Once upon a now

We explore a well-measured Montpellier hotel that is a successful marriage of the present and the bygone.

In a pretty part of France, established on an urban island in Montpellier, a medieval house was transformed into a mansion in the 17th century. Today, this historical site is home to Hotel Richer de Belleval. The hotel, located on a charming square, consists of twenty bedrooms, with a bar and restaurant, conservatory, terrace… plus a collection of contemporary art at its heart.

This is a space where history and modernity converge, with an unexpected sense of elegance and charm. Antique busts, frescos and vaulted ceilings happily cohabit with contemporary art (featuring work by Jan Fabre, Marlène Mocquet, Jim Dine, Abdelkader Benchamma and Olympe Racana-Weiler) and modern furniture (with pieces by Wiener GTV Design and Kettal being most notable). The gastronomic offering – courtesy of chefs Jacques and Laurent Pourcel – is also au courant.

The hotel is the considered work of architect Philippe Prost and designer Christian Collot and is a design triumph. We take you on a visual journey of the hotel here, but suggest – the minute you’re able – to get to Montpellier to experience it for yourself.


Words and production: J-P de la Chaumette
Photography: Jérôme Mondière, Fangchun XU and Alexia Roux