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French Riviera Icons: Unraveling the Rich History of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc


A Journey Through Time

Nestled amidst the picturesque coastline of Antibes, France, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is more than just a luxury retreat; it’s a living testament to a rich tapestry of history and culture. Its story begins in 1869 when Hippolyte de Villemessant, the founder of France’s esteemed Le Figaro newspaper, envisioned a haven for writers seeking inspiration. Thus, the Villa Soleil emerged, laying the foundation for what would become an iconic landmark in the realm of hospitality.

In 1887, the property changed hands as Italian hotelier Antoine Sella acquired it, ushering in a new era of opulence. Two years later, in 1889, the Grand Hôtel du Cap made its debut, marking the inception of a legacy that would span generations.

The Golden Era

hotel design

As the 20th century unfolded, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc became synonymous with glamour and prestige. In 1914, the Eden Roc pavilion was erected, adding a touch of architectural splendour to the already enchanting landscape. It was during this period that the hotel witnessed the arrival of Gerald and Sara Murphy, an American couple whose patronage brought a wave of creativity and brilliance. Their stay, immortalised in literature by F. Scott Fitzgerald in “Tender Is the Night,” heralded an era of artistic fervour, with luminaries like Ernest Hemingway and Marc Chagall gracing its halls.

The hotel’s allure transcended borders, attracting a constellation of stars and dignitaries. From the Kennedys to Marlene Dietrich, from Winston Churchill to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the guest list read like a who’s who of the global elite. Each visit added to the hotel’s mystique, weaving tales of romance, intrigue, and unforgettable moments.

A New Chapter

In 1964, the hotel caught the eye of German industrialist Rudolf August Oetker and his wife Maja von Malaisé. Entranced by its beauty, they seized the opportunity to become custodians of its legacy, acquiring the property five years later. Under their stewardship, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc continued to evolve, embracing modernity while preserving its timeless charm.

Cultural Reverence

Over the years, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has been a muse for artists and filmmakers alike. Scenes from Prince’s iconic film “Under the Cherry Moon” were filmed amidst its idyllic backdrop, immortalising its allure on the silver screen. The hotel’s prestigious driveway has also played host to esteemed events, from Chanel’s haute couture showcases to Karl Lagerfeld’s visionary short films, adding another layer of cultural reverence to its illustrious heritage.

Embracing Change

While rooted in tradition, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has always remained attuned to the evolving needs of its discerning clientele. In 2006, it bid farewell to its cash-only policy, embracing the convenience of credit cards to enhance guest experiences further. Similarly, its enduring partnership with amfAR stands as a testament to its commitment to philanthropy and social responsibility, embodying the spirit of giving back to the community.

In essence, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc isn’t just a destination; it’s a timeless sanctuary where history and modernity converge, offering a glimpse into a world of unparalleled luxury and sophistication. As it continues to write new chapters in its storied legacy, one thing remains certain – the allure of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc transcends the boundaries of time, leaving an indelible mark on all who have the privilege of experiencing its magic.

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