For a few glorious spring-days we had the pleasure of staying at The Hotel Juana, we felt at ease walking through the refined and stylish interior of the reception. Art Deco chic and a shining example of its time stylish and elegant, the hotel is a charming landmark in the heart of Juan-les-Pins, with a Provencal garden, a hidden swimming pool and a gourmet concept restaurant, Bistrot Terrasse. In fact, the Juana enjoys quite a reputation, becoming the reference for gastronomy excellence on the Côte d’Azur in, It is the first hotel in France to be awarded 2 stars in the Michelin Guide, thanks to Alain Ducasse who was then 28 years old.
Now a sister hotel to the much loved and veneered establishment of La Belle Rives, its owner, Marianne Estène-Chauvin had her eye on this landmark of Juan les Pins for a while before committing to bringing it to its former glory. ‘I can't remember how many times I walked in front the Juana thinking that one day I would buy it...behind its ultra-chic facade, I was able to imagine an eccentric life, with a touch of extravagance.’ It has in some way maintained the artistic soul and the light of the hotel, so special and peaceful, draws attention to some unique and well-chosen objects and the rooms are perfectly appointed. ‘I preferred the hotel to be handy more than sophisticated: a guest who has a good welcome will forget his troubles...’ Probably the perfect pitch for the enterprise, this approach has made sure The Juana is a great compliment to its sister, La Belles Rives, should one choose a slightly different atmosphere while still retaining and sensing the aura of great days of yesteryear.
In the 1930's, Juan-les-Pins used to be a very fashionable place with its glamorous visitors and its many cultural events with long stretches of golden sandy sun-drenched coves and beaches and a playground for the rich and famous. Alexandre Barache, a young businessman of Russian origin seized the day, drew inspiration from this avant-garde and cool style and entrusted Georges Diganski, renowned architect in those days, to plan the construction of the Hotel Juana which has always been the ultimate retreat for the Stars of Jazz since the 1960's a mix of Urban and Art deco and if you are a Picasso afficionado this hotel has the soul of the artist combined with its unique atmosphere which offers a glamorous and authentic stay mixing business and pleasure at the heart of the Cap d'Antibes gardens.
The Juana Hotel is at the centre of the Riviera, emblematic of the prestige and charm of the Côte d’Azur. Famous not only for its unique panorama of both mountain and sea, it is a unique region in the world, characterised by its cultural riches and dolce vita. Many artists have been inspired by the natural beauty of the scenery, from Renoir to Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Nicolas de Staël to name a few.
It is easy to imagine how fascinating those early days of glamour and easy life must have been. You can enjoy the diversity of the Côte d’Azur extending from Saint Tropez and its famous beaches to Monaco, princely and cosmopolitan, without forgetting Nice – a city of art and culture and Cannes, with its world-renown International Film Festival. Escapades out to sea and along the coastline are some of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.
Discovered and launched by Cole Porter and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the seaside resort of Juan-les-Pins was created in 1882 and developed in the thirties under the impetus of the American billionaire Frank Jay Gould, after which the Pine tree gardens are named. A festive, family-oriented resort, since 1960 it also plays host to one of the oldest Jazz festivals in Europe. Many artist stayed at the Juana. Painters such as Marc Chagall, Francis Picasso and the poet Jacques Prévert build up its legend. The most famous ceramicists from Vallauris and André Villers, the photographer who took part in the decoration of the hotel.
In 1950 Juan-les-Pins becames the worldwide centre of the New Orleans Revival and launches the era of Sydney Bechet. Each year during the month of July, since 1960, the Juana Hotel is the backstage of the Antibes–Juan-les-Pins Jazz Festival. Musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Ray Charles were here, and Jazzmen would have a jam session in a café to end the evening. Nowadays, the Jazz Festival offers a modern and eclectic programme, with names such as Diana Krall, Sting, Lionel Ritchie, Marcus Miller, Stevie Wonder or Melodie Gardot.
This is more than enough to make you want to return year after year and In the words of Cole Porter, who spent many a day in Juan-les-Pins during his Parisian decade: ‘It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely’.