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The Hotel Martinez Cannes: Zoom on a legend of the Croisette

Façade of the luxury hotel Le Martinez in Cannes

The story of an extraordinary hotel

In 1927, Emmanuel Martinez bought a villa facing the Lérins Islands, a few hundred metres from the Carlton Hotel. The ambition to build the largest hotel on the French Riviera led him to an extravagant project. In 1929, the first two floors of the Hotel Martinez were inaugurated, before being transformed into a 7-storey liner with 500 rooms. A successful gamble for Mr Martinez, who has just given birth to a legend in the international hotel business. Although renovations have punctuated the life of the palace, the emblematic marble and gold mosaic facade has retained its splendour.

Façade of the Hotel Martinez in Cannes in the 1930s
The legendary Hotel Martinez on the Croisette in Cannes in the 1930s. © Hôtel Martinez Cannes

The legend of the Martinez is as much about its size, location and luxury as it is about its renowned clientele. As soon as it opened, the aristocrats on holiday on the French Riviera made it their centre of attraction. In the same year, the Prince of Wales took a room all year round when the maharajahs fought for entire floors.

The requisitions of the Second World War did not affect the Martinez’s brilliant destiny, and in 2001 the hotel was included in the general inventory of cultural heritage.

For almost 100 years, the Hotel Martinez has seen a parade of stars who have come to attend the Cannes Film Festival, and the famous dinner of the jury of the Festival takes place in the restaurant La Palme d’Or. The cream of international cinema has trodden the steps of the Great Staircase or the sand of the Martinez beach: from Sean Connery to Quentin Tarantino via Edward Norton, the greatest of them have chosen the Martinez as the place to be in Cannes.

Integrated into the Hyatt hotel chain since 2013 and now a member of the group’s ‘Unbound’ collection, the Hotel Martinez continues its international expansion. To achieve this, the hotel is currently undergoing a complete renovation. Begun in 2016 and orchestrated by the architect Pierre-Yves Rochon, this renovation includes an overhaul of the spaces and gives a new lease of life to the hotel’s 409 rooms.

The Hotel Martinez nowadays

The Martinez continues its transformation, and its suites and spa are now experiencing a renaissance. Each space has been renewed to project the Hotel Martinez into the 21st century while respecting its art-deco and lifestyle DNA. The alchemy has worked, and the pastel tones of the decorative elements blend perfectly with the Mediterranean light, which marries perfectly with the prestigious rooms and suites.

The Martinez hotel in Cannes and its private beach
A recent photo of the luxury hotel, the Martinez and its private beach in Cannes. © Hôtel Martinez Cannes

Always striving for excellence, the Hotel Martinez has embarked on a new transformation in 2020 and will soon unveil a new swimming pool, a redesigned spa and gym as well as an embellished 7th-floor suite. There is no doubt that the reopening of the palace will create the event and give it a second youth.

The Palais des Festivals de Cannes is the scene of major business events: fairs, exhibitions, congresses and other professional highlights spread all over La Croisette, and the Martinez welcomes business travellers. In the hotel, the facilities to meet the needs of these travellers are well catered for, including small meeting rooms or large rooms that can accommodate large conferences, seminars or business events.

At Le Martinez, luxury service and respect for the environment go hand in hand. The hotel’s teams have naturally been committed to a “Green Globe” approach for more than 10 years and all the departments, from room service to the kitchens, are regularly rethought in an anti-waste approach that encourages actions in favour of biodiversity. In fact, the chef is the first to pursue a responsible commitment.

The restaurants of the Hotel Martinez

The executive chef, Christian Sinicropi, is both a culinary genius and an artist. He designed each dining area as an immersive experience.

Le Jardin du Martinez, a hymn to Provence

The latest creation, Le Jardin du Martinez, designed by the landscape gardener Philippe Niez, is a hymn to Provence; guests are immersed in a world of trees, where cork oaks meet palm trees, olive trees and other fruit trees typical of the Côte d’Azur. From breakfast presented in the form of a Mediterranean market to guinguette evenings where the hotel’s resident DJ Kailly Jensens performs surrounded by guest singers. The key feature of this extraordinary garden is that this Martinez garden extends over the lobby into an indoor garden.

Restaurant Le Jardin du Martinez à Cannes
© Hôtel Martinez Cannes

La Plage du Martinez, the place to be in Cannes

Another place, another atmosphere, while crossing the Croisette, travellers or French Riviera residents stopping off in Cannes will discover the yachting world of the Plage du Martinez. Reopened in 2019, the beach has experienced a renaissance and is now more than ever positioned as The place to be in Cannes. The menu gives pride of place to Mediterranean products, and emblematic dishes such as pan bagnat or XXL prawns leave an authentic impression on the guests’ taste buds.

© Hôtel Martinez Cannes

During the day, the Martinez beach is the point of attraction for customers looking for a yachting spirit. Here, a privileged clientele coming from yachts anchored in the Bay of Cannes can disembark directly on the pontoon which took part in the legend of the Cannes Film Festival. After a day lounging on a sun lounger and enjoying the gastronomic pleasures of the beach, the sunset is the moment when the beach adorns itself with a lounge atmosphere – a cocktail that seduces the golden youth and elegant clientele. The sunny dishes give way to the shots bar, and takeaway crates replace the pan bagnat. At the helm of the bar, the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, David Palanque, brings customers into his world and creates shows around original cocktails. The most popular evenings on the Martinez beach are undoubtedly the evenings of the International Fireworks Festival. The view is such and the gastronomic experience so delicious that it is best to book several weeks in advance to take advantage of the best spot.

La Palme d’Or, double starred gastronomic restaurant

Back to the hotel where the best kept gastronomic treasure of Cannes is deserved. At the Palme d’Or, the gastronomic restaurant with two Michelin stars, chef Christian Sinicropi delivers fair, sincere and authentic cuisine. His cuisine is the fruit of the ties he has forged over the years with local producers, those who love their products as much as the chef, who strives every day to sublimate them. His passion for cooking mingles with his passion for the south, southern products, producers and artisans. This committed chef designs his plates when his wife, Catherine Sinicropi, a ceramist, makes them. Each new recipe has its own personalised and unique case.

Restaurant La Palme d'Or
The Hotel Martinez’s famous restaurant and its magnificent sea view, La Palme d’Or, in Cannes. © Hôtel Martinez Cannes

The chef, ahead of his time and in search of the original taste, the quintessential taste, has long since made the wager to adapt to the land. Products dictate suggestions and creations, not the other way around. This is how he developed the concept of “movements”, which values the product in several movements, from the gross product to a sophisticated version. All the senses must be awakened to live intensely the experience proposed by Christian Sinicropi. The philosophy is the same at every moment of the meal, and the pastry chef Julien Ochando has fully adopted the concept of movement in his range of desserts.

Le Martinez is a special destination in Cannes. At the same time a hotel and a meeting place, a place for culinary pleasures, a place for ecological awareness, a place for celebrations… It is here that the legend of Cannes continues to be built. To find out more: Information, photos and rates of the Hotel Martinez Cannes.