Staying in Cannes at Hôtel Majestic Barrière, a Leading Hotel of the World, gives the best insider’s view of ILTM, the definitive gathering of nearly 5,000 luxury travel suppliers and buyers that was so adequately covered in last week’s LATTE. Just after ILTM, by the way, the two most influential new-gen, New York-based, buyers, said ‘best week of my career’ (Jack Ezon, EMBARK Beyond) and ‘best LTM ever, for serious business as well a fun’ (Michael Holtz, SmartFlyer).
More best accolades. Throughout ILTM the Majestic’s bar, in effect a corridor to indoor-outdoor eating venues as well as to the elevator to some of the hotel’s premium suites, was crammed from 7 am to midnight. It seemed that Gilles Bastoni and other concierges knew names of all those lucky enough to be staying in the 349-room hotel. Gilles & Co could direct anyone to the right evening cocktail. For four nights there were at least six parties simultaneously. Most sought-after were invitations to Leading’s temporary transformation of Fouquet’s restaurant to an alpine-feel rustic brasserie and, as always, to Le Cheval Blanc’s few hours hosting in the Majestic Suite. This year it was live jazz, artists working, endless Veuve Clicquot 2010 and bite-sized Majestic canapés.
Everyone who knows obviously wants a sea-facing bedroom. The 450 sq m Suite Majestic, on the 7th floor rooftop, has an 11-metre pool out on its 150 sq m terrace looking straight across La Croisette to the much-photographed steps of the Cannes Film Festival. Cleverly, when the hotel was constructed back in 1926 it was thoughtfully set 100 metres back from La Croisette for maximum quiet.
It might be venerable but the Majestic is owned by the Desseigne-Barrière family, who keep their brands absolutely up-to new-look luxury. The hotel’s private beach, directly across La Croisette, has a glass-walled, temperature-controlled Beach House, perfect for year-round seafood tastings and parties. Everywhere, easy-access connectivity seems way above Riviera par, say poolside and in the garden overflow of Fouquet’s restaurant. (Incidentally, Fouquet’s in Paris, which has one of the most enticing concept stores of any French hotel, will, as of August 2022, have a 99-key sibling in New York’s Tribeca district – GM will be Gilles Escellardo.)
Hôtel Majestic Barrière’s Director/RVP Charles Richez comes from a Parisien restaurant family, and generosity, he says, is his mantra. This ensures plentiful daily replenishment of room supplies, and an espresso in the Bar comes with a shot glass of water and a Valrhona Guanaja chocolate. Similarly. the copious breakfast buffet includes four different butters.
Wherever, eat your heart out, and thank goodness for calorie-consumption offered by the prominent staircase, its wall a gallery of movie stars of decades past. Yes, you do feel a star, staying here.