A majestic, Belle Epoque villa commanding simply stunning views across the Rade de Villefranche, Cap Ferrat and old town, with four beautiful bedrooms and two separate guest houses, large swimming pool and around 300m2 of exquisite living space
An elegant jewel in the crown of the French Riviera, this magnificent, exceptional villa is one of the most beautiful properties in the so called ‘Golden Triangle’ between Nice and Monaco, with splendid uninterrupted views across arguably the most beautiful bay on the Cote d’Azur. The villa stands proudly above the beach facing due south out across the bay, with its manicured lawns, extensive sun-drenched terraces and grand pool area, providing a haven of refined elegance and spacious, cool accommodation to suit even the most exacting resident’s requirements.
The villa is laid out across three floors, and the Belle Epoque architecture of the façade is reflected throughout this classic property, with ornate cornices on the high ceilings, large double doorways, elegant marble hallways and stylish bay windows leading out onto classic balustrade-fronted balconies from generous sized rooms.
The main entrance to the villa is through the impressive wrought iron double front doors, arriving in the entrance hall, with marble tiled floors, double chateau-style doors off to both sides and the elegant curve of the staircase ahead. To the right is the large salon (35m2) with its double glass doors onto the front terrace and wonderful sea views, and bay window to the east, with views across the manicured lawn to the sea and the gentle curves of Cap Ferrat. To the left of the entrance hall is the dining room, with double glass doors out to the main terrace and beautiful sea views beyond. The dining room leads onto the well-equipped kitchen, with doors to the rear of the villa, leading to a large covered terrace measuring more than 50m2. The ground floor, with extensive terraces to the front and rear, large reception rooms and a good-sized kitchen, make this villa perfectly equipped for receiving and entertaining guests.
The four equal sized main bedrooms cover the first and second floors of the villa – each bedroom is of a generous size, beautifully proportioned and with wonderful views out to sea, with glass doors leading onto each individual balcony, so that it is hard to nominate one as a master bedroom. All bedrooms have beautiful bath or shower rooms and are tastefully decorated with high class fittings and large windows to the rear of the property, giving all the rooms a feel of refinement and understated elegance.
The stairs continue up from the second floor, where a door leads out onto the roof terrace, surrounded by classic balustrading, and with incredible views across the bay and out to sea.
The villa also has a good-sized basement, equipped as a laundry room and housing the boiler and electrical fuses, as well as a dry storage room and large butler sinks.
Within the grounds of the villa are two separate small dwellings. The first, to the right of the property, joining the covered courtyard to the rear is a beautiful two-level mini version of the main house, in the same Belle Epoque style, with balustrading around the roof and large glass double doors onto the courtyard. On the ground floor is a small living room and bathroom, with double glass doors leading out onto the terrace and the courtyard with views out to sea. Stairs lead to the first floor, where the pretty bedroom has a large window with a lovely sea view.
The second dwelling is up two levels on the western side of the property, slightly hidden from view. Steps lead up from the rear covered courtyard, past a dedicated children’s play area (with sea views) equipped with swing and slides, safely protected by a fence. From there more steps lead to a single- story dwelling, with a large kitchen/main living area of 17m2. The kitchen is well equipped and this main room has glass doors leading to the private lawned area, planted with olive and citrus fruit trees. The double bedroom has en-suite shower and WC as well as storage/built in wardrobes.
The villa boasts a beautiful pool and bathing area, fringed by arched bays with lavender plants, citrus trees and flanked by firs, providing full privacy. There is ample room for sun loungers around the pool, and an outside shower. From the pool area, steps lead up to a pair of wrought iron gates and on to the large palm tree-fringed lawn, with a spectacular and uninterrupted view out to sea. From the lawn there is access to the terraces which surround the villa, with a dining area and plenty of space for outdoor seating in front of the house.
There is a garage beneath the property and scope for further garaging to be established under the lawn area (subject to the usual local planning consents).
It is worth noting that the property adjacent is also offered for sale, either separately or as an ensemble. This neighbouring villa is for sale at €2,625,000.
The location of the property is literally perfect. From the villa, the beach is within a few steps walking distance – one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the Cote d’Azur, sheltered beneath the cliff and with the most stunning views out to sea, and the old town of Villefranche, with its idylic cobbled waterfront is only a few moments away, round the bay from the beach area. Here, you will find restaurants and cafes with one of the Riviera’s most stunning views – across the water to the green slopes of Cap Ferrat, and the beach below the cliffs. The Old Town itself is part of the view from the villa, and is without doubt one of the most beautiful places on this coast, vibrant without being noisy, still inhabited by many locals and boasting a wealth of little shops and boutiques, cafes and restaurants, many of which are open year-round.
Villefranche Mairie, or town hall, is situated in an impressive Napoleonic fortress, which stands guard over the two main port areas of Villefranche – La Darse, with its old school ship repairers and pleasure craft (and who’s vaulted stone ateliers appeared in James Bond’s Never Say Never Again) and Port de la Sante, where you can hire boats, moored up next to the local fishermen’s traditional ‘pointu’ painted wooden boats. The clear azur waters of the bay, the relaxed beauty of the old town – some of the houses still bear the dates (c.1640) carved over the doorways – the elegant curve of the bay (recently proposed as a UNESCO world heritage site) and the near perfect beaches with their small cafes and great summer atmosphere, make Villefranche-sur-mer one of the most lovely places on earth.
Villefranche has a mainline railway station, five minutes’ walk from the villa, which is only a few stops one direction from Monaco and Italy, and in the other, two stops from Nice Centre, where a tram can take you direct to the airport. There are excellent local buses, running throughout the day along the coast from Monaco to Antibes. For those who like to exercise on foot, there are many local walking paths around the cliffs or down at the water’s edge, and access to the famous St Jean Cap Ferrat coastal path begins at the end of the beach, next to the famous villa once owned by Hollywood Great, Errol Flynn, again part of the view from the terraces of the villa.
Facing the Old Town from across the bay, is the legendary Villa Nellcote, a stunning mansion right on the water’s edge that was home for a short while in the early 70s to Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones, where the band wrote one of the decade’s seminal albums ‘Exile on Main Street’. For generations, the world’s well healed have been coming to Villefranche, to enjoy the discreet beauty and peace of this wonderful village – once you’ve discovered Villefranche, you’ll never want to be anywhere else!
- Sea view
- Energy ClassE