FIVE BEST CHEAP STAYS AROUND CANNES

Once the Cannes Film Festival lays down its red carpet, finding somewhere to stay in town is all but impossible, and seriously expensive. While Hollywood stars are safely ensconced in legendary luxury palaces like the Carlton, Majestic, Martinez and Miramar, the insider solution is to check in at one of the hidden boltholes that line the surrounding coast, where prices are surprisingly affordable, and the glitz and glamour of the Croisette is just a quick drive away.

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Cottage Bellevue

Tucked away in rolling hills just above Cannes’ town centre, the hullabaloo of the Festival seems a million miles away when you’re sipping a sundowner in Bellevue’s pretty terraced garden. La famille Pacaud have converted their self-contained apartment into three b&b rooms, where guests have use of a cosy living room and well-equipped kitchen. The Croisette is only 15 minutes walk away, or even quicker if you rent a bike from the family for £6 a day. Another big plus is that parking here is free, whereas in Cannes, expect to pay £30 a day.

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7 Traverse Sunny Bank, Cannes. Enq 33 620021338

£47-68, breakfast included

La Jabotte hotel

Antibes is where the real movers and shakers of the Film Festival choose to base themselves - except for the likes of George Clooney and Julia Roberts, who stay at the exclusive Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc and zip over to Cannes in a private speedboat. Roman Abramovich has his own mansion here with a mega yacht moored in the harbour. But just by Antibes’ idyllic sandy beach lies a brilliant discovery, the Hotel Jabotte. Owned by a friendly Belgian couple, Claude and Yves, the Jabotte is decorated in bright Provencale colours, with a dozen arty rooms surrounding a shady garden patio. Breakfast is copious and deckchairs and sun umbrellas are provided for the beach free of charge - nothing less than a miracle on the Riviera.

13 avenue Max Maurey, Antibes.

Enq 33 4 93 61 07 04, jabotte.com

Doubles from £73

L’Hirondelle Blanche

Saint-Raphael is one of the Riviera’s quieter resorts, so don’t expect hip cocktail bars and late-night clubbing. Cannes is just a quick boat or train ride away, while just across the bay is the glitzy world of Saint-Tropez. The Hirondelle Blanche is a very grand b&b right on Saint-Raphael’s waterfront, an imposing Belle Epoque mansion with five bedrooms. The owner, George Methout, lives on the premises, and this is a very popular place to stay for musicians and actors, though not the ones that are going to be starring in the movies screened at the Cannes Festival- yet .

533 avenue des Chèvrefeuilles, Saint-Raphaël

Enq 33 4 98 11 84 03, hirondelle-blanche.fr

Doubles from £75

Les Flots Bleus

This has to be one of the best deals on the Cote d’Azur. First of all there is the incredible natural landscape, where the hotel is dramatically set against a stunning background of the deep-blue waters of the Baie d’Antheor and a craggy deep-red mountain side. Then there is the young chef and owner, Olivier Vollant, who conjures up irresistible gastronomic dishes that could be served in a Michelin-starred restaurant, but at affordable bistrot prices : £20 for a three -course meal, while a mammoth, ten- course tasting menu costs £48. Finally, the room rates barely change from low to high season, so even when the Festival is on at nearby Cannes, a sea-view room with terrace will only set you back £61.

Avenue Eugène Brieux, Baie d’Anthéor,

Enq 33 4 94 44 80 21, hotel-cote-azur.com

Doubles from £54

HOTEL AEVA

Cagnes-sur-Mer is a chic little seaside resort smack between Cannes and Nice. The Aeva is unlike the usual Riviera hotels, looking more like a pastel-hued, 1930s American motel straight out of an Edward Hopper painting. Although it sits on the busy road that runs along the turquoise Baie des Anges, the rooms have double glazing, so there is no bother with traffic noise, and the views are spectacular. The owner is an ex-footballer from Paris Saint-Germain, not quite in the same league as David Beckham, but there is definitely a celebrity buzz about the place, with a gourmet restaurant and bar in the hotel, and across the road, on their private beach, a cool lounge and club with weekend DJs.

22 Boulevard de la Plage, Cagnes-sur-Mer

Enq 33 4 93 73 39 52, hotel-aeva.fr

Doubles from £68

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