Like visiting the family, without the inconvenience of having the family there.
Arriving at this fine old 19th-century villa is like coming to stay with your much richer and more talented cousins. There’s a superior homeliness about the place. And – my dear! – the gardens!
Take breakfast out on the terrace amid this bountiful horticulture and I warrant you’ll not budge until aperitif time. The extravagance of greenery and colours imposes relaxation. The residential surrounds enhance it.
And the warm welcome puts the cap on it. Some five-to-10 minutes from the sea, the Vendôme is a classic turn-of-the-20th-century Mediterranean villa – grand geometrical lines softened by ice-cream pink and white shades and, of course, those abundant trees and exotic plants.
No design madness
The initial public areas are a bustle of modern art, flowers, dark wood, cultured knick-knacks and armchairs, framed by white walls and all arranged as if they hadn’t been arranged at all. Somehow, you can’t help feeling welcome.
Move to the breakfast room and you’re greeted with lime green and white tones, and more intriguing clutter artfully disposed. This is a real room, with a personal imprint.
The 17 bedrooms, too, exude reassurance and comfort. Nothing from the outer edges of design madness. Just a confident and sober mix of dark wood, blues, greys and browns – and the lovely garden before the windows.
La Croisette and Cannes hurly-burly is near enough to hand but also a world away.
All that, and free parking, too. Other Cannes hotels may charge 40 euros and upwards for the storage of your car. Public car parks are barely less grasping. Getting it free feels like a present. Then again, your cousins probably don’t charge, either. (Do book it ahead, though: parking space is limited.)