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Fake news: Cannes is as glorious as ever

Fake news: Cannes is as glorious as ever
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A UK national paper recently ran an article about Cannes – but the writer didn’t seem to have visited the charming Cannes that we at vca know and love.

Here’s what we have to say about the claims that Cannes is past its best.

Claim:  The ten mile journey from Nice to Cannes took three hours on the Riviera’s traffic-clogged roads.

vca says:  The only time you’d get this kind of delay would be if there was an accident on the A8 motorway. Nice to Cannes by car takes 30 minute and our professional drivers would know the shortcut anyway.

Claim: The Croisette, immortalised by the generations of movie stars who attend the Cannes film festival, had a neglected, flyblown air. Many of the luxury boutiques were shuttered up, the Mediterranean was a greasy soup of oil and jellyfish, the whole place was permeated by a smell of decay even stronger than the garlic in the rouille of the bouillabaisse.

vca says: The “stars” come to the Film Festival, rarely to Cannes on holiday. If they do, they stay in villas. Cannes as a fashionable holiday destination peaked in the 1920s and 30s. From the 1950s, they migrated to St Tropez.

All the boutiques are open (was he there between 1pm and 5pm when shops are shut?), the streets are immaculately clean. Our returning clients have been commenting positively about the increased pedestrianisation on and near the Croisette.

Claim: Crowds of day-trippers plodded listlessly along the front, peering at the ranks of huge super-yachts anchored in the smoggy bay, desperate to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. Chic it was not. 

vca says: Because of its association with the Film Festival, Cannes attracts a lot of day visitors in summer. And it’s a major destination for cruise ships, like many large Mediterranean resorts.

We’ve never seen sea mist – let alone smog – in the Bay of Cannes.

Claim: The south of France is no longer the place to be seen. Too many rubbernecking tourists and too many paparazzi have sent the international cool crowd in search of more inaccessible destinations. The vast palace hotels of Cannes and Nice feel stuffy and out of date.

vca says: Cannes is a year-round conference destination, hosting property, film, TV and advertising congresses and exhibitions. These large hotels are well placed to cater for the thousands of delegates attending the exhibitions, which keeps them open year round. The palace hotels may appear “stuffy” to summer guests (although very popular with wealthy Russian and Gulf residents), but there are several on-trend alternatives and we’d be happy to recommend our favourites.

The writer of that article must have worked quite hard to have such a miserable time in our glorious Cannes.

I like to think that with our local knowledge we could have pointed them towards accommodation, transport and leisure activities better suited to their needs. I hope they’ll come and give the Riviera another try soon – and perhaps call on an experienced destination manager like vca!