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Cannes Fest Will Sizzle Despite Recession

There's a growing divide between the rich and super-rich, who are debating whether to show up and flaunt it at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in France or avoid it in light of the economic recession.

A few industry heavyweights have already made their decisions about the 12-day festival, which starts May 13. Vanity Fair is canceling its annual finale party and sponsors Fendi and Swarovski are pulling the red carpet out from under their brassy events at local nightclubs.

Belles Rives offers an oasis removed near Cannes.

But don't expect an empty Port du Cannes just yet. All of the 60 mega-yacht berths are booked and local catering companies are fielding Champagne and caviar requests at similar levels as previous years.

Cannes' top hotels: Contrary to many reports of falling occupancy rates among the city's luxury hotels, most have been booked for months.

The Hotel Martinez has stayed at the helm of the local hotel market since its 2002 renovation. Rooms on the hotel's penthouse level offer massive outdoor terraces and space for entertaining that even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would find plush. The hotel is also home to one of Cannes' top dining rooms and a Givenchy spa.

A hotel reservation clerk says the hotels' rooms were booked solid almost a year in advance.

French luxury chain Lucien Barriere Hotels & Casinos recently revamped its Majestic Barriere. The historic seafront hotel is home to two restaurants. One is a new outpost of Fouquet's Brasserie, which originated along the Champs-Elysées in Paris. The other is the Beach Restaurant, a sexy oceanfront eatery with a delightful Cote d'Azur menu and easy access to the hotel's renovated tanning pier. Rooms are thoroughly French with ornate red and beige decor, opulent bathrooms and mostly sea-facing views.
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