Les Bords de Mer - vue depuis la côte vélum.jpg

Les Bords de Mer - vue depuis la côte vélum, perspective 3D

Les Bords de Mer

  • Four stars by the beach


What lies behind the strange Christo-style installation at  the end of Plage des Catalans in Marseille, where the Richelieu hotel and its Eden Roc restaurant used to be?

We put that question to architect Yvann Pluskwa, who has been commissioned to restore the dilapidated building that had seemed to be part and parcel of the neighbourhood’s history, so used we were to its white and washed-out-blue walls, lapped by the waves. But while it had long withstood the waves, the venerable institution had no defence against the tide of luxification sweeping through the town.

Major renovation
The hotel and restaurant have been bought by Frédéric Biousse and Guillaume Foucher, proud owners of the Domaine de Fontenille in the Lubéron. Their plan is to completely restore the frontage and turn the place into a 4-star hotel called Les Bords de Mer. It will have fewer guestrooms – 20 in place of 23, and all with sea views. There will be a pool and solarium on the roof, a spa and hammam
on two basement floors, and a restaurant on the ground floor.

Updated 1930s chic
According to the owners, “the key idea, with a building like this in close touch with the sea, is to play with contrasts such as black and white and alternating bright and subdued lighting in different areas, giving it a typically 1930s seaside atmosphere.” The interior, designed throughout by Frédéric Biousse and Guillaume Foucher, will be in soberly contemporary style with touches of Scandinavian lightness. All the wines produced by Domaine de Fontenille will be on sale at the hotel. It’s scheduled to open next spring, after eight months and a half of renovation and refurbishment.

More projects in the pipeline
The owners, who are also the founders of Experienced Capital Partners and the Galerie Particulière contemporary art gallery in Paris, have now created the Domaines de Fontenille hotel brand to take their concept of unabashed hotel luxury to other places around Europe. A new hotel is due to open shortly on the Spanish island of Minorca (with its own PGI Illes Balears and PDO Minorca winery), and another seaside establishment in the Landes department of France. In 2020 an exceptional hotel will open less than an hour from Paris, and the group will then expand into Italy.

52 Corniche Président John Fitzgerald Kennedy - Marseille 7e

Par Louis Badie