The classic palace hotels rise like grandes dames along La Croisette promenade, attempting to outdo the site’s natural beauty with a richness of marble, chandeliers and wellness provision. Cannes has long catered to a clientele convinced it’s quite as handsome as the sea. These places flatter the assumption.
Granted, they don’t look uniformly terrific from the outside. Around the 1960s, there was a vogue for knocking down Belle Epoque splendour and putting up concrete.
Inside, though, they’re all pretty matchless in the matter of fixtures, fittings and attentive folk in uniforms. But, if crunch pressure means that prices have stabilised, they can still run away with your wallet.
So, happily, there’s a decent range of other hotels, from four-star chic, to two-star friendly. Thus might you gain access to the beaches, La Croisette and the spin-off glamour without having to put the wife in hock.
A word of warning
Even humble hotel prices rocket during the Cannes Film Festival. This is not such dire news. If you haven’t already booked your room for this year’s edition (May 12-23), you haven’t got a chance anyway. But tariffs also rise steeply during other festivals and congresses, of which Cannes has rather a lot.
One hotelier estimated to me that higher congress and festival rates apply, on average, three or four days a month at his place. When booking, it might be worth checking what rate you’re being quoted and, if necessary and possible, change your dates slightly.