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Hotel Review: Tradition Room at Hotel Le Canberra, Cannes, France

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TPG Creative Director Adam Daniel Weiss recently traveled to Cannes, France where he stayed at the Hotel Le Canberra. Here’s his review of the property .

My first trip to Cannes coincided with the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. I’d visited Paris many times, but this was my first foray on the Cote d’Azur. I was looking for a hotel on the Croissette (the most desirable street to stay on by the beach) and hoping for a reasonable room rate, considering I was visiting during the biggest event of the year. The points hotels were already sold out, so after a little searching, I booked Hotel Le Canberra for $446 per night (compared to $1400 for the JW Marriott and $975 for the Radisson Blu Thalasso) just off the Croissette. Prices have been known to spike 200-300% during the film festival, so given the rate and location, this was a fantastic option.

Hotel La Canberra, Cannes France
Hotel Le Canberra, Cannes France

Lobby

After taking the train direct from Paris to Cannes (an easy five hour journey through the stunning French countryside–highly recommended), I arrived at the train station and per my trusty friend Google Maps, the hotel was apparently only a six minute walk, which was convenient and gave me a nice quick walking tour of the city.

Hotel La Canberra, Cannes, France
Hotel La Canberra, Cannes, France

A note to those heading to the hotel: the actual entrance is not actually on the Rue des Antibes as stated online, but rather around the corner (information that would have been helpful ahead of time), and other than a tiny placard, there is no noticeable outdoor signage at the actual entrance. To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure I was even at the right place until I found said placard, I trudged up the red-carpeted stairs with my luggage (a lack of bellhops was palpable) to find the outdoor bistro overlooking the pool, terrace and lobby. It was filled with film festivalgoers, credentials hanging from their necks, bubbly in hand.

Hotel Pool and Lounge Area
Pool and Lounge Area by the entrance to the Hotel La Canberra

I entered the lobby and found a chic lounge area, replete with comfy chairs and couches upholstered in the hotel’s signature hot fuchsia. The check-in was smooth sailing, though like my many other experiences in France on this trip, I realized I was never asked to see ID or a credit card.  Hearing that I was upgraded from a Tradition Room to a Privilege Room overlooking the pool was definitely a welcome surprise, though.

Lobby at the Hotel La Canberra
Lobby at the Hotel La Canberra

Room

I took the elevator up to the third floor and turned toward my room to find a large image of two people walking down the same hallway. Although the effect was nice in theory, every time I walked out of the elevator towards my room and looked up I was constantly startled and gasped loudly thinking there were people right in front of me, staring me down. Too much Möet can have this affect on you, apparently.

This photo seems innocent enough…not so much when you are alone at night in a dark hallway…

My upgraded room came complete with Juliet balcony overlooking the pool and tons of sunlight. The room itself was spacious with a small seating area adjacent to the bed.

A nicely spacious room, good seating area and plenty of light to relax in...
A nicely spacious room, good seating area and plenty of light to relax in…

As I was in town for a black tie affair, finding a very large closet with tons of hanging space was a nice treat. However, the room lacked an ironing board. Fortunately, when I called the front desk, they quickly brought one up.

Spacious closets with plenty of room to hang items.
Spacious closets with plenty of room to hang items.

The bathroom was a modern and sleek black granite with a tub/shower combo in one room and a toilet in another, which is typical for French bathrooms. One thing that did irk me (and this is a personal preference) is that the shower had a half-glass door, also standard throughout Europe, but it meant that water often got all over the bathroom floor, which is never enjoyable.

Standard bathroom, though opening the window to get additional light was definitely enjoyable.
Standard bathroom, though opening the window to get a nice cross breeze was appreciated

The room featured free WiFi and a password was provided at check-in. The service was unfortunately incredibly spotty. I had to login every single time I opened my computer and it seemed that they had several blocks on websites. As I was in town for the film festival, I wanted to catch up on any international gossip. However, any site tagged as “Adult Content” (including TMZ and Gawker) was blocked, which I found a bit strange.

View from my room at the Hotel La Canberra
View from my room at the Hotel La Canberra

Amenities & Dining

The cafe on the terrace by the pool, Le Café Blanc, serves as the sole restaurant for the hotel with an indoor enclosed veranda providing seating. Although I did not eat there, I joined friends in town from LA at their table, and their food looked quite good, especially the pommes frites. I nearly grabbed a fry on my way to the event, but thought twice–I didn’t want my tux to bust!

Outdoor terrace restaurant/bar at Hotel La Canberra
Outdoor terrace restaurant/bar at Hotel La Canberra

The hotel boasted a fitness area with treadmills, bikes and machines, as well as a sauna for all guests to use in the basement, and the pool at the front of the property was heated. Although the pool was fairly small, it drew a nice crowd in the afternoon.

The gorgeous Croisette in Cannes...image courtesy of Shutterstock
The gorgeous Croisette in Cannes…image courtesy of Shutterstock

Overall

With decent rates during the busiest time of the year, the Hotel Le Canberra is a great option. Oftentimes people want to stay right on the Croisette, but seeing the insane traffic and the mad amounts crowds clamouring for a glimpse of a celeb, staying a bit farther back was a more ideal choice. Celeb watching can be found anywhere in Cannes during the film festival (and in fact Oscar-winning actor Jean Dujardin of “The Artist” fame was staying at my hotel–he signed the guestbook right before me, a fun surprise). I’d much rather save a bunch of money and stay slightly off the main road. The staff was quite nice and the room provided a great place for some respite between parties.

How to Use Your Points

The Hotel Le Canberra is part of the Les Hôtels Ocre & Azur group, which have properties throughout the South of France in Cannes, Avignon and Fréjus. There’s loyalty program of note. I booked my room on Kayak for a rate of $446 (or € 334 which included  a VAT tax of 10%) which was a whopping $1000 less expensive than the Marriott. Rates for all rooms in Cannes are highest during the film festival (May). however given the alternative options in the area, this was doable.

A selection of rates for the Hotel La Canberra, with prices dropping substantially the off-season
A selection of rates for the Hotel La Canberra, with prices dropping substantially the off-season

I paid for the room and all my expenses for the trip on my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which gave me a 2x reward bonus as Kayak is considered a hotel category.

Have you stayed at the Hotel Le Canberra before or visited Cannes recently? Share your thoughts in the comment below!
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