First Look: Cannes

Hotel Martinez

In Cannes, the only thing that incites desire more than beauty is being told "No," which is why Seven, the penthouse floor of the Hôtel Martinez, has become the chicest place to stay in town. You may have to pull strings to land one of the 11 suites—not to mention the grand four-bedroom fiefdom with sweeping views of the Mediterranean. But they're all newly redone and worth it in every way. General manager Sylvain Ercoli calls the seventh floor "a hotel within a hotel," and he's right-on: There's an entirely separate staff for the floor, and several suites are pampered by their own butler. Architect Gilles Leborgne has given every room a private landscaped terrace with chaise longues, table and chairs, and, in numbers 718 and 731, Jacuzzis as well. The decor hews to the Martinez's art deco tradition (the hotel first opened its doors in 1929): There are teak and mahogany parquet floors; soothing camel, gray, and ivory colors; contemporary furniture by Jean-Michel Franck; and original lithographs by Raoul Dufy and Picasso. It's also completely state-of-the-art, with plasma-screen TVs and electric window shades—all blessedly easy to work. Bathrooms are marble with double sinks, a divine shower, and deep-dish whirlpool baths. But odds are you'll choose to reach a state of bliss in the new Givenchy Spa down the hall. The fitness center is small but serviceable, and we loved the hammam, Canyon Love Stone therapy (using heated river stones), and terrific herbal body wrap. The only quibble on Seven is that the closets are small. A friend of ours noted, "The racks aren't hung high enough for my evening gown." On the other hand, she'll probably spend more time wrapped in one of the hotel's Frette bathrobes. Rooms, $1,600-$6,600. At 73 La Croisette; 800-223-6800;

—Alexander Lobrano

Hotel prices show high-season rates from the least expensive double to the most expensive suite.

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