Once the summer playground of the style set like Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and Karl Lagerfeld, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, which sits on the Cap d’
Fast forward to this month and the hotel is celebrating its 150th anniversary. However, celebrations have come to a standstill as the grand dame has closed its doors to all guests – as is the case with most hotels worldwide – until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, its romantic and fashionable spirit lives on even up to this decade – most notably in the form of Chanel’s Resort 2012 collection for which the hotel’s iconic paved pathway served as a runway.
It’s not all about the glamour either. The Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc also serves as a meeting spot for multi-generational families who have frequented the hotel for years – a summer tradition of sorts. The property’s luxurious amenities make it the perfect reunion stomping ground: take swimming lessons just off the coast or indulge in cooking demonstrations with some of France’s finest chefs.
One person swept by the property’s inimitable charm is Singaporean style star and local Yves Saint Laurent superfan Wendy Long. The freelance writer resided in the hotel during a holiday in July 2017 and still vividly remembers that one summer there. Here, she talks about her time at the hotel, its influence on her style and how she is personally reflecting and regrouping during a time of great uncertainty.
“More so than ever, we should now appreciate every little spark of joy in whatever we do and live larger and fuller lives. For it is not about just going through the motions and ‘surviving’ but truly embracing, celebrating and appreciating what life has to offer. Carpe diem!” – Wendy Long
On her favourite discoveries about the legendary hotel
“The vast compounds of the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc are filled with many picturesque spots. Think manicured gardens, a stunning pool that’s immortalised in a Slim Aarons photo, and the iconic pathway linking the main building to the waterfront. You can have sundown cocktails at the balcony lounge and people-watch on the pathway which extends to the sea. The hotel also has excellent facilities worth discovering, including a very well-curated boutique that carries chic and stylish resort wear and a charming hair salon which is important to me as I often get my hair washed and blow-dried at a salon even while travelling.”
On how the best hotels aren’t always the newest
“Places like Cap-Eden-Roc are not just ‘flavours of the moment’ and have inspired me to want to visit all of the world’s historical and iconic hotels instead. They may not be the latest hotel openings with the fanciest gadgets or designed by an ‘It architect or interior designer’. What they offer is soul, intimacy, history and heritage which get even more precious and sacred as time goes by. It’s almost like an ‘heirloom’ travel experience that’s shared by generations.”
On the influence of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on her style (yes, really)
“The hotel certainly influenced my style while I was there. I was particularly inspired by Raf Simons’ Dior Cruise 2016 collection which was also held in the south of France. It was my favourite collection during Raf’s tenure at Dior so I decided to wear a piece from it as an homage to the collection and the location. I also made a point to pack Chanel as the brand has become synonymous with the hotel and the late Coco Chanel herself was also a familiar figure in the south of France. It felt fitting to wear a brand as timeless and iconic as Chanel.”
On how Covid-19 has changed the jetset life
“I’ve always believed in seizing the day, living life to the fullest, appreciating experiences and valuing memories. This whole global pandemic episode only serves as a reminder of what is and always has been of importance to me. We should not wait, thinking tomorrow will always be there, and that we can always put things aside and work on it later.
Life is full of surprises and we should just follow our hearts and fulfil its desires for we never know what will happen. More so than ever, we should now appreciate every little spark of joy in whatever we do and live larger and fuller lives. For it is not about just going through the motions and ‘surviving’ but truly embracing, celebrating and appreciating what life has to offer. Carpe diem!”