Hotel du Cap
The founder of France's Le Figaro newspaper, Hippolyte de Villemessant, built the Villa Soleil in 1869 for writers seeking inspiration. In 1887, Italian hotelier Antoine Sella bought the property, and opened the Grand Hôtel du Cap in 1889. In 1914, the Eden Roc pavillon was built 400 yards away from the main hotel. Gerald and Sara Murphy, a young American couple who had expatriated to France in the 1920s, once rented the hotel for an entire summer, a unique event for the era as the French Riviera was not a summer destination at the time, but a winter escape for the wealthy. With the Murphys came many writers and artists of the Lost Generation, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Fitzgerald immortalized it as the Hôtel des Etrangers in Tender Is the Night. Marc Chagall made sketches in one of the shady beachside cabanas after their construction in the 1960s. The Kennedy family summered here in 1938 when John F. Kennedy was 21 years old. Guests included Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Winston Churchill and Charles De Gaulle. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton conducted an affair and honeymooned there. The hotel has traditionally been a particular favourite of film stars, especially during the annual Cannes Film Festival.
For many years the hotel did not accept credit cards. Cash only was accepted, though most guests wired money ahead of their stay. In 2006 this policy was dropped.
For about twenty years, amfAR, a nonprofit devoted to AIDS research, has held a charity auction at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc as part of its annual Cinema Against AIDS event at the Cannes Film Festival. In May 2011, the Hôtel du Cap-Eden Roc was hosting, on its principal driveway to the sea, the Croisière 2011-2012 Collection of the Chanel couture house. It also was the scene for designer Karl Lagerfeld's short-film The Tale of a Fairy, featuring actors and models such as Anna Mouglalis, Kristen McMenamy or Baptiste Giabiconi.
The property is composed of 3 buildings:
- The Hôtel du Cap
- The Eden-Roc
- Les 2 Fontaines
The main hotel, a Napoleon III château, is located on the southern tip of the Cap d'Antibes in 22 acres of pine trees and tropical gardens. It houses 117 suites. In addition, there are two private villas, the Villa Eleana (in front of the property) and the Villa Les Cèdres (in the property). Owner Maja Oetker decorates the rooms and suites. In 2011, the hotel underwent a $67 million renovation. Within the complex there are two clay tennis courts, a spa, fitness center, shopping, hair dresser and nine acres of lush greenery. The swimming pool is a heated salt water pool, cut into the edge of the cliff in 1914. Thirty-three cabanas are located in the rock facing the sea.
The Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc belongs to the Oetker Collection. The Oetker Collection is managed by the Oetker family.
The Oetker Collection includes eight hotels:
- Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d'Antibes
- Le Château Saint Martin & Spa, Vence
- Hôtel Le Bristol Paris, Paris
- Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, Baden Baden
- Palais Namaskar, Marrakesh
- L'Apogée Courchevel, Courchevel
- Fregate Island Private, Secychelles
- Eden Rock St Barths, Saint Barthélemy
- Christina Passariello (May 26, 2011), Splendor on the Riviera Wall Street Journal.
- Dana Kennedy (May 11, 2014), Cannes: The Secrets (and Scandal) of Hollywood's Favorite Riviera Hotel The Hollywood Reporter.
- David de Jong (February 3, 2014), Nazi-Forged Fortune Creates Hidden German Billionaires Bloomberg.
- Rebecca Keegan (May 23, 2013), Cannes 2013: Leonardo DiCaprio space flight goes for $1.5 million Los Angeles Times.
- Andrea Catherwood (December 4, 2011), Eternal chic: A holiday with the jet-set at the Cote D'Azur's iconic Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc Daily Mail.
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