This years film festival will look better than ever. 

By Cailey Rizzo
May 14, 2019
Courtesy of Hotel Martinez

The Cannes Film Festival is, undoubtedly, one of the most glamorous events of the year.

About 40,000 people will visit the city on the French coast to watch some of the year’s best films, spot celebrities, and bask in the glamour of the French Riviera. And guests at this year’s festival (which begins Tuesday) may be treated to an even more glamorous experience than years past.

Courtesy of Hotel Martinez

Historic hotels in Cannes have invested about $1 billion in renovations for five-star accommodations this year.

"We went to sleep a bit," Michel Chevillon, head of the Cannes hoteliers union, told Associated Foreign Press. "Bookings didn't fall but there was a drop in customer satisfaction levels. And then the big international chains arrived. So to keep our share of the market, we had to get it just right.”

Courtesy of Hotel Martinez
Courtesy of Hotel Martinez

Last year, the historic waterfront Martinez Hotel re-opened after a $168 million (€150 million) renovation, which shut down the hotel for four months. Today, it’s the biggest hotel in town, with 409 rooms. The old hotel was previously decorated in dark tones. Today, it’s all white and pastels alongside its art deco architecture to bring more of the sunshine from the seaside city in. Nightly rates for the hotel’s suites in the summer months can reach up to $38,00 (€34,000). During the festival, nightly rates soar to an undisclosed amount.

Other glamorous seaside hotels have also undergone substantial renovations in recent history, including the Radisson Blu, the Marriott and the Majestic. Chevillon said that, with the smaller independent hotels included, the town of 70,000 has invested about $1 billion in hotel renovations over the past decade.

Courtesy of Hotel Martinez

Hoteliers have cited the influence of competition from home-sharing sites like Airbnb as motivation to invest in renovations.

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