The Cannes Film Festival has always been the place to see and be seen. But after spending a week or more running between the jam-packed Croisette Palaces and red-carpet events, film execs and talent often wind up yearning for tranquility, privacy or even just an opportunity to venture beyond Rue d’Antibes.
Luckily, the French Riviera abounds in luxurious properties for every taste and need — from five-star farmhouses to 60-meter yachts and architectural villas overlooking the Mediterranean.
Once a confidential haven for the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc located in Antibes, about an hour from Cannes, has been transformed into a hotspot for the jet set. Today, the hotel, built in 1870 as a private mansion, has become as legendary as the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles or the Majestic in Cannes, hosting such red-carpet events as the amfAR dinner.
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For guests aiming for a middle-ground between hotel glitz and the privacy of a residence, the Eden-Roc features beachside cabanas and two adjacent villas, notably Eleana’s, which has three bedrooms, a private swimming pool, a personal butler and a chef on request. Guests have included Brett Ratner, Mel Gibson and Sharon Stone.
Meanwhile, Chateau de la Chevre d’Or and La Bastide Saint-Antoine, two five-star properties that are located 30 minutes outside Cannes, are ideal escapes from the madding crowds.
The big plus for foodies: Both places boast Michelin-starred restaurants.
The Chevre d’Or, built on a hillside overlooking the quaint village of Eze, is the
Riviera’s best-kept secret. Guests praise its romantic atmosphere, refined food and views of Cape Ferrat’s peninsula.
The Bastide, a Relais & Chateaux property that’s located near Grasse, is an 18th-century farmhouse surrounded by a sprawling park with olive groves. It’s known as a romantic countryside retreat popular among stars and politicians.
For travelers looking to rent a mansion or a yacht, Cannes has three major real estate agencies that specialize in high-end accommodations: John Taylor, Magrey and Sons and Michael Zingraf.
“Yachts remain a top choice for clients who want 100% privacy, round-the-clock service and the leisure to visit Saint Tropez and Monaco, notably for the Formula One motor race, which takes place over the last weekend of the festival,” says Catherine Mendelson, an agent at Michael Zingraf.
One of these lux vessels, the Andreas L — reputedly dubbed the “Ferrari of the seas” — accommodates up to 12 guests. Amenities include a gym, hot tub and 16-person crew.
“The most popular yachts are not always the biggest,” Mendelson says. “The difference in many cases is the quality and reputation of the crew.”
The Maltese Falcon, a sailing yacht, tends to be the one that’s favored by environmentally conscious guests.
For those looking to throw a bash or have a house all for themselves and their entourages, stunning private villas or mansions are available upon request; and they’re seldom vacation rentals. Among the hot list: the Saint-George property, a Belle Epoque mansion nestled in lush Mediterranean gardens, or the Mahe villa, a contemporary eight-bedroom house with a panoramic sea view.
“For special guests, we book a full staff — from chauffeurs to bodyguards, chef, stylist, coach, etc.,” says Peter Ivantsov of Zingraf, “It has to feel like a home away from home, whatever it takes.”