Luxury Hotels


Oh the people you meet in Cannes during ILTM – above, from left, Melanie Brandman, The Brandman Agency; Jennifer Fox, and Jane Mackie, IHG. This dress-in-black-gals was the At Home that Jennifer Fox, long-time Starwood and then long-time IHG, hosted in her apartment overlooking – if you crane your neck to the left, which is jolly good exercise of course – you can see La Croisette and the sea. It’s events like these, extracurricular and essential, that makes ILTM the best travel club in the world.

These At Homes work best when the venues are stylish, spacious and when people come and go so there are never too many people at one time. Jennifer passed all points with flying colours, as did Swire Hotels’ Chrissie Lincoln, who had an extra challenge. Her Sunday night soirée was fraught with prior hiccups. She hosts on the top floor (third, or was it fourth?) of a building on shopping-haven rue d’Antibes. The elevator stuck, unfortunately with all the food and, more importantly, the drink in it. Somehow she broke into the elevator, so supplies were all right, but everyone had to use the stairs to get up there.  It was worth it, indeed.

During the three days of speed-dating, computerised one-to-ones, exhibitors talking with buyers, travel consultants, it is the exhibitors who host at lunches. These are typically at one of the dozen or so restaurants on a beach, Plage de Festival and so on. To extend what would by rights be simply Summertime venues, the restaurants put transparent awnings over their outside terraces, and buy lots of Bordeaux burners, and thick stoles. Lunchtime is limited, and the restaurants therefore often lay on set menus. Girlahead sadly did not lunch at La Môme Plage, but she would give top lunchtime marks to Plage Goeland for an even more simple concept.  Choose your main course, say entrecôte et frites, and you automatically start with a long wooden tray, shared among the group – minute deep-fried whitebait, big juicy prawns, chunks of tuna ceviche, and green salad.

Such are the lunch venues.  At Plage Le Gray Suzy Mills held court with her Trump Hotels GMs in force, at Plage de Festival Jean-Luc Naret similarly pulled in his colleagues from The Set Collection, and sat next to his good pals at Maisons Pariente • Come dinner, Julia Perowne, owner of Perowne International, organised a memorable dinner, with masses of A-Listers, at Plage Goeland. Another highly popular dinner-supper venue is the corridor-like La Môme on rue Florian: Anna Roost, Dolder Grand Zurich, and Mariano Tribbiano, Alpina Grand, bagged the best of the{ir} desirable guests – some of whom had come on from another At Home, Anna Nash on behalf of Aman, in the Dior salon no less.