The reborn icon of the Riviera: Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel
The reborn icon of the Riviera: Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel
TOHOLOGY, 14 March 2023

Opened originally in 1913, the Carlton hotel was known for hosting stars: from famous actors to sitting presidents. In 2023 IHG reopens the doors on the Cote d’Azur, overlooking the famed beachfront promenade of La Croisette. The iconic Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts’ luxury & lifestyle portfolio, is ready to write the next chapter in its history.

The epitome of elegance and the ‘Grande Dame’ of Cannes’ hotel scene, the property’s majestic Belle Epoque façade – framed by twin domes – has been breathtakingly restored giving new life to this historic gem. With 332 rooms – 72 of which have a sea view – and 37 branded residences, Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel has been reimagined by acclaimed French interior designer Tristan Auer, known for his singular approach, polyhedral aesthetics and exquisite vision with just a touch of irreverence. The project was designed and supervised with meticulous orchestration by restoration specialist and architect Richard Lavelle.

Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel

The two-year grand-scale renovation skillfully preserved the hotel’s historic features including its legendary façade resulting in a modern-day masterpiece. The addition of two striking wings, measuring 20,000 square metres and home to luxury residences, envelop the rear of the property creating an enclosed garden with peristyle alcoves, sleek sunbathing decks, handcrafted cabanas and the largest hotel infinity pool in Cannes.

  • Tom Rowntree, Vice President of Luxury Brands at IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “The return of Carlton Cannes and the launch of the new era of Regent Hotels & Resorts marks the next chapter being penned, where history melts into the future. Regent and the Carlton are coming together to characterise a spectacular long-lasting legacy. Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel will incite curiosity for generations to come with forward looking luxury experiences like no other. This hotel blends Belle Epoque joie-de-vivre, impeccable craft and the energy of the ultimate destination in the way only the Regent brand can.”

Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel occupies the stylishly sublime commanding frontage of an entire city block overlooking the prestigious beachfront promenade, La Croisette. Located in the beating heart of the Cote d’Azur, Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel will offer decadent surroundings complemented by indulgent ephemeral guest experiences and a mélange of unique characteristics.

Amidst the unexpected harmony of Tristen Auer’s visionary design – majestic yet serene – guests will connect over uplifting curated moments, inspired by the beauty of contrasts where heritage meets modernity. Auer’s scheme seamlessly combines bold, contrasting contemporary installations with the historic fabric of the building while the hotel’s restaurants, bars and vibrant beach club will wow through the delivery of the unexpected.

The cobalt blues of the Mediterranean, the bright sunshine of the French Riviera and the omnipresence of natural light create a canvas on which the hotel’s dusky colour palette shines through in reverent elegance. Shades of cinder rose, ground pink and calamine blend with muted greys and oatmeal whites throughout the property. A scheme of individualist art deco-inspired Venini chandeliers with Murano glass adorn the hotel’s lobby, while the chandeliers in the Grand Salon have been restored by skilled artisans who worked on the Palace of Versailles. Fan-shaped faience Carrera marble scales were arranged by hand on the lobby floor and Raku ceramic pieces adorn the new bar top like a puzzle. The craftsmanship shines throughout with no less than 750 craftspeople and artisans having worked to breathe new life into the hotel.

  • Designer Tristan Auer said: "From the very beginning, the idea has been to skilfully preserve this listed icon, while still creating a masterpiece of modern times. The main objective was to give a refined modern touch. The inspiration for this transformation came from the sumptuous symbols of the French Riviera, such as the changing colours of the Mediterranean coastline as well as the mesmerising movements of the sea breeze. The spirit and sweetness of the French Riviera are present at all times. These ideas took shape thanks to the unmatched expertise provided by luxury craftsmen. I was lucky that my ideas and my intentions were beautifully brought to life by these artists.”

Nestled on the glistening coastline of the Cote d’Azur, Cannes is a 45-minute drive or short helicopter transfer from Nice Airport. As one of the region’s first modern resort areas, Cannes became popular in the 18th century as a winter retreat for European royalty. The Cote d’Azur has continued to nurture its famed patrons, building an impressive cultural wealth with many French and international artists having found refuge in this corner of paradise.

The Carlton Cannes has been an icon on the Riviera for the last 100 years and was famously the first luxury hotel to open in Cannes. As part of the renovation, the famous inscription "Carlton Hotel" located on the skyline pinnacle of the façade has been restored to exactly as it was when the hotel opened in 1913. Known for hosting the established elite, from film stars to presidents, over the years it has become a storied hotel with many tales to tell. The hotel was featured in Elton John’s I’m Still Standing music video, while Alfred Hitchcock chose the Carlton as the location to film ‘To Catch A Thief’ starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant.

The addition of Carlton Cannes to the Regent Hotels & Resorts portfolio marks an historic milestone. Regent Hotels & Resorts joined IHG Hotels & Resorts in 2018. For two years, work was undertaken to reimagine a new era for the brand as a storied icon of luxury hospitality, building on its founding ambition to take modern luxury to new heights.

  • Chief Executive Officer Nasser Matar Alkawari, from Katara Hospitality – owners of Carlton Cannes, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with IHG to transform the Carlton Cannes into a Regent Hotel, providing an inspiring gateway from which to explore the wonders of the French Riviera. Our aim is to deliver the serene and sensational at every turn. Our significant and continued investment will ensure that the hotel will stand the test of time for many years to come.”
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