The history of the Hotel Le Majestic Barriere in Cannes

Luxurious rooms, themed decor but lots and lots of anecdotes at the Hotel Le Majestic Barrière in Cannes. Like then, Paul Newman showed up and…

The connection between the Hotel Le Majestic Barrière in Cannes and the cinema has become legendary. It could not be otherwise for a palace Built in 1926 in Art Deco style and located just in front of the Palais des Festivals, where cinema celebrates one of its great rituals in May (from the 16th to the 27th this year). In this 76th edition of the festival, Italy is represented by three directors in competition (Marco Bellocchio, Nanni Moretti and Alice Rohrwacher, that hasn’t happened for a long time) and international guests are expected, including Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro , Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp.
Also this year some stars will join the Majestic (discretion is a must) and join the crowd of celebrities who have stayed, dined and stopped in the luxurious rooms overlooking the Croisette. And other shots will enrich the collection of 2500 photographs of actors and directors that cover the walls of the lobby, bars and restaurants, corridors, suites and rooms. A true story of cinema told through the great images of Studio Harcourt, Emanuele Scorcelletti and other photographers that make it unforgettable cinemaphile the visit of this temple thehotel industrymaybe just to enjoy a cocktail from the very Italian bartender Emanuele Balestra.

Cannes. Hotel Le Majestic Barriere. Photo Pascal Pronnier


On the ground floor, the hotel has a 35-seat cinema room for private screenings, decorated with the titles of countless films that have been screened and awarded at Cannes and the names of their respective directors. A homage that’s almost a quid pro quo for what’s out there on the other side of the Croisette, where on the walk of fame Tiles with the stars’ handprints have been placed around the cinema building. In the room dedicated to Diane, Lucien Barrière’s adopted daughter, who died young in 2001, previews of films, video clips and commercials are shown during events that take place throughout the year in Cannes. In the center, a gilded leather chair is reserved for the master of ceremonies.
The commitment to the cinema has always characterized the eponymous family. In 1962, Lucien Barrière, despite coming from a humble family of Ardèche peasants, found himself at the head of a group that already controlled prestigious casinos and luxury hotels, particularly in Normandy, after the death of his uncle François André, the founder . Since 1975 he has been one of the main supporters and financiers of the Deauville American Film Festival, which is still a major event in the French film season.
In the 1960s, the Majestic Barrier at Cannes was the focus of directors’ attention. Henri Verneuil chooses him for some scenes Big hit at the casino, a detective story starring Jean Gabin, a holy monster of the time, and a promising young actor, Alain Delon. The hotel also hosted the two actors during their stay on the French Riviera, and the memory of that film inspired the name and decor of a suite more than fifty years later. The Suite Mélodie is located on the top floor of the hotel (from Melody en sous sol, the film’s original title) has a very special luminosity that emanates from a large crescent-shaped window with a diameter of a good three meters. On the walls, photos of the two actors steal the show against the magnificent view of the Croisette with its palm trees and the Lérins Islands.
you have beautiful eyes you know“: the famous sentence by Jean Gabin ne The Harbor of the Mists, a cult film from 1939, introduces us to another cinema-inspired space. The suite Michelle Morgan is dedicated to the very actress who is the recipient of this joke. Her magnificent eyes, which invaded the collective imagination with Marcel Carné’s masterpiece, were printed on the pillows scattered in the bedroom and living room. One of the many pieces of furniture commissioned by Chantal Peyrat, the interior designer who has overseen many of the rooms at the Majestic Barrière. The Suite revisits the memory of the actress who received the Best Actress award at the first edition of the Festival in 1946, also thanks to many objects from Michèle Morgan’s personal collection, on loan from her family.
The pinnacle of luxury is reached on the hotel’s upper floors. During the two weeks of the festival, as every year, the Christian Dior Suite (450 square meters) will be “requested” by the stylists of the Parisian fashion house, because here many stars will try on and wear the dresses that they will then show on the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals become. This apartment was born expressly from the collaboration between the hotel and the fashion house to recreate the Dior spirit on the Côte d’Azur: dining room with Hungarian herringbone parquet, rotunda reminiscent of the ceiling of the boutique on Avenue Montaigne, table in the Louis Style XVI and chairs with gray and silver medallion: “Diorissimi” details abound. In the living room, the bright red sofa cushions are reminiscent of the designer’s historic pleated motif. Even the rooms have an haute couture touch: Pullman armchairs, Viennese straw headboards and even a replica of Christian Dior’s Paris office.

The content follows

© Photo Dario BragagliaCannes.  Hotel Le Majestic Barriere.  The Christian Dior suite
© Photo Dario BragagliaCannes. Hotel Le Majestic Barriere. The Christian Dior suite


The chronicles and some gossip tell of episodes that have now gone down in the history of the festival. Like the time when Bridget Bardot And Roger Vadim They had to escape the crowds and paparazzi from the Majestic’s jetty by scurrying onto a speedboat. Or, a few decades later, if from the same jetty Laetitia Castain tails, floated into the air on his parasail for the benefit of the photographers.
In 2011 the time has come Jean DujardinThe recent winner of the Palme d’Or for best actor is to be cast with the entire cast The artist the Penthouse Majestic Suite, the most beautiful of all, 650 square meters of elegance overlooking the Croisette, for a wild party that lasts until 8am the next morning.
Other episodes refer to a cinema of the past: Paul Neuman who unexpectedly arrives in Cannes and shows up with the suitcase at the reception of the full hotel. It is impossible to refuse a room to “Nick Cold Hand” and it will be Lucien Barrière himself who will give him his personal suite. Or again a Lino Ventura if you don’t leave the room without having made the bed and cleaned the bathtub yourself, you’re insane for feather pillows Pedro Almodovarthe infallible Bible on the bedside table from Charles Hestonthe dozens of planters and greenery required by Holly hunter for his suite, the gluttony of Wim Wenders left on the bed for sweets from the evening shift.
Again this year, business and parties, glamor and sequins, screenings and fashion shows overlap in the twelve crazy days of the festival. In addition to Christian Dior, many other fashion houses, stylists and jewelers will choose the rooms and halls of the Majestic as representative offices or showrooms. The hotel will receive 8,000 guests, around 100 TV broadcasts, 8,000 roses will be placed in the rooms every day, 25,000 meals will be served in the restaurants where the menus are signed by Pierre Gagnaire, Mauro Colagreco, Nicole Rubi and in the private bathrooms .
An appointment that is renewed every May and for the 76th time the Majestic and the Cannes Film Festival celebrate their complicity.

Dario Bragaglia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *