The Hedonist: Cannes

What to see and where to be seen

Two elderly ladies swan down the Promenade de la Croisette in precarious bejewelled stilettos, matching leopard-print dresses and lashings of bubblegum-pink lipstick. Elsewhere, they might attract some odd looks, but in Cannes, they melt into a sea of sun-kissed skin, slicked-back hair and designer swimwear.

The moment I step out of the airport, I am confronted by that signature South of France welcome: the faint scent of pine and sea salt, and the predictably grouchy Cannois taxi driver. We speed along the winding roads and come to an abrupt halt outside the Tiara Yaksta (00 33 4 92 28 60 30; tiara-hotels.com), where he tosses my luggage unceremoniously on to the doorstep of this boutique bolthole and vanishes in a puff of tobacco smoke.

Perched on the red rocks of Théoule-sur-Mer and overlooking the picture-perfect Baie de Cannes, Tiara Yaksta's manicured garden stretches out on several levels, dotted generously with large white Balinese beds. Disturbed only by a chorus of cicadas, this is a welcome alternative to Cannes' film-festival hang-out Hotel du Cap Eden Roc across the bay in Antibes (00 33 4 93 61 39 01; hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.com). Stepping into the cool hallway, I am escorted through rose scented corridors with a distinct Moroccan influence. Wide terracotta tiles and coloured glass lamps encasing candles light the steps. My room is just as I had imagined – bright and airy with a four-poster bed draped in silks – and I can make out a half-moon balcony through the windows.

Then, after a sublime violet-infused martini in a paper-thin glass, I find myself wandering along the Croisette, admiring the flashy beachfront hotels and pristine designer shops. I contemplate Caffè Roma (00 33 4 93 38 05 04; cafferoma.fr) for a moment, where plates of gnocchi bubble with fresh tomato sauce and oozing molten mozzarella. However, I settle for the more traditional surroundings of Pastis (00 33 4 92 98 95 40; pastis-cannes.com), a brasserie where long-suffering French husbands gather to swig liquor while their wives brandish credit cards in expensive boutiques. One filet de boeuf (rare) and half a carafe of rosé later, temptation gets the better of me and I head to chic Italian Cinquanta (00 33 4 93 39 00 01) for a creamy strawberry tiramisu accompanied by amaretto-soaked biscuits.

Onwards, in search of the glitzier side of Cannes: a collection of bars nestled in the backstreets of the rue d'Antibes. I weave my way in the company of a couple of friendly locals past the whirlwind of crisp shirts and diamonds spilling out of trendy lounge bar Cosy Box (00 33 6 11 83 37 29; cosy-box.com), then make a necessary pit-stop at tiny cocktail bar called Le Sun7 (lesun7.com), where we demolish a bottle of tequila.

In no time, we're whisked away by a couple of charming French gentlemen who own a rather powerful car. We race up to Le Bâoli (00 33 4 93 43 03 43; www.baoli-group.com) where the evening terrace – all flowing silk and languid lounge music – is given over to house beats, sequined dresses and a never-ending supply of champagne. Dawn is about to break when we pile on to a pristine yacht for front row seats of the sunrise. Then, minutes later, I collapse on to an enormous cream mattress on deck, my four-poster bed long forgotten.

In Cannes, a hotel room is all very well, but waking up on a private yacht is definitely preferable.

A Hedonist's Guide to... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see hg2.com

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Holiday Homes - £100,000 OTE

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?