The royalty hotels on the Riviera

Dreams of the present, past and future are along the coastline from Cannes till Sanremo in the form of art deco hotels. Along the beach road La Croissette in Cannes, le promenade des Anglais in Nice and the Avenue d’Ostende in Monaco you pass many white art deco hotels from the early 20th century. Most are in the hands of the big international hotel chains like Hyatt, Carlton and Intercontinental. All are restored in their ‘grandeur’ from the early twenties. During this period the royalty of Europe enjoyed their beach holidays with luxury shopping at the Riviera.

The hotels in Liguria which have a view on Monaco attracted a lot of English, Italian and German royalty. Hotel Angst at the Via Romana in Bordighera and Hotel Royal at the Via Roma in Sanremo are ruins, with white stuccoed facades, which are conserved in a concrete construction, surrounded by a wild growing botanic garden and iron cranes full of corrosion. Since 2008, when the financial crises started, nothing has been done to restore these magnificent hotels in their glory. Hotel Angst in Bordighera fascinates me, when I pass by foot. When I take a close look on the enormous building and read the renovation bulletin board with plans for restoration it always makes me dreaming about the old days when the high society would come to rest here.

I bought a little book in the bookstore about the history of Hotel Angst, which is quite remarkable. At the end of the 19th century it was one of the most luxurious hotels in Europe with central heating, electricity, elevators etc. Holiday stay and ‘Kurort’ for the English, German, Italian, Russian and French nobility. Next door are the palaces of the Royal family the Savoie from Italy. The hotel was built by the german engineer Adolf Angst. He bought the 5 ha plot with an old small villa from a widow, who died in a mysterious fire, after her refusal to sell her property to Adolf Angst. In the second world war it was used for meetings between Mussolini and Hitler. In the fifties when it was outdated in comfort the hotel fel into decline of its status and royal guests. By the seventies only a ruin with magnificent facade was left. At the beginning of the 21st century some Italian developers made plans for a residential building with 8000 SQM for 90 luxury apartments, 4000 SQM hotel accommodation, botanic gardens, underground parking and modern Spa. All in the art deco style of the historic building, restoring its gardens and original grandeur. At this moment brokers are on a quest for investors in Europe to revitalize the ‘grandeur’ of Hotel Angst.

Let’s hope that dream becomes reality and this piece of history will be restored in full.