This is Part 2 of my review of the newly refurbished, extended and generally revived Carlton Cannes hotel, part of IHG’s Regent chain.
I visited the hotel for two nights earlier this month as the guest of IHG.
Part 1 of our Carlton Cannes review is here. I’ve a lot to get through, so let’s jump back in.
Eating and drinking at Carlton Cannes
My first meal was at Rüya. For anyone who visited the hotel before its closure, Rüya is a new eating venue. It is on the far left (if you are standing on La Croisette) in what used to be an event space.
This is genuinely something different. To say it is a Turkish restaurant is to understate it hugely – it is described as:
Created by renowned restaurant-owner Umut Özkanca, Rüya –”dream”– in Turkish, offers a sophisticated and contemporary cuisine inspired by the Anatolian Peninsula’s colorful history, from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. Guests will enjoy our menu made up of a range of Anatolian classics, revisited with a modern and fresh twist, all imbued with the Turkish conviviality and sharing spirit.
You have a mix of hot and cold meze plates, a variety of pide from the bread oven and a number of larger plates. I had a yoghurt and chilli marinated chicken (below) followed by – as I was in a chicken mood – grilled poussin with smoked paprika, chilli butter, walnuts and yoghurt sauce.
The photo is dark because I was out on the terrace overlooking La Croisette and the sun was setting. Life could have been worse. You’re looking at €27 to €175 (wagyu) per larger dish, with the median around €45.
Even if you’re not staying at the Carlton, Rüya is worth a look if you are visiting. It includes a very smart bar, pictured above.
Breakfast is in Riviera, although I believe in the peak months you can also have breakfast at the Carlton Beach Club opposite.
Riviera is the main hotel restaurant, on the far right if you are looking at the hotel from the street. Like Rüya, it has a large outdoor terrace – see image above. (Whilst it was too dark to take a terrace shot from Rüya, it’s an identical view.)
If you don’t want to sit outside, there is plenty of indoor seating too – although I doubt it could cope during a downpour if everyone was inside. Not that you get many of those in Cannes ….
I wasn’t won over by breakfast. What they had was good, but it certainly wasn’t an extravaganza. It’s also worth noting that whilst standard egg dishes and plain omelettes are included, anything even slightly flash isn’t – Eggs Benedict has a €22 surcharge, poached eggs with salmon is €28 (standard poached eggs are included), caviar and soft boiled eggs is €155 etc. OK, perhaps the latter was never going to be included!
What’s a little odd is that the kitchen is open – see below – but you can’t order anything directly from the chefs:
Carlton Beach Club
Riviera is also open for lunch, and I went there on my second day. The lunch menu is fairly short and not hugely ambitious (I ended up with a club sandwich). Don’t bother with it. Head down to the Carlton Beach Club, where I ate lunch on my first full day.
Virtually all of the central beach stretch in Cannes is let out to beach clubs – it’s a bit of a stroll to find a large area of public beach. The one run by the Carlton appears to be the best regarded, and having eaten lunch there I would tend to agree.
Obviously sitting in a (mainly outdoor) restaurant overlooking the beach and Mediterranean is good. What you can’t see from the photographs is that the staff were exceptional. As everywhere at the Carlton, the waiting staff are generally older and impeccably trained – it wouldn’t surprise me if many had been there for years.
It’s the sort of place where, after you’ve been given some water, someone comes around with a large tray of various fruit slices and asks you which one you’d like to add to it. A minute later someone appears with a huge tray of fresh fish, should you wish to pick out exactly what you eat.
The menu is far more interesting than lunch at Riviera in the main hotel, with a menu equally split between salads, pasta and fish dishes. I had read that it was well known for its lobster rolls, so I took one of those (€40) which was great.
Life doesn’t get much better than sitting in a classy restaurant on a beach in Cannes on a ‘hot but not crazy’ day. Bizarrely London was 32 degrees at the same time I was in Cannes at 27 degrees.
Again, I’d strongly suggest popping in here for lunch even if you’re staying elsewhere. It will be around €100 per head but it’s a lovely experience.
Sun loungers ….
I should talk about the beach here. If you want to sit on a sun lounger on the beach, either at the Carlton Beach Club or elsewhere, you’ll have to pay. The Carlton tariff runs from €50 to €144 (this is for September, it may be more in peak season and is more if you’re not a hotel guest) and includes a ‘food and beverage package’.
It is very smart – and you can sit on the hotel’s pier if you want (image above). I couldn’t take decent pictures because it was busy but here is a PR shot which caught my eye:
Whilst the whole ‘beach club’ approach isn’t very British, it is common in many Mediterranean countries. It’s something else to factor into your budget if you are coming to the Carlton for the full beach experience.
If this approach isn’t for you, a hotel in the old town – like Hilton’s new Canopy – is better. The Canopy is directly opposite a public beach and the local shops are selling tourist bits and pieces rather than diamond watches. Retail by the Carlton is strictly luxury – Louis Vuitton, Van Cleef & Arples, a huge Giorgio Armani with a large cafe etc.
Other food and beverage options
For completeness, although I didn’t try them, I should mention that you can also have afternoon tea or a snack at Camelia Tea Lounge in the exceptionally well restored lobby:
…. and there is also the hotel bar, Bar°58:
Again, nothing stops you popping in here even if you are non-resident.
There is also a cigar lounge – PR photo below:
It was great to be back at Carlton Cannes after a decade, and delightful to see what has been done to the place. A vast amount of money has been spent, but importantly it has been spent sensitively with a real focus on the little touches.
This clearly isn’t a budget break and I don’t want to pretend it is. What I will say is that if you are coming to Cannes and have money to splurge on one of the luxury hotels on La Croisette, you’re not going to find anything that looks better than the new Carlton.
Pricing is all over the place as you would expect, varying by season and view. With the garden and pool replacing the old car park, most rooms now have a decent view of something. Online booking isn’t available beyond mid June 2024 – I suspect peak season bookings are on request.
Rewards nights aren’t cheap, usually over 100,000 points per night and capped at 120,000, but you would normally beat our target of 0.4p per IHG One Rewards point.
As I said in Part 1, if you are paying cash then the suites are (proportionately) good value. Next Tuesday, for example, the smallest standard room is £490 whilst suites – which can be as big as 102 sq m – start at £977 and even the top seaview suites are ‘only’ £1,277.
If you are booking for cash, I strongly recommend getting a quote from our luxury hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas at Bon Vivant. He is a Virtuoso agent and any bookings via him come with:
- a GUARANTEED upgrade at the time of booking
- free breakfast for two people
- $100 of F&B credit per stay
- early check-in and late check-out subject to availability
- for suites, a free one-way airport transfer
You pay the same Best Flexible Rate as shown online and all bookings are ‘pay on departure’. You can contact Emyr here.
You can find out more about the hotel on the Carlton Cannes website here.
Thanks to Audrey and the team at the Carlton for their hospitality.
IHG One Rewards update – December 2023:
Get bonus points: Our article on IHG’s current bonus promotion is here. You will receive 2,000 bonus points for every two cash nights you stay until 31st December. Nights do not need to be consecutive. Click here to register.
New to IHG One Rewards? Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.
IHG is offering a 100% bonus (some members may be offered less) when you buy points by 30th December 2023. Click here to buy.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.