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Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Perched atop a hill in the seaside town of Cerbère, France sits the remains of an Art Deco dream. Designed to resemble a ship, Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert was built by architect Léon Baille between 1928 - 1932, and quickly became a luxurious spot for travelers to lodge.

With its proximity to the Spanish border and the railway, affluent travelers waiting to cross into Spain while their visas processed could spend time in grand accommodations. The hotel was equipped with a bar, theater, and a rooftop tennis court. Guests could partake in nightly entertainment and socialize with fellow travelers. The only downside to the lavish hotel was the shared bathrooms.

The golden era of the Hotel Belvédère came to an abrupt halt as the Spanish War broke out followed by the start of World War II. A town once filled with travelers became a desolate shell of what once was. No longer could eager vagabonds travel between European borders and the strife of war made little room for luxury.

Decades followed with a depleted tourism market and no one to maintain the hotel. The hotel officially shuttered its doors in 1983. Presently the same local family owns the hotel and has made efforts to refurbish the structure. While Hotel Belvédère no longer exists as a golden-era mainstay, one can rent out a room for a weekly rate. Daily tours are also given of the historical landmark for just 5 euros.

The ingenuity of Hotel Belvédère reflects a time of uninhibited creative spirit and splendor in travel. A visit to Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert is an opportunity to journey back in time.

x Natalie

Follow Natalie on Instagram: @natalieealdridge

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