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Overlooking the sparkling waters of the Cote d’Azur is the intimate cape of Cap d’Ail. A mere stones throw west of Monaco, Nice is but a bus ride away, or nearby Italy can be reached by train. Cap d’Ail offers wild sea walks along a stunning coastline and famed architecture that has drawn the likes of royalty and celebrities. The chic seaside resort charms both tourists and locals, making this the perfect destination for a south of France villa rental for all.
The British banker William Mendel had the Château des Terrasses built in a leafy 2,000m² park, which offered breath-taking views over the Mediterranean for his morning coffee and croissant. So admired was his stunning home, that Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, brother to Tsar Nicolas II, rented the chateau for the winter of 1895. The sumptuous Belle Époque villa was visited by a host of famous personalities from Félix Faure, the President of the Republic, to Queen Victoria, as well as Prince Albert the 1st of Monaco. Château des Terrasses has since been renovated, and is open to the public for those who wish to walk in the footsteps of the royals who came before them.
Famous personalities from across Europe, North America and Asia have continued to be enchanted by Cap d’Ail and have stayed in villas on the Cap d’Ail over the years. British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, would visit so often to indulge in his painting passion that he was named honorary mayor. Edward VII, The Prince of Wales was also attracted by the rich architecture, and bucolic beauty of the listed health resort.
In the intervening years, famed French author Sacha Guitry lived in the municipality. The sea-bordered Jardin Sacha Guitry has been opened at the foot of the villa he once resided in, and is noteworthy for the abundance of exceptional Mediterranean flora it showcases. Similarly André Malraux, French novelist, art theorist and Minister of Cultural Affairs, once resided in Villa les Camelias, now a museum immortalising the celebrations, past-times and everyday lives of those who live, or have lived, in the captivating Cap d’Ail.
Other famous faces that have searched for a villa to rent or buy in the commune have included the business tycoon, Lord Beaverbrook, who revolutionised the worlds of politics, finance and newspapers seemingly effortlessly. Alongside him, American-Swedish Actress Greta Garbo, writers: Guillaume Apollinaire, Colette and Jean Cocteau, footballer Didier Deschamps, not to mention early cinematic pioneers the Lumière brothers, have all made their home here at various points in time. So many have all been, and continue to be inspired by this necklace of beaches, strung between mountain and sea, peppered with rich property jewels of magnificent Belle Époque design.