Want to feel like a film star? Dream as if you are on set for Cannes International Film Festival, which this year runs 17-28 May. Support its partners. Fly Air France to Nice, take a BMW from Europcar for the 40 minutes’ drive west.
Cannes’ Hôtel Martinez, part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, has everything a star, real or wannabe, dreams of, and it is adding more. Last Sunday, 10th May, it launched L’Oasis, a 2,800 sqm grassed garden on the ballroom rooftop. In among greenery and floribunda there’s a one-person, 20-metre lap pool. Find, also a 600 sqm Carita Spa, and a 200 sqm gym with latest Technogym bits and pieces.
Also new are two seventh floor Penthouses, designed like the rest of the 409-room resort by Pierre-Yves Rochon. Throughout, he’s evoked memories of years ago – Emmanuel Martinez opened the doors here in 1929, which implies pale colours, and bias-cut slinky fabrics, perhaps draped around Marlene Dietrich. Martinez’s top influencers today include My Fair Princess star Fan Bingbing, a former Cannes International Film Festival jury member.
Choose a sea-facing room (I especially liked 531 as it offered a really good work-out using the elegant original oval staircase rather than elevators). Look out, over the Martinez’s terrace, with lemon trees that are a reminder that the Riviera vies with Sicily when it comes to lemons’ flavour. Beyond the terrace is the famous La Croisette. Cross that to reach the beach, and the selfie-suggesting Martinez Beach Club.
Lunch down on the terrace, which operates as Le Jardin du Martinez and stretches inside the hotel. Try a shake salad version of a Niçoise, followed by simply-grilled fish of the day, drizzled with olive oil. At dinner, put on your Chopard jewels and rise to the hotel’s second floor La Palme d’Or, named for the Festival’s top award. The restaurant has two Michelin stars and Christian Sinicropi’s signature list stars milk-fed lamb, or lightly-smoked Notre-Dame de Valcluse trout with cold seaweed infusion. Drink Whispering Angel rosé, or, in honour of a former owner of the hotel, Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne.
As a little boy, hotel GM Yann Gillet wanted to be captain of a cruise ship. Today he wants Le Martinez to be recognized as THE year-round Palace on the Riviera. This is, after all, where the Film Festival jury dines before all the brouhaha starts – what will Sinicropi serve up on Monday 16th May?
And then, who will win Festival’s Palme d’Or? This year’s premières include Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, starring Tom Hanks. Even the trailer is rivetting.