This year marks the 150thanniversary of the iconic Hotel Du-Cap Eden Roc on Cap d’Antibes. The team look forward to welcoming you back for a memorable stay this summer from July 1st. As this wonderful milestone approaches, we bring you a brief history of our much-loved Grand Dame…
The Beginning – A Writers Retreat
Le Figaro’s founder, Auguste De Villemessant was the man responsible for creating the captivating refuge, known as Villa Soleil in 1862. His vision was to create a retreat where artists and writers could recharge, gather inspiration and nurture their craft overlooking the glistening sea.
Ownership and Care
When de Villemessant’s plan for Villa Soleil faltered, it was the dashing Count Paul de Fersen, colonel and aide de camp to the Russian Tsar, who rescued the project. He also created the famous Grand Allée, easily the most glamorous catwalk on the Riviera. After his unfortunate death from tuberculosis in 1865, his debonair brother-in-law Alexis de Pletscheyeff continued the vision for excellence. The imposing Napoleon III style mansion set on the beautifully rustic peninsula, opened its doors to guests five years later.
A Luxurious Relaunch
Bringing a new era of luxury to the cap, visionary young Italian hotelier, Antoine Sella had fallen under the spell of Villa Soleil and took over ownership in 1887. He commissioned an extensive two-year renovation and the mansion re-opened as the Grand Hotel du Cap. Sella’s vision and demands for an uncompromising level of luxury attracted discerning clientele. Claude Monet, enchanted by the irresistible beauty of the Cap, found inspiration for his collection of 35 Antibes landscapes during this period. The hotel hosted famous artists, writers, actors, royalty and heads of state as guests. It became the go-to destination for the summer season. George Bernard Shaw, the Nobel Laureate became a regular guest, finding inspiration in the peace and tranquillity of his surroundings.
Rest and relaxation for American Red Cross nurses, 1915
Bathers enjoy the dazzling Mediterranean water, 1920
Actress and singer Marlene Dietrich relaxing in a private Cabana, 1939
1960 and Beyond…
The next era of ownership for the legendary property happened in 1964. The Oetker love story took wings when Rudolf and Maja Oetker spotted the mansion atop the cape from their sailboat on the dazzling Mediterranean Sea. They were mesmerised by its beauty. After meeting with Sella who was keen to sell to a like-minded buyer, the Oetkers took ownership of Grand Hotel du Cap in 1969. They treasured the original features like the pavilion and pool and commissioned Hamburg-based architect, Professor Pinnau to design and manage an extensive renovation project.
A New Era, A Legendary Past
Renamed Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in 1987, the property is still affectionately known as “Hotel du Cap” by long-time guests and admirers. It is proud to preserve De Villemessant’s affinity for artists and intellectuals, and Sella’s rigorous standards of luxury, across a century and a half. The rich history and the care of the owners is cherished by the team today. Exciting additions to the hotel continued with the Eden-Roc Pavilion, the most sought-after suites on the Côte d’Azur, and Spa Eden-Roc. All carefully and lovingly added to reflect the wishes of valued guests.
“The reputation of this iconic property has been forged thanks to the outstanding passionate hoteliers who I like to refer to as “artisans of paradise”. Our guests, through their enduring loyalty and trust, have also played an important role in solidifying the reputation of this legendary hotel. Together, we are writing a new chapter in the history of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.” – Philippe Perd, Managing Director
Refreshing days and carefree pleasures on French Riviera
With the exciting re-opening on the horizon, the team are preparing a host of carefully planned updates for you to enjoy. You can explore thesensational Manolo Valdés exhibition in the park, enjoy a variety of water activities and relax in a seaside cabana. Happy daydreaming and we look forward to welcoming you back for an unforgettable stay…