After the Cannes Film Festival starts the summer on the Côte d’Azur, with all due glamour, the famous coast never seems to lose its sparkle. It has been the destination to frolic in the sun for celebrities, royalty and oligarchs from around the world for centuries, counting Pablo Picasso, Coco Chanel and more recently, the likes of Bono, Mick Jagger and Penélope Cruz among its guests. Nothing captures the laid-back lifestyle of this part of southern France better than that glittery deep blue Ligurian Sea – the backdrop to your every move.
But all pomp aside – there are good reasons as to why this destination is still just as sought after not only for a holiday home, but for an investment in luxury, prime property: ‘There is more demand for unique properties here,’ Jonathan Gray, managing director of Beauchamp Estates in Cannes, says. ‘Since 2009 we have seen a lot more interest from Britain – but although these buyers live in London, they are not necessarily British.’ Russian investment in Cap d’Antibes, Cap Ferrat and Cannes has always been prominent, but it has been noticeably stronger in recent years.
There are some stellar properties dotted around the coast from Cannes to Monaco and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. In Cannes, there are four properties that lay claim to waterfront locations – that is, nothing stands between you and the sea except your terrace. And one of these properties is currently for sale. Villa Ithaque is nestled within the privacy of a 3000 square-metre landscaped garden, and the recently renovated 4-bedroom villa boasts a rooftop terrace overlooking the water. Another property that is available for rent, Villa O at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, is what Gray must have had in mind when he described the popularity of ‘unique properties’ here.It has six bedrooms and bathrooms, a lush, sprawling garden and a rooftop terrace complete with an infinity pool and a stunning view of the meridian from the east to west. With comfort in mind, there is a lift, a sizeable cinema, hidden staircases for staff use and contemporary interiors that have been carefully selected right down to the coffee-table books.
Travel up the winding roads in the Californie area of Cannes to visit villa Alang Alang – one of the most jaw-dropping properties under Beauchamp Estates’ instruction. Newly built with five bedrooms, this Balinese-style mansion has its own wine cellar, a 30-metre swimming pool, private bars, two professional kitchens and a dance studio – facilities that resemble those of a five-star hotel. And then there is the view over the whole of Cannes from nearly every bedroom. There have been some new developments along the French Riviera in recent years, but because of government restrictions, brand new buildings are less common while interior refurbishments are often undertaken in older buildings. If you value heritage in a property, then Penthouse Fiorentina in Cannes is the perfect place. It is a duplex apartment that sits in a 19th-century palatial property with four bedrooms, and has been completely renovated – it also has six terraces and a swimming pool, a rarity in historic buildings, and just another reason to love this place.