You have the opportunity to sojourn where many famous people have been before you. Villa Belle Rive was bought in 1880 by François-Henri Lavanchy-Clarke from a Persian Ambassador. He was the importer for Lever Brothers for France and Switzerland. His success in Marketing is still emphasized by Unilever. Lavanchy-Clarke is credited for being the first to use film as a marketing tool in order to position sunlight soap on the Swiss market. He was the sponsor of the Lumière brothers in that he paid for the development of their camera. His only condition was that they give him one camera once the development was done. Not only the Lumière brothers, but also artists such as Charles Gounod were frequent guests in Villa Belle Rive.
Villa Belle Rive is decorated with numerous items that bring the late nineteenth century back to life. The strong relationship between the city of Cannes and Film has started in Villa Belle Rive. In another venture, Lavanchy-Clarke was instrumental in developing workshops for the blind, where they could organize their own production activities. These institutions were founded in France and in Switzerland.
Jack W. Lavanchy, the grandson from Lavanchy-Clarke, took another path in life. In 1964 he became the exclusive importer for “la Spriotechnique” diving equipment for Switzerland. From that point on he became the distributor for Aqualung diving equipment for Germany, Austria and Switzerland with his JWL company. In the eighties he founded the European representative for PADI (a big American organisation for recreational diver training). His involvement in diving lead to another group of famous people to visit Villa Belle Rive. The most notable visitors were Hans and Lotte Hass. Hans Hass is one of the most known pioneers in documenting the underwater world and the development of diving equipment.
Jean-Michel Cousteau and many other personalities from both the recreational and commercial diving industries have been visiting Villa Belle Rive.
With this history, it should be obvious that scuba diving is one of the activities you can participate in during your stay.