Luxury hotels are building more luxury villas for rent

Cécilia Pelloux

By Cécilia Pelloux15 août 2023

The luxury hotel sector has been investing in the construction of villas within 5-star establishments and palaces for several years. This strategy, already successfully tested in the Caribbean and Asia, is now extending to the French Riviera to meet the expectations of its wealthiest customers.

Villa W by Lily of the Valley, an oasis of tranquility combining luxury and nature in the heart of the Côte d'Azur (DR)

Michael Zingraf, owner of the real estate group Michael Zingraf Christie's International Real Estate, confirms that the rising demand for rental villas within hotel establishments is increasing. He states, "Instead of renting villas through real estate agencies, clients are choosing the villa option in exceptional hotels, which may be more expensive stays but offer more comprehensive services." Why has this demand surged in recent years? Located at the heart of the French Riviera, between Nice and Monaco, the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula is one of the most sought-after and expensive destinations in the Mediterranean basin. Buying a seafront property here means paying an exorbitant price per square meter. "The price per square meter can reach 100,000 euros. Affluent families prefer to rent villas within hotel premises," explains Laure de Lasteyrie Baubigeat, a real estate agent at John Taylor. "This way, they enjoy the same comfort and level of service they have in their primary residences."

Villa Clair Soleil, near the Grand-Hôtel Du Cap-Ferrat, is a mid-twentieth-century residence with a sea view, reflecting the essence of Provence in its decoration (DR)

The Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, Four Seasons, inaugurated two fully renovated historic villas within the palace. With rates ranging from 22,000 to 45,000 euros per night, the villas are fully booked during the summer season. "Our clients seek intimacy and seclusion while benefiting from Four Seasons' exceptional services," explains its General Manager, François-Régis Simon.

Security, a core value

The price per square meter can reach 100,000 euros. Affluent families prefer to rent villas within hotel premises. This way, they enjoy the same comfort and level of service

Laure de Lasteyrie Baubigeat, a real estate agent at John Taylor

And the market represented by these affluent clients continues to expand. According to the Bain & Company luxury study published in collaboration with Fondazione Altagamma in November last year, the luxury sector's customer base reached 400 million consumers in 2022 and could reach 500 million by 2030. The most "high-end" customers are eager for unique products and experiences and seek, above all, peace and security.

View of the Villa Riviera du Cheval Blanc in St-Tropez, with its three bedrooms, private garden, and swimming pool, set in a natural environment (DR)
The Villa Riviera offers its guests exceptional services: an in-house chef, a dedicated butler, and a host of special attentions unique to the Cheval Blanc house (DR)

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, a 5-star hotel on the southern tip of Cap d'Antibes owned by the Oetker Collection Group and Cheval Blanc in St-Tropez, follows the same trend. In 2021, Cheval Blanc inaugurated a 400-square-meter villa spanning three levels facing the sea. The Villa Riviera offers exceptional services to its guests: a private chef, a dedicated butler, and a host of special attention specific to the Cheval Blanc brand. Olivier Raveyre, director of the LVMH Group-owned establishment, explains, "Our guests stay year-round in spacious homes. They quickly moved away from hotel suites to enjoy this new concept. Today we can offer them a villa facing the sea for family or friends visits. They feel at home here." Indeed, the villa can accommodate up to ten people. Here again, clients enjoy palace services while maintaining their autonomy and privacy. The villa has its own entrance and private pool. Depending on their preferences, guests can have lunch or dinner in their villa or at the hotel's restaurants.

Lily of the Valley, located near St-Tropez, combines well-being and luxury in the unspoiled setting of the Cap Lardier nature reserve (DR)

In La Croix Valmer, villa W, renovated by Philippe Stark, is a sanctuary within the 5-star hotel Lily of the Valley. Lucie Weill, the hotel's owner, explains, "Our guests, mainly in their forties and of French, German, and American nationalities, come with their families to appreciate the reassuring environment of the villa within the hotel."

A luxury associated with calm, discretion, and security, which the pandemic has only accelerated.

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