Visited: Five Seas Hotel, Cannes
May 21, 2014
Considering the Cannes Film Festival’s lofty reputation for heralding undiscovered, off the mainstream talent – it seems fitting that one of the city’s best hotels still remains a bit of an insider’s secret. Part of this is due to the luxurious Five Seas Hotel being tucked away on a street parallel to the town’s famous Croisette promenade – close enough to the action but, at the same time, a world away.
Located in a fairly innocuous, cream-coloured building – which up until 2009 was the city’s central post office – the reason for the calm location is that the Five Seas backs on to the handsome Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage church, even though it is a mere hundred metres from the hustle and bustle of the Palais des Festivals – the film festival’s spiritual home.
Like every good film, inspiration had to come from somewhere, and in the church next-door the Five Seas not only found itself an unexpected accomplice, but its designers found their source of inspiration.
The stunning seaside town of Cannes has been a favourite of tourists and travellers long before the yearly influx of Hollywood elite – and the media circus that comes with it.
The town has a long history of hosting travellers since it was first founded in second century BC – in fact, it was at the Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage, where Napoleon stayed upon his returned to France, following his exile in 1815. Therefore, architects Marc Hertrich and Nicolas Adnet took the decision to cast the concept of the traveller in the lead role when designing the Five Seas Hotel.
Opened in 2011, the idea behind the 45-room boutique hotel – or “micro-Palace” if you’re feeling fancy – was to create a private and luxurious refuge for the weary high-end traveller.
With a style that marries the city’s vintage Riviera glamour, everything within the converted post office was refitted and made- to-measure with quirky twists inspired by famous silver-screen destinations.
The generously-sized ‘tailor-made’ bedrooms are impressive and have a level of design and interior ingenuity. The beds in each of the 45 rooms and suites have sweeping overhead canopies while the large dressing rooms made out to look like travelers’ trunks. It’s stylish quirks such as these that help separate the art- house Five Seas from it the mainstream rivals.
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The stylish bathrooms are separated from the rest of the room by a sliding glass wall, and show off the crisp, clean design of a freestanding vanity mirror as well as curving free-standing sinks. And, of course, boast a little flourish of Hollywood glamour with warm-hearted amenities from l’Occitane.
But out of all each of the hotel’s 15 suites, its award contender has to be its ‘Top of Five’ suite.
Situated on the – you guessed it – top floor, this secretive cocoon has envious views along the Cannes Riviera including the historical Le Suquet district and its castle overlooking the Vieux Port. As if from a film itself, the sunset bathes the view in shades of pink, like a canvas hanging over the city.
With the summer approaching, the outdoor terrace roofs could be mistaken for a private deck aboard a luxury yacht, and is ideal for a cheeky late breakfast of classy-looking cappuccinos and freshly baked pastries from the spectacular in-house patisserie, Intuition by J – headed up by a World Champion Pastry maker Jérôme De Oliveira. So famous are De Oliveira’s macaroons that we wouldn’t be surprised to see the likes of Angelina Jolie sneaking a couple in her handbag to gorge on later.
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Not to be outdone on the gastronomy stakes, the hotel’s fine-dining Sea Sens restaurant is currently the talk of the town, thanks to their two leading men and – more importantly – their recently awarded Michelin star.
Headed up by the hugely gifted Chef Arnaud Tabarec, the chic fifth floor restaurant offers a clever use of fresh market foods and spices from the five continents, inspired by his travels all around the world. The lavish space is filled with lanterns, suede banquettes, bivouac-style armchairs, and floral wall panels, and also boasts one of the most enviable views of Cannes. Add to that De Oliveira’s input on the dessert menu and you are looking at a restaurant of serious note.
For the days not spent in cruising around the Riviera (the hotel has a private 27m yacht that can be reserved for guests) or people watching from an elegant cafe on the Croisette, guests can either opt to lounge around the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool or check themselves into the Cinq Mondes Spa. The 250m2 spa has a hammam; sauna; high-tech gym and five treatment rooms, including one dedicated exclusively to the Carita brand offering the top of the range anti-aging and wellness treatments.
For us, it remains a mystery how the Five Seas remains an insiders secret, but perhaps – like everything here at Cannes – the best kept secrets are best kept secret.
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Details : Five Seas Hotel, 1 Rue Notre-Dame, Cannes, France. For more visit five-seas-hotel-cannes.com