In demand by celebrities from De Niro to Madonna, this extravagantly expensive hotel looking out on 22 acres of immaculate tropical gardens bordered by rocky shoreline has long catered to the world's fantasy of a subtropical idyll on the French Riviera. First opened in 1870, the Villa Soleil joined forces with the neighboring Eden Roc tearoom in 1914 and expanded its luxuries to include a swimming pool blasted into seaside bedrock. After the Great War, two stylish American
intellectuals—Sara and Gerald Murphy—rented the entire complex and invited all their friends, a stellar lot ranging from the Windsors to Rudolf Valentino and Marlene Dietrich. Their most frequent guests were Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who used it as the model for Hôtel des Etrangers in his Tender Is the Night. Large, sun-drenched rooms are thickly carpeted and furnished with antiques in the main Second Empire mansion; the wateside Pavillon Eden Roc wing is more modern and enjoys sheer-horizon views. Continental breakfast is included in the price (and so is access to the beach) and everyone dresses stylishly for dinner. Of course, the crème de la Cap crème is the new Champagne Lounge, uncorked in 2013.