Oh what a week in glorious Cannes. It never rained, but by golly it blew – it blew and it blew and no, it did not blow the house down but it blew sand from the beach into one’s eyes and throat.
There are three main hotels for the annual International Luxury Travel Market ILTM – and all have fabulous, lovely GMs. Majestic La Barrière is closest to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, it is plush and glam and the top suite (Suite Barrière) is sensational. If the gal were staying there she would go out for breakfast, or have it in her room.
Ten minutes’ walk east you have the Carlton InterContinental, reputed finally to be having its long-awaited botox. It is a lovely elegant hotel, last redecorated by the peripatetic Frenchman Pierre-Yves Rochon back in the last century.
This is ideal for those who do love a good buffet breakfast, and for those who do not mind accessing email in the lobby (where it is free).
The Martinez, another five minutes’ walk east – but this is definitely the style hotel, for its Art Deco décor, with stunning grey, black and white upper corridor carpets and walls, and some suites that are pure Jean Harlow, champagne-leather wrap-round bedheads and turquoise-lined white leather boudoir desk-dressing tables.
This is the hotel for those who cannot start the day without mango, and seed-filled health breads and juice squeezed here in front of you, and for those who want unlimited free connectivity right in their rooms (the hotel has also upgraded its gym, which now includes Kinesis and Technogym, with a wave machine, and you can open the doors to the terrace right outside).
There were some who found time to shop, and there are treasures galore along Rue d’Antibes. Many of the brands beloved of our Middle Eastern and Russian friends are right along the Croisette – Bottega Veneta, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo and so on.
Some shop windows are already clad for Christmas with, well, typical Mediterranean panache (but then even permanent outdoor sculptures seem decorated, here and near the Palais there are hurdy-gurdies and roundabouts forming a kids’ playground, right next to a military line-up of Red Travel’s Ferraris, a grown-up kids’ playground, for sure). Finally, all too soon, it was time to leave the Martinez.
Wow, four consecutive nights in the same bed in the same unique hotel, is this a record? Having arrived by Red Travel‘s Ferrari 458 Italia the gal was about to leave by black-windowed people-carrier.
Richard Schilling posed by the Christmas tree that had, by magic, been crafted overnight to replace the ILTM party’s champagne glass cascade. And, by magic again, up popped Wolf Hengst, Chairman of the top spa site, wahanda.com, board member of Six Senses and party-goer extraordinaire. He claimed to be on his way home from Marrakech, eh?