‘Water and electricity not cut off’: this abandoned hotel in Sainte-Maxime has become a place for urbex

Headlight on the head, sneakers on the feet and a camera in hand, alias Morgan Morgan explore Whispers to its subscribers: Welcome to this crazy new exploration!

Behind it rise the ten floors of the deserted Amarante Golf Plaza, with its indoor and outdoor pool, spa, three bars, two restaurants, and 94 rooms. The perfect playground for the YouTube explorer and his companions.

Since it closed, 7 years ago, the four star hotel has been guarded and closed to visitors. “A friend tried in 2020 but a goalkeeper was making the rounds”Morgan explains. But at the end of 2021, the situation changed and the hotel was no longer supervised and accessible.

The bailiffs came and left everything open.Youtube thought. Therefore, at the end of January, he took the opportunity and spent several hours in the huge building.

Electricity and water are in constant operation

In his YouTube video, he gives his reactions to discovering the ghost hotel complex. It depicts a large empty swimming pool and plants reclaiming their rights. At the spa, he sees calendars from 2016.

Carefully walks through the corridors of the luxurious rooms, albeit a bit dated, still furnished. “A lot of items were left as is. What shocked me was the furniture, furnishings and electronic appliances that were left there”Morgan recalls.

“We also found the keys to all the rooms, all the hotel archives with employee documents, their bank account numbers, current records…”

More surprising: “Water and electricity haven’t been cut. Besides, there’s water leakage and the lights have been on for months. There are people on the golf course below, and no one is saying anything. It’s unbelievable!”

Location, monitor again

A fact not really uncommon for a man who has traveled through France, from ghost restaurants to empty houses, for over 20 years.

“It amazes me how many derelict luxury villas in the area (Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Nice) where there are still paintings and works of art.”

This can attract people with bad intentions. As in the Amarante Golf Plaza, which deteriorated further after its opening. Quickly, broken pots began littering the many stairs of the building.

Morgan regrets that explorers are sometimes teamed up with thugs and thieves. He claims to follow society’s rules to letter (see box) and does not commit any contempt.

Since February, access to the hotel is again impossible. Entry is restricted and there is a sign that says “Site is protected 24/7”.

Morgan is already on his way to new adventures. He even promises to shoot a futuristic video in abandoned villas in the bay.

Rules to be followed

Neither thugs nor thieves, the urbexers community follows a code of conduct. Morgan Explore, a YouTuber’s explorer, begins with a warning: “Do not do urbex, it is an illegal activity!“.

It reveals the same how activity is exercised in the rules of art. “Number one: you just explore if the place is deserted and open (door, window). Real urbexers don’t stay put. Often it is the thugs who open first, and it also happens that the police or the owners do not close the building.

The second commandment of the urban explorer:We never steal anythingThe rest can not be improvised. Urbex is a dangerous activity.

By myself, I didn’t go far from an accidentT, says Morgan. Care must be taken. With the influence of fashion, there are more and more dramas. In places that have been abandoned for ten years, you can easily pass through the floor.”

his advice? “Never do this alone, bring good shoes, gloves, a mask and a charged phone to call for help.

What if we run into the police? “If the place is really deserted, we don’t take much riskhe admitted. But we are not immune to justice being hit hard on an explorer for setting an example.

It should be noted that, even if it is uninhabited, breaking into someone else’s home is considered a home invasion punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros.

The future of the hotel is still uncertain

Over time, the future of Amarante Golf Plaza looks more uncertain. When he welcomed his last client in the summer of 2016, no one knew that the season would be his last. The JJW Hotel Group – owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed Al-Jaber – that runs the resort is struggling.

At the same time, Natixis Bank, the owner of the walls, is trying to sell the hotel to the Parinaud Financial Group. Amarante – a subsidiary of the JJW Hotels group – announced its right of first refusal, as a tenant, to acquire the hotel at a price of 7.5 million euros.

But the company is unable to obtain a loan and owes more than 40,000 euros to Natixis for unpaid rents and fees. The checks you send to the lessor remain unpaid due to lack of funds. Since then, a legal battle has erupted between the two companies and Amarante has been ordered to pay more than 1 million euros and ordered to leave the hotel in November 2019.

JJW Group’s liquidation was finally announced last June and Bertrand Group bought its hotel group. But he quickly withdrew from Golf Plaza, considering it too much work. During a neighborhood meeting on March 9, a resident asked Vincent Morris, the mayor of Sainte-Maxime, about the acquisition. “I’d like to tell you it’s tangible but the file is very complicated“, to reply.

Stefan Martin of Actis, the legal representative of the JJW Group, asserts that “ Many people were interested in buying the hotel “But Natixis is running that file now.”I don’t know what his plans are, they just received the keys, a few months agoContacted, Natixis does not wish to comment on this topic.

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