The Hotel Majestic Barrière offers a splendid view across the La Croisette towards the Cannes Film Festival’s main building with its roof designed as a spacious helipad. To the left, is the beach where a bikini clad Brigitte Bardot introduced a new beach fashion to a whole world in the early 1950s. In the middle is the private entrance for artists to the festival building, right now leading into the Palais Club discotheque. Further out is the Port de Cannes where many large and comfortable private yachts are anchored.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro-Nilsson 2008
Once a year the city of Cannes becomes the focal point to all who hold any hope of making it into the fame and fortunes of the international movie industry, as it hosts the most important film festival in the world, the annual Festival de Cannes.
The festival started in the 1940s and today attracts more than 200,000 visitors every year. Stars, filmmakers, fans and star-gazers alike plus more than 4,300 journalists, all gather in a city that would normally only house some 70 thousand inhabitants.
On the top floor of the Hotel Majestic Barrière. A few unnumbered suites offer spacious comfort and an undisturbed view over the Cannes Film Festival area and the beach.
Cannes’ climate and location, that comfortably lets it bask in the sun along the French-Italian Riviera – the rocky coastline where Provence faces the azure blue water of the Mediterranean – has proved irresistible and has also become the European summer destination par preference of the rich and famous as it sits right in-between St Tropes, Nice and the miniature kingdom of Monaco.
A night view of the Palais des Festivals from our balcony, showing a section of the legendary Boulevard de la Croisette, the fashion and nightlife hotspot of Cannes, where the action never seems to stop.
By the end of the summer, the crowd at Cannes appeared to be considerably younger than in St. Tropez. It looked like the rich parents had sent off their kids in yachts, Porches and Lamborghinis to go bathe and party in Cannes, while they remained in St. Tropez for the quieter ambiance and some grown up talk.
The Main film theater – the Palais des Festivals with its red carpet rolled out, advertising the Palais Club Discotheque, a bustling discotheque with its entrance in the same building, just around the corner.
The Port de Cannes quay by night.
If clubbing is not your thing, you can enjoy a walk along the Port de Cannes quay at night, it’s right behind the Palais des Festivals. Lined with beautiful yachts, the Port de Cannes offers a quiet, magical escape of its own, with the warm Mediterranean sea breeze on your cheeks. Looking into the water, large fishes are found curiously investigating the blue underwater anchor light of the yachts.
Arriving at The Majestic
Majestic Barrière, driveway entrance.
For anyone wanting to visit the Hotel Majestic there are basically two options. Either you make it to the top in the movie industry and wait until you get there to pick up your Palm d’Or, or you walk up to the counter and check in as everybody else.
If you arrive by car, you can just drive up and park right in front of the Hotel entrance, alongside the usual Lamborghinis, Porches and Ferraris that basically litter this part of the world. Parking in Cannes is otherwise a recognized nightmare, but here you can just drop your keys with the valet and they will make your car vaporize until needed while your luggage magically transfers into your rooms.
Along the street from the hotel, you’ll find luxury houses stationing their outlets.
Though it is the grandeur of the golden marbled lobby with its chandeliers that strike you as you enter the Majestic Barrière, guests soon understand that this hotel respects the privacy of its guests and makes them feel instantly at home. This warm and friendly service makes this hotel the home abroad to many of the greatest stars in the film industry during the Festival de Cannes. Our portiére also confided some of the tricks the staff use to get a few minutes and maybe a photo taken together with their favourite movie stars, many of whom are really nice people in private, we were told.
Awash in golden light even during the daytime, the marbled and chandeliered lobby of the Majestic Barrière.
The service is impeccable, everybody knows you by name immediately and all service is instant, which leaves you feeling as if they have missed you for a whole year.
The Majestic Barrière houses several luxury brand boutiques including Van Cleef & Arpels, jewellers to Elizabeth Taylor and other celebrities. I found Hotel Majestic to be one of the nicest and most comfortable, most friendly hotels in the world. From the minute you step in, you’ll feel right at home.
The feeling of discretion and privacy envelopes you as you walk through the black on ivory themed corridors with framed pictures of former guests of the Hotel Majestic Barrière.
As an indication of how much privacy guests could be granted at this hotel, our suite was located behind an unmarked door leading into a short red-carpeted corridor of our own.
As a guest at the Majestic Barrière, the word ‘nice’ is not enough to describe the exquisite feeling of pure luxury and comfort you’ll experience when slipping in-between the satin sheets and generous down-filled comforters that drape over the beds.
Morning at the Majestic Barrière
The morning view of the outdoor breakfast area of the Majestic Barrière from our balcony.
A view from the balcony of our room at the Hotel Majestic Barrière in Cannes.
Breakfast at the Majestic Barrière was overwhelmingly varied. A sample of the breakfast buffet included a different assortment of breads, cereals, fruits, cold meats, warm meats, eggs cooked in various ways, a variety of salmon, fresh squeezed fruit juices, bottled fruit juices, milk, yoghurts, cheeses in different makes and flavors, pancakes, waffles, jams and honeys all in tiny bottles for a one time use.
Part of the breakfast buffet spread at the Hotel Majestic Barrière, held in the hotel’s main dining restaurant that has both indoor and outdoor seating.
Perfectly ripened fruits of the season stood out as examples of the minute attention to details that characterized the Hotel Majestic in Cannes. If you liked, served with the thickest and warmest of hot chocolates!
Fruits of the season were served with the breakfast buffet, my favourites were gathered in the dish to the right – a sun ripened peach and two sorts of plums!
The breakfast was languidly paced, one where I would dine at everyday if given the chance. And after breakfast, it was off to the beach just across the street.
On the whole, our stay at the Hotel Majestic Barrière was pure bliss! We were greeted with speedy efficiency and most of all, sincere warmth of wanting you as a guest to have a truly perfect stay.
Their friendly and calm efficiency amidst the Saturday night chaos of the Palais Club just across the street made me smile upon arrival and I felt as if I was coming home. A stark contrast to other five star hotels I have visited in London and New York. Somehow the Hotel Majestic manages to combine superb quality with the friendliest atmosphere possible. I have looked around on the Internet to see if my opinion is unique here, but no, most reviews give the Majestic in Cannes ten stars out of ten possible, and I can only agree.