A good book has the ability to transport its readers to faraway -- often otherworldly -- places (no passport or pennies required). But sometimes, your imagination craves and demands a bit of reality. Luckily, you now have the chance to go straight to the source and spend the night in the former home of F. Scott Fitzgerald, which now goes by the name Hotel Belle Rives. The late novelist’s abode and work place was transformed into a hotel in 1929, but still retains an enchanting ambience of a bygone era.
For starters, the hotel is scenically set on the seafront in Juan-les-Pins, a small resort town on the Cap d’Antibes peninsula, and it takes full advantage of its prime location. The Michelin-star La Passagère restaurant frames the picturesque vistas with large arched windows, and offers alfresco seating facing the water -- not to mention, it’s outfitted in white columns, chandeliers, and graphic Art Deco pieces. The seasonal outdoor La Plage restaurant also overlooks the bay, as does the Bistrot Terrasse and the seasonal Belles Rives Beach Bar.
The beautiful beach happens to be a mere two-minute walk away. And did we mention that the hotel also offers swimming classes, personal trainers, bike and boat rentals, and a menu of massages, plus a private jetty lined with sunbeds? With this kind of pampering, you might not want to leave the property, but if you do, Juan-les-Pins is within walking distance and known for its nightlife. There’s also a casino and high concentration of restaurants and shops a hop, skip, and jump from the hotel grounds.
Like the rest of the property, rooms are chic and evoke the glamour of the Roaring Twenties. All rooms have French doors that open onto private unfurnished balconies; some even boast gorgeous sea views. A cottage is also available, offering two bedrooms and a terrace.
While visiting, expect to rub shoulders with a smattering of bookworms, vacationing couples, and families with kids. Its restaurants and bars also lure plenty of non-hotel guests, too. An extra touch for Fitzgerald fans: guests will find a blinking green light at the end of a jetty, alleged inspiration for Gatsby’s symbolic light. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and book it.
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