Interview with a HouseTrip Host in Cannes

I’ve been to the French Riviera a few times and it’s such a lovely part of France. However, I always thought Cannes specifically was a place that I’d only want to visit for the Film Festival and I was too intimidated to just randomly visit on my own. So, when I found myself on assignment there with HouseTrip in March, I was ever so grateful to my lovely host, Simon, who allowed me to interview him about the best way to do Cannes like a local and about his experience with HouseTrip. Simon and his lovely wife were both so gracious and their apartment is almost my favorite rented apartment that I have ever stayed in. So I was infinitely curious to get to know more about their story. I figured with their help I wouldn’t fall into every tourist trap that existed and I’d be able to have the best time possible!

First of all, I was really curious why Simon & his wife became HouseTrip hosts. Simon told me:
I’ve been involved in the vacation rental industry, on and off for around 7 years, consulting and marketing holiday rentals. Historically the market has dedicated that holiday home owners invest large sums ‘up front’ to advertise their property, with no guarantee of bookings. I first became aware of HouseTrip shortly after they launched in 2010, and it was a perfect fit for my apartment in Cannes. I started marketing my apartment in June 2010, receiving my first booking a week later.

I also wanted to know what he enjoys about being a host for HouseTrip:
HouseTrip makes it SO easy – from the listing process, communicating with guests and accepting bookings. As a result, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to welcome a large number of guests to Cannes. From business travellers attending the Film Festival to a memorable stay from a couple on a romantic birthday weekend (where I put champagne and flowers in the apartment for their arrival). I really love hosting, and with all of my guests I try and make the apartment even better for them. As a host I feel that HouseTrip does a fantastic job, and works really hard to connect guests with holiday home owners. The support is excellent – and I love the ‘paid on results’ model.. it gives me absolute confidence.Most importantly, I needed to know about Simon’s favorite things in Cannes. And this is what he told me:
1)I’m a sucker for Le Sequet. It’s crowded in the summer, but the buzz is wonderful, and there are some great places for lunch. But aside from that (while you simply want to get away from the crowds) then my favorite finds are the coffee stand on Plage Gazagnaire. Beautiful coffee, amazing salad boxes and sandwiches. I’ve fond memories relaxing on the beach, swimming out to the floating platforms, and propping up the coffee stand with a nice espresso. Great value.
2) The Lerin Islands, fast boat transfer, and wonderful to look back onto Cannes.
3) Forville Market on a Monday is excellent. I picked up a fur coat for my wife (for only 200 Euro) and got an absolutely steal on a 1950’s coffee table.

Simon’s wife, Danni also had some advice for me:
She said I should check out the Martinez Hotel because it’s a very good example of old school glamour.She was right! Like Simon, she also recommended the boat transfer to the Lerin Islands. (Two recommendations! I will have to make sure I do *not* miss this next time since I wasn’t able to travel there in March.) Most importantly, the thing I enjoyed most, was visiting Monaco for only 1 Euro on the number 200 bus from Cannes. It allowed me to visit a place I’d seen in so many movies and a part of the Riviera that I definitely would not have thought I’d be able to see.Danni also alerted me to the fact that there was a Pastis in Cannes and since that is where my boyfriend and I had our first date in NYC, it represented a special memory for me and allowed me to sort of feel at home, so far away from it.

Can you tell Simon and Danni are great? This is the adorable apartment they own, which was my home for several days. It’s within walking distance of downtown, has a secure entrance both for the property and the building (that really made me feel safe while traveling alone) and a private balcony where I really enjoyed drinking my coffee in the morning, after I walked just across the street to a wonderful patisserie for fresh croissants.They even made sure I was greeted with a bottle of wine and a beautiful vase of my *favorite* tulips!Lastly, Simon told me how accesible he thinks Cannes is:
Cheap flights to Nice, and then catch the train or the bus from Nice airport to Cannes. Cannes is also a great base to explore Nice, Antibes and Monaco. In March I flew from London to Nice (1.40 minute flight) and within another hour and a half, I was sipping a glass of rose in Cannes! – amazing.

I have to agree with him that it’s very convenient from within Europe. Sadly, now that I am based in NYC again…it might be a while before I am back in the French Riviera.My accommodation in Cannes was provided by HouseTrip as part of the #Housetripping project. All opinions are my own.

  • July 09, 2013
    A Montrealer Abroad

    It’s interesting to see the POV of the renters for once – it sounds like they offer a fabulous stay in a notoriously expensive area of the country. Kudos!

    • July 10, 2013

      I thought it would be interesting as well! Glad you agree. And yes, Simon and Danni’s apartment is very affordable in a city which is the opposite. It’s affordable, comfortable and simply a delight. Can’t gush enough about their apartment and my experience with them as hosts.

  • July 24, 2013

    I just registered for House Trip to bookmark this apartment, thank you! I’ll also be sharing with a friend who is planning a trip there soon. After reading this though, I was curious which apartment was your all-time fave. Merci fellow traveller.

    • July 25, 2013

      That’s great to hear!! It’s definitely worth it to do so. I toured a number of apartments in Cannes, and it’s an expensive place to stay, this was definitely the best value for the price and I can personally attest to how wonderful the owners are.

      My favorite apartment of my month long tour with HouseTrip though was probably our home in Istanbul. It was very centrally located in a wonderful neighborhood (just underneath Galata Tower) with views on the roof to every section of the city. It was old but well maintained with a great kitchen and a good bathroom, excellent beds and views inside the apartment that were wonderful as well. If I ever wanted to stay again in the city, I would make sure to rent that same apartment. This is it:

      • July 26, 2013

        Awesome Kirsten. Keep traveling and opening up the world to us!

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