Catching Your Breath on the Croisette

Stephan Schraps

The hectic festival and its market can take their toll on body and soul, so consider these restorative timeouts before heading to parties -- like THR's bash for Jodie Foster.

Cannes can be an endurance test: First come those 8:30 a.m. press screenings at the Palais before you must rush off to a luncheon on one of the yachts floating in the harbor. Afternoons are for checking in with all those film companies headquartered at the Majestic, Le Grand and the Carlton before hitting the early evening cocktail parties. Then grab your invite and rush back to the Palais for a red carpet premiere before a marathon night of champagne-fueled partying -- on May 18, for example, The Hollywood Reporter will toast Jodie Foster at the Hotel Martinez. Such nonstop schedules can wear down even the fittest of the fit. But the Croisette doesn't have to be a forbidding obstacle course. THR has scouted all the spots -- from secrets like a hidden salad bar and an energy-boosting herbologist to luxuriant oases like the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc -- guaranteed to help the die-hard Cannes veteran catch a second wind before jumping back into the fray.        

Noosa
Dragging a bit after that wild night at the Wild Bunch villa? Head to Noosa, Cannes' self-described "Happy Shop." All of the herbs at Noosa are indeed legal. The store's founder and owner, Sebastien Kahn, is an expert in natural health remedies and offers a special "Detox Pack" during the Festival de Cannes that includes peppermint essential oil (anti-nausea and good for hangover headaches) and Kulau coconut water (Kahn describes the natural dehydration cure and energizer as "a natural Red Bull to get ready for a night out") or apple cider vinegar ("for gastric troubles," says Kahn) for €21. 12 boulevard de la Republique

Vinya Yoga
If you're looking for an "om" away from home, Le Sens de Yoga Vinyasa Yoga Studio offers classes to help you stay centered during the festival craziness. The yoga center hosts more than 20 hours of sessions per week, including anti-stress hatha yoga classes, more dynamic energizing vinyasa flow classes and even wake-up yoga reflexology to get you ready for your long festival days. For visitors, the "discovery pass" -- three classes for €30 -- is a bargain. 14 rue Buttrura

Chivas Lounge
Chivas is in the house. Literally. The whiskey brand will be hosting its own ephemeral house, decorated like a funky living room, open to those who can score an invite or a badge from the operators of the Cherie Cheri Beach. Cherie Cheri Beach

Citronelle
If you don't have time for a leisurely restaurant lunch, for some quick and healthy take-out fare head to Citronelle (which means "lemongrass" in French). The tiny spot just behind the Palais offers food to go for the health-conscious, including make-your-own "pick and mix" salads with a choice of about eight different grains such as quinoa or rice, and protein combos like a provençal chicken or a veggie option such as beets with feta and mint. "Everything is fresh every day and we try to stay as local as possible," Citronelle's owner Sylvie Bargier explains. The shop may be close to the Croisette, but the prices are a far cry from typical local fare -- a large salad and juice will cost you less than €10. 16 rue Bivouac Napoleon

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc
So maybe you can't snare a reservation -- maybe you can't even afford a room at this poshest of Cote d'Azur getaways. (During the festival, the most basic rooms cost €700 a night, junior suites run €1,200 and the prices for larger suites and villas are available only on request.) But you can still taxi out to Antibes and spend an afternoon enjoying the manicured grounds as you stroll to the Bellini Bar. Beware, though, the tariffs are stiff: While you can nurse a demi bottle of Laurent-Perrier Brut for just €60, if you spring for a magnum of Roederer Cristal 2002, it will cost you €900. Still, intoxicated by the scene with its always heady mix of A-list stars and barking moguls, you may well decide to linger on for dinner in either the Restaurant or the Grill & Lounge Bar (reservations are recommended). For a starter, the blue lobster "on a mirror of peas" goes for €72, but the steak Diane "flambeed tableside" is a relatively reasonable €50. Fortunately, the hotel, which for years insisted all guests pay in cash, has recently begun taking cards. Boulevard JFK, Antibes

Hotel Martinez
After you've walked yet again all the way from the Majestic to the Martinez (where The Hollywood Reporter will host a party in honor of Jodie Foster on May 18), treat your tired toes to a "Feet Extreme Comfort" massage at the Martinez's seventh-floor spa. Priced at €70, the half-hour treatment is short enough to fit into your hectic day. 73 boulevard de la Croisette

Majestic Hotel
The Majestic is stepping up its hospitality this year with a new "beauty bars" offer during the festival. Five beauty bars will provide manicures and pedicures, eyebrow care, eyelash treatments, a makeup bar by Sisley and a "bun bar" for hair. Open to hotel guests and festival badge holders, prices at the Majestic's in-house spa, the U-Spa Barriere, run from €50 to €85 for manicures and €80 to €95 for pedicures. Although you might wake up looking like Shrek, the treatments will leave you beautiful by the time your lunch meeting starts. 10 boulevard de la Croisette

Hotel Carlton
Detox is on the menu at the Carlton. The hotel's executive chef Laurent Bunel has partnered with a team of doctors and nutritionists led by famed plastic surgeon Henry Delmar to offer a special menu. Says Delmar, it is designed around "a hypocaloric diet to eliminate bad fats, offering particular foods in a particular order to eliminate the toxins quickly." Dishes will include a selection of exotic fruits as an appetizer, followed by a cold pumpkin soup with ginger; a tomato, fennel and licorice terrine; and steamed lobster with ginger and basmati rice. The detox is part of a package that includes a night at the hotel plus lunch and dinner for €480, although individual dishes will be on the regular lunch menu. 58 boulevard de la Croisette

Villa Schweppes
Effervescent Schweppes is set to mix things up on the 3.14 Beach throughout the fest, offering those who are awarded a pass from its organizers a welcome break from business courtesy of La Clique and film promotion and communication agency Deja. During the day, tired festgoers can relax in a solarium, a rest corner with day beds or Jacuzzis. Buzzing business types can use their adrenaline rush for table tennis competitions, paddleboard, petanque or foosball, and fatigued ladies can take advantage of the USLU nail bar. When the sun goes down, the Villa Schweppes will provide music and live entertainment by Le Baron DJs Greg Boust and Tete d'Affiche and party until 2 a.m. "It will be the best place to recover from a crazy night or escape the madness of the Croisette," La Clique's Chi Chi Menendez says of the new hotspot. 3.14 Beach

Joffrey Belloy
If you want your own personal trainer on the Croisette, call Joffrey Belloy from May 16 to 19. The former NFL Europe player and two-time French football champion will whip you into shape midfestival when you're really starting to feel the Riviera burn. He runs a personal-training company, which is based out of Paris but caters to the Cannes region as well. Rates range from €150 for a one-hour workout to €200 for an hour and a half. Contact +33-(0)6-15-72-37-84

Chateau du Cercle
Paris-based Le Cercle is one of France's most exclusive clubs. Its membership is full of successful entrepreneurs who pay €100 per month to toss ideas around with each other and create new business opportunities. For Cannes, it opens up an offshoot, Le Chateau du Cercle, in a luxurious chateau atop the Suquet, near the old port. Membership during the fest is €500, and applicants will need to prove they fit the "spirit of the club." Only a five-minute walk from the Palais -- although there are shuttles for those who prefer not to hoof it -- the atmosphere is a lot more rarefied than the haggling over B-pictures on the market floor. For example, Vincent Maravel, CEO of Wild Bunch, the film production and distribution company that operates as a subsidiary of StudioCanal, is likely to be found holding court. By day, Le Cercle will host garden parties, private screenings and sometimes press junkets on the terrace. In the evening there are private dinners. And at the stroke of midnight, the Chateau is then transformed into a bar and nightclub. 35 rue Louis Perissol

Electrolux
In the run-up to this year's Festival de Cannes, Electrolux, a purveyor of vacuum cleaners, washing machines and fine kitchenware, cooked up plans to host its first pavilion at the festival, alongside the Germans, the Slovenians and the Chinese. During the 12-day event, none other than Alain Ducasse and his team will be cooking inside what will be known as the Electrolux Agora Pavilion for opening and closing night and for official events, for which invitations will be required. On the beach by the Palais

Amplitude Bio
If you've opted to stay in an apartment and are cooking your own healthy meals, stock up on organic produce at Amplitude Bio, a large shop not far from the Palais. It sells seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh and packaged foods, plus organic breads delivered daily. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, Amplitude Bio caters to specific dietary needs with sugar-free, salt-free and gluten-free products, protein products for athletes and other supplements for do-it-yourself detox. The shop even has its own in-house naturopathic doctor who gives free in-store consultations on Tuesdays. 3 rue Leopold Bucquet

The Hollywood Reporter
When you find yourself on the Croisette, drop by the terrace of the JW Marriott Cannes, as the former Palais Stephanie Hotel has been rechristened. There The Hollywood Reporter staff will be welcoming industry types looking for a convenient place to meet. The streetside location is great for people-watching, the Marriott will be offering a special menu, and the first issue of the THR Festival Daily, offering complete product listings, will be available. 50 boulevard de la Croisette

SURVIVAL TIPS

1. Flat shoes
Heels may be de rigueur on the red carpet, but for day, ditch the Louboutins. The Croisette is quite a schlep, so opt for heel-free bliss.

2. Connect
Free Wi-Fi is rare along the Croisette. Registered journalists can find it in the Orange Cafe in the Palais. Everyone else, head to the nearby McDonald's.

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