And so continues the diary of an already-exhausted ILTM-er, one of an estimated-6,000 luxury travel professionals here in Cannes. It’s a fab place to be, by the way – the town’s campaign is 12/12, stressing this is a round-the-year destination. Already, boosted by growth in the medical sector, 2024 has 72 major conventions planned, up 2023’s 64. The re-opening of Palm Beach, May 2024, will see a mouthful of new restaurants, including Zuma, and entertainment ideas (but no beds) added to the inventory.
ILTM started officially Monday 4th December but frolicking started the previous, Sunday, night. There were two must-go invitation-only events. HOTEL MARTINEZ hosted media, who included all the big names.Eight minutes’ walk away, rooftop in a rented apartment along rue d’Antibes, Chrissie Lincoln and The Set Collection threw its usual don’t miss event. See the image above, courtesy Catherine Heald, Remote Lands.
The newest member of The Set Collection, Nick Downing, GM of Bangkok’s THE SIAM, explained how his owning family has river-set land in Chiang Mei for a second resort. OPPOSITE HOUSE in Beijing has a Harrods-themed penthouse, one bedroom. It sounds as if BACCARAT HOTEL New York will see its next sibling in Rome (a transformation of THE MAJESTIC. HOTEL). CRILLON Paris is still recovering from a five-day buyout for an American wedding, yet another Jack Ezon organisational triumph – daddy of the bride is something to do with cars, in Texas. Petar Krstic explained Ultima Collection, which recently joined The Set Collection. James McBride, whose NIHI SUMBA is not part of the Collection, said residences there are selling fast – to happy guests. John Reed brought along Mrs Reed. Jan Tibaldi, any day now opening ONE&ONLY ZABEEL Dubai, had left his other half at home as she’s about to launch her new company. Yann Gillet, formerly GM of the Martinez, has just opened One&Only’s first property in Greece. Co-hosts at this gorgeous event appeared to be not only Set Collection’s Chrissie Lincoln but also man of the world’s taste Marcel Thoma, who defected from the Collection to head much of The Americas for MOHG, based at MANDARIN ORIENTAL NEW YORK.
As all those who were in Cannes yesterday can attest, it didn’t rain. It POURED and it was cold. Long coats and umbrellas scurried along the Corniche to the Palais des Festivals for the opening Forum. ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore welcomed everyone and introduced two of the best ILTM speakers ever, covering geopolitical risks (overall depressing) and Gen-Z (overall overwhelming) and after a somewhat noisy official drinks people scattered. The lucky went on to Perowne International’s seated dinner at Plage Goeland, where Julia Perowne summed up the year that is and the year that will be with not a single wasted word. Oh if only she would enter politics…. Yes, James McBride was there, as were Neil Jacobs and Sharan Pasricha and those who run BORGO SANT’ANDREA, BRENNER’S PARK, THE CAMBRIDGE ARMS,THE LANESBOROUGH, you name it. The best.