Cap D'Antibes Classic Meeting Spot Introduces a New Place to Gather

Cap D'Antibes Classic Meeting Spot Introduces a New Place to Gather

Since 1931, the Hotel Juana has been a gathering spot for writers, artists, musicians, and all manner of lovers of life. Now those free spirits have a dedicated place to while away the hours: PASEO, a bar/restaurant/hangout that takes its name, and its vibe, from the Spanish word for a leisurely stroll. With a vibrant garden patio and an arresting interior that brings the spirit of Juan-les-Pins’ famed park, La Pinèdé, indoors, PASEO is all things to all visitors.

The concept of the convivial space stemmed from the owner’s own love of seeking out community-friendly hospitality concepts when he travels. The 41-year-old, Antoine Chauvin-Estène says, “Hotels today need cool public spaces, even at a five-star level; a great bar, various F&B, nothing boring. When developing PASEO, I knew that we wanted guests—both in-house and from the outside—to spend a lot of time, and we also wanted to create an epicenter for the community here. With (designers) Samantha and Arnaud, I knew that they understood this, and they’ve created PASEO to treat you, your soul and your emotions, well. Hospitality also needs to be more careful, and sustainable. Five-star doesn’t always need to be an over-indulgence.” That is also exemplified in the service, he says, which will not be non-intrusive to the guest, but rather treat people like they can come for a coffee and stay all day.

Hotel Juana restaurant

Meet at PASEO to have lunch, then bang away at your keyboard, working—but not too hard—until happy hour rolls around. Then there’s dinner, perhaps even dancing if the spirit moves you. On Sundays, come for brunch. Any day, show up for “sweet time,” that vital moment when all sane people enjoy a pastry (created by Steve Moracchini, the chef pâtissier at Michelin-starred La Passagère) and a glass of Champagne. (You don’t have “sweet time” in your schedule? Run, don’t leisurely stroll, to Hotel Juana—you need PASEO.)

The day-to-night menu created by Moracchini—from poke bowls to pissaladière, Lillet Spritz cocktails to various flavors of tiramisurprise—isn’t the only masterpiece at PASEO. Just look up at the ceiling. Interior designers—and South of France natives—Arnaud Larguier and Samantha Messens of Atelier Larguier collaborated with textile designer Britt Erlansen to create a botanical, floral, and animal-filled pattern inspired by La Pinèdé. Then local artist Gaspard Nibelle spent two and a half months hand-painting it on the ceiling Michelangelo-at-the-Sistine-Chapel-style, lying on his back on a raised platform.

The mural is divine. But bold colors, arresting patterns, and innovative materials are everywhere you look in—and outside of—PASEO, from the chicly clashing fabric upholstery to the resin epoxy outdoor bar to the ceramic barbotine French vintage dishware, which brings a hint of the past into this forward-looking setting. And there is substance and sustainability behind all this style. Following Atelier Larguier’s philosophy that, as Messens says, “It’s a pity to order online mainstream furniture made on the other side of the world to decorate a restaurant here,” the designers upcycled Hotel Juana’s existing, locally-made furnishings, saving them from landfills and transforming them into gorgeous new conversation pieces.

“The previous furniture was our playground,” says Messens. “Literally everything can be re-used and refitted when you dig into your imagination and are willing to get on with the work!” To that end, they recovered chairs and sofas using bolts of vintage fabric, and cut existing square hardwood tables into rounds with undulating edges. For the outdoor patio, they made tabletops and lamps out of colorful recycled plastic. Between what Messens calls the “badass” ceiling mural and the chic-and-sustainable décor, PASEO has become, as she says, “a fun, fresh, floral place that is one-of-a-kind in Juan-les-Pins and the South of France.”