the Carlton, palace of all the stars

the Carlton, palace of all the stars
the Carlton, palace of all the stars

Every year, in May, hundreds of people crowd in front of the Belle Époque facade at 58, boulevard de la Croisette, hoping to catch a glimpse of a star emerging from the bowels of the building. This behemoth, resembling a lady boss, inaugurated on January 30, 1911, was designed by the businessman Henri Ruhl, associated with the architect Charles Dalmas, in place of the small Hôtel de la plage, a modest guesthouse. family.

The rest after this ad

The building, which has become the home of passing celebrities, is topped by two rounded domes, located on either side of the facade. The story goes that they were inspired by the breasts of the beautiful Otero, dancer, courtesan and glamorous icon of the early 20th century.

First frequented by the British and Russian aristocracy, it notably sheltered the loves of Grand Duke Mickhail Mikhailovich Romanov, a member of the imperial family in exile, and Sophie de Merenberg, Pushkin’s granddaughter.

The League of Nations at Carlton

But it was above all the following decade that the Carlton gained its reputation, establishing itself as an essential establishment on the international level: on the initiative of the President of the Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs Aristide Briand, the hotel was requisitioned in January 1922 to host a meeting of the Supreme Council of the League of Nations, the very young League of Nations, ancestor of the United Nations.

Carlton becomes the center of the world. Suite 523, where Colonel Harvey, the American representative, was staying, was also that of Barack Obama during the G20 summit organized in Cannes in 2011 and which brought together twenty-five heads of state. A few years after the meeting of the SDN, in 1926, there was a repeat: the first clay tennis court in history was installed on the square in front of the establishment, and Suzanne Lenglen faced Helen Wills in what the press then called of “match of the century”.

The rest after this ad

A legendary place

The Carlton therefore did not wait for the first edition of the Cannes Film Festival, in 1946, to acquire its prestige, but the annual cinema festival will transform it into a legendary place. The stars of the 7th art replace the old aristocrats and captains of industry. The palace is home to the first stirrings of the romance between Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, who had been introduced to each other shortly before by Paris Match reporters. The American then filmed “La main au collar”, by Alfred Hitchcock, with Cary Grant, which was released in 1955.

Several scenes are filmed on the Carlton’s private beach and in the hotel. Among them, the one where Grace Kelly slams the door of her room in Cary Grant’s face, making suite 623 one of the most requested. Other filmings will follow, such as “La bonne nouvelle” (1973), by Claude Lelouch, or “Grosse fatigue” (1993), by Michel Blanc.

At each Cannes Film Festival, the members of the jury set down their bags there

Over the course of its history, the building, purchased in 2014 by the Qatari fund Katara Hospitality, has undergone numerous transformations. The latest, led by architect Richard Lavelle in collaboration with interior designers Pierre-Yves Rochon and Tristan Auer, lasted five years to be completed in 2023 and would have cost 350 million euros according to local media . Infinity swimming pool, lush garden in place of the indoor parking lot, extension of 20,000 square meters, the palace has had a facelift without losing any of its character or this typical charm of the Belle Époque. And Hollywood stars, as well as loyal ones elsewhere, have returned to colonize its 369 rooms, including 52 suites.

At each Cannes Film Festival, the members of the jury set down their bags there. Whatever their demands, follies or whims, the most famous or wealthy clients know that they are protected here: the discretion of the staff is matched only by the quality of the service. The Carlton remains a haven of freedom of which they are the jewels.

-

-

PREV Michelle Dockery announces start of filming on third and final ‘Downton Abbey’ film
NEXT Richard Gere, 74, passionately kisses his wife on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival