Looking out over the sea from its prime spot on La Croisette, this five star hotel boasts a Michelin starred restaurant, private beach, and retro chic design.
Frequent visitors to Cannes will be familiar with the resort town’s glitz and glamour. Most famous for its annual film festival and yacht shows, the summer months see Cannes studded with A-list celebs, international playboys, and the generally beautiful and rich.
When in Cannes, staying on La Croisette is a must. The beach-adjacent, palm tree lined road sweeps around the water’s edge offering the hotels and restaurants that line it fabulous views over the Med. From the Belle Epoque grandeur of the Carlton to Hotel Martinez’s 1920’s glamour, La Croisette’s prime real estate is home to all of Cannes’ finest hotels. Occupying a particularly attractive plot set back from the road by manicured gardens is Le Grand Hotel. An icon of stylish Sixties design, the well-appointed hotel is home to Le Park 45 one of Cannes’s only Michelin starred restaurants – the other is at the Martinez.
Without any of the ostentation associated with Cannes, guests looking to relax will appreciate the Grand’s laid back, palm-springs vibe. Whether it’s an afternoon on the serviced private beach, or stopping for a drink and snooze on the hotel’s pretty lawn, Le Grand Hotel provides a chic, understated, contemporary stay in the Riviera’s most notorious town.
The hotel is of medium size, with 75 guest rooms and suites. They range from sophisticated and comfortable deluxe rooms through to the spectacular panoramic Jacuzzi suites and Jacqueline suite. Deluxe and prestige rooms are elegantly designed with retro touches, and many have attractive furnished balconies with sea views. The exquisite panoramic Jacuzzi suites come with open plan terrace balconies equipped with a hydrotherapy pool, seating area, plants, and sun loungers.
All rooms are decorated with orchids freshly cut from the hotel’s greenhouse, and the spotlessly clean bathrooms come supplied with Bulgari toiletries.
The hotel’s restaurant, Le Park 45, is one of the best on the Riviera. Currently awarded one Michelin star, Chef Sebastien Broda creates feather light, full flavoured dishes that have won rave reviews by both French and international restaurant critics. The minimalist indoor dining room is a smart spot for dinner, but in the summer months the restaurant’s romantic outdoor terrace beckons diners with its views of the garden and sea beyond.
We ate from a tasting menu that included locally caught fish and tomatoes, baby squid, Gamberi rossi, sea bass, lamb, and hazelnuts. A delicious amuse bouche of softened yellow tomatoes with a crunchy herb crust had a remarkable combination of textures and was a pitch perfect start to the meal. The seafood based starters represented the freshest of fish, brought to life with good Provençal flavourings: olive oil, tomato, lemon, and sweet onions.
The fish course, sea bass on the night we visited, was butter soft and paired with chanterelles, almond, and verbena. Pan fried saddle of lamb from l’Adret was hopelessly tender, a fine main course. Finally came a crowd-pleasing hazelnut and chocolate delice, the nuts grown locally in Provence.
Elsewhere is the hotel’s bar, Le Cercle, another funkily designed space offering an extensive drinks menu and light bar snacks.
In the morning gardeners wander around watering and tending to the hotel’s flower-bedded lawns. Guests can stop for a rest or a drink on various decked seating areas, waited on by the team at Le Cercle.
Across the road is Le Plage 45, the hotel’s popular private beach. There’s a bar and restaurant, sandy beach, waiter-serviced sun beds and loungers, and even an over water jetty with comfortable divan day beds. While access to the beach itself is complimentary for hotel guests, usage of the sun loungers, beds, and jetty comes at an additional price – a standard gripe for nearly all Riviera hotels. If your budget allows it plump for a spot on the jetty. With a few glasses of champagne and those uninterrupted views over the Med, you’ll melt into a bliss coma before you know it.
Rooms from 144€. Fllights to Nice are available from most international airports, from there Cannes is about a 30-45 minute taxi journey, or similar journey times for bus or rail travel.