• 1869: Hippolyte de Villemessant, founder of the newspaper Le Figaro builds the « Villa Soleil » with the idea to create a hotspot for writers. de Villemessant also initiated the creation of the Northern French resort town « Le Touquet Paris Plage ».
• 1879: Hippolyte de Villemessant dies in Monte Carlo.
• 1887: The Italien hotelier Antoine Sella rents the property and renovates it.
• 1889 January: The Hotel opens under the name « Grand Hotel du Cap ». The start is difficult. There are not enough clients to cover the cost, according to the Legend only 2 elderly English Ladies, paying 12 Francs per day. Antoine Sella organizes lunches to attract people from the high society spending the winter on the côte d’Azur.
Gordon Bennet discovers the Hotel thanks to one of these lunches. He and his sister, owners of the New York Herald become the first hi profile clients paying in advance. Most of the clients are British or Russian.
• 1903: Antoine Sella buys the property with the financing of Lord William Onslow (1853-1911) from London. Oslow was the previous governor of New Zealand. Following the acquisition central heating is set up and the Hotel gets an elevator which connects it’s magic lobby with the rooms.
• 1914: Antoine Sella has the project to open the Hotel for the Summer season. On the lower part of the propety is built a pavillion called « Eden Roc ». The pavillion includes a restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool graved into the roc. Marquis Antoine d’Oncieu (1879-1962) helps with the necessary financing.
• 1920: The train line is getting faster David Dellepiane is asked by the railway company PLM (Paris Lyon Mediterrannée) to design a Travel Poster.
• 1923: The Hotel opens for the fist time during the summer season.
• 1931: The writer Stefan Zweig stays at the Hotel.
• 1931: Death of Antoine Sella, his son André Sella becomes the new owner.
The Kennedy family
• 1938, 1939: he Kennedy family spends a month at the Hotel du Cap Joseph Kennedy Sr was at the time US Ambassador in London. All the Kennedy children are present, on vacation from their differnt schools:
Joseph Kennedy junior, 23, just graduated from Harvard, JFK, 21, was a Harvard sophomore, Rosemary Kennedy, 19, Kathleen Kennedy, 18, Eunice Kennedy, 17, Pat Kennedy, 14, Robert Kennedy, 12, Jean Kennedy, 10, Ted Kennedy, 6
• 1940: During the war the Hotel becomes a military hospital.
• 1955: Pablo Picasso is living on the côte d’Azur – he designs a menue for the Hotel.
Luitwin von Boch
• 1955: Luitwin von Boch, a manufacturer of ceramics comes to the Hotel du Cap following an invitation of his uncle Antoine d’Oncieu (financier of the Hotel du Cap). The invitation has a later impact on the history of the Hotel. Luitwin von Boch and his wife Beatrice return every year until 1987.
• 1959: King Leopold of Belgium and his with Princess de Rety come to the hotel for lunch.
• 1964: Maja Oetkger, just married discovers the Hotel du Cap from a boat sailing along the Mediterranian coast. Her husband tells her « you see this is one of the most famous hotels of the côte d’Azur ».
• 1968: Andre Sella wants to sell the Hotel, his 3 daughters were not interested and their respective husbands were working in a different environement, one of them was a radiolog. Mr Sella asked his long time hotel guest, Luitwin von Boch to help him find a buyer, if possible someone that would know how to preserve the Hotel’s legendary style and not a Chain that would squeeze the Hotel du Cap in a global uniform « corporate » identity.
• 1969: Luitwin von Boch gives a phone call to Rudolf August Oetker who buys the Hotel on the spot without even visiting. A decade later von Boch also connects Oetker with Pierre Jammet, who wanted to sell the Hotel Le Bristol in Paris.
Rudolf August Oetker is known for his food brand Dr Oetker. Oetker tries to diversify his investments (never put all eggs in the same basket) and his decision to buy the Hotel is encouraged by is wife Maja.
• 1969-1979: Renovation during each winter season under the German architect Caesar Pinnau, known for the construction of many snow white villas in Hamburg Blankenese, the headquater of Hamburg Süd, the ship carrier of the Oetker family and the yacht « Crisitina » belonging to Aristotele Onassis.
• 1970: Andre Stella is replaced by the manager Jean Claude Irondelle.
• 1970: John Lennon et Yoko Ono stay at the Hotel.
• 1970s: Princess Soraya stays at the Hotel.
• 1971 September: Gala « Raffles ».
• 1987: Some Hotel rooms open down by the sea at the Eden Roc.
• 1987 September: The American singer Madonna gives a concert on the côte d’Azur. She books the new presidential suite in the Eden Roc under the name Lulu Smith.
• 1987: French African summit at the Hotel du Cap with President Mitterrand and the leaders of many African countries.
• 2004: The US magazine Vanity Fair, owner of the Two Letter internet domain VF.com organises its first Cannes Film festival party.
• 2005 October 22: Jean Claude Irondelle, director of the Hotel for 35 years retires. Monsieur Irondelle fascinated the entire Luxury Hotel Industry as he was probably the only Grand Hotel of the World to refuse Credit Cards … and this until 2005 !
• 2006 January 17: Philippe Perd (previously Hotel de Crillon) becomes the new Hotel director. Some changes occure in the policies of the Hotel … Credit Cards are accepted.
• 2007: Death of Rudolf August Oetker.
• 2007: Renovation of the Hotel du Cap for 45 million Euro. The Renovation is managed by Maja Oetker and the architect Luc Svetchine.
• 2012: Shooting of the TV Commercial Chanel SS12 directed by Karl Lagerfeld.
• 2012: Shooting of the TV Commercial Chanel SS12 directed by Karl Lagerfeld.
• 2012 24 Mai: 19th amfAR Gala Cinema agains Aids with a tribute to co-founder the late Elizabeth Taylor..
• 2013 May 21: The Swiss Jewler house de Grisogno celebrates it's 20th birthday. Massimo Gargia and Lady Baccardi attend the reception.
• 2013 23 Mai: 20th amfAR Gala Cinema agains Aids raised a record of 25 million Dollars.
• 2014 May 9: Gala for the 100 years of the Eden Roc Pavillion.
• 2014 14 May: Launch of the moovie « Grace de Monaco » by Olivier Dahan with Nicole Kidman (Grace Kelly) and Tim Roth (Prince Rainer of Monaco).
• 2014 May 20: The Jewellery House de Grisogno orgaizes a Fatale Diner reception imagined by Fawaz Gruosi.
Son et Lumières projettés sur la facade de l'Hotel du Cap.
• 2014 22 Mai: 21th amfAR Gala Cinema agains Aids raised a record of 35 million Dollars.
• 2015 February: Shooting of a new Miss Dior commercial with actress Natalie Portman, film director Anton Corbijn, production Black Label.
Une bien capricieuse "Miss Dior" planque son future marie en tout dernier moment et s'envole avec un helicopter vers Paris.
• 2015 21 Mai: 22th amfAR Gala Cinema agains Aids raised 30 million Dollars.
History of the Oetker Collection
• 1871: Dr August Oetker opened a pharmacy in Bielefled.
• 1891: Experimenting with different products he invented Baking Powder. Clever Advertising made the invention a big succes.
• 1900: Construction of a factory which is the base of today’s Dr Oetker Food Company.
• 1923: The Oetker family becomes shareholder in the famous Brenners Park Hotel.
• 1941: Rudolf August Oetker, grandson of the company founder buys the majority of the shares in the Park Hotel.
• 1963: Oetker marries Countess Maja von Malaise, a stylish teacher of Mathematics. She later adds a lot of elegance to the Hotels.
• 1968: Acquisition of the Hotel du Cap in Antibes.
• 1978: Acquisition of Hotel Le Bristol in Paris.
• 1994: Acquisition of the Chateau Saint Martin in Vence.
• 2010: Creation of the Oetker Collection stonger unifying the previously very seperately managed Oetker Hotels.
• 2012: Opening of the Palais Namaskar in Marrakech, a Hotel under Oetker management.
Article by « Grand Hotels of the World & VB.com », written from « Cremerie de Paris ».