Heard of Quiet Luxury? This Newly Renovated French Riviera Hotel Epitomizes the Trend
The French Riviera, long a playground for the rich and famous, is undeniably chic, both in its physical structures and its natural beauty. And perched atop Cap d’Antibes, a rocky promontory between Cannes and Nice that was used as a backdrop in both Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief and Jacques Deray’s La Piscine, is a hotel that embodies that elegance in the most nonchalant way: The Cap D’Antibes Beach Hotel, recently reimagined by Belgian architect Bernard Dubois, a frequent collaborator with Brussels’ Maniera Gallery, who is known for his beautiful, brutally efficient approach to interiors. Says Dubois: “Raw and charming, The Beach Hotel is a tribute to both Modernist architecture and Mediterranean seaside houses,” and its materials and lines are meant to play with shadow and light. Creamy stucco, which coats the building’s exterior and continues over the walls and reception desk inside, is applied with clean lines and purposeful curves. Even the typeface chosen for the room numbers and signage is sophisticated in a utilitarian kind of way.
Inside the hotel’s 35 rooms, the style hovers between Bauhaus and Arts & Crafts, courtesy of custom-designed dark wood desk chairs and coffee tables, stained-glass windows, and chrome lighting, mirror frames and bathroom fixtures. Dark wood ceilings are counterbalanced by “casson” granite floors that evoke Mediterranean villas, which continue from the external corridors, and out into the small private gardens enjoyed by some of the rooms. Other rooms boast dramatic sea views, while the suites have large terraces for outdoor lounging, and the top-tier Le Cap suite is “suspended above the water.”
Les Pêcheurs — the restaurant on-site that dates back to the 1940s — offers seafood brought in each morning from the dock adjacent to the hotel. Overlooking the water, the dining area features tubular metal chairs á la Breuer (we told you they’re back!) that mirror the chrome-base tables and custom tableware, with caramel leather seats playing nicely with the wooden tabletops, red travertine flooring, and wall paneling. There’s also a beach bar, Baba, for casual lunches and, we’re assuming, daiquiris at 11AM.
On the private beach, pastel pink loungers and parasols are lined up in the style of Accidentally Wes Anderson along the water’s edge, echoing the color of the veined marble used liberally in the guest room baths. Search the meandering pathways of the exotic garden designed by Arnaud Casaus, and you’ll find massage huts nestled in the shade, and an infinity pool for cooling off in the afternoon heat. In a destination where everyone goes to “be seen,” this really is the ultimate hotel to decidedly not be.