A look at the former homes of style icon, Coco Chanel in central Paris and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the South of France…
Coco Chanel’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris
For many years, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel lived at the famed Ritz hotel in Place Vendome in the next block (see below) but used the ornately apartment above the Chanel store at 31 Rue Cambon to work and entertain, until her death at aged 87 in 1971.
The space has been largely left as it was, and is still used occasionally for special events and photoshoots.
The building comprises multiple stories, with the main store on the ground floor, haute couture on the first floor, the opulent apartment on the second floor, and her work space on the third, all connected by the famous mirrored, curved staircase, designed by Chanel herself so that she could watch over everything.
Check out these photos from from exterior, main store, staircase, haute couture level, and inside the apartment itself:
The bedroom-less apartment is full of screens (she was not a fan of doors), chandeliers, Chinoiserie elements and cigarette boxes, much of which were gifts from various lovers and admirers, including the Duke of Westminster, Igor Stravinsky and Salvador Dali. The space was constantly sprayed with Chanel No. 5 whenever she was there.
See more here: Facebook: Inside Coco Chanel’s apartment, at 31 Rue Cambon, Paris and from the official website, of course: www.chanel.com. And check out this interesting piece of Chanel folklore about the bottle of Chanel No. 5 mimicking the shape of Place Vendome.
See 31 Rue Cambon on the map below:
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And see the Ritz Hotel, across the street in the next block:
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The Coco Chanel suite at the Ritz hotel in Paris
With her working-and-entertaining space “above the shop” quite literally at 31 Rue Cambon, Coco Chanel lived for many years (from 1934 until her death) in a private suite at the Hotel Ritz in Place Vendome, where she could slip in and out via the back entrance, just across the street from the Chanel building.
If cashed up, you can share the experience by booking the Coco Chanel Suite.
According to the Ritz website, “…to this day, Coromandel laquerware, rock crystals and large mirrors pay tribute to Mademoiselle Chanel’s personal taste and elegance” so you can put on your best black frock and pearls, and embrace the stylish life of the legendary style icon.
The suite has a living-room, 1-2 bedrooms and bathrooms, one of which has a jacuzzi and a steam room, and a view to both the gardens and Place Vendome. It’s up to 103 sqm/1109 sqft of space depending on how many bedrooms you book.
If there are more in your party and money is no issue, you could also book the other suites in the Prestige range, which honor Cesar Ritz, the Windsors, and Elton John, as well as the Vendome and the Imperial Suites.
Villa La Pausa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, the south of France
La Pausa, Coco Chanel’s villa, built for her by her lover, Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, is on Avenue de la Torraca in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (between Menton and Monte Carlo on the French Riviera) by the architect Robert Streitz.
It has seven bedroom suites, a staff house, guardian’s house and chauffeur’s apartment. See it on the map here.
Guests of Chanel included artists, musicians, writers and painters, including Igor Stravinsky, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Luchino Visconti, Somerset Maugham and Pierre Bonnard.
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Guests of the Reves included Greta Garbo, Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery, Anthony Eden, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, the Duke of Windsor, Aristotle Onassis and Konrad Adenauer, as well as Winston Churchill who stayed regularly in the late 1950s.
See more Chanel here: