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Far from the Cannes Craze

Frolic in the private club scene

It’s become so de rigueur for private clubs to set up Cannes outposts at festival time that one, London’s Soho House — usually overtaking a yacht in the Palais-adjacent harbor — has decided to skip the circuit. (It is having a bash at Chateau La Napoule instead.) Returning this year, however, are Blighty’s Century Club, French-run Nikki Beach, and newbie M1NT. Here’s a peek inside:

CENTURY CANNES
Run by London’s Century Club proprietor Pierre Condu, this Cannes offshoot is a haven for those who want to escape the Croisette crush. Condu calls it “a beach oasis in the mayhem of Cannes for Century members and friends to meet, network and party.” So, expect to leave with vodka-soaked business cards.
Find It: A bespoke club, built on Vegaluna Beach, in front of the Carlton Hotel.
Meet: Mostly Brits, film biz execs and their jetsetting pals. A mix in past years included Matthew Freud, Ian McKellen, Jeremy Thomas and Michael Winterbottom.
Expect: Beachside restaurant/club, with large decks, VIP rooms, dance floor, plasma screens, Wi-Fi, and two bars. House drink is the Century Bramble (gin, elderflower, lemongrass, crème de mure).
Bonus: Poker room, sushi bar, U.K. DJs nightly
Access: Open to Century London members and by invitation; apply to Sonya at cannes@centuryclub.co.uk Phone: London (+44 20 7534 3080) and Cannes (+33(0)4 92 59 06 68)
Hours: 10-2:30 a.m. (May 16-25)

M1NT FESTIVAL HOUSE
Backed by London’s M1NT (a clubbing concept that makes members shareholders in its venues) and PR firm Four Communications, this new destination will take over a villa in the center of Cannes. M1NT Festival House is touted as “both a powerful business environment and a luxurious hideaway.” (Maybe Paris Hilton, who has booked a private party, didn’t get the memo about the “business” part.) DJ lineup will include members of Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada and Ministry of Sound.
Find It: Villa Khayat, on Avenue de Bénéfiat. Venue played host to last year’s Wild Bunch and StudioCanal parties.
Meet: Year-round M1NT membership is tilted toward the Brits — Prince William is a member, U.K. grocery store scion Sebastien Sainsbury is chairman. But with several studio preem parties booked at the villa this year, Hollywood could be making M1NT its flavor.
Expect: A swank villa with expansive grounds, dining areas, full bar, pool, mini-gym, high speed Wi-Fi, plasma screens and a THX-certified digital screening facility. Moët & Chandon and Belvedere Vodka will pour.
Bonus: Black Cab car service to and from the venue (glug-glug); Ireland’s Nue Blue Eriu spa treatments, plus bodyguards available for hire.
Access: £200 ($399); go to: thefestivalhouse.com
Hours: 8-5 a.m. (May 16-27)

NIKKI BEACH
Gallic party brand and concierge service Nikki is back on the beach with its chic but easygoing island vibe. Staff will be sporting Patrizia Pepe-designed uniforms. Note: Wear anything but Pepe.
Locate: Daytime space Nikki Beach happens next to the Carlton Beach restaurant. At night, Nikki takes over the ballroom inside the Carlton hotel.
Meet: Francophiles and the Euro glamouratti. Past Nikki-based soirees have lured Cannes guests from Elton John, Sharon Stone, Bono, 50 Cent, and models Eva Herzigova and Petra Nemcova. Last year, the Moroccan post-premiere dinner for “Babel” was held at Nikki Beach.
Expect: Beach club serves cocktails and food (including a buffet and sushi menu all day), the indoor venue is a night club. Nikki house cocktail this year is Cointreau’s BeCointreauversial, featuring gold flakes.
Bonus: Range Rover car service for VIPs; beachside gifting lounge, offering celebs freebies like safaris to Kenya, trips to Bora Bora and Fendi sunglasses
Access: Open to Nikki VIP card holders, other fest VIPs. Go to: nikkibeach.com/cannes
Hours: Nikki Beach: lunch from Noon-4 p.m.; cocktails from 3-7 p.m., dinner from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Nikki Club: Midnight-5 a.m. Gifting lounge: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., by appointment only (May 16-27).

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