Discreet, unassuming and provocative in pink.
Cannes can do discretion, and this may be where it does it best. Slotted into the main shopping street a couple of minutes back from the Prom, the boutique-y Canberra opens unassumingly and grows quietly richer and more surprising as you get further in.
The style is 1950s glamour. Where I come from, that would mean antimacassars. Here, more happily, it translates into lightly-handled blacks, greys and creams punctuated by provocative outbursts of bright pink.
There is, indeed, a quiet tone of understated sensuousness throughout. Lovely pink armchairs in bedrooms and public spaces remind me of beckoning lips. Wispy drapes hang pleated like a starlet’s dress. (Then again, perhaps I should stop travelling alone.)
Big black and white photos underline the theme while the 30 rooms recall the ones in which Marilyn used to sprawl – dark woods, bed-heads like proscenium arches, beiges and creams, those pink chairs – but with less clutter.
Some of the five suites have terraces over a lovely garden which you really don’t expect amid the shops. The pool may not be huge, but it exists, which is a plus. It’s bordered by bamboo, bougainvillea and deck chairs, and heated from April through October.
It’s also a fine backdrop to drinks in the bar, good Provençal food in the Café Blanc restaurant or simply sitting and dreaming on the patio. If all that is not enough, there is a fitness centre and sauna in the basement – though, from what I’ve heard, glamorous people didn’t bother with that kind of thing in the 1950s.