France: Cannes: Where to Stay: Grand: Hotel Majestic Barrière
Hotel Majestic Barrière
Like its sister hotel, Paris’ Fouquet’s Barrière, the Hotel Majestic Barrière mixes old world glamour with sleek lines behind its imposing Belle Epoque façade. However, where the Parisian property’s luxury takes on a more audacious, contemporary form, the Majestic remains more firmly rooted to a traditional sense of ‘handsome.’ The recently renovated rooms feature gold-and-crimson pinstriped sofas and heavy champagne curtains; other rooms are bolder, with rich beige accents over a black and white palette. It’s a more sober feel than one might expect beneath the gloriously bright-blue skies of Cannes, but the un-fussy approach is welcome and the bright upkeep of the rooms are a definite plus. Alas, other properties have slipped in the details—the carpets in Le Martinez’s un-renovated hallways are in dire need of some attention—but the Majestic wins the award for being the most disciplined about constant update. The soon-to-open second wing has been a lengthy three-year project adding over 40 junior suites and suites plus two oceanfront duplex suites at a generous 420 square meters each, which also boast private pools and solariums. This is a commendable feat considering how tight Cannes is on space—portions of the massive Majestic seem pushed up right against the water and its southwest corner stands within spitting distance of those famous red-carpeted steps of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A drawback of the Majestic’s massive 2010 project is that the fitness club and pool are currently inaccessible. For access to brand-new equipment, guests at the InterContinental Carlton have a small and pleasant (albeit somewhat public) fitness center with all the updated amenities, including personal televisions. For grand accommodations with a pool, the deck at Le Martinez remains a key gathering place next to the in-house, Michelin-starred La Palme d’Or. This year’s newbie, The 1835 White Palm Hotel, plans to have a rooftop pool by next summer 2010.