When and how did you come up with the idea of Lily of the Valley?
Philippe Starck: "Through a meeting, like all of my projects. I’m not interested in projects in themselves; but rather in selling people dreams, love, tenderness, poetry, and true happiness… I met Alain Weill and his daughter Lucie and, they are wonderful people. Alain Weill is incredibly intelligent and powerful, but also extremely kind. I instantly knew that we would make a great team in creating this project together.”
What was your inspiration?
"I designed this place in just a few hours, without overthinking or discussing it with anyone, and without any memory of the place. When I arrived at the hotel to complete the finishing touches, I realized that the place I had created was somewhere that I had already dreamt up in my mind. It is largely inspired by paintings from the 1920s and 1930s, pertaining to a neoclassical, Mediterranean ambience, as homage to the Romanesque period. I have always been a fan of well-constructed classical architecture, with the charm of cascading wisteria and gazebos that have light curtains, perhaps… I’ve wanted to visit this place in my dreams and this is exactly what I did at Lily of the Valley".
This is your first hotel on the French Riviera, has it impacted your creative process? How would you describe the area?
"This neo-Romanesque architecture that I previously mentioned is the very essence of the Mediterranean. It is a magical corner of the world and I am beyond happy that my unconscious has allowed me to create this deeply rooted yet highly modern hotel. We are not located in the touristy, luxurious part of the French Riviera; we are simply enjoying the natural beauty and joie de vivre of life on the Mediterranean coast."
What is the atmosphere like at Lily of the Valley?
"The village I have dreamed up is vernacular and organic. Everything functions in such harmony that it would seem as though it has always been there. It is a place that welcomes you at any time in your life, in any season. During summer, the terrace and swimming pool are just perfect spots for relaxing, and in winter, you can enjoy the comforting fireplaces, dotted around the hotel. Parents can do their work, while children can play cards or draw, it’s just heavenly."
What are the hotel’s colors and materials?
"The colors I used are all neutral, such as fawn and beige, and I used all raw materials, mostly wood for the floors, walls and furniture."
What would be its soundtrack?
"La Madrague by Brigitte Bardot for sure."
Which is your favorite room on site?
"Room number 27, the Jasmine and Philippe room which was kindly given to us by Alain, however it is not yet complete… for example it is still missing our music."
Three spots to recommend for travelers who come to stay?
"I’m not so familiar with the French Riviera, but I do know that we are only 15-20 minutes away from Saint Tropez. The other day, I went to the beach in Pamplona by scooter and had lunch at La Réserve à la Plage, a wonderful little spot. I then came back to Lily of the Valley for a nap and a drink."