Lucy Akin of Ciao Lucia’s Guide to the French Riviera
We at Hotel Weekend and Lucy Akin share a similar mindset: always living in a perpetual state of vacation. Akin’s airy line of stylish travel essentials, Ciao Lucia caters to that feeling, and in turn, is the ultimate Hotel Weekend wardrobe. It features lightweight pieces in silk voile, washed cotton and soft silks that can be thrown into a suitcase, yet glamorous enough to be donned at seaside hotels in say, the French Riviera. This is why we asked Lucy to fill us in on her recent trip to the South of France where she shot her lust-worthy Resort ‘20 collection and gives HW a first look at the season ahead. (Shop her current collection for your upcoming trips here!)
What is your relationship to the French Riviera?
I studied abroad for a summer in Cannes when I was in my first year at college. While there, I definitely indulged in the parties and DJ’s that came to the area. After all, it was 2007. Since then, I haven’t been back until I was inspired to shoot the Ciao Lucia Resort ‘20 campaign there. It’s such an easy train ride from Paris!
What towns did you visit this trip?
I went with Eliana Gil Rodriguez who models for us and my production manager. We stayed in Saint Raphael, a bit of a sleepy resort town but the main attraction was our hotel - Hotel Les Roches Rouge. We went to Boulou, Collioure, Cannes, and Saint Raphael! It was great because we easily drove up and down the coast.
Favorite town in the French Riviera? Why?
I love Boulou, it’s very rustic and old. It’s a different vibe than the beach towns on the Riviera - it’s calmer and much less touristy– a bit of a secret gem!
I LOVED Hotel Les Roches Rouge. It was such an oasis. As much as we explored the area, we really just enjoyed staying at the hotel the most.
Best brunch spots:
If you want a late long afternoon lunch, it’s best taken at Syrah’rissime. It was recommended to me by one of our Instagram followers who is from the area, and it was a great spot!
Best untapped beach:
Collioure has an amazing marina/beach. It almost looks like you’re in Italy and it’s a very underrated town.
Most scenic and beautiful beach:
Paloma Plage in Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat is a well known, very scenic beach with a restaurant and chairs to rent on the beach. The setting is so glamorous.
Best streets to explore if you need a break from the beach:
There’s really great hiking in Saint Raphael called L’Esterel. We sadly didn’t have time to hike, but it was on my list of things to do!
Best local food:
I always opt for grilled fish at any restaurant when I’m in the South of France. It’s so fresh and simple, and a luxury I don’t get all the time.
Favorite fresh market:
Cannes has a great market a little west of the main square. I used to live a block away from it in college!
If you want to have a Pretty Woman moment, La Croisette in Cannes has a great stretch of all the designer stores. It’s fun. Otherwise, Provence has so many local specialties to buy: lavender, soap, olive oil, and the famous table cloths!
Cannes’ Old Town is in the heart of the town and it has these narrow streets with restaurants lined up and down them.
Best places to take in the sunset:
Our hotel had an amazing view of the Ile d’Or (Island of Gold). It was beautiful to watch the sunset on the old terracotta.
Best area for a cool nightlife scene:
Best dinner spot to dress up for:
The Carlton Hotel in Cannes! During the film festival, that’s where to be for the best people watching.
Best casual dinner spot:
The best thing about the South of France is that the Michelin Star restaurants are so low key. Any little alley restaurant can surprise you with a Michelin Star rating! Le Matuzia in Saint Raphael is in an old villa - it’s casual and a very good meal.
The French Riviera’s best kept secret:
The lifestyle! I love that you can travel around so easily and explore so many different towns in one short trip.
What should we pack?
Ciao Lucia! The new collection was inspired by the Riviera lifestyle so the colors fit in perfectly.