5 Star Treatment at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Martinez on the French Riviera.

For two weeks each year A-list celebrities flood the halls and check into the historic Grand Hyatt Hotel Martinez on the French Riviera in Cannes for what the French call, “Festival de Cannes”.

That’s right, the Hotel Martinez,  a hub for one of the most renowned festivals of the world, the Cannes Film Festival, and as one can imagine, their 5 star luxury accommodations do not disappoint.

View from the Le Bar L'Amiral to the Grand lobby .

I walked in anticipation down the famous La Croisette Lane; bikini-clad women on the beach filled my sight on the right as the stylish Hotel Martinez emerged on the left; the only Cannes hotel with a private beach. From the moment I was on the hotel grounds I was waited on hand and foot. “Bonjour, may I take your bags madam?”  My bags were placed on a trolley and I was shown the way through the breathtakingly elegant lobby to the reception area. Within minutes I was checked in to one of the most exclusive hotels in the world.

The Hotel Martinez is a juxtaposition of historic and modern design. The hotel opened in the 1920s.  During World War II French, Italian, German, and American soldiers marched through. Today, there are only tourists and celebrities bivouaced here. Over the last eight decades the hotel has established itself as not only one the most luxurious hotels of the south of France, but one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

Soak in rays at Zplage Private Beach.

I arrived before the 3 p.m. check-in; I was assured that my room would be ready in just a few short hours. In the meantime I could either shop among Cannes' exclusive boutiques, such as Chanel, Yves-Saint-Laurent, and Dior, or relax on my very own sun-bed on Hotel Martinez’s private beach, at the ZPlage Private Beach Club and Restaurant.  Needless to say, in the nearly 100 degree weather the beach was the allure.

The ZPlage Beach Club offers comfortable sun-beds complete with a sun umbrella and white fluffy towels; almost au naturale, I disrobed down to my bikini and sunk into relaxation. The tempting blue water made be rise, giving my sun soaked skin cool hydration. I was nearly in the shadows of the Martinez, towering but timeless. I dove toward the lapping sea.

Feeling adventurous?  Head over to the dock and sign up to experience one (or several) of the water sports activities, such as water skiing, surfing, wake boarding, runner rungs, parasailing, and sea excursions. While that sounds like an adrenalin rush, all I wanted to do was relax and sip signature cocktails.

The hours drifted away; I switched between swimming in the warm Mediterranean Sea and lounging in the sun bed, sipping afternoon cocktail delights. After my fill of vitamin D — my glass was empty — the friendly hotel staff rewarded me by revealing my room with a king sized bed, a window overlooking the awesome ocean and scattered tall palm trees and the hotel pool.

Sea and pool views from a Deluxe Room.

Those with an esthetic eye will be thoroughly pleased at Hotel Martinez. The Art-Deco décor encourages its visitors to be both visually excited and relaxed. The best work of art was of course the view of the Mediterranean framed by the airy and billowing white floor length curtains.

The Grand Hyatt Hotel Martinez has 409, 5-star rooms, including 27 suites, spanning seven floors. It has bragging rights to one of the most exclusive and expensive suites in the world: the Penthouse Suite comes in at a whopping 38,000 Euros or $52,000USD a night! The suite is located on the 7th floor and includes two bedrooms, two marble floored bathrooms, and a 290 square meter terrace with a Jacuzzi overlooking the Mediterranean. Yes please!

The Grand Hyatt Hotel Martinez has its own beach.

A bit sun fatigued from my oh-so-demanding day at the beach, I decided to embrace the luxury lifestyle and take advantage of room service. The complete gourmet menu was created by the hotel chef, Christian Sinicropi. Hotel guests can order breakfast in bed, a light night snack, or an intimate dinner for two. While I didn’t want to spoil my appetite before dinner, I ordered a beautiful bottle of chilled Taittinger Brut champagne and a fruit platter filled with everything from traditional apples to succulent passion fruits. Once they arrived I opened up the double doors, let the warm ocean air in and enjoyed some “me” time while lounging on one of the plush earth toned chairs.  If a room is art, then the Martinez is genius.

My room not only exuded luxury, it exuded practicality as well. For guests who mix business with pleasure, the oversized work desk is perfect. A mini-bar was filled with glasses, drinks, snacks, international adapters, and of course, a corkscrew.

I didn’t want to clutter my beautiful deluxe sea view room so I took advantage of the ample closet space available. I unpacked my clothes and belongings into the dark wooded closets lining the entryway, while placing my valuables into the in-room safe.

Practicality meets luxury in the spacious bathroom.

I leave unpacking my toiletries for last because I find myself wanting to spend quality time in the bathroom. The marble bathtub and lavish robes made me lock the door, run a hot bath, and maybe never come out; the shower was just as luxurious, great for apres beach. The shiny downward nozzle protruded from the wall in addition to a waterfall nozzle. I grabbed the “73 La Croisette” toiletries provided; washing salt water out of my hair had never been so relaxing! The attached hairdryer and magnifying lighted mirror prepped me in the night a breeze.

Before heading out again, I did a quick email check using the complementary high speed wireless internet on my iPhone and was ready to explore more of what the Martinez and Cannes had to offer.

Take the elevator to the 7th floor. The top floor is not only home to the Penthouse Suite, it is also home to the L.RAPHAEL Beauty Spa and the fitness center equipped with multiple saunas.

L'Raphael Beauty Spa is on the 7th floor.

"L.RAPHAEL believes in a holistic approach to beauty. True beauty radiates from the inside out, with mind, body, and spirit in perfect harmony. Each L.RAPHAEL facial, massage and beauty treatment is uniquely developed to reinvigorate all senses, restore peace of mind, and deliver scientifically advanced, long-lasting skincare benefits".

Indulgence at the L.RAPHAEL Beauty Spa is synonymous with scientifically designed treatments by trained staff,  such as the Anti-Jet Lag & Energy Restoring Massage with Aroma Therapeutic Oils; or the customized Secrets of the Cote d’ Azur Facial; or a little taste of the fountain of youth book — a full-body Time Rewind: Intense Anti-Aging Treatment.

This way to pampering and relaxation.

Once pampered, revived, and rejuvenated, take a bit of the pampering home by purchasing the products used from the spa itself.   For a full range of their unique product lines, or to read more about the treatments offered at the L.RAPHAEL Beauty Spa visit: http://www.l-raphael.com/

If a spa treatment is not in the time table head over to the free access fitness center and work up muscle tones to show off at the beach. The center is outfitted with top-of-the-line weight training equipment and is accessible by room key seven days a week around the clock. That means whenever the motivation bites, or the schedule allows, the fitness center is available.

Keep that beach body toned at the Fitness Centre.

All the pampering and working out has whetted my appetite; dine at one of the three hotel restaurants: La Palme d'Or, Le Relais, Zplage Restaurant, or grab a drink/snack at Bar l'Amiral.

Executive Chef Christian Sinicropi is the brainchild behind all four dining venues. Most notably is La Palme d’Or, winner of two Michelin stars and four toques Gault Millau. From the moment I stepped into the restaurant my senses were on a joyride. The extensive and creative menu made choosing what to order a challenge. The La Palme d’Or offers all types of cuisine; local seafood, vegetarian dishes, poultry and red meats.

The 2-Star Michelin Restaurant — The Palme d'Or.

I scanned down the page until “spider crab from the Adriatic Sea” caught my eye; hmmm, that sounded absolutely delicious. “We begin by cooking its shell, simmering it with black grapes. Its flesh is painstakingly extracted and seasoned with mango, citrus and its own coral, and finished off with a sliver of semi-cooked calamari.”

I found myself day dreaming about what it was going to taste like. My choice was made. When my plate arrived I had to try not to let my jaw drop; it looked like a work of art. The chef’s passion for the culinary arts and the guests overall experience was apparent. Everything was executed to perfection! From the views of the Mediterranean, to the adventurous interior, to the culinary wonders waiting to be devoured; I left La Palme d’Or feeling satisfied with memories that would last a lifetime.

Step out of the culinary box and reserve a table at the laid back, Le Relais. The Le Relais celebrates Latin cuisine with its array of flavorful tapas. Guests can order a tapas menu including a variety of tasty tidbits from Italian Fritto Misto, to a Gazpacho, mozzarella tartine. In addition to these two restaurants, guests can choose to dine right on the beach at the ZPlage Beach Restaurant whose specialties are geared toward “health and well-being”. With fresh and seasonal ingredients, drink and dine without guilt; watch the fireworks show in the summertime.

As the sun set painting a picture in the sky I felt the tug of tiredness roll over me. Usually I would crawl into bed without hesitation but when I have lavish soaps and a massive bath tub at my fingertips the decision is moot. After a long, warm bath I emerged with silky refreshed skin, ready to say good night to Cannes.

After a long deep sleep the morning greeted me kindly with a calm ocean breeze. The breakfast buffet awaited. I filled my plate with delicious chocolate croissants and fresh pineapple slices. I made my way through the buffet and to my table; I was surrounded with families, couples, and businessmen.

Grand Hyatt Cannes
Hotel Martinez,
73, La Croisette, 06400
Cannes, France
Tel + 33 (0)4 92 98 73 25
Fax + 33 (0)4 92 98 73 39

While some guests stay at the Martinez merely to soak up the luxury lifestyle, others combine business with pleasure. The Martinez is home to the largest event/conference venue in Cannes and it is next to the Palais des Festivals itself. It has hosted everything from large business conferences to lavish wedding receptions; it providing both indoor and outdoor spaces for events, as well as assistance as event planners; the hotel has a magnificent, multi-lingual concierge staff.

Cannes is a city of luxury and the Grand Hyatt Hotel Martinez is the crème de la crème in all possible ways. Soak in the sun, swim in the Mediterranean, eat like royalty, be pampered at the spa, drift off to sleep on a cloud, wake up to a gourmet breakfast.  Do it all over again with sunny savoir faire.

— Feature by Kristin Rist, Jetsetters Magazine European Correspondent.  Photos courtesy of Kristin Rose Rist and Grand Hyatt Hotel Martinez photographers, Jerome Kelagopian and JF Romero.