News: Is St-Jean Cap-Ferrat going to have another luxury hotel?

Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, has apparently paid €200 million for Villa des Cèdres, Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, France.  He bought it via his System Capital Management, SCM. The villa, built in the 1800s, is set in 35 acres of world-class botanical gardens. The seller, via Savills (who were marketing it all for $350 million) is the Marnier-Lapostolle family, whose products include Campari and Grand Marnier.

Rinat Akhmetov now adds a 14-bedroom villa to his property portfolio, which includes the prize apartment in London’s One Knightsbridge, next to Mandarin Oriental London Hyde Park.  Akhmetov is no stranger to the hotel world.

Back in 2006 he was apparently thinking of building Rixos hotels in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa. Today, in Donetsk, his home town, he owns the Donbass Palace and Park Inn by Radisson hotels. In Kiev, he owns the characterful 140-key Opera Boutique Hotel, part of Leading Hotels of the World. Some of the rooms are uniquely themed – #307, at 65 sq metres, is justly called The Egyptian Suite. The hotel, which has an Anne Semonin spa, is Kiev home for Football Club Shakhtar Donetsk, which Akhmetov owns (in 2014, because of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the club was forced to move to the west of Ukraine)

Now the big question: will Rinat Akhmetov turn Villa des Cèdres into a 14-bedroom hotel, or will he keep it as a family home for his wife and two children? Villa des Cèdres,  is, by the way, six minutes by car from the 74-room Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel (GM François-Regis Simon), which was bought by Russia-born Len Blavatnik, via Access Industries, in 2006, for €215 million.

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