(Plage du Paradis)
Studio, 1-Bath Apartment — the Ultimate ‘Beach Pad’
- €650 – 900/wk (see all property prices)
- Newly remodeled beachfront studio apartment
- Completely unobstructed view of the entire beach and Bay of Villefranche
- Very well designed space with fully equipped kitchenette and bathroom
- Wireless DSL, air conditioning, satellite TV, washing machine
- Private garden, terrace and entrance through the garden
- Quiet, calm and private — yet in the midst of it all
- The Ultimate Beach Location — ‘tres bien place’
Click here to download a brochure (PDF file) of this property.
Ultimate Beach Pad
Beachfront Bliss is a charming, studio apartment, right on the beach of Villefranche, fully renovated in summer ’08 to a very high standard. This apartment is all about being on the water, being at the beach, and enjoying all that beach life has to offer. It’s perfect for people who love the water and love the beach. It is dreamy romantic in any season, restorative, and truly a beach getaway that regenerates the body and mind. But although the apartment is in a very peaceful location, it is still next to the heart of everything — located at the beach-end of the waterfront quai of Villefranche, right on the edge of the Old Town, with all the restaurants, shops, and conveniences just a few steps away.
“A great escape, the ultimate beach pad, hypnotic relaxation, ‘a room of one’s own, a blur of pleasure” — those are some of the statements we hear about Beachfront Bliss. Whether looking for a romantic beach holiday, or a month or two to work on a personal project, or just to revive and reflect, Beachfront Bliss is a special little escape, a perfect place to enjoy sunshine and a healthy lifestyle. It’s not for everyone, as it is a studio. But if you like cozy, intimate, superbly located places with really amazing views — plus all the other things we just mentioned — this apartment may be just perfect for you.
A Day at the Beach
When you sit at the dining table with lovely cushioned armchairs and footstools — designed for relaxing in front of the view — in front of the large picture window, you see everything on the bay. It is an intimate setting given the proximity to the sea, yet also expansive as there is nothing blocking the view. With the very large window open you feel as though the bay is an extension of your apartment, with you both a part of the scene and overlooking it at the same time.
One is struck by the different colors in the sea: turquoise, emerald green, dark blue, light blue and also by the spectacular fushia bougainvillea that line the beautiful limestone wall that encircles the 1-kilometer-long beach. It is the most stunning display of bougainvillea you’ll ever see. The setting is breathtaking — the combination of the colors of the sea, the blue sky, the fushia bougainvillea and cliffs that drop to the sea — it is hard to pull yourself away. And in Beachfront Bliss, perhaps that’s all one should do: just relax at the beach and regenerate yourself.
It is wonderful to watch how the beach changes during the day and during the seasons. In the morning, it is so quiet. You barely hear the water lap the shores as it is all so calm. The sun rises over the cliffs slowly — just at the right level — so you aren’t awakened too early. The sea is like glass. In summer the sea beckons you out for a swim; in the winter for a lovely, peaceful walk. You have the beach to yourself — there are not even a half dozen people on the cool sandy beach at 8 a.m. As the day progresses, you see the parade of people arriving to take in their beach day. In the summer, the bustle of the beach begins around 10:30 or 11:00 and goes until about 5 or 6 p.m. In addition, you see the myriad of beautiful boats come into the bay.
I love to go to the beach in the morning for a couple of hours and then return in the evening as there is still plenty of sun, it is warm, and the water becomes like glass again. It is a great way to spend the aperitif hour: a swim, a lay in the sun, and a glass of rosé at one of the beach restaurants. Then back to Beachfront Bliss around 8 or 8:30 p.m. (still full daylight in the summer) to enjoy dinner in front of the big picture window or take in one of the great restaurants just along the quai.
By the way, one of the best restaurants on the quai, very close by to Beachfront Bliss, will happily deliver any meal to the apartment. We have the menu and phone number all set for you in the apartment — your very own gourmet ‘room service.’
If you want to enjoy lunch on the waterfront, you have a choice of many delicious restaurants along the waterfront of Villefranche. In addition, there are a couple of informal beach restaurants that serve great local beach food such as bruschetta, or pan-bagnat (a tuna sandwich but unlike any you have had before — it’s just delicious), a variety of lovely salads or moules et frites.
Then at night, it is fantastic to watch the moon rise over the bay and see the waterfront lanterns come on with their reflections dancing on the wavelets. When you dine at the table, read on the sofa, or lay in bed at night, you can see the lovely lights on the bay, the boats bobbing, and people strolling along the beach and quai. It is very romantic and tranquil.
Small... but Not So Small
The large picture window (just over 2.20 meters in size, about 7 feet wide), dominates the room. The window fully ‘disappears’ into the wall, so you feel as though you are sitting on the edge of the sea, more like being on your own private balcony as you sit at the dining table. It feels like nothing separates you from the sea. The location of the apartment, on the 2nd floor (3rd level up) of a well-known seafront building, is just the right height to appear at sea level so that when you open the front door, you feel as though you step from the lovely hardwood floors right into the sea.
As the apartment is fairly small (just over 25 square meters, or 270 square feet), the large window and expansive view of the Bay of Villefranche certainly makes the apartment feel much larger. This, and because we have carefully designed the high quality bed to completely fold vertically into the wall, the apartment can feel much more like a one bedroom than a studio. When the bed is raised (extremely easy to do, with all the bedding kept right in place) the apartment feels like a large living room; when the bed is lowered (takes less than 3 seconds), a very romantic bedroom is revealed. A lot in a little space — but it never feels small. (I grew up on and around boats, and I have used what I learned about small spaces to design Beachfront Bliss to have all the conveniences you would want, but also to make everything workable in a small space.)
In addition, on the back side of the apartment, where one enters, you have a private garden and terrace which also ‘expands’ the apartment, as the garden is also a very nice place to relax. So the apartment is open to the front and the back — both sides receiving sun, both feeling private, and both offering something different to enjoy. It is probably this openness of space that makes the apartment so special — the spectacular view to one side and the intimate, pretty garden on the other.
The décor of the apartment is open, airy and bright. Given that the spectacular sea view dominates the room, we have incorporated various colors of sea blue and turquoise right into the apartment. We have also included beautiful art from the area, with two important pieces from Nani Eckert, one of Villefranche’s most famous artists. We hope that everywhere you look in the apartment, there is something beautiful to look at, as well as offering the comfort and convenience you would expect.
Because Beachfront Bliss is a studio apartment, the question of ‘what to do with the bed when you aren’t using it?’ presented maybe the biggest challenge: we wanted the apartment to feel like an apartment (not a hotel room) during the day or when having friends over, but also to have a fully comfortable and convenient bedroom at night or when taking an afternoon siesta. We solved this problem by installing a high-quality double bed that folds vertically into a wall unit.
- A very comfortable, high-end mattress from a top quality bed store.
- The bed folds up into the wall in one single unit (i.e. it does not bend); therefore — voilà! — it disappears during the day.
- The folding mechanism is on high-quality counter-balanced hinges so it’s very light and easy to lift, taking only a few seconds to go up or down.
- And you don’t have to take the linen off — the bed stays made when you close or open the door. The bed is covered in lovely, white cotton linen. And we have down and synthetic pillows.
- Additionally, when the bed is down, there are built-in bedside reading lights, and night stands for books, etc.
- This is a great bed — everyone loves it!
Additional Apartment Features:
- A good-sized wardrobe with ample hanging and drawer space. In addition, there is a special storage area well out of the way for storing suitcases.
- A good-sized desk with excellent lighting, electrical outlets, wireless broadband DSL, and a fixed telephone line (from which you can make any local call, receive calls from anywhere, and by using a phone card, make calls anywhere in the world).
- A dining area with a table that can serve two or four, with two rattan arm chairs with cushions and footstools. We designed this so you could enjoy eating, reading, or lounging at the table — even slipping down into the chair for a little nap.
- A sofa for two — actually very cozy and romantic — with a small, marble-topped antique coffee table. There are also two reading lights for the sofa (from which there is another lovely view of the sea).
- A kitchenette which is both quite charming and fully practical. There is a two-burner induction stovetop, a combination microwave/grill/oven which works great, and a large under-counter refrigerator — all appliance are top of the line Miele.
- The countertop is stone; there is a good-sized sink, and a well designed faucet. For being a small kitchen (a kitchenette) it is the best design possible. You can truly cook here — we have. And there is a reasonable amount of storage for food, dishes, etc.
- A modern bathroom that features a good-sized stall shower, toilet, and good sized sink. There is also good lighting and storage for bathroom items. And there is a bathroom window with a view of the cliffs and gardens that plunge down to the sea — but all very private.
- A large flat screen TV that hides away in a pretty antique hutch, with Sky (free channels), French TV, and an iPod system.
- And just outside the front door is a little stairwell that leads to and overlooks the garden. The washing machine is here, plus a variety of other supplies. There is a clothes line made of wrought iron (just like the French ladies have), that’s hung off the balcony railing of the front steps.
- The front door stoop, and the steps (about 5) that lead down from the apartment to the garden, create an impression of the garden being another room of the apartment. We have fitted it out with a table and chairs, lots of lovely flowers, and below the steps there is a locked storage area where we have placed all the beach items you likely use: chairs, umbrellas, floating devices, etc. — all ready and available for you to enjoy.
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