residences for sale - var - in saint-raphaël on the french riviera

A large, 19th century, holiday residence by the sea
in Saint-Raphaël on the French Riviera

Saint-Raphaël, VAR provence-cote-dazur 83700 FR
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur


The town, set between Cannes and Saint-Tropez, is bathed by the Mediterranean Sea. This residence stands in a quiet, residential district, on a hill dominating the seaside resort. The main building adjoins the train station and the railway line, a much sought-after site at the time of its construction, in 1884. The port, the town centre and the beaches are nearby. Saint-Raphaël can be reached via a slip road off of the A8 motorway. The town centre and the TGV train station are 50 m from the residence, whilst the marina and the beaches are 300 m away. Sea shuttles provide links to Saint-Tropez and Sainte-Maxime. The casino and numerous restaurants along the seafront can be reached on foot from the property. Valescure international golf course is 4 km away. Nice international airport is 45 minutes away.


In the late 19th century, Saint-Raphaël was but a Provencal village with a mild climate that lived predominantly from fishing and farming. The arrival of the railroad in 1860, aiding travel and commerce, was to change everything.
In 1878, Félix-Martin, a civil engineer and director of the Railroad Company for the South of France, became mayor of the town. He was to start developing tourism in Saint-Raphaël by transforming the village into an elegant seaside resort. An old friend of architect Pierre-Eblé, he entrusted him with his great town planning project, to attract the upper middle-classes and European aristocracy. In 1884 (source “Inventaire PACA” - PACA inventory), Félix-Martin had a middle-class villa built for himself in an Anglo-Norman style. He drew up the plans and his architect friend Pierre-Aublé oversaw the construction. The house was dubbed “Villa des Cistes” (rockrose villa). On the death of Félix-Martin, the “Villa des Cistes” was sold by his heirs in 1908 to Léon-Schuster, and then to the Paquet family. In 1923, it was acquired by the Pacquemann family who turned it into the “Grand Hôtel du Parc”, a hotel for travellers. Extensions were added under the supervision of architect Santamaria, who introduced the building to a more Palladian style. In 1942, the “Hôtel du Parc” became the command post for the German Wehrmacht. In 1949, the French army used it, in turn, to accommodate officers bound for war in Indochina. In 1956, the Pacquemann family sold the “Hôtel du Parc” to the Strasbourg association for local education. The property became a holiday residence for workers and their families. The hotel housed victims of the Malpasset Dam break in 1959. Due to a lack of funds, the association let the property fall into disuse for several years. It was in 1962 that Solange-Viviane-Costeur, widow of Colonel-Costeur, made a donation to the Society of the members of the French Legion of Honour to enable it to purchase the property. Major restoration works were then undertaken so as to be able to accommodate residents, members of the French Legion of Honour and their families.

The main building

The overall architecture of the building reflects a neo-Palladian style. The facade, on the west side, consists of the old “Villa des Cistes”, now with a recent extension. The buildings span two levels. One section of the roofs features long slopes covered with interlocking tiles. Dusky pink rendering enhances the projections. White bas-reliefs are decorated with motifs of crowns as well as garlands of flowers and fruits. The central bay has large medallions with bows. Modern blinds have replaced the original slatted shutters on the inward-opening windows. Moulding and an ova cornice delimit the floors. On the ground floor of the facade, recesses house statues of Venus. A bow window is protected by wrought iron bars. A scroll, on the old section of the buildings, supports a garland bearing the motto “Suscipere et Finire” (undertake and accomplish). It is topped with a highly colourful ceramic frieze. Parklands, in front of the building, are planted with numerous rare Mediterranean species and outstanding trees.

Ground floor
An entrance hall and an office communicate with the lounges and restaurant rooms. The imitation coffered ceiling in the library dates from the original construction. A large monumental fireplace, with Tuscan order columns and a hearth decorated with ceramic tiles, adjoins tall showcases filled with books. A second vast hall, like an atrium, features two red marble columns with ionic order capitals, recently repainted a pastel yellow. The grey and red marble floor includes a few steps to a central dogleg stairway. The openwork railings reflect an Art Nouveau style with a brass handrail. The stairway is enhanced by a light well with a wrought iron framework. Other rooms are used as restaurants with professional kitchens. Terraces provide access to a garden.
First floor
Reached via the central stairway or via a lift, this floor comprises ten bedrooms.
Second floor
The second floor has 15 bedrooms, some of which have a sea view, others look out over the town and the Esterel mountain range.
This level notably comprises a workshop, a wine cellar, cloakrooms, two workshops and a cold room.
The parklands
Parklands in front of the main building feature an ornamental pool with its fountain and its two rocaille-style benches. Next to it, a composite column comes from the old Tuileries Garden in Paris. It has been here since the 19th century. Numerous majestic trees, such as a Lebanon cedar or a Japanese sago plant, are over a hundred years old.

The Old Mill building

This 19th century building still has its unusual architecture comprising a central tower and a circular terrace on the roof. The facade is covered with light-coloured rendering and features openings with turquoise blue slatted shutters. A wrought iron atrium on the ground floor has been quite well preserved. This building, spanning approx. 323 m², comprises seven flats, a library and a dining room. It is connected to another, more recent building that also houses bedrooms.

The traditional Bastide building

This extension adjoins the Old Mill. It is a more recent construction that was added around 1975. Spanning a floor surface area of approx. 595 m², it comprises an entrance hall providing access to a dining room, an exercise room and a staff flat. A lift goes up to the bedrooms.

The “Villa Azur” building

The “Villa Azur”, standing at the entrance to the second section of the property, was rehabilitated from an old Bastide house at the beginning of the 20th century. All that remains as a reminder are the overhanging eaves of the roofing framework. The facade is white, with numerous French windows on the ground floor and upstairs. This building, spanning a floor surface area of approx. 273 m², comprises 10 bedrooms. The basement houses cellars and a boiler room.

Our opinion

The construction works that followed the arrival of the railroad, in the 19th century, were the most touching on the French Riviera. Obviously, the proximity of the TGV station, the town centre, the port and the beaches are ever important. But it is its materials, its decors, its features and its parklands that make the old “Villa des Cistes” subtly entrancing. The tower of the Old Mill, a few hundred metres away, with its architecture inspired by lighthouses, has a similar effect. The property’s two other buildings are both in need of works. They widen even more the range of projects suited to a building of this size and such elegance.

9 000 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Barème d'honoraires
au 1er Avril 2017

Ventes d'immeubles

À Paris et en Ile-de-France
Prix de vente au-delà de 600 000 euros       5% TTC*
Prix de vente de 400 000 à 600 000 euros   6% TTC*
Prix de vente de 200 000 À 400 000 euros   7% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 200 000 euros             9% TTC*
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

En Province
Prix de vente au-delà de 500 000 euros       6% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 500 000 euros   30 000 Euros TTC* (forfait)
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur


Avis de valeur argumenté : 1 800 Euros TTC*
Expertise à partir de 2 400 Euros TTC*
Les tarifs des expertises sont communiqués sur devis personnalisé établi sur la base d’un taux horaire moyen de 120 Euros TTC*


*TTC : TVA incluse au taux de 20 %

Reference 861878

Land registry surface area 6323 m2
Main building surface area 1732.6 m2
Outbuilding surface area 1191 m2


 French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Christèle Catalifaud       +33 1 42 84 80 85


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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.



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