Luxury Hotels


The Sybaritic Single is visibly annoyed: his limousine has been stuck for 15 minutes metres away from the Carlton Cannes with no sign of being able to pull up the main entrance. Even in February, the hotel is packed. The apologetic doorman is totally helpless in trying to manage traffic and a growing mountain of Louis Vuitton luggage.
It’s the Sybaritic Single’s first time back at 58 Boulevard de la Croisette since his last visit in 2019. Back then, the great icon felt terribly outdated yet abundant with elusive old-world charm. Suite Yves Montand wasn’t the most comfortable place to stay but its walls surely were silent witnesses of many great scenes. Built in 1911 by a banished Russian duke, the hotel could do with some facelift.
Five years later, the hotel feels fresh, bright and very new.
Finally, he is whisked through the lobby and finds himself in a top-floor suite, right under the famous ‘Carlton Hotel’ inscription on the skyline pinnacle. Fresh flowers by star designer Djordje Varda, tons of signature macarons and non-vintage Moët (too banal for a French luxury hotel), including an extra complimentary bottle in the minibar, replenished daily – what a cute new standard!
The brand new suite feels exceptionally spacious, modern and comfortable but totally soulless, as if all the great ghosts of movie stars, presidents and other celebrities with all their secrets were wiped away together with the old dust.
Taking a closer look, the Sybaritic Single observes that despite €350 million invested in the refurbishment, too many details seem surprisingly inexpensive. Ceramic tiles instead of marble, white paint instead of bespoke wallpaper, plain curtains instead of something more befitting and lots of eclectic art.
Tristan Auer and Richard Lavelle were supported by 750 artisans to assist with the renovation of the Belle Epoque icon. Despite their efforts, the Sybaritic Single longs for the old version of the hotel: certain A-list facelifts can go very wrong and this Riviera grand dame certainly feels overbotoxed.
Looking through the arched windows framing the Mediterranean, he’s thankful the ghastly restoration didn’t touch the view at least.