- I stayed in Cannes to cover this year’s Cannes Film Festival for Insider.
- There I checked out some of the hottest places celebrities like to visit, including La Bâoli.
- The bar is beautiful, but it seemed too glamorous for someone like me, used to low-key places.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
Cannes is one of the fanciest cities in Europe, and celebrities love to flock to the southern French coastal city every year for the famous film festival that bears its name.
During their stay, the stars stay in some of the largest and most luxurious hotels, including Le Majestic at the Hotel Barrière and its suite at $ 9,600 per night. But even the celebrities visiting Cannes, perhaps more than most, want a place to relax from the endless events of the festival.
I visited one of these places, the famous La Bâoli bar, which celebrities frequently frequent to relax, hang out and party in their free time during the festival.
La Bâoli is just a 12-minute drive from the Palais des Festivals, making it an ideal getaway
While the Palais des Festivals is bustling from morning to night during the world-famous event, La Bâoli is located a 12-minute drive (or about 25-minute walk) from the main action of the Cannes Film Festival.
This location immediately gives it an exclusive and private atmosphere. There are plenty of bars and restaurants right next to the Palais des Festivals, but getting to this relatively secluded area of Cannes gives La Bâoli a feeling of occasion.
The restaurant was upscale and looked like a carnival
As soon as you approach the beautifully lit bar it’s obvious that this is a high end joint. There is a strict and elegant dress code, with only certain shoes allowed – I walked in wearing white Nike sneakers, but was told that people wearing overly sporty sneakers would not be allowed. All other clothing should be stylish.
The downstairs restaurant, which serves a premium menu of Mediterranean and Asian fusion cuisine, already had a party atmosphere although the club is not yet open.
A DJ playing music prompted diners to get up, take a break and dance between the tables, alluding to a carnival atmosphere that Antoine Brière, head of communications and marketing, told me that their club invites.
Brière said having the film festival, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, in July, as opposed to its usual month of May, turned out to be a challenge. The new dates clashed with summer vacation enthusiasts, who are usually the chic bar’s biggest customers.
The club is still subject to capacity restrictions, but it’s clear it’s a place that attracts high profile guests
While the club’s restrictions mean it’s limited to 75% of its capacity, I’ve been told that La Bâoli always does everything for its guests, turning part of the downstairs restaurant into a lively club and sumptuous with different DJs taking sets. Some of the next well-known names that will be performing include DJ Blond: ish and Jon Rocca.
Already, I was starting to feel out of place. I haven’t been to a real bar or club in over a year thanks to the pandemic, and have gotten used to tables limited to six people in the English pubs I frequent in my hometown of Crawley, just around the corner. outside London.
So it was a big step forward. While I loved to see the world return to normal and enjoy more lively evenings, I couldn’t help but feel like I belonged. The guests were dressed in designer clothes and all looked very comfortable and relaxed.
However, I’m not used to visiting such high-end and exclusive places, even before the pandemic, so I clearly felt in my place and as if I stood out from the crowd – despite the friendly, jovial and cheerful atmosphere.
The rooftop bar had a more relaxed vibe, but an equally luxurious setting
The rooftop bar, however, was much more of my vibe. Briere told me that the bar, named Cloud Nine, always has a more “relaxed, chill” feel than downstairs, and that was clear, even though the upscale environment still exudes expense and extravagance.
Briere told me that they often host private rooftop bar events for various celebrities who visit Cannes, and have already hosted a party for Leonardo DiCaprio and his famous friends.
Sadly, I didn’t see Leo or any other celebs during my brief visit to La Bâoli, but it’s definitely the kind of place you might see filled with stars.
The COVID-19 restrictions haven’t been too bad for La Bâoli. The place closes anyway from October to March, even outside of COVID periods, as it is a seasonal place. Briere said it just isn’t worth having them open during those months.
But it’s not the Cannes Film Festival that gives them their biggest deal, unlike the Le Majestic hotel.
Instead, Briere said a real estate conference in March and an exclusive boat show in October are their big business seasons.
“Real estate [conference] it’s just for four days, but it’s a lot of people and they eat so much, drink so much, ”Briere said, describing the kind of money laden customers who would splash the money in high class places like La Baoli. ” Its very important for us.”
However, I am certainly not one of those clients and it would take some time for me to get used to such an exclusive environment. La Bâoli is undoubtedly a treat to visit and a lovely place to have a drink while gazing out over the rest of Cannes – but for now I can just stick to my low-key pubs in England.