x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Coco Chanel's former home, La Pausa in the locality of Roquebrune-Cap-Matin, is up for sale. Asking price: Dh200 million.

The view from Villa La Pausa. Photo by Laurent Meesemaecker
The view from Villa La Pausa. Photo by Laurent Meesemaecker

Sitting high on a hill at the far eastern end of the Côte d’Azur, overlooking the glistening waters of the Med and enveloped in heady floral aromas that inspired their own perfume – Chanel No 28 – is La Pausa, the former home of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Bonheur Chanel.

Set on a site strewn with lavender beds and olive groves that once belonged to the princes of Monaco, La Pausa has a history that is as colourful as its surroundings. Its elegant reception, dining and guest rooms have played host to everyone from the Duke of Westminster to Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Luchino Visconti.

Villa La Pausa was sold to the author and publisher Emery Reeves in the 1950s – but the stream of high-profile guests didn’t abate. Reeves was famously close to the Riviera glitterati at the time, entertaining the likes of Greta Garbo, Aristotle Onassis and Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. Winston Churchill also spent a significant amount of time at the property, commandeering a whole wing on the first floor for his personal use and reportedly penning parts of his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples there.

Now on the market for €40 million, the property sits in the hills of La Toracca, nestled between the Italian border to the east and Monaco to the west, in the locality of Roquenbrune-Cap-Martin, a charming medieval village overlooking the Cap Martin peninsula.

The villa’s ground floor features a reception hall, family kitchen, library and sitting room, grand salon, a formal dining room with an open fireplace, French doors and wooden floorboards, and a central courtyard.

The first floor is home to five bedrooms, including a master-bedroom suite. A lower ground floor is currently dedicated to the staff kitchen, staff rooms and storage rooms, but the space could be remodelled and better utilised. There’s also a four-bay garage, a former tennis court and plenty of gardens and terraces from which to admire the stunning, sweeping views.