An Open-Door Policy
A gorgeous seaside town on the Côte d'Azur, historic Antibes already is known as a year-round hub of artistic culture, vibrant cafés and colorful markets. But with the debut of the long-awaited Antibes Juan-les-Pins Convention Centrein Fall 2013, Antibes increasingly will become known as a world-class business destination, as well.
Jean-Jacques Ory - who is known for seamlessly and ecologically integrating new buildings into their surrounding environments - the 14,000-square meter Convention Centre is expected to be completed in June 2013.
While its ground-floor shopping center is expected to open this summer, the building will officially begin operations in October.
And when it does, it's expected to inject even more economic vitality into an already thriving French Riviera town, one that's the second largest in the Alpes-Maritimes département after Nice.
The Convention Centre's stunning "jewel in the crown" will be its rooftop space, which will feature an auditorium that can accommodate 500 convention goers.
The environmentally friendly space also will include a 1,700-square meter exhibition hall, 12 multi-purpose meeting rooms, two parking garages with room for 700 cars, and a gourmet restaurant with panoramic views and a wide terrace overlooking the magnificent Bay of Juan-les-Pins.
Situated on a gorgeous stretch between glamorous Cannes and picturesque Nice, Antibes is just 12 kilometers away from Aéroport Nice Côte d'Azur. Dozens of airlines operate flights to hundreds of destinations within France and internationally, making the new convention center easily accessible to business travelers from around the world.
Complementing the region's air travel options is Aéroport Cannes Mandelieu, 20 kilometers away from the new Convention Centre and specializing in business aviation, especially for VIPs who appreciate the airport's friendly yet refined service.
High-speed TGV trains stop in Antibes, while regional rail service is available in nearby Juan-les-Pins.
Convention-goers traveling here for events at the new Convention Centre will visit a town already renowned for its seaside Musée Picasso and its authentic Vieil Antibes streets. They'll also find lively nightlife options - including the area's impressive restaurants and always-chic dance clubs and bars—that will keep them entertained once business is done and the sun goes down.
The Antibes area is home to three Michelin-star restaurants - Chef Christian Morisset's haute cuisine at Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit, and on Cap d'Antibes, the idyllic family-run seafood restaurant De Bacon and the Mediterranean-inspired Les Pêcheurs at the 5-star Cap d'Antibes Beach Hôtel .
One of Antibes' hottest nocturnal spots is La Siesta Club, the largest open-air rooftop nightclub on the Côte d'Azur. During the summer season, this see-and-be-seen locale is the place to be on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Part of the Le Groupe JOA family of casinos across France, La Siesta is part of a nightclub-restaurant-bar-casino complex that offers visitors a stylish disco where they can dance to pop and house music, try their luck at poker, roulette and slot machines, sip cocktails on its magnificent terrace bar, and dine in an open-kitchen setting. Of course, the "beautiful people" watching at this gorgeous sea-front spot - which features jaw-dropping views stretching from Cap d'Antibes to Nice - is superb.
Visitors seeking a more mellow and relaxed evening vibe can check out Café Cosy, a subtly lit wine and cocktail bar in the heart of Antibes' Old Town where the sounds of rhythm and blues and jazz fill the night air. Open Tuesday through Sunday, the Café also hosts private parties and events.
Those longing for a casual night out can visit La Tour "International," a piano bar/pub next to Antibes' famed Marché Provençal featuring live jazz, televised big-screen sports, and a variety of wine, beer, cocktails and tapas.
And for a truly unique experience, travelers can visit Balade en Provence, an absinthe bar set in the basement of an olive oil shop near the Marché. Here, guests can savor the flavor of absinthe, the legendary liqueur from Marseille that was loved by 19th century artists, writers and poets including Vincent Van Gogh and Charles Baudelaire that was legally reintroduced in France in 2003.
From July 12-21, nights really heat up when the 53rd annual Jazz à Juan Festival - the oldest running jazz festival in Europe - rolls into nearby Juan-les-Pins, along with international musicians from diverse genres. 2012's lineup included world-class stars from Bobby McFerrin to Sonny Rollins and Norah Jones.
And once the sun goes down, those in town during August's Festival Pyromélodique (Musical Firework Festival) can take in the mesmerizing show of lights and sound over the Bay of Juan-les-Pins and Fort Carré beach along Antibes' scenic Route du Bord de Mer.