“I fly, Jack. At the corner of the large glass railings, where the terrace juts out into the void like the bow of an ocean liner, the selfies follow one another. And some customers replay the scene. Between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. “It’s our Titanic corner,” laughs Sébastien Rey. The manager of the Ceto restaurant, on the top floor of the Maybourne Riviera hotel, knows he can count on an “incredible” view. At 350 m above sea level, the 14th floor of the establishment in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (Alpes-Maritimes) dominates everything. The French city below. Italy, left. Monaco, on the right side.
“We have a breathtaking panorama over three countries at the same time. It’s quite unique. On a clear day, in the morning, you can even see Corsica”, describes Bastien Rémillieux, the manager of the ephemeral bar, which has just opened for the whole season on the east gable of the five-star establishment. And the birds of paradise in bloom in the large jars placed on the terrace are not there by chance. We touch the sky. Seagulls, a few wingbeats away, and planes, in the distance, fly at eye level.
“Our terrace is very instagrammable”
Here, we come for cocktails (at 28 euros) and tapas, with music. We come for the dishes of matured fish from the starred restaurant of Mauro Colagreco. But we are (mainly?) there for the view (and “the views”). Since the inauguration in 2021, publications accompanied by the hashtags #MaybourneRiviera and #CetoBar have multiplied on social networks. “Our terrace is very Instagrammable”, confirms Sébastien Rey, always impressed by what there is to see.
His phobia of the void did not spare him at this height. “There are still places where I don’t venture too much,” he smiles, yellow. But it’s still much better than when it started. During one of my first meetings with the project managers, we had settled close to the edge. I had maddening vertigo. I had to control my emotions. But I was really clinging to my seat. ” He is not the only one. “Last summer, a couple came for dinner. The lady absolutely wanted to eat on the edge. Her husband could not, he says. He was seized with a panic attack. Literally “.
“A kind of vessel in hovering flight”
But most visitors are there for that. For that thrill. iPhone in hand, a man of about forty, come with his wife and friends, advances towards the edge. “Amazing,” he blurts out in a strong Slavic accent. Visitors to Ceto sometimes come from afar. “They are moving on purpose. For the experience. An often posh clientele, accustomed to the standards of palaces, but also many other people who are there to try. A third of which are local. »
Arnaud is domiciled in the Var, a neighbor of several tens of kilometers. He is not used to this kind of establishment. But “photos seen in a magazine [l’]had convinced. “What’s crazy is that you feel like you’re floating. To be in some sort of hovering ship. It doesn’t look like we’re resting on anything, ”he breathes, quickly stale after a few photos.
Secured with 3,000 retaining piles
Placed on a rocky outcrop, in place of the old Vista Palace which had been built there in the middle of the last century, the Maybourne Riviera required a titanic building site. “And spectacular. Technically, when you think about it, it’s crazy. Almost everything has been redone. The hotel had to be fixed to the wall, with 3,000 retaining piles to hold the structure in the mountain, explains Sébastien Rey. Among the rooms, all with sea view, some are troglodytes, carved into the rock. »
For the forty employees on the 14th floor, in the kitchen and in the service, working at this height posed some problems. At the very beginning. Manon Chaix, who manages the room, remembers. “Just before the opening, when the elevators weren’t yet in service, an entire restaurant had to be transported, from kitchen equipment to dishes, up the stairs. It did us good thighs at the time. »
End of the day. The cliffs cast their shadow everywhere, but not yet on the Ceto terrace. The sun is battered. On the side of Monaco, the boats, followed by a trail, are as if at a standstill. Cars and cranes look like toys. The prince’s palace seems very small. From here, we dominate everything.