Friday, February 20, 2009

La Colombe d'Or

On the edge of St Paul de Vence is the legendary hotel La Columbe d'Or, a bastion of bohemian pride and abstract elegance that has defined the cutting edge of life on the Riviera since the 1920's.  A small hotel with 16 rooms and 10 suites, it was a favorite retreat for Picasso, Leger, Calder and  a plethora of distinguished artists who stayed here and communed with the original owners Paul Roux and his wife Baptistine.  Yves Montand lived across the street, and soon the international jet set of the 50's and 60's were  hanging in the tiny bar, including David Niven and Elizabeth Taylor.  Over the years it has hosted everyone from Mick Jagger to David Bowie. But its not about the celebrity. Its about the atmosphere. Paul and "Titine", as his wife was known, created an atmosphere of creative energy that shielded the outside world. The walls are adorned with incredible works of art, Calder mobiles adorn the stairway and the swimming pool, Picasso and Braque and Miro and Klee line the walls of the dining room. It is sumptuous, unpretentious, fabulous and a true joy to stay there.

The Devil Dog spent four nights there is a stunning 4 room suite overlooking the Boulle court, filling a good portion of the second floor.  The picture at top is La Columbe d'Or as seen from the street (our room on the second floor corner).  The picture just above is the back of the hotel taken from the swimming pool. See the open terrace on the third floor. Its a common area  sun room where you can sit and ruminate surrounded by magnificent art.

Now run by their grandson Francois Roux and his wife Danielle it continues to provide down home country charm and casual elegance with an atmosphere that literally breathes electricity. 
Below we see another view of the back of the hotel and notice the massive Calder mobile installed by the pool.  To say that we thought we had found a secret home away from care or causation is an understatement. La Columbe d'Or rates as one of the Devil Dogs all time great hotel experiences.

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