Anything Cannes Be Done
Following on from my little visit to Monte Carlo I’ll now take you further down the beautiful French Rivera to the wonderful city of Cannes.
Cannes is world famous for its film festival and to be honest if you’re thinking of coming over during that period then there are two main things to remember; plan for your visit roughly three years out and expect to pay a fortune! However a little tip on this is to go slightly after, all the banners are still up round the city for at least two weeks and the whole place will still be buzzing.
Right, so my plan for the day was simple; visit Hotel Martinez, then have a bit of fun on a speedboat and then visit and stay at the Hotel Majestic Barriere.
This is the largest hotel in the area with 409 rooms, 27 suites. As mentioned before they have two busy spells, January – March is film festival season and both prices and minimum stays increase. The other period to avoid is June – August as the super large congresses roll into town and things get hectic once again. Don’t worry though the weather there is great all year round so visit anytime.
The business facilities at this hotel are rather good though, for example their largest room can hold 550 theatre style and also has car access. They have 12 breakout rooms and provide free wi-fi for all guests (which I still cannot believe isn’t standard yet).
This hotel hosts everyone from the top celebs to presidents, so refurbs are a little difficult to organise. Saying that though, the way they get round it is to refurb sections of the hotel at a time and constantly evolve. What does that mean for your group? Well my advice would be to view the rooms proposed for your guests. The last thing you want is guests to compare their rooms and find out one has a lavish brand new room and the other is in one of the slightly more tired rooms.
This hotel is a real worldwide brand, it’s known and respected and with that comes a status element. TV channels such as the Canal+ throw parties here during the festival whether it is on the hotel’s own private beach or in the property itself. Some of the celebs love the hotel so much that they have booked the same rooms for the next three years; so they must be doing something right. As standard in this region, the chef holds 2 Michelin stars and the hotel provide one main contact when dealing with any event.
Hotel Majestic Barriere
With 350 rooms it is slightly smaller than the Martinez, but due to it being a family owned property you receive a very warm and personal feel as soon as you enter. The staff are great and always looking to help where they can. My room was very spacious and well designed with a lovely large bathroom, including double sinks, bath and a separate walk-in double shower. The room itself had a great seating area with a large desk, which would be very useful for any top exec that might need to have a small meeting/conversation with a group of colleagues. This can also be divided off from the bedroom area, so no need to panic about clothes on the floor etc. The bed is so comfy you will honestly want to take it home with you. This room really covers off luxury, clean lines, practicality and spaciousness.
Downstairs the reception area continues the lavish feel and with Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada boutiques surrounding the hotel and offering luxury shopping on your doorstep.
Meeting space is varied but not massive here, they have 17 meeting rooms all catering for between 10 and 120 guests, a couple of the rooms even have car access. What’s great about this hotel is that the meeting rooms are positioned round the outside pool, which means that you can have a coffee break poolside, which is slightly different. Speaking of slightly different, the hotel has a luxury cinema. It only holds 33, but all in sumptuous armchairs. This has been used in the past on a car launch to showcase a short film about the new model in a slightly different way. If our group’s reaction was anything to go by, then I’m sure the cinema would elicit a great response.
However if we thought the cinema was impressive, we hadn’t seen anything yet. We were invited to view the Dior and the Majestic Barriere Suite (penthouse suite). Both with similar lay outs, these suites are the best hotel rooms I have ever been in. The penthouse has two double bedrooms with the largest beds you’ve ever seen, a beautiful and spacious lounge area, a massive dining room, gym, mini spa, barbers and then if that’s not enough, a roof terrace with private pool that overlooks the film festival entrance. All of that for the bargain price of $50,000 a night. Trust me though after a few minutes in there I was thinking about getting a loan just to try and stay longer!
In summary, Hotel Majestic Barriere is very well designed and planned; little details such as the two separate car parks are very useful as it allows a car launch the security of their own space with valeting facilities. The penthouse suite is simple stunning but out of reach for most of us mere mortals. The food is outstanding and the staff can’t do enough to help.
Cannes as an event destination is chic, fun, exciting and a great place to party with some beautiful people. It has a status that not many places in the world can compete with, yet still manages not to be stuck up. The hotels are amazing, food is fantastic and the weather all year round is great, which helps make anything possible. If you haven’t been you really should.
Ash EL Menshawy, Events Team