The filmstar treatment
GRACE KELLY first encountered her future husband, Prince Rainier of Monaco, i n the lobby of this palatial hotel in 1955; Liz Taylor brought all her seven husbands here and, according to some, Faye Dunaway ordered gallons of goat’s milk via room service... for her bat.
There are many more tales of the rich and famous to uncover at the InterContinental Carlton. It seems that anything can happen once you pass through the revolving doors, into the enclave of while pillars, marbled floors and chandeliers. And this is especially true during the International Film Festival in May.
Arrive there a week before the festival and you could enjoy a quieter — but nonetheless glamorous — week over Passover.
Registered as an historical monument, the extravagant hotel property has 343 rooms over seven floors, behind a dazzlingly wedding-cakey Belle Epoque façade. Some rooms are decorated to reflect 1950s Hollywood drama and all have a retro colour scheme of creamy beige tones.
The prestige suites on the seventh floor have outstanding views over the Mediterranean sea and are named after Hollywood stars such as Grace Kelly (of course), Sean Connery, Sophia Lauren and Sylvester Stallone. Suite 623 has been dubbed the Hitchcock Suite, since it appeared in the director’s 1955 film
which was filmed at the hotel.
The hotel has presided over its brilliant location on the main avenue — Boulevard La Croisette — facing the bay, for more than 100 years. Just a f ew doors away is the theatre that hosts the film festival and the place is surrounded by nightlife and shopping with the characteristic Côte d’Azur vibe.
Surprisingly, there’s no pool — but what does it matter, when there is a private beach with its pier and sun loungers on your doorstep?
The nine-night Pesach offering (from the afternoon of April 22 until May 1) is on a full-board basis and includes drinks, evening entertainment for the adults and a children’s club (for ages four to 12 years).
There will be two Sedarim — Ashkenazi conducted by Rabbi Mendel Matusof of Cannes and Sephardi with a rabbi from the Nice community — and the cuisine will be glatt kosher gastronomic French (no kitniot). There are even two in-house synagogues.
Excursions include a trip around Cannes. During chol hamoed, guests can enjoy live music in the evenings and a party will be held for Mimouna (the Moroccan Jewish festival) on the evening of April 30.
Côte d’Azur version of a fairytale castle: the InterContinental Carlton