Hôtel the Cap-Eden-Roc

There are places whose beauty exists beyond time. Places that have nothing to do with the world that surrounds them. The Hôtel Du Cap-Eden-Roc on the Côte d'Azur is such a place. For 150 years. Yet that does not suggest that absolutely nothing will change here. Architect Patricia Anastassiadis, a Brazilian with Greek roots, has just modernized the famous hotel restaurant. She got her inspiration from nature. Soft shapes, shades of green, blue, lots of white, of course. The colors of the Côte d'Azur.


The hotel was built in 1863 by August de Villemessant, editor of the French daily newspaper "Le Figaro", as a residence for writers. In 1870 the Villa Soleil was welcomed, as the house was called at the beginning, the first guests. But the idea of ​​a retreat for scribers turned out to be a brainchild - it was only the Italian hotelier Antoine Sella who was able to charge intelligence with sensuality and glamor in order to attract another wealthy clientele to Antibes. In 1889 he reopened as Hotel du Cap and with Sella came British aristocrats, film stars and famous and therefore solvent writers instead of poor poets. The legend was born.

“Cloudless sunlight envelops the sea and the coast like a bath of pure sheen.” Edith Wharton (“Bellomont House”, 1905). Edith Wharton was the pioneer of a whole generation of international artists and intellectuals who lost their hearts on the “Riviera” at the beginning of the 20th century. Scott F. Fitzgerald, a Wharton fan, ended his "Big Gatsby" in Antibes. There he met Gerald and Sara Murphy, American expats who rented the Hotel du Cap all summer 1923. Fitzgerald immortalized these weeks in the hotel in his novel "Tender is the Night", which he later declared to be the "happiest time of my life".

“On the friendly shores of the French Riviera there is a large, proud rose-colored hotel about halfway between Marseille and the Italian border. Reverend palms cool his flushed forehead, and a short, brilliant white piece of beach lies at his feet ” Scott F. Fitzgerald (Tender is the Night, 1934).


Holidays in a "great hotel" offer more than luxury and service at the highest level in an exclusive location, even more than the just popular "experiences". A hotel legend like the Hotel du Cap draws and feeds its own history. With the help of the prominent guests and long-time employees, a shimmering screen emerges from fragmentary traditions. Each one, on the one hand, exciting enough to be carried on and, on the other hand, incomplete to leave room for the imagination of the listeners. Together, these myths form an ongoing narrative.

As a new guest, you immediately become part of this story. Because a boat here is never just a boat, it is the boat on which John and Yoko basked in May 1971 during the presentation of their joint film "Apotheosis" in Cannes. The beach huts of the spacious property are the ones that Marc Chagall painted. The suite in which Marlene Dietrich and her writer lover Erich Maria Remarque stayed for two months in the summer of 1939 and allegedly did not leave the bed for a whole week (she called him "bonuses", he called her "Puma"), the chaise lounge, where Helmut Newton photographed Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger in 1991, the table where Alain Delon and Brigitte Bardot were having lunch in 1968.


On the hotel beach, this is the trapeze over the Mediterranean, on which Karl Lagerfeld photographed his 2012 spring/summer campaign after he chose the famous avenue that leads from the main house to the pavilion for his Chanel Cruise Show 2011/12 transformed into a catwalk under the open sky - the same avenue on which Coco once strolled towards the Mediterranean. "Tuesday: wake up in the evening (around 11:00 am) and have lunch in the entrances to Eden Roc (of course at the hotel restaurant). Then we went to Nice airport to pick up the children who had flown from Geneva with Bea. Later I took the kids for a swim on the Dapeng and gave Michael and Christopher two keychain compasses that they liked. For breakfast, we went to Juan Les Pins for a pizza. We have obsessively observed the number of people fascinated by the old Rolls Royce. " Richard Burton.

sea  view of hotel

An eloquent witness and chronicler of the hotel's history are journalist legend Graydon Carter, who for many years hosted one of the most important party buzz in the film year, the “Cinema against AIDS Gala”, which takes place at the hotel during the annual Cannes Film Festival. On the occasion of the anniversary, Carter wrote a text in the Financial Times. A little episode from the genre "eccentric special requests" is particularly beautiful: the star is concierge Eric Grace, an institution in the Hotel du Cap for 30 years, who helicoptered a guest for an urgently requested Tarte Tropézienne from St. Tropez. The bill, which the guest paid without hesitation, reflected this special service, 4 euros for the tart, 2,000 euros for the aircraft and pilot. Another story tells of a regular, who had an exact copy of the Eden Roc restaurant installed in his garden house. To relieve longing, of course.


Such love has its price, also in the field of payment - the hotel loathed credit cards for a long time. The invoice is settled in cash or by bank transfer before the start of the trip, of course. Anecdotes whispered between whispered cypress trees in the park and the brilliant white building, have been suggesting a luxurious lottery experience for 15 decades, including the parties, galas, dramas or the little moments of happiness by the pool. The everyday life of celebrities goes their roller-coaster way, but the Eden Roc stayed and will stay. Iris Apfel celebrated her 98th birthday here last summer, complete with cake and Instagram post.

Which brings us back to the changes that are always being carefully initiated at the Hotel du Cap. The long frowned upon credit cards have been allowed to be presented since 2006. Overall, the innovations remain clear, the familiar predominates. The employees, who have worked in the legendary hotel for more than 20 years, wear a small diamond on their name badge. Graydon Carter writes: "If you look closely, you will see quite a few of them."



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