Next week’s opening of Festival de Cannes 2014 marks the beginning of the summer season along the French Riviera. In recent years, landmark hotels like the Martinez have found themselves living under Hyatt management thanks to a buyout from foreign investment funds that also snapped up the nearby Majestic and former-Noga Hilton. These days, its smaller properties like Five Seas Hotel that’s our favorite address with its 1-star Michelin rooftop eatery and new brasserie that’s one of the hottest reservations during the festival.
Walking the Croisette you’ll notice a number of changes this year both during and after the festival. Many of the club pop-ups of recent years have been pushed off the main promenade in lieu of corporate-branded events. Longtime Felix restaurant and its infamous foie gras terrines recently shuttered to make room for yet another multinational luxury boutique. For those looking for local, French flavors you’ll have to walk a bit inland to find Casa Mia with its incredible Italian dinner or new Le Tube that opened in a former garage and serves up uber-casual organic cuisine with a stylish twist.
In terms of festival nightlife, look for Le Baron to return with its impromptu cabaret stage at the Hotel 3.14 and all its retro glamour while both Nikki Beach and VIP Room set-up at the Carlton and JW Marriott respectively. Look for Gotha Club to also represent with a preview of its summer DJ line-up in addition to Baoli and its Baoli Beach Club that just celebrated a Gault Millau award.