Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, Antibes – Photo credit: Google Earth
While we here in America we were finalizing our tax returns, the French were toasting the annual reopening of their Riviera gem; Hotel du Cap. The Hotel du Cap, the world famous hotel for the rich and famous on the Cote d’Azur, shuts down from October 15th every years and reopens on April 15th, when champagne is served to all first arrivals.
The venue for all things relevant to the fashion world, Olivier Zahm, editor of Purple Magazine and photoblogger of Purple Diary, loves to snap sexy French models in lingerie in the Waverly-decked hotels rooms.
Every year during the International Cannes Film Festival, the shoreline bungalows become a who’s who of power meet and greets for the likes of Steven Spielberg, Harvey Weinstein and Leonardo diCaprio. Spielberg’s first trip to Cannes was in the 80s during his darling age after the release of ET: The Extraterrestrial.
Known as the Oscars of the Summer, amFAR holds an annual gala during the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap, where the red carpet transforms the gravel promenade bridging the hotel to ‘Eden Roc’, a separate structure built to house the pool and restaurant.
The garage of Hotel du Cap is twice the of the ‘Lake Como car show.’ Exoitc, rare and limited models, enough to fill any auto blogger’s 4MG flash drive, immediately conjure a montage of every Bond movie ever made.
If you’ve been to Hotel du Cap, you know little things like that the hotel is incredibly hard to find, the way they like it. Oh, and the only accept cash up until recently. Some say their use of accepting credit cards is what ‘changed’ the clientele. At one point, it was only the super rich who could claim a stopover in Geneva to withdraw from their private banker at Credit Suisse, whereas with credit, any Tom Dick or Harry can opt for the lay away plan.
(I once even overheard a concierge sending a ‘gauche’ American family down the road to the Belle Rive Hotel (death for any socially-conscious traveler) to change a Travelers Cheques.
One thing one must understand about the hotel and why it is the final world in hospitality is because the Cote d’Azur was the first modern resort area beginning as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. It’s too cold for the French but a relief to the Brits. Then came the Russians oligarchs, Greek shipping tycoons, and American movie stars until it became the ultimate playground for elite and a target for gold diggers, opportunist and those in hiding from their governments or even a hostile ex.
The hotel has 22 acres of pine forest, clay tennis courts, salt water pool, the famous restaurant Eden Roc, and more. Hotel Du Cap was originally built as a private mansion in 1863 for Auguste de Villemessant, the former owner of Le Figaro newspaper, the Page Six of France. The hotel has undergone massive renovations while closed in the 2010-2011 hiatus overseen by the current owner’s wife Maja Oetker, who is also an interior designer.
HOTEL DU CAP EDEN ROC
Boulevard JF Kennedy
Antibes BP 29 06601 France
+33 (0) 4 93 61 39 01
Our own Caroline Roman at the old pool with her brother – 1985
Caroline on the Eden Roc terrace and her brother – 1985
Cliff swings and diving boards