In case you haven’t discovered, the 1920s are here around again. The young women in Downton Abbey are sporting drop waists and beads. Boardwalk Empire‘s set designers are quietly stocking up in art deco antiques shops. And yet another significant one, The Great Gatsby hit theatres May 10, 2013.
Leonard DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Carrie Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan in director Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
For many the ’20s were a period of liberation and optimism — the arrival of jazz, the radio and the flapper. The curvy lines of art nouveau unfurled slightly to deliver a new fashion, art deco (and finally straightened to attract midcentury modern). After seeing The Great Gatsby, if you experience an urge to get close together with the design or drink a French 75, slide into the Roaring Twenties at one of those hotels.
Downton Deco Hideaway: Burgh Island
Check-in time in this vision-in-white art deco resort in Devon, England, is dictated by the tides. You’ll want to wait for optimal conditions to stroll across; during higher tides you will ferry across to a sea tractor like Lord Mountbatten, Noel Coward, Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII did. Burgh Island includes 25 rooms with original furnishings.
Burgh Island might only have the trendiest chairs on Earth. The seats in the Peacock Bar (next photo) are by Lloyd Loom.
Things to learn about Burgh Island:
Where: Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon, England
Architect: No specific name is known, simply that the building was done by proprietor and industrialist Archibald Nettlefold’s engineering company.
Interesting fact: Two of Agatha Christie’s novels were motivated from Burgh Island, along with the novelist spent time there.
Deco diversion: The 26-acre island includes a “mermaid bathing pool,” built in the sea and fastened using a sluice gate. For a proper drink in deco digs, off you go to the Peacock Bar (shown here) using its mesmerizing stained glass dome.
Art Deco Bed-and Breakfast: Le Macassar
At the center of where World War I’s Battle of Somme happened is the small town of Corbie. Inside it is the extraordinary Le Macassar, a six-room B and B that’s a digital art deco museum. As British proprietor and art deco collector Ian Nelmes says, “This portion of the planet has some remarkable deco architecture awarded the total amount of rebuilding that went after the end of their first world war.” This house particularly, possessed by the same family till the 1970s, has remained in remarkably good form.
Only a year after the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris (widely known as the beginning point of the art deco movement), the couple who owned the house commissioned artisans to reestablish it at the new aesthetic. Shown is the Moroccan Alcove in Le Macassar.
The house contains bits by a who’s who in the period, such as art nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle, glassmakers Lalique and Daum, and Iznick tile master David Ohannessian, as well as artists Émile Aubry, Jean Dupas and Othon Friesz.
Things to learn about Le Macassar:
Where: Corbie, France (an hour and a half from Paris)
Remodeled: 1926; the buildings themselves are centuries old
Interesting fact: Exotic substances are visible throughout, such as birdseye maple, ash and Macassar Indonesian timber, as well as intricately carved wood like this of the billiards table (detail shown).
Deco diversion: The nearby towns of Amiens, Albert, Saint-Quentin and Lille offer art deco tours and have many antiques shops.
Two Deco-dant Escapes at France
The South of France was one of the hot spots the Lost Generation visited to purify their disillusionment, soaking in the sun and gin. And Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald tore it up along the coast, from Cannes to Cap d’Antibes — in the 118-room Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc Particularly. It’s like F. Scott’s fictitious old-money East Egg with French flair.
Things to learn about Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc:
Where: Cap D’Antibes, Côte d’Azur, France
Built for: Auguste p Villemessant, creator of Le Figaro newspaper
Interesting facts: The pool, carved from basalt, was there since 1914. It is stated that Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc was the version for Gausse’s Hotel in Tender Is the Night.
Deco diversion: See the accumulated (but slight) functions of Picasso in the Musée Picasso, where he lived in the 1940s. Tourism info here.
More information on Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc
The Promenade de la Croisette (Boulevard from the Sea) and the imposing Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez was a playground to the Lost Generation. Today the resort has 409 rooms.
The resort’s 400 sun bedrooms overlook the Bay of Cannes.
Things to learn about Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez:
Where: Cannes, Côte d’Azur, France
Architect: Charles Palermo
Interesting fact: When an Italian hotelier bought the property and existing villa, he proposed to build the largest art deco palace around the French Riviera.
Deco diversion: Neighborhood Boulevard Carnot is a time warp focusing on art deco and the Belle Époque.
Two West and East Egg Getaways, Long Island, New York
Flashback. This photo shows the “cottages” F. Scott Fitzgerald could have observed being constructed across him in Long Island. Of course he devised The Great Gatsby. In his novel Long Island was split into West and East Egg. Today a couple of those uberhomes take overnighters. Let us unveil those splendors for us all to pant over.
Does this photo look familiar? It is exactly the same “cottage” shown above, just flash forward to today, with a number of the Frederick Law Olmsted–made landscape filling in nicely. Its name, Oheka, is a mash-up of the owner’s name, Otto Herman Kahn; Kahn’s picture was made famous in the kind of Mr. Monopoly. Oheka Castle currently has 32 guest rooms, such as the Gatsby, Carnegie and Olmsted suites, and present owners Gary and Pamela Melius live on the property and greet overnighters.
“Mr. Monopoly” made the estate so that he could entertain distinguished guests like Charlie Chaplin and Enrico Caruso. The timber in this room is faux bois, which reproduces the expression of grain. The well-known small business oligarch had a fear of fire.
Things to learn about Oheka Castle:
Where: Huntington, Long Island, New York
Architects: Delano & Aldrich
Fun facts: Here is the second-largest private home in America, in 109,000 square feet, together with 127 rooms on 443 acres (just The Biltmore in North Carolina is larger). The grand staircase, motivated by the Chateau Fontainebleau in France, includes a hand-wrought iron railing crafted by master metalworker Samuel Yellin.
Deco diversion: Of Long Island’s era of opulence, just a few houses remain. You can tour a few, like the Mill Neck Manor House, Old Westbury Gardens and Vanderbilt Museum.
When a former Georgian-style private house can be transformed into a 187-guest-room resort, we’re talking spacious. That is the reality of Glen Cove Mansion.
Things to learn about Glen Cove Mansion:
Where: Glen Cove, Long Island, New York
Architect: Charles Adams Platt
Interesting fact: Initially constructed for a Standard Oil executive and his congresswoman wife, the house made appearances in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.
Deco diversion: See Oheka Castle, over.
Big City Weekend: New York City
Components of the earlier Great Gatsby movie (1974), starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, were filmed at The Plaza Hotel in New York. It was also a hangout of the Fitzgeralds, and scenes in the publication The Great Gatsby take place there.
As a proper tribute, The Plaza has introduced its own Fitzgerald Suite (revealed). Conceptualized from the collection and production designer of the latest Gatsby movie, Catherine Martin, it’s photographs of F. Scott and Zelda, along with a library of books and movies about the writer. You may also spot the literary Tom Buchanan’s sporting trophies and other film props.
Things to learn about The Plaza:
Where: New York City
Architect: Henry Janeway Hardenbergh
Interesting facts: The Grand Ballroom (shown here) is true to the Gatsby period. It is, as architectural historian Francis Morrone says, what one in Gatsby’s own mansion could have seemed like.
Deco recreation: The resort offers tours with Morrone (using a minimal number of guests). Additionally, in the New York Public Library, you may see the art deco collection, including initial patterns, catalogs and other ephemera.
Big City Weekend: Los Angeles
During Los Angeles are fine examples of deco, not one more visually absorbing compared to West Hollywood’s Sunset Tower Hotel, with its glorious zigzag moderne outdoor.
Things to learn about Sunset Tower Hotel:
Where: Los Angeles
Architect: Leland A. Bryant
Interesting facts: The reception and Tower Bar, on the ground floor, have been once Bugsy Siegel’s apartment. Through the lobby are Jerusalem limestone tiles.
Deco diversion: The Los Angeles Conservancy leads art deco walking tours each Saturday at 10 a.m.
Art Deco on Wheels
I could not end this collection of art deco hotels without including one of the very famous moving landmarks: the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, which conducts distinct paths, such as one from Paris to Istanbul, which takes six days. Vintage carriages include tulip lights by Lalique as well as mahogany paneling inlaid with marquetry patterns.
The Lalique tulip lights at the dining room.
Things to learn about the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express:
Where: Many European cities
Its infancy: Made its inaugural run in fall 1883. Has since experienced carriage and route changes and extensive refurbishments.
Interesting fact: Sleeping car number 3544 functioned as a brothel at Limoges, France, during World War II.
Deco diversion: Beverage the line’s most popular cocktail, the Agatha Christie.