Hip replacement of luxury values.
Cannes’ coolest new hotel has what may be the town’s loveliest site, astonishingly friendly staff and cutting edge thermal baths. And, though only a couple of years old, it has also just (2011) changed management - the owners bringing in the Radisson Blu people to look after the place.
The style, though, has little changed.
It’s for those who prefer their luxury simpler and purer in style. Coming here is like slipping into a designer T-shirt after the more formal finery of La Croisette.
The place rises like a sleek white bridgehead on the corner where the old port turns to the public beaches of les Plages-du-Midi. The setting is magnificent, and the hotel makes the most of it. Huge windows, and a terrific roof-top terrace, mean the outside (port, sea, Esterel mountains behind) has access all-areas inside.
The ‘1835’ in the name, incidentally, refers to the date that British ex-Lord Chancellor Lord Brougham first arrived in Cannes and so established it as a sea-side playground for aristocrats. My history books say it was 1834.
But, instead of bickering, let us proceed to the large, light-filled lobby where arm-chairs apparently covered in feathers are dotted about among square columns, palms, flowers in round glass tubes and interesting sculptures. One relaxes immediately.
Rooms have a 1930s feel – little brown ceramics in the bathrooms, mildly jazzy carpets, curvy bed-heads and re-assuring furniture – but opened out for the modern era. Most have balconies, and the suites are proper suites, with bedroom and salon separate.
An underground corridor takes you to the Thermes Marins for a pool and every sort of sea-water treatment. Those who know about such things say that the opening of this spa was a key event in the Cannes calendar in 2009. I can say no fairer than that, before repairing to the roof-top terrace for aperitifs. Then to the equally roof-topping Le 360° restaurant. The panorama is indeed all-round and the food a toothsome mix of Med and the Orient. There's a contentment here which surpasses trendiness for something altogether more agreeable.