Villa Gardena is a rare triumph: a hidden sanctuary on the Cote d’Azur that’s eco-friendly, era-defining and rooted in the region’s colourful history. It’s the sole private property on the island of Sainte Marguerite and has been designed to kick all senses into action. Arrive by boat to this 13th-century, private walled estate and enter a haven of your own. You will be in good company.
Sainte Marguerite has long allured the world’s elite, with previous owners including Louis XIV and the 15th-century Dukes of Guise. Many believe the infamous Man in the Iron Mask, rumoured to be the brother of Louis XIV, was once held captive in the island’s fortress. Legend also has it that Napoleon once grazed his horses in the garden while cannonballs were prepared elsewhere on the island before being fired at passing ships.
There are 12 bedrooms across six separate buildings in the three-and-a-half-acre property: the Governor’s House, three cottages, a guest house, and the old fortress tower. Savour a moment in the sun beaten days while exploring the garden, wine cellar and library. It has all been thoughtfully created with sustainable materials including rock flooring, white and grey marble and neutral beige and teak wood floors. Its clean-lined architecture is synonymous with the South of France, but the property’s significance runs much deeper than that.