Whoever said it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts?

Kirk Douglas may only now be present at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in a beautiful photographic exhibition of its 1950s and 1960s heyday as glamour central, but it’s lost none of its artfully maintained allure as a stylish destination; the 1870 Belle Époque gem still fizzes with je ne sais quoi even though it’s now a century since its famous saltwater swimming pool was carved out of rock, where it drops away to the Mediterranean.

The pavilion above it was also built in 1914 and remains the perfect place to idle away the day or dine at night as an alternative to the sweeping terrace in front of the main building. As we ate a wonderful arrangement of crab with flecks of grapefruit and lobster stuffed into shells, we could see the lights of Cannes twinkling across the bay.

The gardens, shaded by umbrella pines, are a Gallic work of art, the wisteria winding its way sinuously round the extensive arbour that leads to the hidden spa. supremely comfort- able, as you’d expect of the oetker hotel group, the Eden-Roc retains the old-world charm of its glass-fronted lift and seaside ‘cabins’.

On the second morning, we opened the traditional shutters on our south- facing bedroom to find the wide avenue down to the sea lined with an array of beautiful cars, from 1920s Bentleys to early Aston Martins. The last word in motoring style et luxe, they looked completely at home.

Prices from €850 per room, per night, on a B&B basis (0033493613901; www.hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.com)