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March 5, 2014Sotheby's International Realty to Enter BeijingSotheby's International Realty to Enter Beijing
On February 22nd, Sotheby's International Realty announced securing approval to conduct business in mainland China, by signing an agreement with Beijing Xin Rui Zeng Yi International Real Estate Brokerage Co. Ltd.

Beijing Sotheby's International Realty is to be opened in the first quarter of the year.

As future chairman Liu Gang stated, the brand's global reach and the extensive experience in luxury goods will be combined with the knowledge of the local market, aiming to create a reliable resource for clients wishing to invest in Beijing luxury real estate.

Though the country is not ruled by emperors anymore, China's high-end real estate market offers plenty of opportunities to live aristocratically. During last year's second semester, there was a substantial growth in Beijing luxury home market and despite government efforts to slow prices on housing, towards the end of the year the luxury homes market continued to thrive.

As of 2010, China has been the world's second largest luxury market, after Japan. In 2014, according to analysts, we can expect an emphasis on the need of self-expression and individualism among Chinese luxury consumers, as means of differentiating from peers. This is certainly a good sign for the overall luxury market and for the specific luxury homes sector.

With the opening in Beijing, the Sotheby's International Realty brand will have 27 offices throughout Asia in Australia, Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Cote d'Azur Sotheby's International Realty is proudly part of a world renowned network that has approximately 680 offices in 49 countries.
February 24, 20145 Beautiful Belle Epoque properties in the French Riviera5 Beautiful Belle Epoque properties in the French Riviera
Luxury and fantasy, this is how one might briefly describe the Belle Epoque style and its beautiful villas with generous living spaces, exotic gardens, poetic terraces with marvellous views. At the turn of the century, the European high class were redescovering the joys of living, and their enthusiasm and sense of liberty infused both the arts and the architectural styles of the time.

The Belle Epoque is the epitome of an age when the French Riviera was becoming known to the whole of the European aristocracy as one of the most glamorous sea resorts on the continent. Belle Epoque villas, mansions and palaces are still to be found in the exclusive areas of the Cote d'Azur, such as Beaulieu, Cap d'Antibes or Cap Ferrat, preserving a most distingueshed feel of antique and genuine beauty.

The Belle Epoque style presents strong oriental, as well as Italian Renaissance and Neoclassical influences, and is characterised by adorned facades, beautiful arrangements, fantesist mouldings, colourful gardens with hidden statues and fountains.

Destined for clients with a taste for historical charm, the selection of Belle Epoque villas for sale we present  illustrate the unique character of this style.

1. Overlooking the city and the bay, this beautiful villa in the heights of Cannes features luxurious finishings and décor.

2. A mansion in Villefranche sur Mer, surrounded by a beautiful garden and offering an absolutely magnificent view over the bay and the peninsula of Cap Ferrat.

3. Situated in a splendid castle facing the Mediterranean, this Belle Epoque apartment offers a generous living space and superb views.

4. A villa located very close to Monaco and built at the beginning of the XXth Century, offering a fine view over the Casino de Monte Carlo.

5. Extensively restored by famous designers, this property in the West side of Cap d'Antibes uniquely and elegantly combines the Belle Epoque style and state-of-the-art amenities.


Should you wish to consult our full offer of exclusive real estate in the French Riviera, please click here.
February 14, 2014The artistic side of Cannes and MouginsThe artistic side of Cannes and Mougins
There is no doubt Cannes owes its international fame to the Film Festival it hosts every year. Founded in 1946, this festival is probably the most celebrated in the world.

In its early days, it brought on the red carpet iconic stars whose names now recall the retro glamour of the Riviera: Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve and many more. Today, the stars striking a pose on Cannes' red carpet usually own a property somewhere on the Cote d'Azur, in Cannes, Cap Ferrat, Cap d'Antibes.
 
Cinema is yet a very young art. And Cannes is a place with strong ties to other, older artistic branches.
 
Now one of the most prestigious destinations on the Riviera, Cannes was “invented” as a touristic resort in the 19th Century, by the British aristocracy seeking refuge from the gloomy winters on the island. Some parts of the town beautifully preserve the perfume of that era. Apart from being splendid architectural accomplishments, villas such as Eléonore Louise or Domergue are also silent narrators of Cannes’ histories.
 
In 1955, Pablo Picasso moved to Cannes and bought Villa California, a residence with infinite views over the sea that would fill him with energy and inspiration. Picasso worked on many of his masterpieces here: among them, the series dedicated to Velazquez' “Las Meninas”.
 
Art collectors can't be disappointed: there are numerous art galleries in Cannes, exhibiting and selling local and international, classic and contemporary works. Hurtebize Gallery, for example, initially specialising in XVIth and XVIIth Century Flemish and Dutch masters, now shows postimpressionim, modern and contemporary art.
 
But Cannes and its surroundings mean a lot to other important artistic branches as well. Situated eight kilometers North from Cannes, Mougins, the idyllic village with its unmistakeable Medieval feel, has been, over the decades, home to many art world celebrities, such as Paul Éluard, Man Ray, Edith Piaf, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. Also known for its numerous gourmet restaurants, Mougins is a “compulsory” destination for travelers in love with beauty.
 
When you decide to come to the Riviera and discover its artistic treasures, consult our list of luxury villa rentals in Cannes and Mougins. You will have the opportunity to choose among prestigious residences and contemporary architect designed villas, elegantly decorated to meet our most discriminating clients' aesthetic standards.
 
February 6, 2014Valentine's Day on the French RivieraThings to do for Saint Valentine's Day on the French Riviera
Probably one of the most glamorous and romantic places in Europe, the French Riviera is awaiting its guests for Valentine's weekend. The splendid marine landscapes, with immaculate yachts dancing on the surface of the sea, the wonderful, balmy weather, the impossibly delicious restaurants and the multitude of colourful events: these are just some of the reasons why stylish couples should opt for the Cote d'Azur to celebrate their love.

If you plan on coming to the Riviera for Valentine's, but haven't yet decided on your schedule, here is our selection of events and things to do that promise to enchant your senses and create special moments to be cherished together with your significant other.

Perfectly suiting a romantic weekend break, a day boat rental will also give you the chance to experience the beautiful harbours on the French Coast and their surroundings. You can choose to depart early in the morning, from the port of Cannes, cruise around the bay, and then head to the Lerins Islands for lunch and a stroll. For ideas and itineraries, please visit http://www.boatbookings.com.

As there are quite a few Michelin starred restaurants on the French Riviera, choosing one for the special Valentine's dinner will not be an easy task. Will it be Le Mirazur in Menton, the restaurant standing at the foot of one of the oldest avocado trees in France and overlooking the Mediterranean? Or Alan Ducasse's Le Louis XV in Monaco for an exceptional, seasonal symphony of aromas? Or Le Chantecler at the Negresco, for a menu created in the spirit of tradition and inspired by Provencal cuisine?

For a chic and vintage Sunday out, visit the racecourse at Cagnes-Sur-Mer Did you know it was the second biggest French hippodrome in terms of meetings? If you and your loved one share a passion for races, you could spend a fun and exciting day here.

And don't forget: every time you plan on having a French Riviera break, consult our offer of holiday rentals. There is nothing like a comfortable and artfully decorated temporary home, to warm up the atmosphere and make your stay unforgettable.
Photo credits: www.3mille.com
January 21, 2014A Day at the Races on the French RivieraA Day at the Races on the French Riviera
If you plan on spending a short vacation on the Riviera at this time of the year, be sure not to miss one of the most fun and exciting places on the coast, the Racecourse at Cagnes sur Mer, the second biggest French hippodrome in terms of meetings.

The Hippodrome offers great entertainment opportunities for your entire family: the restaurants and bars have panoramic views over the course, allowing visitors to enjoy their meal while watching the race. A tour of the stables and getting a closer look at the horses before the race will make the delight of children.

Cote d'Azur Horseracing Society (SCCA) meets twice a year, in winter and in summer. The international winter meeting takes place from December to mid-March and includes the three main disciplines: jumping, flat and trot.

Every year, the Racecourse at Cagnes sur Mer hosts more than 80 events: choosing your favourite and watching the race together with friends and family will surely add up to a well spent holiday.

When you plan your trip to the Cote d'Azur, consult our offer of real estate for rent on the French Riviera and don't hesitate to contact us for more information on the property of your choice.

Image source: http://www.hippodrome-cotedazur.fr/fr/