I can hardy think of a finer way to spend an hour or so before dinner than stopping in for a drink at the delightful Bellini Bar in the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc along the French Riviera. The magnificent property in the South of France had just reopened after an extensive renovation not long before we had visited, although to be sure, in its more than 100 year history, the place has always been the epicenter of grandeur.Originally built in 1870, the hotel got off to slow start and went though several incarnations before reopening in the late 1800’s. In this picture from 1903, you can see the gorgeous Napoleon III facade that is still its signature today.
The impressive entry, rife with manicured gardens and lush palms, flanks the grand staircase that has been famously photographed with countless notables arriving for a luxurious respite at the iconic hotel.The marble clad lobby entrance is punctuated by a glass elevator with a polished brass frame, gracefully wrapped amidst a winding marble staircase.Gorgeous at any time of the day, arriving at dusk grants a particular splendor.The warm cream tones of the interior spaces guarantee a light modern touch off which the elegance and opulence plays, lending an air of simplicity and allowing the magnificent design to be communicated as a whisper. The focal point off the grand salons is the stunning Bellini Bar.Pre-dinner cocktails and petite amuse-bouches are served on a lovely silver tray. As the sun sets, the lighting casts a rose colored glow on the shuttered facade.The decor is the epitome of French design, at once softly feminine with the richest of antique accents.One of the adjacent buildings maintains the integrity of the grand design.Just outside the property a charming ride around Cap d’Antibes offers beautiful views of the sea and leads one deliciously to dinner in nearby Antibes.