About Egos: Michel Babin & the guests of the Cap Eden Roc

Michel Babin has been working at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the French Riviera for 45 years. As the head porter there, he has seen all the greats of show business: Roger Moore, Charles Bronson, Madonna ... and the best thing is: If you ask him about his encounters, he will start sharing. Up to a certain point, of course.
Text Alfred Rzyski
Photo Cap Eden Roc

If it gets too indiscreet, Michel Babin smiles away any potential dissonance. Did you ever get drugs for a guest? Smuggled his mistress into the hotel? The 67-year-old Frenchman then pretends he just didn't understand the question or looks at you with disarming friendliness. No wonder: The Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc is known for its illustrious guest list. However, it is also known for its discretion and strict rules: Kate Moss, for example, was banned from the house for shuffling through the lobby clad only in a bikini. And until a few years ago, you could only pay cash; there was no Internet in the room either.

The tall doorman just smiles: »Well, the old director wanted it that way.« We talked to the concierge about his experiences, good manners - and listened to one or two anecdotes. Like the story of James Bond and his lower back pain. »Roger Moore owned a villa near Antibes, but he came by every day to play tennis with us,« Babin says. »One day he drove up in his blue Rolls-Royce, got out and moaned: 'Michel, don't tell anyone 007 has back problems.'«

And while Charles Bronson and Carry Grant distinguished themselves as gentlemen, there were also somewhat challenging guests. Like the aforementioned Kate Moss, but also a certain music star: »Madonna did not talk to the staff, we were air for her.« And also otherwise the singer made little impression on Michel Babin: »Very bad manners, the lady. I still see the little girl in front of me, a fan who had taken a picture with his camera. Immediately Madonna sicced her bodyguards on her, they took the camera from her and tore the film out of the camera.«

"Very bad manners, the lady."

Michel Babin on Madonna

Babin prefers to remember other guests - even if they were no less eccentric. Like actor Johnny Weissmüller, who won five gold medals in swimming at the Olympics and could drink a bottle of whiskey a day. The end of the story? »Then he stood at the bar and imitated his famous Tarzan cry,« Babin recalls. He also remembers the experiences with the annoying Papparazi - or David Carradine's burning room. But those are completely separate stories. And above all: Just two of the countless other incidents that Michel Babin has experienced firsthand.

→ Michel Babin reveals more anecdotes from his career as a concierge in rampstyle #23 - where he also explains to us how he keeps track of so many visitors, remembers the names of the guests - and why he always keeps his own opinion to himself.

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