The May 13th opening of the Cannes Film Festival also marks the unofficial kickoff of high season along the Cote d’Azur. With corporate tie-ins and studio-sponsored events redefining the landscape of Cannes more than ever this year, the city you see during the festival doesn't quite resemble anything you’ll find before or after. During the festival, addresses from the Martinez to the Carlton ring with flashbulb decadence even with their bland chain-hotel monikers that include Grand Hyatt and Intercontinental these days. Smaller, secluded addresses like Five Seas Hotel or residential Tiara Yaktsa offer chicer confines as well as Hotel du Cap that is the hottest booking of the festival and comes with easy access to its annual AmFar party.
Guests arriving to the festival via Nice this year will find local helicopter operators teaming with Uber to provide a new on-demand helicopter service that will cut the sometimes 2-hour commute down to 15-minutes. Once there, however, visitors will notice a mostly-French collection of sponsors, pop-ups and logos along La Croisette that’s been designed to maintain an authentic French feel. Beach clubs from Baoli Beach to L’Ondine and L’Ecrin will entertain seaside by day as well as Nikki Beach that upgrades this year to the posh beachfront and pier of the Carlton Hotel with glam pop-up lounge inside the hotel’s lobby.
Dining comes has two faces in Cannes, touristy and impenetrable. Casa Mia and Restaurant Mantel offer culinary respites bookable a week in advance and well away from the festival madness. For a foodie fieldtrip, takeoff for lunch at La Colombe d’Or that’s been a bohemian hideaway for artists like Miro, Braque, Chagall and Calder who left behind treasures along the property's pool and interior corridors. Or perhaps dinner in Cap Ferrat at epicurean La Voile d’Or or nearby Grand Hotel that will debut as a Four Seasons later this month �" a shock to many of its neighbors. A 9pm in Cap Ferrat will put you back in Cannes in perfect time as the parties kickoff after 1am. Le Baron returns to the 3.14 Hotel again this year as well Gotha Club that gives a festival preview of what’s to come upon season opening in July. But it’s VIP Room that’s making the biggest spectacle with a lineup that includes Swizz Beatz, Tyga, Afrojack, Lindsay Lohan, French Montana, Snoop Dogg, and Wiz Khalifa that’s better than ever for 2015.