Is A Vacation In Cannes Worth The Splurge?
If you visit the Hauterfly HQ right now, all you will hear is what’s happening at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. our social team i frantically trying to keep up with updates from our Bollywood beauties, our writers are re-creating the gorgeous makeup looks, and all of us are majorly crushing on Deepika Padukone. God, that lady makes me question my sexual preferences.
But while everyone is keeping their eyes glued to the red carpet, mine has wandered off to the beauty that is the French town of Cannes. It comes alive during this time of year, with the who’s who of the international film fraternity attending the glamorous annual festival, but if you are planning a visit there then here are some things you need to know.
How To Get There
Cannes is a resort town in France and is ideal for those looking for a glamorous beach getaway. There are frequent flights from Mumbai and New Delhi to Nice for around 45k one-way (considering you might not want to come back) and the flight duration is an average of 12 hours.
From Nice, it’s a picturesque one-hour drive to Cannes. And this is one road trip that will kick the ass of every other road trip, ever. Or you can take the amazing train route too.
Where To Stay
Now, this place is for those who have never heard of the word “savings” and refuse to believe that poverty exists, or if I have to put it precisely, it’s for “Sharmaji ke bache“.
Because even a decent enough, average-looking room — though beautiful — will cost you a whopping 10k per night.
The most popular hotel that has all the celebrities staying in and needs to be booked almost a year in advance, is the Carlton. It is heartbreakingly expensive but it’s a luxurious experience that is worth it. Another popular luxury option worth checking is the Martinez, where all our Bollywood beauties usually do their day-time photo ops.
If you are going for a *relatively* budget-friendly stay, then Hotel Thomas is a good option, which is an hour away from the Palace Des Festivals, where the film festival takes place. Complete with a rooftop restaurant that offers an ideal view of the bay, fill your senses with romance here.
Another place that will make your holiday memorable is La Villa Tosca, that basically has only 22 rooms with the cutest balconies and comparatively cheaper, for approximately 6k per night.
If you are feeling really fancy, you can stay at the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, right on the peninsula of Nice and Cannes. Ask for a room with a grand view of the Mediterranean sea and you will know what heaven looks like.
Where To Eat
Here comes the real deal. The French Riviera won’t disappoint when it comes to exotic delicacies, but a fair disclaimer is that you absolutely need to develop a taste for the food there. It is quite possible that you will miss ’em theplas.
For those staying at the InterContinental Carlton (please be my friends?), their in-house beach restaurant will ensure that you don’t have to wander anywhere else for a fantastic seafood meal.
But, do go out and explore the streets to find cute cafes like La Mere Besson, which is pretty much hidden in the town’s pretty bylanes. Have the most delectable stuffed rabbit and beef stew there, and sip on some wine to make your taste buds do a little happy dance. It gets crowded as soon as the sun sets, so make sure you are on time if you have dinner plans.
Though the prices here are steep (like most restaurants there), the view at Le Chateau De La Chevre D’or is to die for (again, true for most restaurants there). And when you top it off with a hearty breakfast of croissants or souffle, you will actually want to die there. Works perfectly well for just a drink and a snack too.
For a taste of the town’s nightlife and a fab sundowner by the beach, head to Le Baoli, which is bang on the Boulevard de la Croisette. Visited by movie stars and other celebs, it is THE place to be.
Now, if you really want to dine like royalty, head to the castle hotel La Colombe d’Or, which has the quaintest restaurants and word has it that Picasso dined there often. So, you know, some validation.
And if you are fed up of all the caviar and other such fancy food, hog on ‘philcat’ which is a hybrid of a pizza and a sandwich, and is a staple street food there.
What To Do
After those chic meals, you can go back and sleep in your cosy room or you can do a little sightseeing. Yes, there is more to the town than beaches.
Cannes is synonyms with the arts and cinema, but if attending the film festival is not on the cards, there are various centres across the length and breadth of the town to see fabulous French art, like the Cinefil Cinema Arcades and Cinema Olympia.
Also, if you are visiting during the festival (bad idea), you can check out all the film screenings on a giant screen installed on Mace Beach each night, for free. Any day better, no?
When in France, you HAVE to check out the stunning architecture and the museums. Musée de la Castre, located in the old town of Cannes, called Le Suquet, is a museum started by monks and is a must-visit.
Fun fact: Cannes was originally inhabited by monks much before it was taken over by the movie business.
While every luxury boutique worth its salt has a store (or two) there, if you are looking for an affordable shopping spree then head to Rue Meynadier and you might just get lucky.
In Le Suquet again is Marché Forville, which is the flea market with all kinds of stalls — fruits, cheeses, charcuterie, olives, and olive oil — and the town’s last handful of fishermen displaying their daily catch. It is a delightful place for those who love food.
And you CANNOT go to Cannes without spending a day doing almost nothing at Palm Beach. It lines the coast with palm trees and the clear ocean in the backdrop, and looks like a scene out of a Hollywood movie.
High society ladies with fur coats accompanied by their poodles, and Ferraris being the cheapest car on the road, is what you will get to see when in Cannes. Also, the locals are not hospitable at all. In fact, both Conde Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure magazines listed it among the unfriendliest cities in the world! In a sentence, Cannes is the blingy, shiny, VVIP guest at a party who everyone says hello to but secretly hates.
If you happen to spot a known face while strolling the streets, don’t get too happy. It’s only when you get a little closer that you will realise they might be lookalikes. Yes, you’ll find lots of them there.
If you do go to Cannes, never, ever go in May because everything will be a hundred times more expensive — from tourist hot spots to hotels and even flight tickets –and it will be super crowded. The best time to visit is October.
Now excuse me as I check out Hindi memes for the rest of my day.