Cannes: Our selection for an ideal weekend on a reinventing Riviera – Day 1

With Tom, this summer, we decided to (re)visit the great classics close to home and our choice fell on Cannes.

I admit that I have often walked the Croisette for congresses and seminars but I had never spent a few days of vacation there. Tom had never been there before, but the idea of finally being able to walk the steps of the Palais des Festivals where movie stars parade every year excited him a lot. At the beginning of August, we packed our bags and took our flight to Nice airport.

Arrival, like at home…

In Nice, Caroline was there to pick us up and take us to our hotel in the center of Cannes. Its chauffeur-driven car service “Riviera Transfer Service” is a safe bet for me. I had already used it during my business trips but to discover the tourist side of the Riviera I called on it again. I like his warm welcome, his professionalism and his good “up-to-date” information.

For the hotel I had selected, OKKO HOTELS. Perfectly located 5 minutes walk from the Croisette and the Palais des Festivals, this 4-star hotel has 125 rooms where you quickly feel at home. Right in the center of Cannes, the hotel enjoys a pleasant environment and a strategic location, not to mention a pretty little rooftop, which is very pleasant for having breakfast or an aperitif before the evening.

The design rooms are elegant without being too large and many additional services are included in your reservation. You have access to a large open space, where you can work, relax, have a drink or snack freely throughout the day. Entirely glazed, the Club located on the sixth and last floor benefits from a beautiful light and a rooftop with a view of Cannes and its heights. Always so greedy, I went to discover the mini shop offering local products and designer accessories. Tom, who had barely settled into our room, went straight down to discover the hotel’s relaxation area and sauna.

Tom and I loved this hotel because in addition to its impeccable services, it is located in the immediate vicinity of rue d’Antibes, a shopping street full of shops and restaurants that the people of Cannes call the “golden square” and barely 5 minutes walk from the Croisette.

Our address for eating well in the neighborhood is without hesitation the “Bobo Bistro”. A meeting place for locals, this place offers authentic and gourmet cuisine, homemade, which smells of the flavors of the Mediterranean. Chef Fabrice Bellisent gives pride of place to organic products.

I was in heaven with the selection of local wines served by “bobo-kids” with pretty colorful aprons. In short, a selection of good organic, biodynamic or natural wines, reflections of the terroirs and expression of the work of winegrowers who respect the environment. Tom fell in love with the dessert presentation tray that is brought to your table to allow you to make your choice. Fresh fruit generously served, we are happy.

Then, we wanted to stretch our legs and for that nothing beats a digestive walk on the Croisette. A mythical artery born in the middle of the 19th century, the Croisette is the showcase of French know-how and luxury, an international event site with its Palais des Festivals and these Palaces that make you dream. But this Croisette is above all a place of walk dear to the inhabitants of Cannes and appreciated by tourists. And what everyone is talking about in Cannes, in addition to the disappearance of mustard pots in stores, is the international architectural competition launched by the City to redevelop the Croisette. “This one will be more elegant, bright and attractive” they say officially. The final redevelopment and embellishment works on the boulevard are already scheduled between the beginning of 2024 and the end of 2025.

In Cannes, the beach is… electronic

For the evening we went to discover the Electronic Beaches. For this 15th edition, the organizers who had seen their adventures begin with a simple sound system placed on the beach, saw things big.

Five stages, around sixty artists, festival-goers who take over the beach but also the Palais des festivals… After a cancellation in 2020, then a reduced edition in 2021, Beachgoers were able to return to their habits on the Croisette with enthusiasm manifest. For my part, I really wanted to see Charlotte de Witte‘s set. I love the hard and chic sound of this Belgian disc jockey who is also an electronic music producer. Born in Ghent on July 21, 1992. She started in 2010 under the male pseudonym of Raving George and rose to fame, especially locally before exploding worldwide. In the world of electro music and DJs which is quite macho, let’s face it. Charlotte is one of only 10% of women present in the profession. Female DJs who are still absent from the world ranking of the 10 highest paid DJs…

Tom made me discover, on the terrace of the Palais des Festivals, the super-vitamins of Marseillais from “the maraboutage family”. This collective knows the magic recipe to captivate the dancefloors. Coming from hip-hop culture, the Maraboutage project drifted towards soul, ghetto house, minimal, before moving more radically towards afrofunk and the traditional sounds of Latin America, Africa or East. A real slap to discover absolutely if you cross their path.

Tom and I finally agreed that we still love “Folamour” so much. A leading DJ on the Lyon scene, he sprinkles his house with many influences: from jazz to disco, from soul to hip-hop… His rather pop than underground stage name refers to one of his favorite films, Dr. Strangelove.

All three evenings were sold out. The site therefore received 18,000 people a day. A record for this festival which used to be sold out only for one evening in previous editions. “It’s a big success, it represents 25% more audience”, welcomes Benoît Geli, co-organizer of Electronic Beaches.

Take a little distance, to better enjoy…

Our idea more to make the most of the festival is to get away from it a little to find yourself a little more calm while keeping an exceptional view of the festival-goers dancing in the water by the sea. wouldn’t really be Cannes without its private beaches. We have set our sights on Plage Barrière Le Majestic. This Mecca of the Côte d’Azur, arouses all sporting desires, fleshes out all desires for rest and let’s be honest, what could be more pleasant than “seeing and being seen”. Classic and innovative nautical activities, cocktails, delicacies and musical evenings punctuate these exceptional festive moments, all facing the sea.

What a pleasure to benefit from an attentive and warm service. In addition, the Beach is developing a new catering concept, imagined by the great chef Mauro Colagreco. This cuisine is inspired by its roots “ The fire and the embers of cooking are the fiery or subdued colors of the cuisine that I have known since my childhood in Argentina. Controlled fire knows how to bring out the flavors and nuances of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, ” explains this chef.

Innovative at the head of several restaurants including Mirazur in Menton, 3 stars in the Michelin Guide, 1st restaurant in the world according to The Worlds 50 Best restaurants 2019 ranking.

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