The Cannes Film Festival thrives on controlled chaos: endless networking and pitching, protracted negotiations, slammed screenings, crowded villa and yacht parties, champagne for days and special festival pricing. Who could possibly need a restorative break after a fortnight at the Palais, and endless trips up-and-down the Croisette? Practically everyone. Variety researched some ideas for easily accessible R&R in Europe.
A Royal Stay
London’s Athenaeum Hotel
Steps from Green Park and Buckingham Palace in Mayfair, the Athenaeum Hotel’s central location (and option of fully serviced apartments) makes it a good choice for those who like to be in the middle of the action. That action can start in the lacquered lobby or at the hotel’s 300-bottle whiskey bar. Pairing small bites and potent tastes, the Whisky-tasting experience, conducted by the hotel’s Whisky sommelier, is one very pleasant way to launch an evening. New this year for Athenaeum guests: rent a Union Jack-emblazoned Jaguar convertible for a posh tool around town.
116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London
+44 (0) 20 7499-3464
La Dolce Vita
Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino (pictured)
The international jet set made Belmond’s Hotel Splendido’s reputation. Bogart and Bacall, Taylor and Burton and Ava Gardner (there’s a suite named for her) relished the views from the hotel’s promontory location. And then there’s the hotel’s amentities: A panoramic saltwater pool; the 69-room hotel’s own Chris Craft cruiser; romantic dinners on the terrace — all in an envelope of flower-filled gardens. The second building, the Splendido Mare, is closer to the picture-perfect bay and has a terraced restaurant famed for its people-watching. One of the gems of the Italian Riviera, and one that lives up to its name.
Belmond Hotel Splendido and
Belmond Splendido Mare
Salita Baratta 16, 16034 Portofino, Italy
+39 01 852 67801
Hotel Cala del Porto, Tuscany
Under the radar for many, Tuscany’s Punta Ala is beachside town that’s a favorite for well-heeled Italians. At the Baglioni Hotel’s 37-room Hotel Cala del Porto, dive into the scene: the hotel is adjacent to La Vela Beach Club, freshly redesigned to recall a sleek modern sailing yacht. There’s a spa, gym and readily accessible yacht and sailing excursions to nearby Elba. (Elba, Capraia and Corsica are within view from the hotel.) Tuscany’s famed vineyards are also on the agenda: the Cala del Porto offers a wine blending experience (and tasting of course) at the neighboring Rocca di Frassinello vineyard, where guests can blend and barrel their own wine, for a private label bottling.
Via del Pozzo
58040 Punta Ala
+39 (0) 564 922455
Cool Points North
Explore Scottish history at the majestic and hulking Edinburgh Castle, where past ill royal deeds were an inspiration for “Game of Thrones.” Stay close in, as the city is easily explored on foot. Set in the city center, the 77-room, recently redone Glasshouse embodies the modern and old: behind the period facade (a 170-year-old stone Victorian church) is a contemporary hotel (part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection) close to the main train station and the cobbled shopping streets. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide city views. Get into the Whisky-imbibing spirit immediately: guests are presented with a choice wee dram at check-in.
2 Greenside Place
+44 (0) 131 525 8200 |
Ultimate tennis estate
Cromlix, Perthshire, Scotland
Wimbledon champ Andy Murray has a second vocation: innkeeper. The tennis ace runs a 15-room, swank bed and breakfast in Perthshire, close to Gleneagles (a favorite of golfers). Approximately an hour from both Edinburgh and Glasgow and close to Murray’s hometown, the restored 1880-built country house comes with a one-of-a-kind add-on: a tennis court that replicates the exact colors the All-England Club’s Wimbledon tournament tennis court. Guests can lob away and then retire to the main house for tea, dine at the hotel’s Chez Roux and stroll the manicured grounds.
Perthshire, FK15 9JT
01786 822 125
Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Hungary
Was there a real-life inspiration for the fictional hotel of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”? If there’s one hotel that can make that claim, it’s the Corinthia Hotel in Budapest, which recently added a special two-night package that includes a behind-the-scenes tour and screening of Anderson’s pic. The neo-classical style hotel is a relic of an opulent golden age. It was originally called the Grand Hotel Royal, one of Europe’s first grand hotels encompassing a royal spa. Like its fictional counterpart, the Corinthia has a multi-level staircase and symmetrical atrium inside and a very distinct, dome topped exterior facade. Its ornately tiled Royal Spa is an elegant place to unwind.
1073 Budapest, Erzsebetkorut 43, Hungary