Insider Hotel Booking Tips for Cannes Film Festival, MIDEM, and Cannes Lions

Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet RushFor the giant Cannes media conventions, like the Cannes Film Festival, MIDEM, and Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, hotel rooms are reserved years in advance, so finding accommodation during these festivals can be a challenge.

If you try to book early, you’ll find it’s all generally booked up, because hotels hold the same rooms for the same clients year after year.  It’s counter-intuitive, but you will have a better chance booking late, as the regular clients maybe skip a year and free up their room in a hotel that was previously sold out.  Check daily, as these pop up quick, and are grabbed just as quick!

The hotels not only inflate their rates, but most impose a minimum of the entire festival, in order to profit to the max.   So here’s another insider tip: if you can’t find any rooms for your preferred dates, plug in the entire period instead, and voila, rooms!  Now try the same hotel for one night less, to find their threshold.

Click here to get a snapshot what’s available and for how much… and remember, many of the hotels and apartments can be split between several people, bringing them into the reasonable zone.

Many festival-goers don’t stay the entire festival, however, so once the guest checks out, the paid-for rooms tend to pop back up again to get re-sold by the hotel a second time (cheeky bastards!).  Especially at the lower-end hotels, this second selling is more likely to be at their regular, non-inflated price, so rooms in all price ranges can often be found last-minute in the second half of the festival.

Normally I’m a big holiday apartment rental fan, but not during these massive international festivals, because the owner can cancel at the last minute with very little penalty.  If you booked far in advance and think you got a killer deal, you could find it whipped out from under you at the last minute (usually under the guise of “emergency plumbing problems”) if the owner gets a better offer privately.  For this reason I recommend, only for these giant conventions, to avoid apartment rental sites and book only through a reliable rental agency where you get a firm contract (but it’s more expensive as the agent gets a cut…), or better yet, a trusted hotel booking site with clout, like, where once you book you are guaranteed.

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Photo credits: Masses on Red Carpet by Tangi Bertin, licensed under Creative Commons. 

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