Zannier Hotels to transform and take over Île de Bendor

Zannier Hotels has been appointed to manage the redesign of the iconic French private island Île de Bendor, which was first brought to life by pastis pioneer, Paul Ricard, 70 years ago. Much more than a resort project, the 2026 launch will see Zannier Hotels manage and operate the island destination from start to finish…

Zannier Hotels Île de Bendor artist render of view around pool with orange umbrellas and sunloungers

Following a competitive tender for the contract of the land, which saw Zannier Hotels pitch against some of the best international management companies, the brand has been selected by the Ricard family to inject a new age of magic into the island. Managing and operating the island destination from start to finish is a natural next step for the Zannier Hotels as it continues to cement its reputation as a management company.

an aerial view looking over Zannier Hotels Bendor - Ile de Bendor

Image credit: Zannier Hotels

“For this exceptional project, very meaningful to the Ricard family and entirely financed by the holding, we took the time to select the best possible partner,” discussed Marc de Jouffroy, Board Member of Société Paul Ricard, in charge of the project. “Given that the property will remain under our family, we wanted to ensure that the partner we chose to embark on this journey with was completely aligned to the ethos and vision of our founding father, Paul Ricard. We chose Zannier Hotels because they perfectly understood the soul of Île de Bendor and because our family shares their approach to luxury, valuing authenticity, simplicity, and emotion. We are convinced that, together, we will restore Île de Bendor to its former glory and make it one of the most iconic destinations in the Mediterranean.”

view from the water to the hotel with structures in natural brick on the water edge

Image credit: Zannier Hotels

Over the next three years, Île de Bendor will undergo a complete transformation and will once again become a buzzing social hub in the bay of Bandol, embodying the playful spirit of the French Riviera. The renovation will see the six hectare island emerge as a Provençal-style village and convivial gathering space rooted in the island’s old-world glamour and inimitable spirit, home to an array of restaurant, bar and social spaces – including the second outpost of Nonna Bazaar, the immersive dining concept launched by Zannier Hotels in Menorca last year – alongside a characterful Beach Club, curated artisan village, holistic wellness offering and impressive spa.

rooftop bar and restaurant with draped canvas roof and natural textures and colours at Île de Bendor

Image credit: Zannier Hotels

A stylish boutique hotel with 93 keys will become the sixth property in the Zannier portfolio, with the brand currently operating five hotels, resorts and lodges around the world: Le Chalet, France; Phum Baitang, Cambodia; Omaanda, Namibia; Sonop, Namibia; and Bãi San Hô, Vietnam. Located in a prime position on the Côte d’Azur, with a particular attention to sustainability, the project will be the second in the homeland of the brand’s founder, Arnaud Zannier. His very first property, Zannier Hotels Le Chalet, opened in Megève in 2011.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Ricard family on this pioneering project highlighting the magical island of Bendor, set to become the Zannier Hotels European flagship,” said Arnaud Zannier, Founder of Zannier Hotels. “At Zannier Hotels, we are committed to creating individually exceptional and truly unique projects around the world, rooted in artisan-led design, gastronomic heritage, sustainable development and one-of-a-kind experiences – from life-enhancing wellness to meaningful cultural connection – and Zannier Hotels Bendor will be no exception, encompassing all of these values.”

sunset from Bendor facing across the bay towards Marseille

Image credit: Zannier Hotels

Working as a united front, the Ricard family, Hardel Le Bihan Architectes, Niez Studio Paysagistes and Zannier Hotels will oversee all aspects of the island’s evolution including all architectural, landscaping and interior design decisions. Meanwhile, F&B and wellness concepts will marry the success of those already in place at Zannier Hotels’ existing properties and restaurants around the world, with the very best of Mediterranean culture, landscape and community.

Set to become a destination in itself, the launch of Zannier Hotels Bendor is an exciting next chapter for Zannier Hotels as the brand continues to make its mark beyond the hotel space. The announcement of Île de Bendor follows the recent launch of Zannier Private Estates, a collection of remarkable private homes in France, Portugal and Menorca available for exclusive use, with another set to open its doors in Mauritius later this year, as well as the 2022 opening of multi-sensory lifestyle and restaurant concept, Nonna Bazaar.

Main image credit: Zannier Hotels