Abreeze of good news from the Croisette should warm Berlinale hearts: Cannes'four-star hoteliers have come together to freeze hotel rates this year to 2004levels.

Billed as a defence against the fluctuating dollar - atyesterday's exchange rates anyway - the declaration effectively means that people staying at theCarlton, the Majestic, the Martinez, the Noga Hilton, the Gray d'Albion, theGrand Hotel, the Croisette Beach, the Eden, the Cristal, the SofitelMediterrannee and the Novotel Montfleury this May will be paying exactly thesame as last year.

Aspokesman for the Noga Hilton said that companies which have special, on-goingrelationships with the hotels will also have the possibility of renegotiatingtheir deals.

Thisfollows last year's public relations fiasco when staff went out on strikemid-event. In an unusual waft of goodwill, the luxury hoteliers have also setup a hotline to respond to guests' complaints. As for sub-four-star guests'They've agreed to keep their increases between two and three percent. Whichisn't the most generous gesture in the world, really, given that Frenchinflation ran at 2.2 percent last year.