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water skiingIn the quaint town of Juan-les-Pins on the illustrious French Riviera, the gleaming gem of Art Deco architecture, Hôtel Belles Rives, is creating ripples with its latest addition, a Water Ski Butler. Ensconced on Antibes Bay, the legendary birthplace of water skiing, this pioneering concept aims to commemorate the rich watersport culture ingrained in the region’s DNA.

Juan-les-Pins is renowned globally as the pioneer in water skiing, a leisure pursuit that’s been enticing tourists since 1882. The arrival of the billionaire couple Gerald and Sara Murphy from Boston in 1922 bolstered American tourism, catalyzing the evolution of Antibes’s charming seaside resort destination into a pivotal character in the Côte d’Azur’s legendary summer tourism narrative.Hôtel Belles Rives

Hôtel Belles Rives, the first hotel to grace the water’s edge of the Côte d’Azur, made watersports an intrinsic part of its offering. Its legacy was further enriched in 1932 when Leo Roman and Emil Petersen established the inaugural Water Ski Club. Subsequently, their thrilling demonstrations sponsored by American millionaire Frank Jay Gould and his wife, Florence, who served as the Club’s President, turned the sport into a sensation. The historic channel of Hôtel Belles Rives and the Provençal hosted the maiden worldwide water ski championship in 1949, celebrating the French champions Peter Goin, Pierre Jourdan-Gassin, and Madeleine Bouteiller.

François Gelly, Director of Sales and Marketing at Belles Rives Group, passionately reflects on this illustrious heritage. He remarks, “Water ski is intrinsically woven into the fabric of the hotel. With our ‘Breakfast and Water Ski’ package marking the centenary of summer tourism last year, we’ve witnessed an upsurge in clients seeking this watersport experience. It was a natural progression for us to introduce the Water Ski Butler this summer.”

Water Skiing at Hôtel Belles Rives

Water Skiing at Hôtel Belles Rives

This exclusive service embodies the hotel’s dedication to enhancing guest experiences, especially for novice skiers. Introducing them to the sport’s rich history and preparing them physically and psychologically, the Water Ski Butler helps guests overcome trepidation and relish the authentic Riviera watersport experience.

Incorporating the Water Ski Butler service enhances the allure of the hotel’s Beach Club, fostering a deeper engagement with the mesmerizing South of France. The hotel also offers a private beach boasting the Belles Rives Beach Restaurant, the Water Sports Club, and a jetty housing a private boat dock—the heritage property where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote ‘Tender is the Night’, seamlessly blending yesteryears’ opulence with modern aesthetics. Offering 43 recently renovated rooms and suites, the hotel hosts a Michelin-starred restaurant, La Passagère, led by the culinary genius Aurélien Véquaud. The renovated Bar Fitzgerald, honouring the original resident, is perfect for casual lunches and classic cocktails, while the Valmont beauty corner offers an exquisite skincare experience.

In June, Hôtel Belles Rives paid tribute to Quentin Tarantino by awarding him the Prix Fitzgerald, a French literary award founded in 2011 by Marianne Estène-Chauvin, President of the Francis Scott Fitzgerald Academy and owner of the Belles Rives Group. The author of the #1 New York Times bestselling ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’, Tarantino graciously accepted the award for Cinema Speculation.

To dive deeper into this watersport haven, visit the Hôtel Belles Rives website.




Written by: Bridget Gomez