Cannes is world famous thanks to its annual film festival. With humble beginnings as a tiny fishing village in the 1800s, this Riviera destination has transformed itself into the most fashionable place on the Mediterranean. Not content to just appeal to the film industry, it is now a centre for numerous workplace festivals catering to sectors as diverse as advertising (Cannes Lions) and real estate (MIPIM). Away from networking, visitors and vacationers can enjoy the red carpet-ready seaside town with a supercar. Luxury car hire in France allows visitors to explore the palm-lined streets and neighbouring resorts in total freedom.
Arrive in style
There are few city promenades more alluring than La Croisette, and a luxury car rental in Cannes means you can cruise along it in a style that befits your surroundings. A convertible would give you full access to the invigorating sea breeze of the Mediterranean. You won’t be the only one in a supercar since the streets teem with Ferraris and Lamborghinis as they glide past marinas full of glistening white mega yachts and waterfront cafes. Get the valet to park your car at one of the exclusive hotels in the area such as the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez, which boasts its own private beach and the only 2-star Michelin restaurant in town. This is the Art Deco-style hotel that the rich and famous have been flocking to since the 1920s when F. Scott Fitzgerald and his friends let loose. These days it is frequented by stars like Scarlett Johansson, Robert De Niro and Jake Gyllenhaal, who appreciate its stunning decor and convenient location on La Croisette.
Explore the Old Town
Historic Cannes originated in the Suquet Hill district. Its narrow streets definitely deserve a stroll as you ascend to the Musée de la Castre that sits atop the hill. It houses an impressive collection of Indonesian and Tibetan ethnographic art and an 11th-century tower, which offers entrancing views of the orange-tiled roofs, golden beaches, glistening sea and distant mountains. St-Antoine is one of the prettiest streets in Cannes, adjoining Rue de Suquet and running down the steep hill back towards the port. The street is full of cafe terraces perfect for people-watching, but the best eatery on this strip is the highly-renowned Mantel. The discreet restaurant has carved a niche for itself in delivering wonderfully unpretentious food in beautiful, contemporary surroundings with a delicious three-course menu of Mediterranean flavours as tempting as lobster ravioli and lemon tarte.
Enjoy the Nightlife
As the sun sets on your first day in Cannes, wine aficionados might like to try Le Bar a Vin, which has a selection of over 100 wines that are paired with various cheeses. Locals love this place for its cosy ambience and outdoor seating. Next stop is the high-end nightclub Le Bâoli where there’s a high chance you’ll be sharing floor space with some famous faces. Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg and Prince Albert of Monaco are just some of the elite guests who have sampled the plush interiors of this nightspot.
Shop til you drop…on the beach
While in Cannes, you should sample some of the designer boutiques that dot the town. The main shopping street can be found on Rue d’Antibes, which has a combination of boutiques, perfumeries and upmarket brands. Across from the sea, Chanel, Dior, Yves St Laurent and all the other big designer brands are present and correct along La Croisette, making this a red carpet boulevard in every kind of way. If all that shopping exhausts you, then head straight over to the beach. Most of the beaches belong to the luxury hotels such as the Martinez and Carlton, and the popular Plage Royale is owned by the Grand Hotel. However, for a price, non-guests are granted access to their precious sands and can use the lounge chairs, sun umbrellas and changing facilities.
Sample Cannes’ Finest Cocktails
If you want to splash out on an ultra-luxurious meal for your final night, the Palme d’Or Restaurant at the Martinez Hotel more than obliges. It boasts an enviable setting overlooking the sea, which is backed by a refined dining room. The food in the Michelin restaurant is among the very best cuisine you’ll ever have, providing you with an unforgettable meal. The rival Carlton Hotel is another sophisticated spot, but this time for cocktails. During the Film Festival, the lounge bar is packed with celebrities and those who haven’t yet moved on to a superyacht party. It channels a Belle Epoque vibe, but it’s a thoroughly modern venue where cocktails are the drink of choice as fashionistas and their high-profile dates watch passersby on the Croisette out of huge windows.
48 hours is more than enough time to experience Cannes’ highlights, but the area as a whole is best enjoyed at your leisure with a prestige car rental. The sights and luxurious experiences of the Riviera will call you back again and again.