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May 11, 2024updated 13 May 2024 8:20am

Live the French Riviera fantasy at Hôtel Martinez

The place to see and be seen in Cannes

By Milly Rochow

Hôtel Martinez sits on a glistening coastline on one of the most glamorous streets in the French Riviera. Since it opened in the roaring twenties, the hotel has been the place to be seen in Cannes and has attracted A-listers and royalty over the decades.

Hôtel Martinez sits on the Mediterranean coastline in the French Riviera

Location

Hôtel Martinez enjoys a prime location on La Croisette, the street that epitomises the glitz and glamour stereotype of Cannes. Expect a Ferrari parked outside the hotel, seasoned shoppers browsing the likes of Chanel and Prada and guests disembarking from their yacht onto a private beach.

During the Cannes Film Festival in May, Hôtel Martinez is at the epicentre of the action, fully booked with film stars and a 15 minute walk to The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. However, the hotel’s prime location is not confined to the festival season alone. It’s only a 30-minute drive from Nice airport and a 15-minute walk from the Gare de Cannes station.

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Look & Feel

Although the largest hotel in Cannes, there is a boutique feel to it. The hotel has undergone several refurbishments throughout the years, with the most significant of them being the multi-million pound makeover that began in 2016, led by world-renowned interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, whose style has graced The Savoy London and Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat. Rochon gave the hotel a contemporary feel without betraying its 1930s Art Deco roots. Guests are soothed on arrival by the calming white and blue marble lobby that features some added je ne sais quoi with ceiling motifs inspired by Jean Cocteau, once a regular guest of the hotel. 

The Art Deco display cases remain intact, and now feature works by Damien Hirst whose work is adorned in various locations throughout the hotel.

The overall feel is light and open, continuing Rochon’s sentiment that luxury lies in space.

Rooms & Suites

Prestige sea view suites at the Hôtel Martinez offer glistening views of the coastline

The hotel boasts 410 rooms, giving guests plenty of choice. The jewels of the hotel are the sea view suites, which offer stunning views of the sparkling Mediterranean and the Cote D’Azur coastline. The rooms are close enough to hear the waves lapping the shore. The sea theme spills into the rooms which are decorated with soothing white lacquered furniture and mirrors and flooded with light. The water and sunshine thread continues into the bathrooms, where guests can throw open a panel to allow a glorious sea view from the bath.

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Two rooftop suites on the seventh floor, originally designed as private residences, offer guests a stunning 180-degree panoramic view of the Bay of Cannes that make guests feel like they are on top of the Riviera. 

The suites are designed in honour of icons of French cinema – actress Isabelle Huppert, and Thierry Frémeux, director of the Cannes Film Festival. Huppert inspires the femininity imbued throughout one suite while black and white cinematography a la Frémeux is throughout the other. The two suites can be booked together as one mega-suite, the largest in Europe – at a cool rate of €50,000 a night.

Penthouse suite at Hôtel Martinez, inspired by Thierry Frémeux, director of Cannes Film Festival
Jean Imbert is the face of La Plage du Martinez

Dining

The dining scene on Cote d’Azur is renowned for its high standards, and the Hôtel Martinez is no exception. La Plage du Martinez, the hotel’s beach club dining restaurant located just a minute’s walk from the lobby, is now under the guidance of renowned Chef Jean Imbert. The vibrant beach bar leans into the hotel’s ode to film with elegant movie poster menus and director-style chairs adorned with Hollywood stars’ names.  Guests can indulge in a glass of Provence rose and the catch of the day while enjoying the stunning view of the glistening Mediterranean. 

Le Sud restaurant, situated in the hotel lobby, offers all-day dining. The breakfast spread is impressive, featuring cold cuts, hot plates, and a wide variety of pastries and sweet treats from the Boulangerie. In the evening, expect a casual dining experience with the menu ranging from niçoise salad to Côte de boeuf and spaghetti vongole. And, in reliably French fashion, an impressively extensive wine selection.

For dining more in-keeping with the celebrity lifestyle, Michelin starred La Palme d’Or’s terrace offers a breathtaking view of the beachfront. Although it is currently under renovation, expected to re-open in spring 2024.

Amenities

As part of the grand renovation, the hotel’s wellness area L’Oasis du Martinez was unveiled in spring 2022. Situated on the roof of the first floor, the spacious relaxation area is set far enough back from the bustling La Croisette for guests to enjoy peace by the pool. A curated botanical selection creates two different atmospheres in the gardens, one tropical and one Provencal.

The spa, in partnership with the French luxury skincare brand Carita, has been freshly renovated and spans seven treatment rooms, including two secluded double salon rooms for guests who prefer more privacy. Guests can choose from signature treatments such as the Rejuvenic Gold facial, which uses 24k gold, or a more bespoke treatment offering for sports, pregnancy, and children.

For those who prefer a seafront seat and a more vibrant atmosphere, Hôtel Martinez has a coveted private beach spot just steps from the hotel’s entrance.

L’Oasis du Martinez is situated on the roof of the first floor for a peaceful setting

The verdict

Hôtel Martinez deserves its reputation as the centre of life in Cannes offering history, glamour and finesse Riviera-style.

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