Review: Hotel Martinez Cannes, Hyatt Unbound Collection

Review: Hotel Martinez Cannes, Hyatt Unbound Collection

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NAME: Hotel Martinez Cannes, Hyatt Unbound Collection
LOCATION: Cannes, France
DATE: June 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Hotel Martinez is a solid option if you're visiting Cannes -- the property has been renovated, has a nice beach club and pool, and has a good breakfast. However, manage your expectations, since there are 400+ rooms.
19

For our trip to Europe, our first stop was at Hotel Martinez Cannes, a Hyatt Unbound Collection property (this used to be a Grand Hyatt, but has been rebranded). This wasn’t our final destination (we were headed to Saint-Tropez from there), but rather we spent two nights here since our flight was arriving late in the evening, and we wanted to adjust to European time for a couple of days.

Ultimately Hotel Martinez is one of the best hotels in Cannes, and it’s a solid points hotel. The catch is that the hotel has 410 rooms, so don’t expect a very personalized experience. Furthermore, I don’t really see the appeal in Cannes as a destination, at least in comparison to all the other charming coastal towns in the South of France (which go way beyond Saint-Tropez).

Booking Hotel Martinez Cannes

We paid cash for our stay at Hotel Martinez Cannes, and the rate was 330 EUR per night. Ford booked us through the Hyatt Privé program. Hyatt Privé rates cost the same as standard flexible rates (not member rates, advance purchase rates, AAA rates, etc.), and include the following additional perks:

  • Daily full breakfast for two in the hotel’s restaurant
  • A $100 property credit per room per stay
  • A one category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking (room-to-room or suite-to-suite) — based on availability at the time of booking
  • Early check-in (as early as 9AM) and late check-out (as late as 4PM), subject to availability
  • A welcome gift and letter

Admittedly some of these benefits overlap with my World of Hyatt Globalist perks, but getting an extra $100 credit was a nice extra perk. Note that I also applied a Globalist suite upgrade award to the reservation, so we could be confirmed into a junior suite at the time of booking.

For context, Hotel Martinez Cannes is a Category 7 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a standard room free night redemption costs 25,000-35,000 points per night. Based on my valuation of 1.5 cents per World of Hyatt points, paying cash was the better value.

Hotel Martinez Cannes location

Hotel Martinez is located on La Croisette Boulevard, which is the main road along the water in Cannes. You can’t have a more central location than this, as you’re walking distance to all kinds of high-end shopping, restaurants, beaches, etc.

La Croisette Boulevard

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the closest airport to Cannes, and it’s about a 45-60 minute drive away, depending on traffic. So it’s still a bit of a haul, but it’s closer to the airport than Saint-Tropez, for example.

Hotel Martinez Cannes lobby & check-in

As you’d expect for a hotel with 400+ rooms and a tiny driveway, the arrival experience can be a bit chaotic. Nonetheless the bellmen were friendly in assisting us with our bags and showing us to reception. While the hotel first opened in the 1920s (and the exterior has a cool art deco design), the interior of the hotel has been beautifully updated.

Hotel Martinez Cannes exterior

The hotel’s lobby can get really crowded during the day, largely with people waiting to be able to check into their rooms.

Hotel Martinez Cannes lobby
Hotel Martinez Cannes lobby
Hotel Martinez Cannes lobby

Reception has some extra seating, plus a coffee machine.

Hotel Martinez Cannes reception
Hotel Martinez Cannes reception
Hotel Martinez Cannes lobby

There are also several individual check-in desks, so that you can be checked in while sitting down. The only issue is that there’s not really a clear check-in queue, so some people kind of stand back and wait for the next desk to be available, while others try to line up at one particular desk.

Hotel Martinez Cannes reception

Our check-in experience was quick and professional. The associate thanked me for my Globalist status, and familiarized us with the basics of the property. We were then shown to the elevators. The hotel has a beautiful staircase that spans all floors, and then there are also some elevators. While it’s not surprising given the age of the building, the elevators are tiny, and can get very crowded.

Hotel Martinez Cannes stairs & elevators
Hotel Martinez Cannes staircase

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite

We were assigned room 504, a junior suite on the fifth floor. I’m a fan of the hallway design, between the blue carpets and the texture of the walls and doors.

Hotel Martinez Cannes hallway
Hotel Martinez Cannes room exterior

Rooms at Hotel Martinez are definitely on the small side. Standard rooms are 28 square meters (~300 square feet), while junior suites are 45 square meters (~484 square feet). The room featured an entryway with a closet to the right and the bathroom to the left.

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite entryway

Straight ahead was the main part of the room, which had a comfortable king size bed, a chair with an ottoman, a loveseat, and a desk with a chair.

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite living area
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite desk

In a console next to the desk was the minibar, which had a complimentary Nespresso coffee machine, plus a minibar with drinks and snacks for purchase.

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite coffee machine
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite minibar

There was a welcome amenity in the room on account of having booked through Hyatt Privé, which was a bottle of rose.

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite welcome amenity

The bathroom was back toward the entrance, and had a sink, a soaking tub, a walk-in shower, and a toilet.

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite bathroom
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite bathtub
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite shower
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite toilet

Toiletries were from Ma Bergamote.

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite toiletries

Then there was also a good size closet.

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite closet

As far as the view goes, the room had a juliet balcony. To the left you could catch a glimpse of the sea, though mainly you were just looking right into the apartments across the street. So unfortunately you’ll want to keep at least the drapes closed if you want any amount of privacy while in your room.

Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite view
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite view
Hotel Martinez Cannes junior suite view

On balance I thought the room was nice — it was tastefully renovated and bright, though it was definitely on the small side, and the lack of privacy from the rooms was the biggest downside.

Hotel Martinez Cannes Le Jardin du Martinez restaurant (breakfast)

Breakfast is served daily from 7AM until 11AM at Le Jardin du Martinez, which is located on the ground floor just off the lobby. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor space is particularly nice.

Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast restaurant
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast restaurant
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast restaurant
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast restaurant

Servers in the restaurant provide drinks, and they can make just about any espresso-based drink. It’s nice to get a proper cappuccino with breakfast.

Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast cappuccino

Beyond that there was the buffet, which was located both inside and outside. The buffet included fresh juice, fruit, a station where you could slice your own fruits and veggies, cereal, yogurt, bread, pastries, cold cuts, eggs, waffles, etc.

Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet
Hotel Martinez Cannes breakfast buffet

It was no doubt a very good buffet, and I particularly appreciated being able to slice my own avocados, so that was a treat.

Just a couple of notes, though:

  • I always like to arrive at breakfast right as it opens to snap pictures, so I was shocked to show up the first morning 10 minutes before opening, and find dozens of people already lined up for breakfast; as it turns out, a major tour operator puts their guests here, and they had an early departure, so breakfast was chaotic at first
  • Breakfast the second morning was a disaster, as we went a little bit later and every single table was occupied, to the point that there was a waiting list
  • Getting coffee refills was almost impossible, as all the staff at breakfast were way overworked

Like I said, this is a 400+ room hotel, and that’s reflected in many aspects of the experience.

Hotel Martinez Cannes La Palme d’Or restaurant

While I didn’t dine there, I should mention that Hotel Martinez has La Palme d’Or, which is a two Michelin star restaurant. We didn’t have the chance to dine there, but I imagine some foodies will appreciate this.

Hotel Martinez Cannes in-room dining

Our first night we arrived at the hotel late after a long travel day, so we just decided to order room service, especially since we had a $100 credit to blow. You can find the room service menu here.

Hotel Martinez Cannes room service dinner

I ordered the vegetarian pizza with green sauce, vegetables, salsa verde, basil, and ricotta.

Hotel Martinez Cannes room service dinner

Ford ordered the club sandwich.

Hotel Martinez Cannes room service dinner

The club sandwich was definitely better than the pizza, which wasn’t particularly surprising.

Hotel Martinez Cannes pool & beach club

I stayed at Hotel Martinez years ago, and it’s incredible how they’ve transformed this property. The hotel now has a very nice garden and pool area in the center of the property, which didn’t used to exist.

Hotel Martinez Cannes pool deck
Hotel Martinez Cannes pool deck

The pool isn’t particularly large, but there’s a nice deck, and it’s certainly better than before (as there was no pool). The only thing I’d mention is that there are no umbrellas, so personally I wouldn’t spend any time here, but I know others enjoy tanning.

Hotel Martinez Cannes pool
Hotel Martinez Cannes pool
Hotel Martinez Cannes pool
Hotel Martinez Cannes pool

Furthermore, as you’ll find at many properties in the area, the hotel has a beach club, which has both beach chairs for rent, as well as a restaurant. We didn’t go here (the weather wasn’t great on our full day in Cannes), but it’s a nice space. Pricing for sun beds for a day range from 40 EUR to 70 EUR, depending on where you want to sit.

Hotel Martinez Cannes beach club
Hotel Martinez Cannes beach club
Hotel Martinez Cannes beach club

Hotel Martinez Cannes gym

Hotel Martinez has a good gym, which I think is quite new. The gym has an impressive selection of cardio equipment and weights.

Hotel Martinez Cannes gym
Hotel Martinez Cannes gym
Hotel Martinez Cannes gym
Hotel Martinez Cannes gym
Hotel Martinez Cannes gym

Bottom line

Hotel Martinez is a great option if you’re visiting Cannes, especially if you’re a Hyatt loyalist. The property has a central location, generally friendly service, a good breakfast, and it’s nicely maintained and updated. Significant improvements have been made to the hotel over the years, so the property deserves credit for that.

I’d say there are just two main drawbacks to this hotel. One is that the property has 400+ rooms, and public spaces are fairly small, so at times you’ll wonder if you’re in Las Vegas in terms of crowding. Second (and admittedly this comes down to personal preference), Cannes isn’t a place I’d choose to spend a significant amount of time. I think it’s a great stopover point enroute to other places on the Côte d’Azur, but I would highly recommend not making this your only destination in the area, or else you’ll probably be disappointed.

If you’ve stayed at Hotel Martinez, what was your experience like?

Conversations (19)
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  1. Alitravelpoints Guest

    Just came from staying 2 nights at Hotel Martinez and got the same room as you on day 1 (also didn't love the apartment “city” views) and upgraded to sea view on day 2 and it was awesome. Booked second night using FHR credit (came with $100 food and bev credit- not just any hotel charge).

  2. Oliver Guest

    Once more a great and very comprehensive review. The Martinez is one of the legendary palace hotels on the Croisette. Not having stayed there since the renovations, I just spent a few days at the Martinez this past April, and I was pleasantly and positively surprised. The hotel has definitely arrived in the 21st century with state-of-the-art lighting, entertainment, and technology. But I really loved how the room and how the entire hotel are imbued...

    Once more a great and very comprehensive review. The Martinez is one of the legendary palace hotels on the Croisette. Not having stayed there since the renovations, I just spent a few days at the Martinez this past April, and I was pleasantly and positively surprised. The hotel has definitely arrived in the 21st century with state-of-the-art lighting, entertainment, and technology. But I really loved how the room and how the entire hotel are imbued with this distinct Art Déco vibe. It really gives a sense of place, and of the prestigious past of the Martinez.
    One small remark: The "Ma Bergamote" bathroom amenities actually are a "Collection Exclusive by Fragonard", which is one of the oldest perfumeries in Grasse. With the town of Grasse being a short half-hour drive away from Cannes, I saw this was a nice local touch. And: Fragonard actually has two boutiques in Cannes...

  3. Mike Guest

    How did you get a rate of 330 Euros? The hotel ARR is between 600-950 Euros at this time of year?

  4. Andrew Diamond

    Nice review~! Thank you for writing trip reports!

  5. Frank Valentino Guest

    Stays a few years ago ! Booked on points used an upgrade cert to a jr suite then paid an Additional cash rate of $150 per night to upgrade to a sea view prestige suite and it was amazing . Love having breakfast in suite and treatment was fantastic . The Michelin star restaurant was a little over the top but was very good .

  6. Marco Guest

    That menu is an insult to Italian cuisine. Frozen pizza, carbonara with cream....
    Probably France is one of the last places where I would want to eat Italian food, even if the italian border is less than 100km from Cannes

  7. Scott Guest

    I agree with Ethan - I do not consider your room to be a suite -it's just a large room.

  8. Ethan Guest

    I’ll be very upset if my Suite Upgrade Award (And Globalist & Hyatt Prive benefits) confirms me into a room barely can be considered as Premium Room most other places.

  9. DLPTATL Gold

    Agree with the general sentiment of the group that Cannes is neither the ideal beach location or city experience in the region, though worth a day's visit. We've had great experiences in Nice, Èze, and Villefranche-sur-Mer on past trips, as we're less beach focused with Ben-like complexions, preferring a wider variety of activities.

  10. Herman Klung Guest

    "Cannes isn’t a place I’d choose to spend a significant amount of time": I thought it was a hotel review, not a destination review... You haven't spent enough time in Cannes and its region clearly.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Herman Klung -- I've actually spent quite a bit of time in the region. I think the region is fantastic, and has a lot to offer. My point was that I wouldn't specifically spend much time in Cannes. If I wanted to be in some place that felt like a city, I'd stay in Nice. Meanwhile if my goal was to have a relaxing beach vacation, I just wouldn't choose to stay in Cannes. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect if others feel differently.

    2. LP Guest

      @Ben - What would be your choice of beach destination in the area?

  11. ECR12 Guest

    I had similiar impressions to yours on a previous visit (~2018). Loved the hotel Martinez but thought Cannes was mehh. Much preferred our stay in Nice. Theat Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée was not nearly as flashy, but so much more to do in Nice. Need to get back to explore smaller towns/villages.

  12. Jacques Guest

    Art deco is all well and good until the rooms look like the set of Mommie Dearest.

    1. SamB Member

      You say that like that's a bad thing, LOL! I love the glamorous art deco style of the rooms, although I understand that can be a personal preference. At least I'm pretty sure there are no wire hangers

  13. Sean Guest

    A little confused by what you said about the suite upgrade. It sounds like if you book a suite, they’ll upgrade you one category suite? But that doesn’t sound like what happened to you? Sounds like you could firmed a suite with a certificate and then didn’t get they Hyatt prive upgrade. Is that right? Or is the jr suite a second category suite?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sean -- The Hyatt Prive upgrade and Globalist suite upgrades generally don't stack. We booked an entry level room. On account of booking through Hyatt Prive, we could have gotten a one category room upgrade. However, I decided to apply a suite upgrade, to confirm a junior suite, which is several categories up from a base room.

      Hotels don't generally let you apply a suite upgrade and then upgrade you further on account of Hyatt Prive.

  14. reddargon Diamond

    Very nice, detailed review as usual. Living in France I've often wondered whether this hotel, and Cannes in general, is worth a visit. I've been to Ramatuelle (just south of Saint Tropez) several times, and Saint-Raphael, but never any of the larger cities. It sounds like you weren't super impressed with Cannes though--any chance we'll hear more about your impressions in a subsequent post?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ reddargon -- Thanks! Admittedly it comes down to personal preference. If I wanted to be in the south of France and feel like I was in a city, I'd choose Nice, because I think the city has a lot to offer. Meanwhile if I want a beach vacation, a fun party vibe, and great restaurants, I think there are so many smaller towns along the coast that have more to offer.

      To me Cannes...

      @ reddargon -- Thanks! Admittedly it comes down to personal preference. If I wanted to be in the south of France and feel like I was in a city, I'd choose Nice, because I think the city has a lot to offer. Meanwhile if I want a beach vacation, a fun party vibe, and great restaurants, I think there are so many smaller towns along the coast that have more to offer.

      To me Cannes is just this odd middle-ground between a city and a beach destination, and it ends up feeling kind of like Las Vegas meets Times Square to me (in a Côte d'Azur kind of way).

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Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Herman Klung -- I've actually spent quite a bit of time in the region. I think the region is fantastic, and has a lot to offer. My point was that I wouldn't specifically spend much time in Cannes. If I wanted to be in some place that felt like a city, I'd stay in Nice. Meanwhile if my goal was to have a relaxing beach vacation, I just wouldn't choose to stay in Cannes. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect if others feel differently.

4
Andrew Diamond

Nice review~! Thank you for writing trip reports!

1
LP Guest

@Ben - What would be your choice of beach destination in the area?

1
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