Cannes is known for its glitz and glamour, and as a long-standing playground for the affluent. With mild temperatures, gorgeous beaches and plenty of sophistication, this former fishing village is the perfect place to escape. Known for the Cannes International Film Festival that happens every May, many do not know that this is the perfect seaside retreat for any season. Here are 5 our favorite things to not miss while in Cannes:
Stay at Hotel Martinez
An iconic gem on La Croisette, Hotel Martinez embodies the spirit of the French Riviera. Built in 1929, the hotel was completely renovated in 2018 by famed interior designer Pierre- Yves Rochon. Staying with the art deco motif, the 409 gorgeous rooms and suites are all whitewashed and outfitted with lacquer furnishings, with nods to the sun and sea with soft highlights of yellow or blue. The property includes 5 restaurants, L. Raphael Beauty Spa and a private beach club.
As you enter the sweeping lobby, you are greeted by a stunning chandeliers, gleaming white marble and seasonal floral arrangements. Also on the ground floor are Le Jardin du Martinez, the main restaurant of the property and Martinez Bar, open every night serving decadent cocktails, wine and tapas.
Hotel Martinez is a member of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection– truly exceptional properties around the world that embody unique, distinctive characteristics. It may be a rich history, picturesque views or a one-of-a-kind dining experience, but it will always be a memorable, standout property. Other properties in the portfolio include The Driskill, Spirit Ridge and Hotel du Louvre.
Shop the Promenade de la Croisette
The beautiful mile-long seaside avenue is framed by palm trees and the sparkle of the Mediterranean Sea, and with the mild subtropical climate, shopping, dining and people watching here anytime of the year is a treat. One of the most iconic streets in France, stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and intertwine with chic cafes, boutiques and beautiful hotels with private beaches. Grab lunch at a seaside cafe between stops, or grab a sunset cocktail or glass of rose. If you need a shopping break, The Centre d’ Art La Malmaison is a modern-art museum in what used to be the Grand Hotel. The entire hotel was demolished unfortunately, except the Games Room, what now houses different art.
Dine at 2 Michelin Star La Palme d’ Or
Located in Hotel Martinez, La Palme d’ Or is the only 2 Michelin Star restaurant on the French Riviera. Innovative cuisine is served overlooking the bay of Cannes, and Chef Christian Sinicropi’s creativity rules the menu. Born in Cannes, Chef overtook the restaurant in 2007, and focuses on local, fresh ingredients. Lamb comes from nearby Aveyron, pigeon from south-west France, fish from local purveyors and the olive oil and wine is from Lérins Abbey on the island of Saint-Honorat, produced by the Lérins Monks.
With so much history surrounding the South of France, explore some of the notable landmarks. Beautiful architecture can be found on every corner, but don’t miss the Town Hall, built in 1877 and an example of 19th-century architecture. The oldest area of the city is called Le Suquet, and is perfect for afternoon strolls and imagining what Cannes was like in the 18th century. All the streets of Cannes are delightful, filled with balconies, flowers and charming facades.
Take a Day Trip to the Lérins Islands
Ile Sainte-Marguerite is located just off the coast of the French Riviera, and is part of the Lérins Islands archipelago in the Golfe de la Napoule. A balance of history, nature and culture, guests to the island can hike forested trails, bird watch by Batéguier pond and visit Fort Royal, which was a former prison built by Spanish Invaders that dates back to the 17th century that has been transformed into a maritime museum. Fort Royal is also known as the real life prison of the “Man in the Iron Mask”.
The smaller island of Ile St-Honorat is home to a working monastery, the Abbaye de St- Honorat. The monastery has been around for 16 centuries, and the monks here live by the creed of St. Benedict, balancing prayer and work. The monks work in the vineyards, and produce quality wine, liqueurs and olive oil. The terroir of the island (silky, chalky soil, sea breezes and climate) make it perfect for vineyards and wine growing, and gifts can be purchased from the abbey or online.