9 Places to Spot Celebs in Cannes
Sometimes, you travel to get off the grid. Other trips are all about diving into a high-octane, star-studded bacchanal of late-night parties, diamond facials and €30 Champagne cocktails. For those with stars in their eyes in advance of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival (May 11-22), contributor Emily Saladino shares the best shops, spas and under-the-radar hotel pool parties for Gallic gatecrashers. Grab your Hermes, get a blowout, and prepare to (tastefully) ogle the A-list.
Don your largest designer shades to stroll the western part of Promenade de la Croisette, a glittering boulevard along the Mediterranean coast. Time your constitutional correctly, and you might happen upon Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and the Coen brothers strutting the red carpet at Palais des Festivals et des Congres, home to the film festival since 1949.
If your Louboutins are killing you after strolling La Croisette, stop for an aperitif, espresso or dark Italian chocolate at Bar Lalu, a hip bistro situated between the star-studded InterContinental and Hotel Martinez. It also has one of the city’s most popular brunches, served from 11:00 a.m.
Buzzy Hotel Martinez and InterContinental Carlton Cannes host ample glitterati, but this 101-year-old grand dame is the respite of choice for those fleeing the maddening crowds. A hop, skip and a speedboat ride from the Cap d’Antibes, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc’s previous guests include Clint Eastwood, Sharon Stone and Beyonce and Kelly Rowland, who once performed an impromptu poolside duet.
Rue d’Antibes, or Cannes’ Rodeo Drive, has outposts from the typical big name designers (bonjour, Mont Blanc), but the best finds occur at local shops like Bathroom Graffiti, a concept store selling Seven Tees t-shirts and kooky housewares like a pair of white ceramic table lamps shaped like monkeys.
The Restaurant (in Town)
Hotel Martinez only permits hotel guests into its elegant Art Deco lobby and swish private beach, so those hungry for access should book a table at La Palme d’Or, the onsite clubhouse and only two-Michelin-star restaurant in Cannes. Longtime chef Christian Sinicropi serves breezy seafood dishes like rosemary- and aniseed-scented Bluefin tuna belly on his own, handmade ceramic tableware.
The Other Restaurant (in the Country)
When has Elton John ever steered you wrong? Captain Fantastic is among countless festivalgoers who make the ten-minute drive from Cannes to the hills of Mougins, where Le Moulin des Mougins, a two-Michelin-star eatery, serves Provencal cuisine in a restored 16th century mill.
Clarins 5,000-square-foot spa at the Hotel Majestic feels as fresh as the day it opened. Fittingly, the signature treatment is an anti-aging, deep-muscle facial massage that uses a cream Sisley spent seven years developing, Supremya at Night. The Supreme facial is the preferred post-flight, pre-premiere treatment of jetlagged industry folks.
The Spa-Slash-Cocktail Bar
If there is a better tipsy impulse buy than a lounge chair massage, we don’t want to hear about it. Splashy in more ways than one, ZPlage is a cocktail bar where Cannes’ prettiest people lounge on teak chaises overlooking Hotel Martinez’ private beach. The bar menu includes fresh pineapple juice, rum cocktails and a la carte spa therapies like reflexology and Swedish massages.
Get your party on at Baoli, a swank spot in Porto Canto where the likes of Jay-Z, Jude Law and Prince Albert of Monaco park their Bentleys, nibble salmon sashimi and sip Champagne cocktails. The tropical, vaguely Balinese design scheme extends to the roof deck, which has canopied beds and flickering candles overlooking the Bay of Cannes.