Cannes Film Festival – a holiday with the stars

Film buffs, celebrity seekers and anyone looking for a star-studded holiday will be thrilled to know that the Cannes Film Festival will soon be here again and this 62nd Festival will be held in this most famous of Riviera towns from May 13th to 24th.

The lineup has just been unveiled and it has been billed as “the biggest heavyweight smackdown” in recent years.  “Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar and Lars von Trier will face off with Jane Campion, Michael Haneke, Johnnie To and Park Chan-wook in Cannes’ biggest heavyweight auteur smackdown in recent years.”

If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of soaking in the atmosphere of Cannes during Festival time, this might just be the year to go as Cannes needs you.

The economic crisis and belt-tightening has meant that there are less officials and hangers-on attending.  Normally you’d have Buckley’s chance of getting a reasonably priced hotel room during Festival season.  This year however, the majority of Cannes hotels are concerned at the impact of the economic downturn and many are offering inducements to potential customers by giving unlimited WiFi access, happy hours drinks or free breakfast.

According to the head of the hotel association, seventy per cent of hotels have frozen their room rates compared to last year, and many are taking bookings for less than the full 12-day duration of the Festival, something quite unheard of at Festival time.

The Festival itself has decided on less glitzy celebrations.  Sparkling wine will replace champagne and onion tartes will replace foie gras.  As one newspaper headline indicated “Cannes is preparing for a bling-free film festival” so us have-nots needn’t feel too deprived this year.

Okay, so you didn’t score an invite to the opening ceremony, what else can you do as a distraction?  You could see how the high life is lived in this town by checking out the amazingly grand hotels that line the grand Boulevard de la Croisette. The Carlton is where the Hollywood hotshots stay.  The Majestic is another prestigious hotel with interesting Egyptian-themed lounges.  They do allow people to go in to have a peek, but I’m not sure if this is the case at Festival time.  Also, check out the sidewalk of the Cannes Festival Hall, where you’ll be able to take pictures of impressions from the movie stars.

For a more down to earth experience, walk uphill to the Old Town and on top of the hill you’ll be able to have a spectacular view of the Festival Hall and the marina.  Enjoy strolling in the pedestrian zone, explore the little squares and perhaps have a meal or a snack up there.

For your hotel needs, click here.
For Things to do in and around Cannes, click here.

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