimming pool, jacuzzi and a sauna. All of this is surrounded by a pretty garden decorated with colourful sculptures: the place is both a pleasure for the eyes and a haven of peace.
Now to discover our room. Completely cosy in its French style, it promises a moment of total disconnect, out of this world…
The Staycation gift bag
When we get to the room, we find a little surprise waiting for us from Staycation. It’s a lovely wellness kit… Let me explain: two Tonymoly face masks and a packet of pretzel chocolates from Les mal cassés – making the experience even more enjoyable. It’s tempting, but we’re saving all this wellness for after the spa!
The little Staycation gift waiting for us in our room
We put on our swimsuits and bathrobes, and we leave to brave the southern winter cold, that is to say 19° in the sun, nothing to be afraid of.
The spa at Le Mas Candille
The outdoor spa area is very pleasant. The heated pool has several options, such as swimming against the current, which amused us for a good half hour! Although surprising to be in a pool in winter, we’re not going to lie, we’re quite lucky in the South of France.
Once out of the pool, we head to the sauna for 15 minutes of intense Swedish heat! The scent of essential oils is released from the water once poured on the hot pebbles. The sky clouded over a little in the late afternoon, the setting is perfect.
A breathtaking view of the Grasse valley from the outdoor spa
We then head to the jacuzzi: an invigorating change of temperature from the sauna. This moment of relaxation reminds us how lucky we are to be able to take such a break in the middle of the year. We get lost in discussions about our life, and the one we wish for later on… This afternoon is definitely a break from the world, and we appreciate every little detail.
Finally, we head back into the sauna because we are not cows and had to leave room for others to warm up a bit, and also because our room was calling to us.
Le Bistrot du Mas
It’s time to chill again, and apply our face masks. A sweet smell envelops us, and the experience continues. Here we are lying on our cosy bed, surrounded by pillows, nibbling on the chocolate pretzels. What better way to end a Sunday? I ask you.
We wanted to stay at Mas Candille to cut ourselves off from the world completely. Since the dinner wasn’t included in the package, we made a reservation at the Bistrot du Mas.
The amuse bouche was served and announced the beginning of another great experience! That night, we shared mini Piedmontese ravioli with truffle cream as the starter. A delight.
Amuse bouche and truffle ravioli at the Bistrot du Mas
From the menu, I chose the vegetable wok with tataki sauce, and my husband the beef Wellington with vanilla celery purée. We finished by sharing a fruit dessert, before heading to the bar for a herbal tea by the fireplace. Absolutely divine.
Vegetable wok with tataki sauce and a fruity dessert to finish off
Vegetarian option at the Bistrot
Good to know: Le Mas Candille is home to another Michelin-starred restaurant, open every evening for dinner from 1st April to 31st October.
A 5-star breakfast
After a good night’s sleep, it’s soon time to get back to reality. But before that, we go down to the restaurant for breakfast… Gargantuan!
Walking past the press corner, all the morning newspapers are on offer, with almost a dozen magazines in all. Let’s go, the buffet awaits!
A farandole of cheeses, fruit compotes, different types of bread, delicious pastries, mueslis, cereals, yoghurts and so on. In short, there’s something for everyone. Eggs of all styles are cooked to order, and don’t forget to help yourself to the fruit juices and original smoothies.
Breakfast and its breathtaking view of the Valley
What a lovely surprise when you get to the restaurant. The room offers a panoramic view of the Grasse valley, as well as of the hotel grounds, which contains many pieces by glass artist Antoine Pierini, and sculptor Marion Burkle, both local.
A tasty detox juice and some little delicacies later, we are ready to return to Nice, as rested as ever.
Starting the week, after 24 hours spent being pampered by the lovely staff in this wonderful place that is Le Mas Candille, it’s priceless.