This is very probably the most beautiful “feel good” resort on the French Riviera. While it may go by the common name of the Convallaria majalis, Lily of the valley, a poetic symbol of good luck and happiness, it is the not-so-common touch of Philippe Starck that has worked its magic on the terraced modernist architecture in a sublime natural environment. It lies just a stone’s throw from Cap Lardier, the “green lung” of the Var coast protected by the Coastal Protection Agency. This chic address has added another feather to its cap with ”La Villa W”, without a doubt the most beautiful private ”suite” of the resort, which takes the form of a luxury cabin nestling in the surrounding pine forest.
Designed by Philippe Starck
It is hard not to fall in love with this place with its green and blue haze, the “modern dream of a fantasised Mediterranean”, in the words of Philippe Starck, the creator and designer behind this luxurious annex of the Lily of The Valley. It is interesting to point out that we are not in front of a new construction here, but a bungalow built in the 1960s, whose volumes Starck has redrawn without losing sight of the essential. Although the three-bedroom villa may not be huge, it is its mid-century Californian-inspired decoration and its breathtaking view of the Bay of Gigaro, unchanged for 200 years, that make it so unique. Starck also firmly believes that “architecture should take over an environment without unsettling it.” This explains why he has succeeded perfectly in adapting to the terraced relief of the hillsides of La Croix-Valmer, to make it a place of balance and beauty. This vision spurred him on to imagine this flat-roofed cabin, its 250 m2 stretching out over two levels and overlooking 100 m² of shaded terrace, complete with lap pool and private access.
Villa W: a shack in the middle of nature
It’s a childhood dream: who hasn’t imagined themselves living in a fisherman’s hut by the sea. Not so much an urge to go back to the earth but a desire to get away from it all. Philippe Starck designed La Villa W with this escapism in mind. A “Love Shack” in the pine forest, for lovers, of course, he says. But not just any old shack, the most mythical of all for the most mythical of lovers, like the one built by Ray and Charles Eames in Pacific Palisades (California) in 1949. A symbol of creativity, of culture and of freedom. And of intelligence, insists Philippe Starck. Alongside its large living room, the Villa W also boasts a master bedroom and two guest rooms located below it. It also offers another advantage: free access to all the hotel’s facilities and to its Shape Club, which specialises in losing weight without skimping on pleasure. Much more than just a luxury hotel spa!
In the living room, in the bedrooms and even in the bathrooms, the decoration mixes the local Provencal style, features of houses straight out of Palm Spring and the marble of the Italian villas. A style that mixes and matches concrete, polished marble, solid wood, leather and large bay windows to create a cosy, bobo-chic and even luxurious atmosphere, but without the slightest hint of ostentation. It’s worth remembering that the hotel and its outbuildings are open both in summer and winter; the “low season” on the Côte d’Azur being an enchantment with its mild climate, cool vibe and plenty to do. This is the place to come to recharge your batteries, take long nature hikes, cosy up next to a crackling wood stove and discover the tasty cuisine – from the kitchen garden to the plate – of Vincent Maillard (trained at Alain Ducasse) and to take care of yourself. Far from the frenzy of Saint-Tropez. But not too far away, just in case…