Every May the quaint Cote D’Azur town of Cannes becomes flooded with the rich and famous. Here’s how to live like the A-List during the world’s most glamorous film festival.
Originally launched as a writer’s retreat in 1870, it’s perhaps no surprise that Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has long been a luxury haven for authors, artists, aristocracy and of course actors. During the film festival it prides itself on its privacy and exclusivity – you won’t find any budget rooms going here.
Tucked into nine hectares of lush greenery and pristine gardens, guests can choose from rooms or suites overlooking the azure sea and the private parkland, with its swaying pines and Riviera palms. To step it up to A-list luxury book one of Cap-Eden-Roc’s four private villas. Villa Eleana is a three-bedroom enclave nestled into its own discreet surroundings. It has a private pool, a spacious terrace and personal chef and butler services.
Past guests include Tom Cruise, Sharon Stone, Kevin Costner, Naomi Watts and John Travolta.
Martinez is so exclusive it won’t even let you into its lobby unless you’re on its list. Its private beach is the largest on the famous Boulevard de la Croisette so naturally it’s a prime location for celeb-spotting. Its suites offer vast private terraces with stunning views over the Bay of Cannes and the Boulevard, and its restaurant, La Palme d’Or, holds two Michelin stars.
If you book early you may be able to snag its seventh-floor penthouse suite, equipped with marble furnishings, a panoramic sea-view terrace and a Jacuzzi, sauna and hammam.
Bruce Willis, Eva Longoria and Robert Pattinson are just a few of the big names that have been spotted looking fabulous here.
For an intimate Riviera experience, the five-star Five Seas Hotel Cannes is a boutique hotel with only 45 rooms on offer, half of which are suites. As well as a rooftop infinity pool plus exclusive access to its spa, beach and private yacht, its restaurant, Sea Sens, holds one Michelin star and is headed by French Chef Arnaud Tabarec.
Its ultra-luxe Terrace and Presidential Suites feature stunning views of Notre Dame de Bon Voyage Church plus high-tech fixtures and modern outdoor Jacuzzis. Its close proximity to the festival site, Palais des Festivals, makes it easy for the stars to nip to screenings and interviews before returning for some luxury spa pampering.
Recognised for its discretion, the hotel refuses to name its upper-crust regulars.
Take a day trip to St Tropez
Just an hour and a half away by boat, beautiful St Tropez is the perfect destination for a day or overnight trip from Cannes. It’s equally as enchanting as Cannes and can provide a bit of welcome peace and quiet after a few hectic festival days. For the ultimate ritzy transfer, private helicopters can whisk you there in just fifteen minutes for around €600.
Hit a private beach
If your hotel doesn’t have its own beach, you can gain access to a number of the area’s private beaches for a small fee. They’ll provide beds, umbrellas and anything else you may need for a perfect day of sand and sea. Massages, facials, champagne, oysters – you name it.
Cinéma de la Plage
Former Cannes Film Festival winners are honoured every evening during festival season by the Cinéma de la Plage – an open-air ocean-front cinema. Get there early to secure a comfy chair plus popcorn and bubbles for the screening.
The Cannes nightlife scene runs the gambit from Euro-themed dance clubs to plush cocktail lounges. If you ever make it out of your luxury lodgings, Le Baôli is a star-studded affair, and often plays hosts to the most glamorous of after-parties. Baôli offers open-air dancing under the stars on its swanky private beach, accessed through gigantic Balinese wooden doors.
This Cannes night-time staple welcomes a few thousand guests a night and often plays host to some big-name musicians – particularly during festival season. Situated within the Palm Beach Casino past guests include Brit songstress Rita Ora, rapper Busta Rhymes, Owen Wilson and Paris Hilton, to name but a few.
L’Amiral Piano Bar
Frank Sinatra and Madonna are just a couple of the artists who’ve played at the Hotel Martinez’s ultra swanky L’Amiral. Come here for live music (on weekends the piano makes way for a DJ) and lovingly-made cocktails. The bartenders are some of the best in the country.