Why I Love ILTM Cannes

For four days, it feels like the center of the world. The luxury travel world, at least.

Why I Love ILTM Cannes

The InterContinental Carlton Cannes has a glamorous history.

Photo by Annie Fitzsimmons

Here is a baker’s dozen of reasons I love ILTM Cannes:

  • Kicking off the week by standing in the (always long!) line to get your name badge and seeing old friends who introduce you to new friends—a big theme for the week.
  • Ambling along on La Croisette each morning to the Palais des Festivals, a long walk if you’re at the Martinez, a much shorter one from the Majestic.
  • The ultimate insider access to the most current news and announcements from the best brands, products, and experiences in luxury travel. It’s overwhelming in the best kind of way.
  • The opening forum, a celebration of the industry that always teaches you something new. This year’s will set the stage with a discussion of “conscious luxury,” something we are all thinking and talking about.
  • The revolving dance floor at the closing party. (I have not confirmed if it is happening this year! Fingers crossed.)
  • Stopping at a French pharmacy to stock up on Bioderma and Caudalie for much less cost than anywhere else.
  • Seeing top hotel execs in line at the Cannes McDonald’s seeking a late-night snack.
  • Four-hour dinners at Pastis that usually end with at least two or three people dancing on tables.
  • The promise of Dan Beschloss of Valerie Wilson Travel playing the piano on Wednesday night at the Carlton bar.
  • Going to bed at 3 a.m. and easily waking up at 6 a.m. for brand breakfasts because everything is just that energizing. I am never otherwise that excited about so little sleep.
  • Dinner at Astoux e Brun—open since 1953—which always smells like garlic, shallots, butter, and wine. I return again and again for fresh-caught seafood and the lively vibe.
  • Thinking about the history of the Carlton every time I walk by. It’s where Grace Kelly was staying when she met Prince Rainier of Monaco. She was with the director Alfred Hitchcock and her costar, Cary Grant, filming To Catch a Thief, the most beautiful movie ever set in the French Riviera. You can feel the glamour of the 1950s and ’60s as you view decadent architectural details on hotels and sea-facing apartment buildings.
  • Taking notes, doing research, interviewing people, and emerging with at least 20 story ideas ready to explore in the year ahead.

>> Next: ILTM’s Power Woman Alison Gilmore

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