I have just spent the last 3 days in Cannes, no not for the movie festival but at the International Luxury Travel Mart, the largest gathering of luxury travel professionals in the world.

In pure Cote d azure style, I was swept off to Cannes from Nice airport in a black Mercedes and delivered to the intercontinental Carlton hotel, the very first hotel in Cannes. A grand palace built in 1911, it is situated on the rue La Croisette a spectacular esplanade that hugs the sandy beaches of Cannes, and dotted with all the high end designer brands you could think of.

The rooms at the Carlton are traditional and spacious with all the mod cons that you would expect from a five-star hotel.The theme of ILTM 2016 was Love, loyalty and of course Luxury and this was emphasised by the keynote speakers, giving two inspirational speeches on how love really influences the travel industry. One speech was really captivating as he recoiled events in his well-travelled past, and boy that man has travelled and embraced so many cultures we should all take a leaf out of his book. He spoke about how if international travel was made a compulsory part of your life before the age of 25 it would solve many of the world’s problems which I fully agree with.

The next three days were made up of twelve twenty minute appointments a day with some of the world’s best luxury hotels, resorts and tour operators. Another underlying theme that I felt many of the hoteliers were talking about was the emergence of not a hotel stay but a lifestyle.  There was also mention of new and refurbished hotels mixing the old with the new, keeping the beautiful old façades and interiors but then adding bright modern furniture, buzzing restaurants and club like check ins with no reception desks.

The whole week was so opulent and the parties were put of this world, Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, AMAN and of course the highlight the buyers party at the Majestic Hotel Cannes and the gala ball at the Martinez with a five meter tall champagne tower and revolving dance floor.

It was my first year at ILTM Cannes but it certainly won’t be my last. The contact I made were so valuable and will allow me to provide the most amazing lux thought out itineraries to my clients.

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