By Toby Rose
Deauville is a handsome, well-groomed, seaside destination, which is the favoured place for lovers of horse racing and all manner of conferences and cultural events, notably this month`s American Film Festival. Plus you’ll find an historic tarte Tatin in the showbiz restaurant on the main drag, chez Minoque!
The seaside resort has a reputation for classy chic and is a favoured weekend getaway spot for uptown Parisians. It also features as the destination in the seminal Nouvelle Vague film of a carefree lovers escape in Un Homme et Une Femme.
But when the glitterati turn in for the night – very often a very late night – they will most likely check into one of the two monumental piles with unobstructed views of the dunes, the boardwalk and the trademark multicoloured parasols on the sandy beach.
The Normandy and the Royal are both Barriére establishments and very much part of the Deauville landscape and experience. At this year`s 38th Deauville Film Festival the Barriére Group celebrated its 100th Anniversary.
The Barriére group is a French institution and synonymous with many of France’s most glittering occasions. The hotel group is a byword for Champs Élysées glamour with its landmark brasserie on the Champs Élysées which is the watering hole for the French cinema industry where it is long associated with les Césars, the French, Oscars. Patrons of Fouquet`s are a roll call of glamour and include everyone from Deneuve to Depardieu.
At Cannes the Barriére Majestic is within a popping champagne cork’s distance of the legendary Marches – Cannes red carpeted steps.
But it is in Deauville where the movie stars and the hotel group are truly in lockstep. Over the years the Barriere hotels have greeted and hosted the acting greats from De Niro to Eastwood, From Kidman to Cruise. This year was no exception. Names include Rachel Weisz and Salma Hayek and, as ever, a fair share of legends like Harvey Keitel and William Friedkin
It has been more than three decades that the Big Names of Tinsel Town have been making the hotels of this swankiest of this Normandy resort their home from home. This affection for the town is demonstrated by the generous tradition of lending their name to a room which for many has become a home from home. Thus year round guests can delight in the chance to stay in the Lauren Bacall suite. Or, a room bearing the name of Harrison Ford. Hollywood appreciates the hospitality and leaves a lasting thank you in the form of a namesake room.
For those taking a stroll along the legendary boardwalk there is the chance to admire balustrades adorned with the roll call of the hotel`s illustrious residents during the annual festival As you enjoy an ice-cream and a stroll, admire a veritable Hollywood Who’s who, from Farrah Fawcett Major to Ryan O`Neil to George Clooney.
This longstanding link between Barriére and Deauville was celebrated at this years gala opening dinner. It was most fitting that the formerMayor of Deauville Anne d’Ornano joined Dominic Desseigne on stage to cut a very special Birthday cake. A Symbol of a centenary and over thirty years of a shared success of cinema and legendary French hospitality.
It is no exaggeration to say that the hotels and Deauville American Film Festival are seen by visitors, and especially the film stars, as indistinguishable. A seamless experience which only enhances the showcasing of cinema.
At the same time, the festival does not forget its Gallic roots. Alongside the unique platform for the best, in not only Studio but independent US films, the Deauville American Film Festival finds a place for the Michel d’Ornano award for the Best French First Feature. This is an exciting springboard for budding new French talent to stand alongside the newest and best from the other side of the Atlantic. The jury is made up of an international jury, which gives the awards more than a little flavour of the Golden Globes.
As is fitting, the Barriére group pays host to the jury dinner at the festival, which unites Gallic and stateside talent with the town of Deauville and its flagships hotels.
And now we are just a few weeks from more cinema action for France`s most prestigious hotel group. The A-List rendez-vous at the Dinard British Film Festival is one in their chain – the Grand Hotel.
Happy Birthday Barriére.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
To see our full Disclosure Policy please click here.