Mr. and Mrs. Grey will see you… in the South of France. Fifty Shades Freed, the final film adaptation of E L James’ wildly-popular franchise, features both a wedding and a honeymoon, serving up a heaping platter of inspiration for couples currently planning their nuptials and beyond.
Newlyweds Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) opted for a luxurious getaway to Cote d’Azur, France, where the world’s most privileged flock to unwind within the Mediterranean enclave. The Knot got an exclusive look into the couple’s one-of-a-kind honeymoon experience, ranging from a scorching stop by the world-renowned Paloma Beach to a serene walk through the medieval village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Here’s how to honeymoon along the French Riviera like Mr. and Mrs. Grey.
Stay at The Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat
The quintessential representation of Riviera glam just happens to be a famed Four Seasons property perched alongside the dazzling Tyrrhenian Sea. A walkable distance away from the town of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat boasts of a rich architectural background: Gustave Eiffel (yes, the force behind the Eiffel Tower) designed the main rotunda of the hotel lobby in 1908.
The hotel itself, which rests on 17 acres of beautiful landscape, was central to production locations featured in Christian and Ana’s honeymoon sequence in the film. Past and present famous figures known for frequenting the property include Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill, Tom Cruise, Eddie Murphy, and more. If the Greys weren’t on their yacht, they most certainly would have stayed at this spot.
The ancient seaside village nestled on a peninsula jutting into the sea is equidistant between the famed destinations of Monaco and Nice. Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat—a quintessential French village straight from the imagination—features the best of the Mediterranean, ranging from pastel-colored homes to beautiful flora all nestled along the craggily coast of the deep blue sea. The town itself is a 20-minute walk from the Hôtel du Cap’s Club Dauphin, a pool club that offers some of the best, untainted views of the Riviera itself.
Lounge at Paloma Beach (Place de la Paloma)
Considered one of the top beaches in the vast-and-perpetually gorgeous Mediterranean is the Riviera stop named after Paloma Picasso. “Picasso used to come in the ‘50s, and it got the name because he used to come with his daughter, Paloma. People loved the name,” says Batiste Bannini, whose family owns the business. “The image of Paloma Beach is very elegant and smart. It’s an old beach representing the French Riviera and the French way of life. Plus, it’s not very far from Monte Carlo.”
Within the film, Paloma Beach was featured in one particular honeymoon scene involving the couple’s enviable cabana. “The [cast and crew] shot very early in the morning because of the sun—it’s important for a nice luminosity,” Bannini recalls of filming. In the film, Christian and Ana are seen sunbathing at their front row cabana while their bodyguard, Jason Taylor, is perched nearby along with Grey’s yacht. No surprise here: This is an actual real-life occurrence for Paloma Beach visitors.
“The atmosphere was very impressive even to us,” Bannini, whose clientele comes from all corners of the globe, says of the Fifty Shades Freed shooting. “We’re not used to filming such a big enterprise but with Universal, it was.” Since the movie’s release, Bannini says there has been an uptick in interest from potential newlyweds planning out their honeymoons in the South of France. “We’ve had already some requests for honeymoons and weddings because it’s in the movie,” he says. “Just after the movie was released, we saw more demand for the honeymoon inquires regarding renting a bed.”
The business owner has one small suggestion for couples looking to book cabanas technically anywhere along the Riviera. “In the season, it’s better to reserve the bed well in advance. Usually, the front row is booked all season, but you can easily have a big double bed which I recommend for families and couples,” he muses. “I recommend arriving early in the morning. We have all the service on the beach and you can eat at the restaurant or on the beach. Have a nice glass of wine… You can paddle board. The food is very good. This is an area that’s warm in the summer and it’s safe.”
Marvel at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Another prime location featured in Christian and Ana’s honeymoon sequence was the medieval village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, a scenic spot dating back to 970 A.D. The winding streets curve up to a seaside medieval castle from where the newlywed couple witnessed a splendid sunset from the highest spot of the fortress.
The seaside village was so charming that multiple scenes for the Fifty Shades honeymoon were produced and captured in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.
Rub Elbows in Monte Carlo
This world-renowned resort destination is a must-visit for destination hoppers—a splendid and dazzling spot regardless of how tourists decide to arrive (typically by boat or by car). The famed casinos and resorts of Monte Carlo are peak glitz and glamour, and there’s no destination in the world more dense packed with Lamborghini vehicles.
Get Even More Honeymoon Inspiration
Explore The Knot’s honeymoons section, and watch Christian and Ana’s trip sequence on Fifty Shades Freed, now available on digital and Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand as of May 8. The bonus feature includes one particular behind-the-scenes clip centered on the couple’s honeymoon. Plus, there’s extra material regarding the wedding if you needed added planning advice for your respective nuptials.
Looking for more wedding day inspiration? Take The Knot’s Style Quiz, here.