Nice – with its first-rate museums and galleries, classy architecture and gourmet restaurants – is so much more than a seaside resort on the French Riviera. The best hotels in Nice are just as splendid, with a choice that includes palatial, five-star edifices such as Hotel Negresco and the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée. Wherever you lay your head, the compact nature of the city means that the beach, museums, shops and restaurants are easy to access.
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Nice's best hotels
The classic exterior of this five-star palace on Boulevard Victor Hugo is beautiful, but it doesn’t really prepare guests for the interior: a bright, white confection accessorised with striking pieces of modern art. Pretty rooms (112 of them) continue the theme, and come equipped with minibars, TVs, bathrobes and slippers, and free wifi. There’s an Italian restaurant, La Pescheria, and an elegant bar, plus an otherworldly spa with a pool, sauna, Turkish bath, treatment rooms and fitness area.
Decorated with controlled exuberance, the boutique hotel Grimaldi (under small French chain Happy Culture) has adapted traditional Provençal decor for the twenty-first century. The 46 rooms are all different, but have charming wallpapers and interesting furniture as well as minibars and free wifi. A good location, just off Boulevard Victor Hugo, means shops, restaurants and sights are all walkable. One useful perk: guests have access to other Happy Culture hotels in Nice, so they can drop in and use the facilities, for example, the Nespresso machine in reception.
A National Historic Building, as well as a palatial hotel, the Negresco has 96 rooms and 21 suites. Opulent rooms come in a range of styles (Louis XIII to the present day), with period furniture and rich fabrics, and are equipped with all the amenities expected of a five-star hotel, including free wifi. The public areas, notably a restaurant, a brasserie and a bar, are glamorous too. The hotel is on the Promenade des Anglais, so the sea is just a few paces away.
Perched above the Promenade des Anglais, the four-star Hotel La Pérouse has stunning views out over the bay. There are 56 rooms, individually decorated in an international luxe style with marble bathrooms. All have minibars, TVs and free wifi (though there’s a charge for high-speed access); some have large balconies. Breakfast is a hot and cold buffet. It’s not much of a walk to the beach, but there’s a heated rooftop swimming pool and a sun terrace, plus a fitness centre, hot tub and sauna to keep you happy at the hotel.
A Belle Epoque mansion hotel with 25 bedrooms, Le Petit Palais is in the Cimiez district, near the Chagall Museum. Rooms either have views over the bay or open out on to a small terrace garden; decor is low-key but smart, and amenities include free wifi, toiletries, minibar and TV. There’s a small outdoor pool, too. Prices are lower than at the grand hotels on the seafront, and this is a good option for those wanting some peace and quiet.
A brilliant location on the edge of Vieux Nice (the Old Town), overlooking the sea, gives this four-star hotel an edge. The muted tones and sedate decor of the 38 rooms and one suite allows all the attention to be directed to the first-class views. Bedrooms are equipped with TVs, minibars and free wifi, and a hot buffet breakfast is served in a pretty room with a view.
This elegant villa is nicely situated on a quiet street, and offers six gracious en suite rooms with air conditioning, TVs and free wifi. Decor is pleasant and unshowy, most rooms have a balcony or a terrace, and there’s a small garden. The hotel is 500 metres from the Promenade des Anglais and beach, and close to the Musée des Beaux Arts. Parking is free, but limited; breakfast is Continental.
A plush five-star hotel on the Promenade des Anglais, with all the amenities you can imagine: a casino, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a hammam and a sauna, plus a restaurant and bar with a terrace. Swish, modern bedrooms have big picture windows and are art deco-inspired; amenities include free wifi, minibars and TVs. Many of the 187 rooms have views of the bay.
All bathing options are covered by the sleek Radisson Blu – there’s a private beach (across the Promenade des Anglais) and a rooftop swimming pool. Up-to-the-minute rooms are a good size, with picture windows, TVs and minibars; some have Nespresso machines, newspapers and balconies with loungers overlooking the sea. There are several bars (including one at the pool) and restaurants. Fitness and relaxation options include a gym, sauna and hammam. The free wifi extends as far as the beach.
Centrally located on Boulevard Victor Hugo, walking distance from most attractions, this is a stylish modern hotel encased in a Belle Epoque façade. The interior is decorated in cool shades of greys and whites, with furniture to match; airy rooms have free bottled water and wifi, TVs, and fridges. The bar and lounge offers a little more colour in the form of bright velvet sofas and armchairs.