If you find yourself in the South of France this summer, be sure to drop by the quaint seaside village of Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur. Nestled between Nice and Monaco, this small town is often overlooked in favor of its popular neighbor, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, but Beaulieu-sur-Mer houses something very special: Villa Kerylos.
Built at the turn of the 19th century, this stunning property pays painstaking homage to the ancient Grecian dwellings of Delos (think 2nd century B.C.). Step inside and you’ve entered a glorious time warp care of archaeologist Theodore Reinach and architect Emmanuel Pontremoli. The duo spent 6 years on their mission to reinvent, rather than replicate, ancient Greece. Rooms have been outfitted with custom furniture - bronze beds, rosewood klismos chairs, plaited leather stools - made to exacting standards using only traditional methods. Beyond the objects, walls are adorned with intricate moldings and plaster reliefs while floors boast vibrant mosaics depicting scenes from Greek mythology. There’s a central courtyard, an antiques gallery, a lovely gift shop and a garden blooming with Mediterranean plants overlooking the sea. Not to mention a few luxurious “balaneions” (private bathrooms), including one with a sunken bathtub swathed in Carrera tiger marble.
Villa Kerylos will be hosting a Festival of Poseidon this month, 12-13 June, essentially turning the harbour into an ancient Greek port. Wander this charming event from 11am-7pm daily and you’ll stumble upon scenes from antiquity - artisans weaving textiles, a fragrant spice market, sounds from ancient musical instruments, works of art, fashion and more.
Photographs © Villa Kerylos