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On the European portion of a recent round-the-world trip, TPG Points & Miles Editor Sarah Silbert spent two nights at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez in Southern France. Read on for details about the property and her stay.
After enjoying a Southeast Asia trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Palawan in the Philippines, it was time to head back west with a stop in France. Our plan was to spend Valentine’s Day in Paris, as well as several days in Cannes and the surrounding area.
After flying from Manila to Bangkok and Bangkok to Paris-CDG in first class on Thai Airways, we took a quick connecting flight on Air France to arrive at Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport (NCE). From there, we jumped in a great Sixt rental car and made the quick drive to Cannes, ready to explore the city for the first time.
The Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez is a Category 6 property, requiring 25,000 Gold Passport points per night for a standard room; 33,000 points per night for a Regency/Grand room; and 40,000 points per night for a suite. Note that you can also upgrade a paid room to a suite for 6,000 points.
We visited the property during the off season, so our room cost a reasonable 140 euros (about $153) per night including taxes. However, if you decide to book during the summer or during the Cannes Film Festival in May, nightly rates start at about 580 euros (about $634), making points a much better option. Considering that the 25,000-point redemption rate equates to $450 based on TPG’s latest valuations, though, paying out of pocket was definitely the better value here. Plus, thanks to the Citi Prestige Card‘s 4th Night Free benefit — which had already saved us well over $1,000 on our trip — we were able to get the fourth night’s rate refunded. While we were actually only at the hotel for three nights, we used this benefit to reserve the one additional night at the beginning of our stay — because our flight arrived early, having a room booked for the previous night ensured it’d be ready and waiting for us when we got there.
If you’re short on Hyatt Gold Passport points but are looking to book an award stay, consider the following options. First, you can sign up for the Hyatt Credit Card from Chase to earn two free award nights after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Also keep in mind that you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to the Hyatt rewards program, so if you have a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, your points haul can help you book a free stay.
We weren’t in the greatest mood as we arrived in Cannes — Air France had failed to load our checked bag onto the flight from Paris to Nice despite a long connection time — but we knew we were in for a treat when we turned onto the beautiful Boulevard de la Croisette, set just across from the beach with a lovely view.
When we pulled into the hotel’s main entrance, the very friendly valet told us we could either park our car on-site for 40 euros (~$44) per day or move to the street for free parking, but not to worry about it for the next several hours. It was a relief not to feel pressured to get our rental out of the way immediately, so we took our small carry-on bag and headed to reception.
There was no wait and the check-in staff was very friendly, but it took a bit of time before we were shown to our room on the fifth floor. My boyfriend was able to leverage the Hyatt status match offered on Twitter late last year, and due to his Hyatt Diamond status we were upgraded to a Sea View Deluxe King, which boasts a tiny balcony and a great perspective on the beachfront promenade below.
The Sea View Deluxe King
The room wasn’t huge (about 430 square feet), but it was well appointed with beautiful beige decor and some nice Art Deco touches.
The King bed was pretty comfortable, but the pillows weren’t the best. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always find pillows at French hotels to be either hard and scratchy or not supportive enough. (Even at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, this was an issue. Rant over!)
The room includes a desk and two chairs on either side of a coffee table — not a ton of room for getting work done, but better than nothing. The Wi-Fi wasn’t amazing during our stay, but it was stable enough to work on some posts and send a few emails.
The bathroom was on the large side, with a separate tub and shower and lots of storage space.
The room’s carpet, and shower and bathroom doors sport the HM monogram for the Hôtel Martinez (the property’s name before being acquired by Hyatt).
The 73 La Croisette amenities, including shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and lotion, smelled quite good, but they’re definitely on the flowery side. If you’re allergic, bring your own scentless products.
A bottle of red wine and a hand-written welcome note were waiting for us in the room — a nice recognition of Hyatt Diamond status!
Of course, the view was really the highlight of the room. Even in winter it was beautiful — just imagine it during the summer when the yachts would be out and the promenade would be busy!
You could also see the Art Deco pool and the hotel’s entrance from our balcony, along with more of the town in the distance.
Our room came with a mini-bar and a small selection of snacks. None of the options were reasonably priced — think 8 euros (~$9) for a soda — but they were still better than the rates at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, which we visited next.
Amenities and Service
After showering and changing into some fresh carry-on clothes (Fortunately, Air France delivered our checked bag later that night), we headed down to the onsite restaurant called Le Relais. It’s more casual than the 2-Michelin-starred Restaurant La Palme d’Or (as you can imagine), which is also on the property.
We had a lovely lunch and I was surprised to find plenty of vegetarian options, including a huge spread with brie, various Niçoise vegetables and breads. The staff was also incredibly friendly.
Each morning, we enjoyed breakfast in this same restaurant area. The spread wasn’t huge, but it included plenty of high-quality breads, cheeses, meats and vegetables, and again the staff was very welcoming and helpful.
After a rainy day spent exploring nearby Monaco and Ventimiglia, Italy, we decided to take it easy by ordering room service for dinner. I enjoyed a vegetable club sandwich with frites and fruit, which hit the spot — not like I needed much food after an amazing Italian lunch across the border!
The hotel also offers complimentary drinks for Hyatt Diamond members in the bar off the lobby. When we went to take advantage of this, the staff seemed a bit confused, but ultimately we were able to order complimentary glasses of wine and received some snack olives as well.
There’s also a small gym, located next to the spa (which was closed during our stay).
Though the weather was rainy and cold for much of our stay, the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez made a great base in the South of France and we were impressed with both the room and the friendly staff. I imagine the scene is completely different during the Cannes Film Festival — many of the big names I follow on Instagram have stayed at this hotel — but we were lucky to get a taste of South-of-France luxury at a decent price.
Have you stayed at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez? Share your experience in the comments below!
While Citi announced some negative changes to this card back in July — including a lower sign-up bonus, the elimination of Admirals Club access and the end of the free rounds of golf benefit — one of its most valuable perks still remains, which is the 4th Night Free perk. This benefit alone can save you thousands of dollars a year if you use it to its full advantage.