In 2018, a Parisian business owner and his wife Laure – also with four daughters – fell in love with the house and its history. They undertook extensive renovation work to bring the property back to life and make it a place that could once again welcome groups of friends and family.
Let’s step back in time to when Deauville was nothing more than marshland…
It all begins with the Duc de Morny, whose mother Queen Hortense married Napoleon’s brother, Louis Bonaparte.
The Duc de Morny was one of the key players in the 1851 coup d’Etat, which swept Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte out of his position as Emperor and enabled the Duc de Morny to become Minister of the Interior.
Doctor Olliffe, the Duc de Morny’s personal physician, invited the Duke to spend a few days in Trouville in the summer of 1858. At the time, Doctor Olliffe managed the gaming rooms of the local casinos. During his visit, the Duc was captivated by the 500 acres of marshland and 3km sandy beach facing Trouville, and with his friend, Dr Olliffe, decided to transform the land into an elegant seaside resort that would attract wealthy Parisians.
The two men joined forces with Monsieur Donon – a Parisian banker and Director of the Ottoman Bank, and could therefore raise the necessary capital – and a Monsieur Breney, Parisian architect, who drew up the first plans for Deauville. Breney also became Deauville’s first Mayor.
In 1863, the Duc’s health worsened, and he was cared for by his friend, Doctor Olliffe. When the Duc died in 1865, rumours suggested that Olliffe’s pills were laced with arsenic… Olliffe ran into debt as the plans for Deauville faltered and collapsed.
Around this time, groups of elegant Parisians started coming to Deauville, drawn by the horse-racing in the nearby town of La Touques. The Duc de Morny’s vision for Deauville was finally a reality, drawing wealthy Parisians and even stealing them away from Trouville – the former favourite.
In 1913, a developer built 4 houses (one for each of his daughters), one in rue Castor, and three in rue Olliffe: numbers 13, 15 and 17.
Numbers 15 and 17 rue Olliffe were eventually joined together to create a family-run hotel so that the children would have an income.
Up until recently, this family hotel was still home to the last grand-daughter of the original developer.