Since their reopening last summer and redesigned in an Art Deco style by Monika Kappel, Les Roches Blanches in Cassis has been awarded a fifth star and has established itself as one of the most beautiful boutique hotels in the Mediterranean. Extraordinary gardens and breathtaking views are at the heart of the experience. Discover it. Rendezvous for a tête à tête with the Cap Canaille.
Just a stone’s throw from Marseille, Cassis is one of the most charming summer destinations. And it is between its colourful fishing port and its turquoise creeks that the hotel des Roches Blanches has made its home. A former mansion from the end of the 19th century transformed into a charming hotel in the 1920s, Les Roches Blanches, which owes its name to the limestone rocks of the Calanques bordering the coastline from Cassis to Marseille, had its moment of glory between the wars and in the 1950s. At the time, Winston Churchill and Edith Piaf were regulars.
Although the hotel, which has been redesigned and extended several times over the decades, has fallen into disuse, its new owners are determined to restore it to its former glory. In June 2018, after a renovation of unprecedented scope, Les Roches Blanches unveiled its new face. The objective assigned to the Monika Kappel architectural agency? “To give the building back its 1930’s soul” between the Roaring Twenties and Art Deco influences. The interior designer has kept the staircase with its scale pattern and the balconies with their elaborate corbelling, while adding deep blue contemporary furniture. The place has been awarded a fifth star and is now one of the most chic boutique hotels in the French Mediterranean.
In the shade of the umbrella pines, between terraces and succulent plants.
The place looks like a Côte d’Azur palace…
Les Roches Blanches is first and foremost a wonderful site overlooking the Mediterranean. There, clinging to the rocks of the bay of Cassis and facing the majestic Cap Canaille, the highest cliff in France at more than 350 metres, the hotel has an extraordinary terraced garden. In the shade of the umbrella pines, between restanques and succulent plants, the place looks like an Azurean palace. Everywhere, armchairs and deckchairs allow you to enjoy the spectacular panorama in complete tranquillity. Below, an elegant swimming corridor (20x4m) in black mosaic, like an infinity pool, is a delight for swimmers and photographers alike. A little higher up, the hotel’s original snail-shaped pool stands out with its Caribbean-style turquoise colour. This is where people come to cool off when the sun is too strong.
Then there is the hotel itself. Its cosy lounge next to the reception. Its restaurant Les Belles Canailles with its entirely glassed-in dining room, flanked by vast terraces and a Lounge Bar. Or its luxurious spa by Sisley. Despite its intimate size (36 keys), the hotel has all the makings of a great hotel.
And the rooms?
Here and there, we find the Art Deco touches that punctuate the entire hotel: brass headboards and black lacquer, inspired by the geometric decorative panels of the period, chandeliers and chrome wall lights.
Light is omnipresent, even in the bathroom, thanks to a clever bull’s eye. Elegance is the order of the day, the result without the slightest false note…
The same attention to detail can be found in the 36 rooms and suites that the hotel now has (compared to 24 before the house that was once reserved for the staff was turned into rooms). We appreciate the sobriety (neutral colours, furniture reduced to the strict minimum) as much as the natural light. It is omnipresent, even in the bathroom thanks to a clever bull’s eye.
Which room to book?
Without hesitation an Executive Sea View Room like 109. In the main building, it offers unparalleled views of the Mediterranean and the Cap Canaille across the bay.
If your budget allows it, the Junior Suite – Sea View Terrace stands out thanks to its huge private terrace. It’s hard to imagine a more romantic place to stay.
With their eyes in the blue of the Mediterranean, travellers come to enjoy the fabulous Calanques, but also the private beach accessed by a staircase dug out of the rock, or the two swimming pools with views that take pride of place in the garden. While at the table, local specialities are reinvented, between local and iodized recipes. Last but not least, the new Sisley spa which offers an array of protocols overlooking the sea.
LES ROCHES BLANCHES
9 Avenue des Calanque
13260 Cassis – France
Phone: +33 (0)4 42 01 09 30