In the space of a week I stayed in two Cannes hotels- the Grand Hyatt Martinez and the Holiday Inn. I understand that you’re more likely to see “Intercontinental” and “Hyatt” in the same sentence than Hyatt and Holiday Inn, but I think you’ll find a comparison of the two helpful when choosing a Cannes hotel.
Before I start, I have to give a nod to the Hyatt’s history. As one of the original destinations of the jet set any tourism history nerd (like me) will get butterflies staying at the Martinez. I’m not going to tell you the Holiday Inn will give you the same feelings. I’m reviewing them side by side based purely on the actual experience.
At first glance both hotels are oceanfront- with a catch. The Hyatt (and all La Croisette hotels) are separated from the beach by the boulevard. Junior suites are along the sides of the hotel so have a partial ocean view along with some street noise. The Grand Martinez is right in the middle of the action- we saw more Ferraris, Lambos, and Rolls Royces than we could count.
The Holiday Inn is about a block back from the beach with a train track in between. Access is from a pedestrian bridge and you do have train noise about four times an hour or so. I didn’t find it disruptive but it’s definitely noteworthy. The area is also on “the other side of the tracks” from La Croisette- it’s not seedy in any way but also not what you think when you think “Cannes”. It’s about a 30 minute walk along the boardwalk to the hoity-toity section of town. Coming back at 10:30PM I took a cab for 14 Euro. I’m sure it was safe to walk but alone I thought twice of it that late.
Tie. For pure view the Holiday Inn wins but the Hyatt captures more of the Cannes vibe.
I burned a Diamond Suite upgrade at the Grand Hyatt to get a junior suite. The junior suite is basically a room with a sitting area but what sets it apart is the amazing patio. The patio was easily the size of the entire seating area and took the room from “nice” to spectacular.
The bedroom, while nice, was nothing special. If I was in a standard room I’d probably be disappointed that I spent 25,000 points and certainly disappointed that I spent $700: the plywood cabinets were identical to those at the Holiday Inn. Junior Suites have the aforementioned (gorgeous) patio while standard rooms have no balcony at all.
Let’s move along to the Holiday Inn, shall we?
With no status at all I was placed into an “executive” 5th floor room with a balcony. I’m guessing it’s because I burned points- as an award they might have assumed I had status. The room was good sized (for Europe) and newly done. The property is new to the IHG portfolio and the updates inside the rooms are apparent. The building? Not so much. About half of the rooms have balconies.
Special shout out goes to the Holiday Inn’s balcony furniture. I mentioned that a pet peeve in “luxury hotels” is crappy furniture- the Holiday Inn actually did it right.
The Hyatt’s junior suite bathroom is a standout with a separate shower with six jets, large bathtub and toilet in its own room. The toiletries are generous, refilled often, and VERY floral. I like the scent but definitely don’t see it working on many dudes.
The Holiday Inn had a standard tub/shower combo but it was newly redone. The room even came with slippers and bathrobes and the toiletries are guy friendly aloe vera.
With a DSU, the Hyatt’s room is clearly nicer. However if you’re not diamond you’ll get a standard room, which I’m not convinced is that much greater than the executive room at the Holiday Inn.
Both hotels had similar sized pools (likely not heated but fine in August) in nicely gardened settings, but the Hyatt charges 32 Euro for pool chair rental. Highway robbery!
At check-in the Hyatt’s amenity included a bottle of 15 Euro wine, two waters, and a plate of plums. Housekeeping replenished waters daily. Breakfast is included for diamond members or 40 Euro- the buffet was lovely but I found the coffee service a bit slow.
The highlight by a mile for diamond members is the complimentary happy hour from 5-7PM. The wines poured were around 25 Euro a bottle and refilled often. Nuts and olives were served as well as an occasional amuse bouche.
Not diamond? Well, there’s free coffee in the lobby from 6:30-8AM…
The Executive rooms at the Holiday Inn include a complimentary minibar filled with soft drinks. An electric kettle also comes with the room but I don’t count Nescafe as coffee. Breakfast buffet is 20 Euro.
Unless you’re a diamond, you’ll do better at Holiday Inn. However, if you want a pool chair even Diamonds will have to pay 32 Euro. You can get a lot of wine, nuts, and olives for 32 Euro.
For example, let’s use August 27. The Hyatt’s base room comes in at 460 Euro and the junior suite runs 1,760. Holiday Inn’s executive room is 201 and the base room goes for 152. I’d suggest going for the junior suite at the Holiday Inn- at 242 Euro you take the guesswork completely out of the question. Points values are equally stark: the Hyatt goes for 25,000 points a night while the Holiday Inn goes for 20,000 IHG points (which are worth less than 1/2 a Hyatt point in my view).
Holiday Inn- no brainer.
While choosing between a Category 3 IHG property and a Category 6 Hyatt may not seem fair I found more similar than different between the two. In conclusion I’d suggest that if you’re not a diamond member you actually might enjoy the Holiday Inn more.
Have you visited either hotel? Do you agree with my reviews? Please share in the comments.
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