Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage, Curio Collection by Hilton

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Discover the Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage, Curio Collection by Hilton, which was created by Marius Michel in 1888.

Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage, Curio Collection by Hilton was constructed during the historic reign of the United Kingdom’s famed Queen Victoria, who sat on the British throne from 1837 to 1901.

The fascinating history of the Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage begins when its architect, Marius Michel, was shipwrecked in the eastern Mediterranean. This event inspired him to write to the Emperor of France, Napolean III, about building lighthouses in the Ottoman Empire. After negotiations with the Ottomans, Michel was appointed head of the Ottoman Lighthouse Authority and built dozens of lighthouses over the next twenty years. The lighthouse fees, which were split between his company and the Ottoman government, made him very wealthy. His work also earned him various honors, including being made a Knight of the Legion of Honor, Count Michel de Pierredon, and “Pacha of the Ottoman Empire.”

In 1872, Michel became the mayor of Sanary, a small town just outside of Toulon. He used the wealth obtained to rebuild the harbor and to turn the town into a resort community for French and foreign citizens. To realize his dream, he gradually acquired 80 hectares of land and developed the parks of Sablettes and Tamaris, before building the Grand Hotel in 1888. Over the next several decades, the Grand Hotel was a popular holiday destination for European high society. That abruptly came to an end, however, with the outbreaks of the First and Second World Wars. The Grand Hotel struggled to survive those turbulent times, as tourism in the area plummeted. Despite a multitude of concerts and other events taking place in the years after World War II, the hotel closed to customers in 1967. For the next half-century, it would lie dormant.

In 2016, Stéphane Lelièvre and his family, impassioned about hospitality and their homeland, decided to begin a challenging project: to revive the Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage. The renovation was done with loving care, which preserved the hotel's rich historic character. With its white façade echoing the azure blue of the sea, the Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage is a veritable balcony on the Mediterranean that offers a journey back into history.

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