Villa Les Cèdres, located at a prime location on the coast of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a 14-bedroom villa built in 1830. The property was bought in 1850 by Desire Pollonais, mayor of Villefranche-sur-Mer, when it was operated as an olive tree farm.
The mayor’s descendants sold the villa in 1904 to the Belgian King Leopold II, who expanded the beautiful gardens that until this day surround the property.
15 years after King Leopold’s death, in 1924, Villa Les Cèdres was acquired by the Marnier-Lapostolle family (known for producing Grand Manrier liqueur). The family cultivated all of the exotic plants that filled the grounds of the palatial estate for over 80 years. It was in the orchards near the Villa that the Marnier-Lapostolle family harvested the bitter oranges, which was used to flavour Grand Marnier.
The majestic villa comes with 14 bedrooms, a library holding 3000 books, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a bronze statue of the goddess Athena, a stable enough for 30 horses and much more.
Today the botanical garden contains more than 14,000 species of tropical plants, and it is said to be one of the largest collections in Europe.
The property remained in the family until 2016, when Campari acquired Grand Marnier’s parent company, Société des Produits Marnier Lapostolle. Campari put the Villa on the market immediately after.
Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov bought Villa Les Cèdres for $221 million in 2019.