For the second part of Jamie Ndah’s luxury weekend on the fabulous French Riviera, he travelled to Cannes, the city known for its association with the rich and famous, luxury hotels and fine dining
Cannes is a resort town on the French Riviera which is synonymous with glamour thanks to its world-famous film festival. Its Boulevard de la La Croisette, curving along the coast, is lined with sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and palatial hotels. It’s also home to the Palais des Festivals, a modern building complete with red carpet and Allée des Stars – Cannes’ walk of fame.
I arrived with much anticipation and genuine excitement, and this classy destination didn’t disappoint. I was staying at the chic and trendy 28-room boutique Hotel America, a converted traditional townhouse which is superbly located close to the beachfront, the Croisette and rue d’Antibes, the casinos, as well as being less than a three minute walk away from the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Le Vieux Port.
I had a spacious soundproofed superior room complete with a sofa, air conditioning, flat screen satellite-TV, free Wi-Fi, marble bathroom and a complimentary mini bar stocked with a variety of soft drinks, water and food snacks. The latter was a very kind gesture from the Director of Hotel America, Mr Galien Avezou, and was greatly appreciated during my stay. All the staff at Hotel America were super friendly, helpful and so sincere which made my time in Cannes so enjoyable.
I took a gentle saunter down the La Croisette, which in 1850, was nothing more than a path running parallel to the sea across sand dunes. Today La Croisette is an avenue aligned with prestigious designer stores such as Chopard, Cartier, Rolex and Bulgari, to luxury hotels such as the Carlton, the Martinez and the Majestic.
I then took a short boat ride from the La Croisette, opposite Cannes Bay and ventured to Sainte Marguerite Island which is famous for the legend of the Man in the Iron Mask and Celto-Ligurian, Roman and its medieval remains.
The Island is imperial and brings together nature, culture and relaxation harmoniously. The scent of pines and eucalyptus struck me whilst I wandered around this memorable setting. I walked on the footpaths and followed the botanical trail to the Fort Royal where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned. The views of the natural landscape from the Island were truly striking and awe-inspiring.
On returning from the Island back to Cannes, I visited Le Suquet which is the picturesque old quarter of Cannes, originally built as a residential area for local fishermen. Charming cobblestone alleys laid out more than 400 years ago take you up away from the coast and into the heart of the old town. This area is easily walkable and flushed with a variety of bars, cafes and restaurants in the Rue du Suquet and Rue Saint Antoine vicinity.
Whilst in the area I dined at Restaurant Mantel which is situated a brief walk away from the Croisette and is well known for its Mediterranean gourmet cuisine made of seasonal products. The décor is contemporary and offers an intimate and calm setting.
The staff were so attentive, courteous, and guided me through a sumptuous menu choice, of which for starters I had, salade maraîchère du marché (local vegetable salad – a variety of raw and cooked vegetables). For my main course, I sampled petit légumes farcis de Provence glacés au jus d’agneau (Provençal vegetables stuffed with meat, chicken, lamb and ham, served with lamb juice), and for my dessert, a coupe de fruits frais (fresh local fruit. In short, the meal was delightful and was a great way to end my stay in Cannes.
Overall, my entire experience during my time on the French Riviera exceeded all my expectations, and I am looking forward to exploring other destinations on the Cote d’Azur such as Monaco and St Tropez to name but a few. In the meantime, this exciting chapter of my visit to this area of France is definitely to be continued.
For further information on Cannes, please visit;
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes – www.cannes-destination.com
Hotel America – www.hotel-america.com
Restaurant Mantel – www.restaurantmantel.com
Transfers – Service Prestige Monte Carlo – www.serviceprestige.mc
Cote D’Azur Tourism – www.cotedazur-tourisme.com
Atout France – http://uk.rendezvousenfrance.com/
About Jamie Ndah