Villa Grace is a cozy 1930 Art Deco villa, recently renovated to the highest standards without losing any of its old charm. Located above the historic port of La Darse, this sunny two story house commands unobstructed views from both floors, inside as well as from its balconies, taking in the Bay of Villefranche, Cap Ferrat, the port with its marina, and the Mediterranean.
The house is located on Boulevard Princesse Grace de Monaco, also known as La Basse Corniche, at the entrance of Villefranche sur Mer when coming from Nice direction Monaco. You’d think it would be noisy, yet once inside, it is surprisingly quiet. Sitting on one of the balconies admiring the view you are surrounded by a blissful oasis of serene beauty making you want to sit there the whole day, were it not for the many wonderful things to explore in the area.
Villefranche center with its Wednesday/Saturday fresh produce market and Sunday antique market is a 5 minute walk away. Here you’ll also find a good bakery, some cafés, the popular Picard flash-frozen gourmet food store, a Tabac and a pharmacy, while the Casino grocery store is even closer. The ultra-charming old town has a wider selection of shops and restaurants and is a 15 minute walk away, either via the main road with gorgeous water vistas or an even more mesmerizing stroll around the port and citadel by the sea. Nice is a 1 hour walk or a quick 10 minute (1 Euro) bus fare away. Nice airport is an easy transfer by bus from Nice or a 20-minute drive. The bus stop (St. Estève) is right next door and will take you to either Nice, St. Jean de Cap Ferrat or Monaco/Menton. The Lignes d’Azur train station is located at the bottom of the old town, about 20 minutes by foot. From the villa a staircase brings you straight down to the port where you’ll find a small pebble beach, less crowded than the town’s main beach, and some lovely spots to have a picnic. From here, you can walk all the way along the water to Beaulieu and around Cap Ferrat (really stunning walks!) and towards Nice in the other direction. Even in winter, the climate is generally sunny, cool enough for walks and warm enough to enjoy a leisurely lunch outside. Our villa gets sunshine all day throughout the entire year. The Villefranche area is hilly, hence its charm and great views. This is a great way to stay (or get) into shape, so if you are comfortable with that and want to stay mostly in and around Villefranche, you don’t really need car. However, there are many advantages to having a car, especially if you’d like to use our apartment as a base to explore the many adorable hill-top perched villages of the Côte d’Azur, Italy and the Provence. The great asset of our villa is that it has an actual private parking inside the wrap-around patio, as well as a second parking spot in the back of the house, somewhat of a rarity in Villefranche.
The property, when we bought it, was a 3 bedroom, 1 ½ bathroom. We consciously chose to turn it into a 2 bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom, not interested in tiny impractical bedrooms or pull-out couches. The house has been designed not just for your comfort, but ours as well, since we plan to spend part of our winters here. The villa oozes with charm. It has a working fire place in the dining room, and we put a lot of care into its details, from a collection of amazing lamps, Art Nouveau lead lights, giant antique mirrors and many other objects adding character. On top of these, we naturally thought of all modern conveniences, such as an incredibly comfortable Nicoletti couch, a fully stocked big kitchen, high-quality mattresses and linens, A/C in bedrooms and living room, a study, Wi-Fi throughout the house, proper radiator heating in winter, a gas stove, washer, dryer, dishwasher, micro-wave, flat-screen TV, stereo with UBS plug, DVD, etc.
Downstairs you’ll find an entrance hall with guest toilet, followed by laundry room, dining room, fire place and living room with its spectacular views over the bay from its three windows. The kitchen is on the opposite side of the dining room and has access to the patio which connects to the balcony, which in turn connects again to the living room.
Upstairs there are two bedrooms. The master bedroom is very large by local standards. It has a king-size bed and the most incredible view as if floating over the bay. It has a small balcony where two persons can enjoy breakfast or cocktails together using a convenient portable table with removable tray. Automatic blinds will block out the light at night, although we prefer to sleep without them so we don’t miss the amazing sunrises in the morning, when the sky breaks out in a spectrum of red, pink and orange. The second bedroom is smaller with a double bed, lots of charm and a view askance over the Mediterranean from the bed. In between there is a study, a relaxing place to work if needed. Each room has its luxurious bathroom nearby, one with a bathtub, the other with a large shower. Both have toilets, sinks, heating, fans, hairdryers, and plenty of space to store amenities and to hang towels. The study, smaller bedroom, dining and kitchen all have the typical shutters of the region, lovingly restored