The Classicist: Cannes Gives Up on Glam
Sad but true: the recession has hit the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in the South of France next month, an international symbol of glamorous excess. Cutbacks are being made everywhere, from ritzy parties to the type of food being served, the AFP tells us. For starters, Vanity Fair has canceled its annual star-studded party, the social highlight of the festival, while the VIP nightclub Jimmy'z lost two key sponsors, Fendi and Swarovski, and Louis Vuitton said it would skip AmFar's big-ticket AIDS charity fundraiser.
"We're experiencing an unprecedented world crisis and it's also affecting the Riviera and Cannes," says Michel Chevillon, head of Cannes' hotel association. "Companies are sending fewer people, for shorter periods." 70% of the area's hotels have frozen their room rates compared to last year, and many are taking bookings for less than the full 12-day period, something normally unheard of at festival time, Chevillon tells the AFP.
Overall attendance at the festival is expected to be down for the first time in decades. "People are afraid it will hurt their image to be seen in a place associated with wealth," Cannes deputy mayor David Lissnard tells the AFP. Yacht charters are also suffering, as brokers struggle to find clients in Cannes' port, where all 60 berths for megayachts were booked up in anticipation. "There's a lot less demand this year for yacht rentals and a lot of pressure on prices," says broker Valerie Ruiz, who rents out yachts up to 200-ft. for the festival.
Gallery: Cannes Film Festival
On a brighter note, the Hotel Martinez's famed penthouse suite is fully booked. Ordinarily priced at $10,000 per night, which already places it among the top hotel rooms on the globe, during the Festival the rate is hiked to $47,000 per night, making it the world's most expensive hotel suite by far. The 2,000 sq.-ft. suite has four bedrooms, marble baths, multiple luxury living and dining rooms, plasma screen TVs with satellite programming, and a spa on a terrace which affords panoramic views of the Mediterranean.