Luxury On La Croissette: Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

The Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

Gina Baksa heads to the French Riviera for a stay at one of the city’s most iconic hotels, the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes, which looks out across the Mediterranean Sea.

There’s nothing like stepping on board a flight at rainy Heathrow and arriving two hours later on the French Riviera. Hello Nice! Swaying palms, cerulean blue sky and a gentle 15 degrees make me wonder why I didn’t move here 20 years ago. But as Churchill wisely said, never look back.

Therefore, I kept my eyes firmly on the taxi transfer to Cannes and our hotel destination – the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes.

A photograph of the hotel's lounge
The Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes lounge.

Barely 30 minutes later, we swept into the sleek driveway of this Belle Epoque icon, glimpsing the heated outdoor pool and the snazzy Veuve Clique cupola, which must be wonderful in summer.

The Majestic opened in 1926, the brainchild of legendary hotelier Henri Ruhl of Carlton (Cannes) and Rhul (Nice) fame. Its two wings and main façade are a Cannes architectural marvel and seriously impressive.

The doormen were helpful and friendly (such a change to Paris!) and ushered us into the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic’s cathedral-like lobby space.

Magnificent lighting by Sylvie Maréchal illuminated the cream, ivory and beige colour scheme, itself the backdrop to gilded statues and wooden-clad columns.

The effect was warm, sophisticated, luxurious and very welcoming.

“Vous avez une belle chambre,” the friendly front desk smiled, handing over my key card. She was right: my door opened to reveal the most wonderful balcony room (acres of space and a huge bathroom) facing south across the Croisette and the Bay of Cannes.

The mole and cream colour scheme echoed the subtle sophistication of the lobby area with its discreet lighting, dramatic drapes and elegant furniture. The bonsai tree was a nice touch…but it’s the views from that balcony that enchanted me.

With a glass of bubbly in hand, I made for the sun loungers and gazed out to sea. Below me, the Majestic’s gardens shone in the soft February light…the pool a tad cold, but still inviting.

I enjoyed the silent, majestic palms that line the Croisette using the binoculars provided to scope out the Lérins islands in the distance. To my right, I could make out the superyachts in the Marina, literally a multi-million-dollar view.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes views

Small wonder that the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic is the accommodation of choice for Hollywood glitterati during the Cannes Film Festival each May.

The corridors and landings have countless black-and-white images of Tinseltown legends, from Sophia Loren to Cate Blanchett, via Bogie and Bacall and the cream of French thespians. They’ve all stayed here.

Tearing myself away from this vista was difficult, but a light lunch at the nearby sister Hotel Le Gray D’Albion was calling.

La Terrace du Gray at the Hôtel Barrière le Gray d’Albion
The outdoor terrace at the Majestic’s sister property, Hotel Le Gray d’Albion, wasn’t open when we arrived for lunch, so we dined inside.

Main dishes included roasted back cod, filet of fried beef and candied lamb shanks, alongside a selection of healthy salads.

My fish was superb. We indulged in ice cream and coffee, by which time I needed a long walk to work up an appetite for dinner and made my way out into the sun-drenched Croisette.

The Croisette is an integral part of Cannes, a two-kilometre stretch of seaside road that’s home to luxury boutiques, the city’s luxury hotels and of course the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.

I walked to the marina and admired the superyachts being spruced and polished by a young, Polo-shirted crew.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes Majestic suite

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes Penthouse and Suites
Later that afternoon, we were given an extensive tour of the facilities and the superb suites at the hotel. The Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes boasts 57 rooms and 92 suites across seven floors.

The pièce de résistance is the jaw-dropping Penthouse Suite on the top floor of the Majestic’s ‘new’ wing.

This 450-square-metre apartment has a 150-square-metre private terrace, plus an 11-metre pool with a killer view.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes balcony room

Designer Pascal Desprez’s flourish here is a mix of French elegance. I loved the wood tones and ample use of light, and the home cinema was stunning.

Other penthouses at the Majestic include the Christian Dior Suite, the Mélodie, the Riviera and the Michèle Morgan.

Each has its own unique design, all boast stunning views over the Croisette and the Festival, and they all enjoy the services of their own dedicated butler.

We had a superb wine tasting in the glamorous Christian Dior Suite before dinner. Silks and velvets against exquisite Pullman armchairs, and stone and Hungarian herringbone parquet floor in the dining area.

Our experienced young sommelier, Anais Beaudoin, gave us a test taster and a hors d’oeuvres pairing quiz. I loved the award-winning Chateau Gassier Côtes de Provence Saint-Victoire 946 rosé and equally enjoyed Domaine Saint Jean Bellet from 2017.

Dinner at the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes

Dinner at Le Fouquet’s Cannes
Our wine tasting was the perfect segue into dinner at the Majestic’s Le Fouquet’s restaurant. The Le Fouquet brand is one of France’s most famous brasseries.

Its Paris branch opened in 1899, while the Cannes outpost is equally regarded and serves inventive Mediterranean cuisine created by head chef Pierre Gagnaire.

His restaurant on Rue Balzac in Paris has been awarded three Michelin stars, and in total, he has no fewer than 13, gleaned from the 11 restaurants that he has helmed. In addition, Gagnaire has been voted Best Chef in the World by his Michelin-starred peers.

The bar and dining area at Le Fouquet’s was warm and inviting: highlights of red, gold and taupe and sexy lighting with Art Deco mirror accents made for a relaxed ambience as we enjoyed drinks at the bar.

Emanuele Balestra, Majestic’s bar manager (here and at the new property in St Barths), and all-round cocktail superman, is on hand to give us guidance. Gesticulating with Italian passion, he is clearly in his element and has a genuine love for the art of mixing.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes cocktail masterclass

“Our cocktails are unique,” he told us. “We grow all the herbs and flowers and vegetables for the bar on the roof of the hotel, from rose geranium to pineapple sage and fennel and basil.

“The plants have attracted bees, so we’ve started to make our own honey, too.”

Balestra’s favourite cocktail is the sage-flavoured Margarita. I had one of the best Mojitos I’ve ever tasted. Popular cocktails include Balestra’s Beetroot Gin Fizz, which mixes gin, icing sugar and lime juice with the addition of artisanal beetroot-flavoured soda.

There is also a selection of tasty, non-alcoholic cocktails.

Moving from the bar to our window-side table (we could just about make out the terrace in the dark), we chatted with Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, Stéphane Trabet.

The talk focused on Brexit – will there be a Frexit? And we get the feeling that the French are sorry to see us go.

Over my delicious starter of wild prawns, avocado, pink grapefruit and mimosa egg, I heard about the newest Barrière hotel in St Barth’s named Barrière Le Carl Gustaf, which is due to open later this year and is the Group’s first foray into the Caribbean.

We then moved on to the main course, and my pan-fried scallops with sunchokes and lettuce were superb. Followed by a superb Crêpes Suzette that was flambeed at the table. Our medium-bodied red wine, the elegant Etna Bianco from the slopes of the Sicilian volcano, was the perfect accompaniment.

A beautifully presented prawn dish
Exquisite dining at the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes.

Cookery Lesson at BFire Restaurant on the Beach
A brisk walk the following day included a meander to the marina and a walk along the Croisette.

After a final gulp of coffee, we headed to Cannes Forville Market with one of the chefs from BFire, to buy ingredients for our cookery lesson.

The largest covered market in Cannes is located at the foot of the old town (Le Suquet) and boasts stalls selling fresh fish, the best selection of cheeses, Provençale pasta sauces, cold meats, fruits, vegetables…all alive with energy and vitality.

We returned to BFire on the Beach, the beachside restaurant owned by the Barrière Group, where we donned aprons and got to work creating our Pina Colada Sea Bream Ceviche.

This was my first attempt at ceviche, and it was surprisingly easy, but we had a great teacher—such a joy to eat outside on the BFire terrace facing the ocean.

The menu at BFire is the creation of chef Mauro Colagreco, who oversees the Mirazur restaurant in Menton (awarded two stars in the Michelin Red Guide).

The Argentinian, from an Italian family, focuses on seasonal produce and his superb selection of fish and meat dishes are mostly cooked or seared over a wood fire, creating intense flavours.

The ambience is relaxed and sophisticated, and it’s a great place to people watch. Coffee and desserts are delicious.

Diane Barrière spa
Each Barrière hotel has a spa named after the Barrière matriarch, Diane, and the Majestic is no exception. This 450 square-metre haven of peace has a fabulous Hamman, sauna and Zen area with a snow mountain (a giant snowmaker that drips ice from the ceiling).

My massage therapist used Biologique Recherche and LIGNE ST-BARTH products with no artificial fragrances and was just the relaxation I needed.

Unfortunately, I was never awake early enough to use the fitness centre, but this well-equipped sea-facing space offers plenty of weights and fixed machines, alongside Pilates classes and bespoke fitness sessions from the in-house trainers.

Café Croisette at the Casino Le Croisette
Emanuel Balestra created a superb cocktail masterclass before dinner in the Penthouse Suite of the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic during our second evening, and we mixed up a storm with Clairin communal rum and pineapple.

This was a kicker aperitif before heading to the famous Cannes Casino for a flutter and a meal. There are 110 slot machines here, alongside the roulette, blackjack and poker tables, and the restaurant on the upper floor is open for lunch and dinner.

Why We Love the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes
Boasting an unrivalled location on the Croisette, facing the Mediterranean on one side, and the Palais de Festival on the other, the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes is a luxurious home-from-home throughout the year, not just during the Film Festival.

A world-class penthouse with a private pool and gym, a private sandy beach during summer, three award-winning restaurants, water sports from the jetty and a 450 square-metre oasis at the Spa Diane Barrière are reason enough.

Add the talents of head chef Pierre Gagnaire and outstanding service and cuisine, not forgetting butlers in all suites, and you have one of the most sought-after luxury hotels in Cannes!

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes – Where and How?

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes is located at 10 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06407 Cannes, France. For more information, call +33 4 92 98 77 00 or visit

Luxury On La Croissette: Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes 2

Gina Baksa

Luxurious Magazine Reporter

Gina is a freelance features and lifestyle journalist and regularly writes for international travel and lifestyle titles. From testing supercars to glamping in the Kruger, getting up close and personal with the magical White Lions of Timbavati to experiencing the power of plant medicine in the Peruvian Amazon, her travels have seen her leap out of planes, dive on the Barrier Reef, go walkabout in the Aussie Outback and shark cage dive in South Africa. She interviews celebrities and influencers, and relishes engaging with and sharing the human story behind luxury brands and personalities. An avowed Francophile, she speaks fluent French and German, is learning Spanish, and recently published her first children’s book. She is a world traveller and adventurer with a passion for writing about real estate, gastronomy, film, supercars, spas, travel, boutique hotels, and personal development, as well as covering launches and events. Having lived in Australia, New York and the south of France, she is currently based on London’s vibrant South Bank and regularly travels worldwide on lifestyle and travel assignments.

error: Copying this content is prohibited by Luxurious Magazine®