Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust

Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance
by Laurent Maugoust

Laurent Maugoust has been particularly fond of the South of France since he was a child. So, when the owner of one of his previous projects called him back to take care of the metamorphosis of the Roosevelt Hotel in Nice, the interior designer was quick to respond. Without losing sight of his main objective – a move upmarket to better fit in with the new life of the district – this enthusiast for classic (and classified) buildings set about delivering his “new take” on the building. That of revitalising a venue that had fallen into disuse yet enjoys an ideal city location and is the very symbol of the French Riviera that he loves so much. To achieve this, Laurent Maugoust let his heart speak. His love for the unique light of the Bay of Angels gave him “a chromatic range of beiges, blacks and whites with striking colour counterpoints.” A strong framework with bold contrasts, enhanced in its details by the use of intense and precious materials. To add warmth to this background, powerfully evocative of the lifestyle in Nice in the 1920s and 1930s, the designer and his team then added furniture and decorative accessories with a timeless appeal, sharp, but with the subdued look of the final finishes. The new Roosevelt is here. Proud, as it always has been, of being part of the heritage of this city, which has contributed more than ever in recent years to the fame of the Côte d’Azur.

Hotel Le Roosevelt, 16 Rue du Maréchal Joffre – 06000 Nice. From €100 for 2 people. Reservations: on the hotel’s website and by phone at +33 (4)93 879471.

Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust
Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust

Laurent, can you introduce yourself, please?

Laurent

I’m an interior designer, decorator and architect. I graduated from the Camondo school and started out by working with Christian de Portzamparc in the interior design department for a little over a year on competition projects. I liked the relationship with the architect and his artistic side. Then I joined Jean-Philippe Nuel as an interior designer and architect. We worked together for about ten years, during which time I was artistic director and then agency manager. It was working alongside him that I began to specialise in the renovation and decoration of top-of-the-range hotels. In 2003, I founded my agency. Since then, projects have followed one after the other!

After trying your hand at architecture, artistic direction and the position of agency head, you eventually specialised in top-of-the-range hotel decoration. Can you explain this choice to us?

Laurent

At first, I mainly carried out residential projects. Then I undertook my first hotel projects in my own name, as well as high-end restaurants and a few private clubs. I’ve always been interested in projects of this type, and I’m drawn towards places that are distinctive in terms of style or history.

Which project really launched your career as an interior designer?

Laurent

My first major project was the restaurant La Compagnie des Comptoirs by the Pourcel brothers in a former convent in Avignon. It involved the entire layout, as well as the interior design and the design of the furniture.

How about the project you dream of in secret?

Laurent

I dream of restoring a luxury hotel such as the Eden-Roc at Cap d’Antibes, which I particularly like, or the Negresco in Nice precisely because of its architecture, its uniqueness, its eclecticism and its classic yet timeless side. I would have loved to have participated in the rebirth of the Crillon, but I think it was an outstanding success.

Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust
Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust
Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust
Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Fauteuil Cavallo Nice Laurent Maugoust
Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust

Is there a Laurent Maugoust “style”?

Laurent

I don’t know if there’s a Laurent Maugoust style (laughs), but when I was a student, I was already fond of proposing a fresh look at classic styles, and bringing a degree of radicalism to bear on them. The people who work with me do say they recognise a “signature” in my interior design projects or in the furniture I design. I like to break with tradition when I work. I’m often inspired by the French style (Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte), Haussmannian architecture or Art Nouveau, and Art Deco too. I like classical and listed buildings. Not being an architect by training but an interior designer, I like to create a relationship between the building and the decor I design. I also enjoy the world of film. That’s what I wanted to do initially! Setting the scene is essential for my inspiration. The Cheetah, Et Vogue le Navire and 2001, the Space Odyssey (to name but a few) are creative sources for me. In the context of a hotel renovation, my approach is usually to magnify the existing classical elements by combining them with a contemporary touch, but it’s important to me to preserve the balance. I also like to combine different materials (concrete, woodwork, parquet and wood flooring, marble, and so on).The longer I go on, the more I have the opportunity to collaborate with exceptional craftsmen and to use noble materials, which, when worked in their purest form, always produce sublime results.

Tell us about the Roosevelt Hotel. What part did you play in its metamorphosis?

Laurent

It used to be a three-star hotel. The new owner wanted to move upmarket and fit in as well as possible with the new life of the district, which was undergoing a metamorphosis with the arrival of luxury brands and restaurants. The inspiration came from the lifestyle in Nice in the 1920s and 1930s. As the building is not of that period, I tried to translate the atmosphere of the French Riviera and to revisit it in a contemporary way.

What elements did you use on your mood board to illustrate this?

Laurent

The chromatic range of beiges, blacks and whites is very strong with striking colour counterpoints. The first thing to do was to take advantage of the magnificent light in this city. Then, I teamed up patterns and materials (white marbles, black marbles), and the precious side comes in through the subtle use of the mirror, and the dense colours of gemstones, especially emerald. I incorporated stripes, cane, brass and copper, as well as fabrics (velvet and silk) to this base to create an atmosphere that is at once contemporary, muted and a little bit old fashioned. I wanted it to have a story, to feel lived-in.

Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Fauteuil Cavallo Nice Laurent Maugoust
Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust

I incorporated stripes, cane, brass and copper, as well as fabrics (velvet and silk) to this base to create an atmosphere that is at once contemporary, muted and a little bit old fashioned.

Bar Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Chambre Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust
Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust

We’ve noticed the Cavallo armchair from The Socialite Family is used in the guest rooms and the restaurant area. Why did you choose to use our cane design in particular? Personally, which room do you prefer it in?

Laurent

The Cavallo armchair has a minimalist, pure and timeless aesthetic. The caning is typical of twisted straw “Croisette chic”. I prefer it in the bedrooms because the simple black structure combined with the light cane reminds me of my decorative intentions. Its velvet seat cushion acts as a counterpoint to the colourful touch we used on the ceilings of the rooms.

This is your first project in Nice. What did you find out about this city through the Roosevelt?

Laurent

It’s actually not my first project in Nice, I had already worked with Jean-Philippe Nuel on the renovation of the Hotel Suisse at the end of the Croisette. At that time, we were already looking for a “resort” and in relation to the city, the colour of the façades, and the Italian influence you find everywhere in the south of France. I had also already completed a project in Villeneuve-Loubet for the owner of the Roosevelt. The inspiration here was the Palm Springs of the 1960s, modernity and the archetypes of the 1950s. And since I was very young, I’ve spent many summers in the South. I enjoy this area. That’s where I developed my taste for the French Riviera, its somewhat outdated lifestyle and the luxury hotels that can be found between Cannes, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Monaco and Menton.

Apart from staying this hotel, what addresses would you recommend to guests to complete the experience of a trip “out of time”?

Laurent

Obviously the Negresco, the Eden-Roc, the Chèvre d’Or (a project I also worked on) and its amazing terrace with its view over the bay. There are a thousand things to do in Nice, but the first thing to do is to wander around. Stroll along to the markets in Cours Saleya in Vieux-Nice, and hunt out some antiques. I love Cap d’Antibes and especially Barry Dierks’ villa Aujourd’hui, a modernist building on the picturesque Port of l’Olivette. And I never tire of seeing Le Concert, a painting by Nicolas de Staël, that hangs in the Picasso museum. As for flavours, I have a highly confidential address for incredible Roman-style pizzas: Pizza&Co in the old town of Antibes!

Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust
Hotel Le Roosevelt, a Renaissance <br>by Laurent Maugoust
Chambre Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Chambre Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust

The Cavallo armchair has a minimalist, pure and timeless aesthetic. The caning is typical of twisted straw "Croisette chic".

Fauteuil Cavallo Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Chambre Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Chambre Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust
Chambre Hôtel Roosevelt Nice Laurent Maugoust

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