The grand dame of Cannes, the Intercontinental Carlton is as full of flash as you would expect from a prized property perched on La Croisette. Stars galore have passed through the doors, from Elizabeth Taylor to Faye Dunaway – they come for the film festival and stay for the champagne, signature suites, and private beach.
Old Hollywood is recalled in every inch of the lavish Carlton. You can’t ignore the beautiful Belle Epoque façade rising above the boulevard – all pale ivory, miles of windows, and ornate terraces. Stepping inside and the regal feel doesn’t miss a beat with the lobby comprised of soaring pillars, cool marble, and shimmering chandeliers. The service is also en point, a hint that they are used to catering to the wealthiest celebrities in the world.
With over three hundred rooms in the Carlton, you would think that personal attention may go amiss, yet it doesn’t – there is so much space and light and breeze that you often feel as though you are the only one gliding through. Rooms are bedecked in warm cream tones to soak up the sunlight, adorned with tasteful retro furnishings to bring back that touch of Hollywood.
The prestigious suites are certainly worth booking, many named after starlets of a bygone era. On the seventh floor, you can find the impeccable two bed Grace Kelly Suite, the Sean Connery Suite with four beds, four baths, a private lift and panoramic sea views, and the Hitchcock Suite which featured in the famous movie ‘To Catch a Thief’. Perfectly placed beneath the cupolas, these rooms are a vision of loveliness, with beautiful salons framed by fresh cut flowers, floor to ceiling picture windows, refined décor, and marble bathrooms with double basins and deep tubs.
Each of the suites offers a bright sun splashed terrace with inspired views of the blue sea, beach and mountains. Throw open the doors and step outside with a glass of chilled champagne in hand.
Drinking and dining is done in style at the Carlton, with the outdoor terrace a firm favorite for those who like to sip a cocktail while people watching along La Croisette. The Wine Cellar is also home to thousands of fine vintages from across France and even doubles up as a tasting room for those who like to put gummy reds and delicate whites to the test.
When the weather is warm the seasonal beach restaurant is perfect for a Provence inspired lunch on an intimate pier above the warm blue waters. Dine on chilled asparagus veloute, fine fattened Pattedoie oysters and octopus salads. Outside of the summer months, then the interior restaurant offers a striking menu of courgette blossoms, shrimp tails, sashimi and spiced avocado and wild fish cassoulets. The dining room is all white linen, sparkling glass and palm leaves – blurring the lines between silver suppers and casual grace.
A haven of peace is waiting at the Intercontinental Carlton with a health and beauty club for those must have massages after strutting your stuff on the red carpet. Whether you want a four hands massage, body scrub, warm manicure, or your hair and makeup done for that grandiose event – the Carlton can do it. While the hotel lacks those larger spa extras and a pool, it’s perfect for beach days and glam pampering for glitzy evenings out – which is really all you need when set against the backdrop of Cannes.
Last but not least, the private beach is the cherry on top – soft floury sands, warm azure waters, and cream colored sink down sun loungers for stretching out on and snoozing behind a pair of Gucci shades – this is the art of embracing the finer things in life in the lavish French Riviera. Room prices at the Intercontinental Carlton start at $600 for a deluxe double and go up to $30,000 for the Grace Kelly Suite.