This is one of the most intriquing hotels in Cannes, and one of the most comfortable. Le Grand Hotel is a large property with a prime location on the Croisette. It even has its own private beach for its guests. Yet it only has 45 rooms and has a distinct boutique feel to it---most likely due to the fact that it has been run by the same family for generations. It is the details, at this hotel, that make it a standout.
Its exterior is indeed grand. This privately owned property also includes apartments and a large elegant villa used for cultural exhibitions.
Le Grand Hotel has the highest floor of any hotel in Cannes, and that is where I was taken to see the suite on the 11th floor. When they opened the door, this was the view....
The first thing I did was make a beeline for the glass doors to open them and walk out on the terrace. It was surprisingly wide, with a small table and chairs perfect for dinner for two. Under a full moon. With a sea breeze. And champagne. Dinner cooked by the Michelin star chef in the hotel. But more about that later.
I was told that the barrier behind the table could be removed to open up to another spacious terrace including a large jacuzzi, with an entrance to an adjoining suite---providing the possibility of settling into a quite large living space.
The view was just unbelievable. You could see the entire bay of Cannes, the mountains, the beach, old town....and I could imagine how it would look at night with all the sparkling lights.
Two wicker chaise longues were positioned facing the sea, waiting for someone to snuggle into them for a nap in the sun.
I could imagine sitting here forever watching the yachts come and go.
Back inside, the decor was a cool blend of 50's and 60's, which was refreshing and fun.
Yet there were high tech touches like an ipad and huge flat screen TVs.
....which was simple and comfortable, with red bedside reading lights by Philip Stark.
Le Grand Hotel was built in the 60's and is emblematic of that error. Major renovations upgraded the entire complex, making it supremely attractive and giving it a contemporary, sleek feel.
Le Cercle Bar faces the sea and spills outside onto the lawn.....
....and artwork such as the "roses" constantly change color at night..........from pale pink to fuscia to red.....
But here's the best news of all.
Le Grand Hotel has one of the best chefs on the Cote d'Azur, Sebastien Broda. This Michelin star chef has lifted Cannes' hotel dining scene to a higher level with his inspired cuisine, which reflects the exquisite produce available on the Riviera. You can sample his cooking at Le Park 45, either inside or outside. You will be in the good hands of a chef who has worked with Roger Verger, at La Palme d'Or and at the Carlton.
This is a hotel I can enthusiastically recommend. It is retro chic, colorful, filled with light, sparkling clean, in a prime location, with a beach and a beach restaurant, a Michelin star chef, and an atmosphere that is friendly and very upbeat. No stuffy antique lobby at this hotel. It is breathing and alive. Its energy will revive you. Just what a great hotel should do.
Le Grand Hotel, 45 Bd. de La Croisette, Cannes, France
33 (0)4 93 38 15 45