Hotel Le Mas Candille near Cannes

If you want to soak up the glamour of the upcoming Cannes Film Festival (from 15 May) and avoid the heaving crowds, your best tactic is to check into the nearby 5-star Hotel Le Mas Candille.

First impressions

This beautiful 18th-century hotel is nestled on a hilltop, amongst acres of pine, olive and cypress trees. On arrival, I almost expect to see French aristocrats with powdered wigs wafting around. Instead, I’m welcomed by the very chic, modern looking staff who welcome me on the terrace with a chilled glass of champagne.

PergolapoolMake a splash in the hotel's inviting infinity pool
Hotel Le Mas Candille

The medieval village of Mougins is only a short walk away. In the distance you can see Cannes. Le Mas Candille was originally a vineyard and later an olive farm. During the French Revolution, it was given the name Candille (candle), because of the large cypress tree that acted as a landmark for the Republican forces. The hotel has 46 guestrooms, including seven suites, a spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant. It is split into three wings – Le Mas, La Villa Candille and La Bastide – and combines a traditional mix of classic chateau architecture with more contemporary designs.

Ideal for…

Couples, families and groups of friends. Anyone, in fact, who is looking to have a relaxing break in a typical French chateau-style setting. Le Mas Candille is also very popular with celebrities; Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have all stayed here.

MasroomRomantic inspired rooms in the hotel's Le Mas wing
Hotel Le Mas Candille

The accommodation caters for all tastes. Rooms in Le Mas wing, an 18th-century converted farmhouse, are traditional and romantic, while the La Bastide wing offers antique décor and furnishings. Meanwhile, the rooms in La Villa Candille are typical Provençal style – very light, modern and airy. All rooms have the requisite mod cons (flatscreen TV, internet access) and private terraces overlooking mountain views.

The room

My bedroom is in Le Mas wing. I have a four-poster bed, table, chairs, armchair and desk. The shades are earthy – browns, ochre, creams and deep, muted greens. It’s like a room from a romantic novel where a lady in waiting would not be out of place. The marble bathroom is a treat. It’s large and spacious and has a handy hairdryer and a selection of deliciously scented toiletries. I also have my own terrace, and the views are spectacular.

Best room?

The most opulent suites are housed in La Bastide. Here, each suite is unique. All the furnishings are individually sourced. One of the suites, for example, is decorated in ornate wall furnishings that depict classic country hunting scenes from the 18th century.

Eating and drinking

There are three restaurants: the Michelin-starred Le Candille presided over by chef Serge Gouloumes; La Pergola restaurant (by the pool), and the Bar du Mas. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are bought daily in the market in Cannes. Breakfasts consist of a massive buffet of freshly baked bread, eggs, cold meats, yoghurts, fresh fruit and pastries.

MasfoodMichelin-star dining at Le Candille
Hotel Le Mas Candille

One of my most memorable meals is in Le Candille. I tuck into a courgette and scallop starter, adorned with pretty edible flower petals. The main dish is a selection of fresh vegetables and seafood – langoustines and lobster – seasoned with spicy sauce. Dessert follows; a divine chocolate mousse encased in a sugar-coated shell. Even though it’s usual to have three or four courses here, all the ingredients are always light and nutritious. The restaurant itself conveys a timeless elegance, with its antique cream walls, velvet raspberry-coloured chairs and white, floaty drapes. In the summer, the glass doors are flung open and guests can dine on the adjoining terrace.

You can also enjoy delicious freshly made snacks and canapés at the Bar du Mas, which is open to the public and combines a cosy, intimate feel with a lively, welcoming atmosphere.


A key attraction is the Shiseido Spa (the only one in France). The spa has five treatment rooms, a relaxation room, hydrotherapy pool, spa garden and a boutique. It offers a wide selection of treatments, from a Japanese Scalp Massage (€65) to the Ultimate Candille Zen Treatment where skin is exfoliated with a Provençal white sand and lavender body scrub, followed by an energising massage with jade stones (€180).

spamasThe hotel's Shiseido Spa is the only one in France
Hotel Le Mas Candille

The hotel has two additional swimming pools, including a huge infinity pool, plus two Jacuzzis. There’s also an outdoor gym (with covered roof) set in a lovely secluded garden.

Room for improvement

Even the South of France has been affected by changes in the weather of late. So, my only gripe while I stayed here was that it wasn’t as sunny as I expected!

Out and about

Cannes is 10 minutes away by car so the hotel is conveniently located if you’re here for the festival, want to stroll into the Old Town, or people-watch on La Croisette.

Mougins itself is also worth a visit; this is where Picasso lived for the last 15 years of his life. This tiny enclave is packed with restaurants, bars, boutiques, art galleries and workshops. Not to be missed is the Classic Art Museum, where you’ll find everything from Roman, Egyptian and Greek antique sculptures, vases and jewels to pieces by Salvador Dalí and Damien Hirst.

Other attractions include Nice, a 30-minute drive away, and Grasse, the famous perfume centre, which is 13km (7 miles) away.


Le Mas Candille
Boulevard Clement Rebuffel
06250 Mougins
Tel: (0492) 284 343.
Rooms from €305 per night, excluding tourist tax if €1.50 per person per day. Breakfast is €29 per person.

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