French Riviera holds many buildings with mythical aura. Exceptional French Riviera villas, unique museums, hotels marked by history let then their imprint in the Riviera. The most renowned of them, the Negresco, is remarkable by many points.
Born by the will of one of the most famous maître d’hôtel of his time, Henri Negrescu, and by the talents of the architect Édouard-Jean Niermans, the Negresco is created in 1913, after three years of waiting for studies and edification (as administrative as construction work). Since the opening, Henri Negresco wanted the hotel to be modern, with unrivaled installations such as air aspiration and power switches, but also a place full of art works to dress the buildings, with their very particular architecture. The canopy witnesses it, because it is classified as historical monument, such as façades and roofing, recognizable from far away in the Promenade des Anglais.
For a few years, the hotel prospers with opulence. Celebrities and aristocrats came for spending a stay, but since the World War I, it was requisitioned as military hospital. The World War II was not sweeter with the Negresco, so musch that the owner was ruined, and had to sold it at a Belgian hostels society.
In 1957, new times came for the Negresco, thanks to life fortune. Jeanne Mesnage, spouse Augier, looked for a residence able to welcome her mother, unfortunately forced to use a wheel chair after a tragic surgery. By chance, the Negresco is the one on all the French Riviera to dispose of a lift. Without thinking twice, the family bought all the building, where Jeanne spend her life to build the hotel-museum as we all know at present time.
Jeanne Augier held the Negresco in firm hands. She made the façades, pink dome and unique canopy restored up. She decided that the decoration had to be out of the current standards so rooms are dressed with bright pink, green and yellow, with silk on the walls and very kitch pieces of furniture. In the same time, she constituted an art works collection, as motley as the decoration, in measuring of her eccentricity. Portraits of kings of France were mixed with typical works of Niki de Saint Phalle. The soul of the Negresco, now, is Jeanne Augier. The lady managed to attract the society, from art and politic worlds. Dali was a loyal friend, Cocteau admired the host’s tastes, Grace and Rainier of Monaco escaped from the principality for a supper-time, Richard Burton and Liz Taylor were in love here, Charles Aznavour and Charles Trenet came to celebrate their birthdays, Michael Jackson worked his dance steps on the dance floor he wanted to be installed, Bill Gates let a blank cheque for donation.
Till the offbeat uniforms, the owner decides of what the hotel has to look. Indeed, the 6 000 art works and the building itself wait visitors, if not clients, to wonder them by their splendor.