The first impression you get of this hotel (or should that be village?) when you first set foot inside is rather extraordinary, and perhaps a little kitsch. It has to be said that there is an amazing contrast between the outside, which looks a tad depressing with all the TGV rails running by, and the inside, which is designed in the style of a Provençal square.
Of course, the transition between the two isn't quite so dramatic, with the light decor and little archways of the reception area serving as something of an air-lock between the two separate worlds. In fact, only when you see the plaque reading 'Place du Village' ('Village Square') on one of the pillars will the penny drop. Then, as you move towards the marble staircase and the lift, you will find yourself gradually approaching the heart of the Provençal village. A glance upwards will reveal a series of yellow ochre and red reconstructed façades, ceiling tiles painted to represent a blue sky, and pretty green shutters.
Once the initial impression has passed, the next thing that'll strike you as you leave the village square behind is how extraordinary and perhaps a little random this place is. In fact, although all of the communal areas are harmonious in terms of style and colour scheme (pale pink for the walls, burgundy red net curtains and upholstery fabrics, and a clear Provençal theme), the gallery of very brightly-coloured Naive paintings dotted all around the place are as eye-catching as a colourful Picasso amid otherwise purely Norman surroundings.
Once you've gotten over this discovery of a harsh chromatic design, the true nature of the Best Western Cannes Riviera shines through. Whatever you make of the modern Provençal-style decor, you have to admit that the relaxation areas are particularly spacious and comfortable, including the lounge area near the bar that is bathed in blue light.
The breakfast room is also of a comfortable size and again features a Provençal-style decor. It opens out onto a beautiful terrace where you can start the day with breakfast al fresco surrounded by olive and palm trees.
Having said that, the real jewels of this hotel are to be found up on the roof and down in the cellar.
If you take the lift up to the top floor of the hotel you can step out on to the rooftop where you'll find the hotel's 20m² swimming pool and a panoramic view across Cannes. With a setting like this, who needs sunbeds for a quick-fix tan!
Back down at reception, meanwhile, take the stairs down to the wine bar below. Although it isn't used all the time, the vaulted stone cellar is certainly worth a peep. It is also available for private hire and is often used for wine tasting sessions.