Nestled on the French Riviera, one of the most glitzy, magnetic, and sought-after coastal destinations in the world, the city of Nice is a heady mix of the traditional and sophisticated to new-world cool. Pick a place just as unique to really make your stay, so from charming and creative boutiques to grand and modern, here are my personal favourite cool and unusual hotels to stay in Nice, France…
Villa Bougainville by Happyculture
This punk-rock Niçoise mansion reflects the tropical travels of Louis Antoine de Bougainville. It sits next to the Nice-Ville train station, which is like an urban chic mish mash of ethno boutiques and sushi counters. You can reach the new tram within five minutes on foot, and the seaside within 12 minutes.
Inside, you can expect exotic bird wallpaper along with antique globes, Easter Island heads, vintage luggage trunks and Mattise blues, matching this hip hotel’s melting-pot location.
The rooms come in three categories – singles, doubles, and lounge-sized triples, and all are festooned in tropical leaf wallpaper and South Seas rugs. Inside you’ll find lamps, bedside tables and objets d’art, all harking back to the roaring Twenties. Ironing boards can be delivered to your room.
Breakfast is a buzzy affair, and consists of home-cultured yogurt and patisseries from local boulangeries. Tajine eateries, Korean restaurants, and wok shops beckon close by.
Doubling as a charming co-working space is the petite lobby area, where you can sip complimentary Nespressos and homemade lemonade while browsing photo books about Californian gardens.
What truly makes this hotel extraordinary however is the staff presence, offering up-to-date advise on train schedules, massage joints, and even jogging routes.
Funky cheerful ambiance
Artfully decorated rooms
Varieties of tempting coffees
No swimming pool
Breakfast is extra
Parking is a little pricey
Le Windsor, Jungle Art Hotel
Le Windsor is a four-star Belle Époque hotel where contemporary art meets urban chic, topped with a gorgeous garden where you can relax to birdsong. It sits on a bustling backstreet sprinkled with artisan boutiques and refined eateries on the edge of the Carré d’Or district, a 10-minute walk from the beach, the train station, and the central shopping neighbourhood around Place Massena.
It’s an ideal abode for those who prize authenticity, with its neat façade of cut stones sharing a nod to the late 19th century, and its lobby walls featuring collections of contemporary artworks.
Each room is different, but all boast safes and minibars. The cheaper garden view rooms have the added bonus of peering out over greenery, while the WI privilege rooms, almost double in size, offer a private terrace. The most popular however is the Matisse Room, designed by Jean Le Gac, where a stained-glass window of blue, yellow and white hues beautifully captures the natural sunlight.
The cosy on-site WI Lounge restaurant is a beacon of thoughtfully produced, well-priced Mediterranean dinners, and offers a tranquil fireplace by which you can tuck into a signature buckwheat tagliolini pasta.
The experience is topped off by the leafy garden, where a flourish of lemon trees, yuccas and bamboos sets the tone for an invigorating retreat. You can also sit out here and dine on the pretty terrace in the summer, before retreating to the 24-hour bar, decorated with a whimsical ceiling artwork by Nicolas Rubinstein.
Unique creative ambiance
Serene private terrace in some rooms
Utterly tasteful rooms
Fully stocked minibar in each room
Breakfast is not included
No hot tub available
Can get booked up at peak times
The Deck Hotel by Happyculture
Cultivating a seaside atmosphere to offer an immersive welcome to the French Riviera, The Deck Hotel by Happyculture brings you to a stone’s throw from the Promenade des Anglais. Within 5-minutes you can access the central square Place Massena and the main shopping street Jean-Médecin by foot.
The refined décor inside was designed to resemble the warmth of the Mediterranean, with nautically inspired elements, bright open spaces, and beautiful rattan elements emanating a sense of barefoot luxury.
The guest rooms range from double cabins to junior suites, and carry the hotel’s blue-on-blue colour scheme beautifully. Quirky patterns, and locally inspired artwork add a touch of whimsy, while the crisp white linens and plush furnishings remind you that all in all, this is a place to unwind in elegance. You’ll also find ultra-high-velocity Wi-Fi and a cable TV in your private cocoon.
Each morning, you can kickstart your day with a complete gourmet buffet breakfast of both sweet and savoury treats. Otherwise, you can opt for the express breakfast if you’re keen to head straight out. The Le Bon Gourmet corner, available at any time of the day, is the place to taste different types of dishes and desserts, all inspired by the most famous French recipes. During the summer months, the Bar Deck 02 is a charming open-air hang-out space offering a friendly, upbeat atmosphere.
Those who choose to stay at The Deck do so because of its blissful combination of Beach Club ambiance and laid-back, luxurious family style.
Calm and subtle ambiance
5-minute walk to the beach
Harmonious open-air spaces
Gourmet breakfast buffet
Parking is extra and a little pricey
No swimming facilities
No wellness center
AC Hotel Nice by Marriott
AC Hotel Nice by Marriott is ready to welcome you in opulence, a few steps from the beautiful beaches of Nice, the iconic Promenade des Anglais, and the city’s main attractions. The hotel is also a gateway to the ‘Vieux Nice’ the historic area of the city full of narrow shady alleyways, colourful facades, and some of the best local restaurants.
The elegant, convivial spirit is embodied in the décor, with many cosy leather seating areas, luxury wooden furnishings, and marble elements oozing refinement and relaxation.
The rooms provide an array of high-end amenities. They are all bright and open, and dressed in sophisticated neutral colours and sleek furnishings. You can opt for a plush deluxe room, or one of the upper-floor suites, which offer a separate living room surrounded by sea views. The Junior Suites sleep 4 people, and boast a walk-in closet.
To dine, there’s a handful of pop-up restaurants on-site. Farago on the Roof is the new rooftop hot spot, where you can relish the joys of Mediterranean cuisine and raise a signature Sparkling Sangria to awe-inspiring views during sunset, accompanied by the sounds of local bands and DJ’s. During the winter, Alpine comfort food is served in the Tradiswiss restaurant. From traditional fondues and raclettes to rich Swiss chocolate, all your epicurean desires will be catered to here.
The 600 square metre rooftop is the showpiece, with its shimmering pool blessed by a one-of-a-kind horizon backdrop!
Breathtaking beach view from rooms
Neutral-toned quaint rooms
Peaceful zen garden
Bathrooms can be small
Private parking is extra
The Jay Hotel by HappyCulture
Taking you right back to the roaring Twenties, this quirky four-star, 38-room abode was named after The Great Gatsby’s title character. It conveniently nestles near many of the city’s prime attractions, including the beaches of Promenade des Anglais, the Old Town, and the vibrant shopping street of Avenue Jean Médecin.
Evocative of the glamorous Jazz age, the stylish Art Deco interiors comprise of soaring chandeliers, deep leather sofas, velvet armchairs in cobalt blue and turquoise, and opulent touches such as antique gramophones and old books.
Continuing the retro style, the colourful studio rooms are patterned in green wallpaper, dark wooden desks, trendy hanging light bulbs, and suede curtains, and are lined monochrome portraits. In each room, the lavish velvet headboards are framed in lacquered wood. If you want to take advantage of your own French balcony overlooking the city streets, you can upgrade to a Deluxe Suite.
Each morning, a buffet breakfast is served in the lounge, but can also be ordered to your room. There’s also a bar open most hours offering local beer, champagne and wine.
You’ll also find a business corner with free printing and charging, and throughout your stay you can enjoy complimentary hot drinks, served by the exceptionally friendly staff.
Retro bold design
Deluxe suites have private balconies
Shops and bars nearby
Complimentary coffee bar
No parking facilities
Some rooms are a little small
Can get booked up at peak times
Hôtel Le G (ex Le Genève)
An accommodation with a real personality, the glamorous boutique Hôtel Le G stands as an oasis of calm in the middle of the frenzy of Nice. It is situated in the heart of Petit Marais, one of the city’s most popular areas. The harbour, the Old Town, and the Palais des Congrès are within an arm’s reach.
The tapestries, carpets, paintings and furniture exude an authentic urban panache, while paying homage to the property’s historic routes. Grand spiral staircases, precious antiques, and intricately painted wall murals bring a lot of character to your stay.
The 16 rooms and apartments were decorated with taste and originality. They are divide into three categories: small, medium, and great. The common features across all are flat-screen TVs, ultra-quick Wi-Fi, and opulent furniture. You can elevate your stay in the apartment, which comes with a separate bedroom, an equipped kitchen, and a living room, and comfortably sleeps up to 4 people.
Place Garibaldi, one of the dining establishments, is the perfect place to fully immerse into the city as a local, as you tuck into succulent French dishes. Another hot spot is the bistro-style Café des Chineurs, an essential meeting point for Niçois and Niçoises, which adds an exotic touch to the seasonal cuisine. A popular meal is the Thai-style beef tartare, and the desserts range from tiramisu Nutella to pineapple carpaccio with homemade syrup.
As an added bonus, the hotel offers regular live entertainment, luring in passers-by who contribute to its vibrant atmosphere.
Lively rich-colored decor
Located in the heart of Nice by Garibaldi Square
Eclectic cocktail bar
Tempting Thai and French cuisines
Wi-Fi can be intermittent
No fridge in rooms
Boscolo Nice Hotel & Spa
Boscolo Hotel & Spa is one of the only hotels in central Nice offering all the hallmarks of a five-star hotel. It is situated on a leafy boulevard in central Nice, along which some of the city’s most esteemed restaurants and shops are scattered. A 10-minute walk will land you at the train station, as well as the seaside and the Old Town, with its opera house and flower market.
For a 19th-century white palace, the style is rather contemporary, with a spectacular glass-ceilinged atrium welcoming you on entry with some impressive bronze equine sculptures.
There are 112 bedrooms, each decorated in soft beige and white tones and adorned with parquet-wood floors. The classic rooms contain everything you need, but if you want to luxuriate in a private bathtub, it’s worth upgrading to an Exclusive room. Here, lavish touches like Apple docking stations and Nespresso machines top off the experience. If you’re wanting to splash out, the Junior Suites will provides you with a secluded terrace where you can revel in stunning cityscape vistas.
The Atmosfera room houses guests for breakfast, where you can tuck into fresh pastries, cereals, fruits, eggs and meats. For the evening, the on-site restaurant La Pescheria serves up rustic Italian cuisine around an open-plan kitchen, from which the indoor dining area spills onto a charming outdoor terrace, where you can sit around a delightful olive tree. The BClub rooftop terrace is the most idyllic spot to savour a lazy summertime lunch or an evening aperitif, while the ground-floor Genesi bar’s contemporary design beckons with its soft, tranquil ambiance.
The hotel’s centrepiece however is its outdoor pool terrace, surrounded by panoramic views of the mountains. To pamper the senses, head to the basement spa, which utilises products from the sought-after brand Biologique Recherche.
Elegant white decor
Timeless calm ambiance
Breathtaking city view from the terrace
Energetic rooftop club
Costly valet parking
Some noise at certain times
No jacuzzis in rooms
Hotel So'Co by Happyculture
This vintage 3-star boutique hotel is a subtle blend of old and new. It sits smack bang in the city centre, a mere 270 metres from Nice Train Station, 500 metres from the tram stop, and a 15-minute walk from the famous Promenade des Anglais and the beach.
The hotel takes on the air of an old workshop or recycled factory, courtesy of interior designer Camille Taillardat. An industrial vibe is embodied in the communal areas through low-hanging lights, weathered walls and hard wooden tables. Vintage artwork brings the creative flair of the local community inside, designed to revive the atmosphere of the Belle Epoque.
You can choose between a simple room, a double room, a triple room, or a superior room. The latter boasts a private balcony overlooking the city streets. Each unit is crafted to perfection, with a unique, hip tone set by a wall-sized abstract painting and a muted yet quirky colour scheme.
The morning breakfast consist of savoury and sweet delicacies, and the homemade brioche has received rave reviews. There’s hot and cold dishes to choose from, all sprinkled with a dash of gourmet. If you are in a hurry to get going, you can take advantage of the express breakfast for 5 euros, consisting of a hot beverage, 2 mini pastries and a natural yoghurt. Available at any time of the day is Le Bon Gourmet corner, treating guests to snacks and desserts inspired by the most famous French recipes. Coffee is also offered all day long, made from organic slow-roasted beans and harvested from the best growing regions of Central America.
With its cosy relaxation areas, eclectic book collection and range of fun games, Hotel So’Co truly offers an idyllic ‘home from home’ experience.
A daily tasty continental breakfast buffet
Uber-chic communal areas
Private balconies in deluxe rooms
Pets are allowed
No fitness room
No pool area
Restaurant is a little pricey
Hotel Le Negresco
Housed in a flamboyant pink dome allegedly inspired by the architect’s mistress, Le Negresco stands as one of the Niçoise seafront’s most-recognised landmarks. It sits along the curving Promenade des Anglais, next door to the landscaped gardens of Musée Massena. Both the beach and an abundance of restaurants and shops are right on your doorstep, while the Old Town is a five-minute walk away.
With over a century entertaining royalty and rockstars, this chic Belle Époque hotel is brimming with history. There are thousands of valuable artworks and antiques, as well as a majestic marble-floored rotunda and an intricately decorated glass ceiling. Exposed beams, patterned tapestries, and sporadic splashes of vivid colours truly add a sense of glamour.
Five centuries of French history are embodied in the 99 rooms and 25 suites, from the Louis XIII-style furnishings to the modern pieces of art. Overlooking the interior façade are the superior double rooms, simply decorated in a functional style. But for not much extra, you may want to upgrade to a larger Rivoli Double Room, where stunning views of the Palais Massena gardens compliment the rich-coloured fabrics. Another great choice is one of the Deluxe Sea View Rooms, owing to their Baie-des-Anges views, or one of the larger suites, which boast a charming collection of antiques.
The on-site Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Chantecler, is replete with 18th-century dark wooden panelling and dazzling oil paintings, and offers an extravagant gastronomic affair. For a cheaper option, there’s the whimsical La Rotonde, where you can enjoy the merry-go-round horses whilst tucking into the Dish of the Day.
Prepare to feel a sense of splendour upon entrance, as the doormen carry off their navy-and-red frock coats and feather-topped hats with style, before quickly assisting you with your bags.
Vintage chic luxurious decor
Panoramic ocean view
No spa facility
Costly overnight parking
No mirror in bedrooms
Villa Otero by Happyculture
This glamorous four-star haven is blessed by the spirit of the Belle Époque, and radiates the charm of a seaside resort. It nestles in the Musicians district, just a 12-minute walk from the beach, and a 20-minute walk from Vieux Nice and Cours Saleya.
Set in a beautiful 20th-century building, the vintage design is the epic curation of inspired interior designer Stéphanie Cayet, who laid out the entrance hall like a tea room with the appearance of a conservatory. Nautical elements and precious antiques combine to perfection, topped with vibrant pops of nature through potted plants, floral motifs, and graceful artwork.
In the 38 rooms, you’ll discover the ultimate blend of comfort, elegance, and Mediterranean charm. Each unit is equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, high-speed Wi-Fi, a safe, and some of the best views Nice has to offer. Some rooms even boast a private terrace, affording optimum seclusion on balmy summer evenings. If you’re here to combine work and leisure, the Business Room will provide all the functionality and convenience you could ever dream of.
In typical Happyculture style, the gourmet breakfast will exceed your expectations with its sweet and savory delicacies, while the express breakfast serves those in a hurry to get out and explore the city. There’s also a dedicated catering corner open 24/7 where you will find a type of dish or dessert to meet any taste, and coffee made from fairly processed, organic, slow-roasted beans from Central America.
From its majestic architecture to its boutique ambiance to the tasteful 20s-inspired furnishings, Villa Otero stands as a real testament to the design flair of the Belle Epoque, beckoning solo travelers, couples, and large groups to a one-of-a-kind urban break.
Tea room-styled calm lobby
Sleek refined rooms
Free drinkable water
Close to the tram station
No wellness centres
No swimming facility
Breakfast isn’t included
Hôtel West End Promenade
Housed in an imposing 19th-century Belle Époque building, Hôtel West End Promenade boasts an enviable seafront location, a 15-minute drive from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and moments from the many bars, boutiques and restaurants that line the promenade.
The interiors match the grandeur of the exterior – traditional in design. High ceilings, patterned curtains, floral carpets, grand chandeliers, deep armchairs, and artwork in gilt frames adorn the public spaces, while quirky additions like animal-print upholstery and tartan carpets beautify the bar.
Whether you choose an entry-level standard room or one of the more modern units, you’ll benefit from a large comfy bed, a desk, tea & coffee-making facilities, a minibar, and a spacious en-suite. Some are dressed in neutral colors with fluffy carpets and velvet armchairs, others boast tiled floors and contemporary furniture. It may be worth upgrading to a sea-facing room, however, where you can wake up to stunning Mediterranean panoramas each morning.
Traditional French fare is served in the on-site Restaurant Le Siecle, which can be savored outside on the shaded terrace amid the palm trees during the summer months. It is flooded with plenty of light and offers great views out across the sea. Afterward, head to the bar for a crafted cocktail or a glass of premium champagne. Breakfast consists of both hot and cold dishes.
There’s a handful of intimate lounges to relax in, as well as function rooms for events and conferences.
Breathtaking beach views
Artfully decorated public spaces
Seasonal eclectic bar
No onsite spa
Limited communal areas
Breakfast is a little pricey
Hotel Beau Rivage
This cool, chic, seafront four-star hotel pairs great room rates with an unbeatable location, ranking it as one of Nice’s best bargain accommodations. As you step out of the sliding glass doors of the reception, you’ll immediately find yourself on the beach, and the opera house is just a two-minute walk away.
Built-in 1860 and restyled in 2004 by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the décor is contemporary and bedecked with wide spaces and clean lines. Colorful Livingstone pebble cushions, lamps by global artisan Céline Wright, polished wooden elements, and vibrant pops of nature infuse the property with a joyful flair.
The superior rooms sleep up to 3 people, and even the standard rooms are commodious. They are all tasteful and modern, and the Provençal louvered shutters draw light onto the crisp white linens and stripy carpets. For an enhanced experience, you can opt for a terrace room, which overlooks the hotel’s leafy interior patio below. There are also various suites and salons to choose from, some with large outdoor areas.
At the on-site Beau Rivage Plage beach club, the hotel’s centerpiece, the year-round lunches and evening meals are fabulous and fun and can be enjoyed amid jaw-dropping Mediterranean views. Popular dishes include the Salade Niçoise and the Swordfish Fillet with Ginger.
There are scores of top restaurants in the nearby area, so if you want a break from the vibrant beach club, you will be spoilt for choice. If you want to eat in total seclusion, you can take advantage of the room service menu.
Guests adore the hotel’s secret garden, but above all, the location scores it top marks on Nice’s hospitality circuit.
Family rooms and cots
On-site beach club
Quirky seasonal lounge
Modern aesthetic rooms
No kettle in classic rooms
No hotel parking
Not all rooms have an ocean view
La Malmaison Nice Boutique Hôtel
La Malmaison is smart enough to welcome the Great Gatsby. It offers the best of both worlds – its small size of just 46 rooms keeps it quaint and intimate, while its location a mere five-minute stroll from Nice’s top attractions keeps it upbeat and vibrant. With the Promenade des Anglais, beach, train station and Old Town on your doorstep, you really can’t go wrong here.
It’s clear once you step inside that the hotel prioritizes style over clutter. A glorious staircase mimicking the Art Deco balustrades spirals upwards from the marble-floored bar area, while black and white portraits of Nice scenes adorn the walls. The most striking piece of art is of the Eiffel-designed observatory featured in the Woody Allen movie ‘Magic in the Moonlight’.
Art Deco lamps, tea-making facilities, and organic Floraluxe soap are welcome touches in the guestrooms, which are generously sized, and many of them boast private balconies. If you upgrade to one of the top suites, you will have your own wraparound terrace facing towards the seafront Hotel Negresco.
Breakfast is a luxurious spread of patisserie, fresh pineapple, and Les 2 Vaches organic yogurts, accompanying scrambled eggs with wild herbs and oils from Alziari. The hotel has teamed up with award-winning in-room dining service Petits Plats au Chambre to provide memorable dinners. A popular dish is the beef bourguignon with fondant potatoes.
There’s also a business corner and luggage storage, while the staff can converse in as many as 11 languages! To unwind, you can read one of the daily copies of the New York Times, or make a free international call on the complimentary smartphones.
Seamless soft decor
Most rooms have private balconies
In-room dinner dining
Youthful bar in the lobby
Poorly soundproofed rooms
No pool area
Breakfast is a bit pricey
Hotel Aston La Scala
Set in a grand building, Hotel Aston La Scala lies in the center of the action, overlooking the verdant Promenade du Paillon. With a two-minute walk to the Old Town, a five-minute walk to the beach, a 15-minute walk to the Palais des Congrès Acropolis convention center, and numerous shops, restaurants, and bars in the vicinity, you really can’t go wrong here.
The simplicity of stone walls, wood paneling and cream tiles combines beautifully with the decorative features that include wrought iron banisters, leather sofas, and carpets patterned in autumnal colors. A stand-out feature is the wooden boat hanging from the ceiling, while contemporary works of art are dotted around the public areas.
The 149 rooms are split into seven categories, ranging from standard comfort rooms to spectacular penthouse suites. All are commodious, clean, and functional, and boast large flat-screen TVs, expansive beds, minibars, leather armchairs, work desks, and supreme city views. You can pamper yourself with the good selection of Fragonard products that are placed in each spacious bathroom. Most rooms have white tile floors and some with parquet.
For dining, there’s a lot to choose from. Accessible from the street on the ground floor is Restaurant l’Horloge, which serves up a range of traditional French dishes. The Aston Club is the most stylish eatery, comes with its own bar, and is surrounded by glorious views of Nice. You’ll also find the rooftop Moon Bar, a great spot for the sunny months when you can relax with a cocktail in hand amid jaw-dropping views.
The highlight however is the rooftop pool, where you can rejuvenate and refresh as you overlook Nice’s dazzling Old Town.
Visually pleasing romantic ambiance
5-minute walk to the beach
Stylish rooftop bar
Tranquil rooftop swimming pool
No hotel parking
No spa in the hotel
Breakfast is extra
The opulent Hôtel Univers is blissfully situated on the corner of Avenue Jean Médecin, about 100 meters from the Masséna Square and the quirky streets of the Old Town.
The discreet, contemporary charm of the hotel, teeming with plush décor, comfy velvet chairs, and dazzling wallpaper, invites guests to relish a sense of relaxation.
Whether you opt for a single, double, or twin room, you can make the most of the spacious, sophisticated amenities on offer. Each unit is dressed in harmonious soft colors, and equipped with magnifying mirrors and Ecolabel products, as well as smart TVs, cable internet, USB plugs, and mini-fridges, offering all the comforts you need for a lavish stay.
Breakfast consists of freshly baked pastries, hot buffet items including bacon and sausages, a variety of cheeses, fresh fruits, yogurt, and pancakes, plus a whole host of condiments to get your day started off in the right way.
There’s also a dedicated concierge service and free luggage storage. The multilingual reception team, available 24 hours a day, is on hand to help book any local restaurants, car rentals, and taxis, as well as provide first-rate tourist information unfound on the web.
Lively and youthful vibes
Kettle available on request only
No fitness center
Can get booked up
Hotel Villa Victoria
Set in a gorgeous townhouse, this four-star masterpiece sits on the edge of the Carré d’Or, set back from a leafy boulevard a five-minute walk from the Place Massena, the Russian Orthodox cathedral, and the main train station.
The grand apricot façade welcomes you into a stylish retreat where colorful striped chairs offset the soft grey and white tones in the marble-clad public spaces.
Contemporary furnishings abound in the 38 guestrooms, where you’ll find luxurious touches like slippers, minibars, premium bottles of water, and Nuxe bathroom products. It’s recommended that you ask for a room with a charming garden view. If these are taken, then it may be worth upgrading to a Superior room, or even a Triple Superior room, where you can fully spread out and decompress.
Breakfast consists of a sound selection of pastries, fruits, and juices, as well as scrambled eggs and bacon, and can be savored on the garden terrace in the summer months. You won’t find a restaurant on-site, but a delightful room service menu is offered, and you can help yourself to complimentary Nespresso coffee in the main salon. Don’t be put off, as within a five-minute stroll you’ll run into dozens of artisan cafés and eclectic restaurants.
The hotel’s best-kept secret is its peaceful garden, where you can relax in a hammock shaded by fragrant jasmine trees and bright bougainvillea.
Nestled in the flower garden
Refined contemporary decor
Perfectly designed rooms
Situated in Nice’s heart
Only two superior rooms with garden view
No swimming pool
Some rooms can be small
Palais Saleya Boutique Hotel
This 18th-century townhouse lies in the heart of Nice Old Town, close to the beach, the castle, and the Cours Saleya. The main entrance is on a bustling side-street full of restaurants and boutiques, and a side entrance overlooks the majestic Place du Palais – a paved square dominated by a neoclassical courthouse.
The interiors take inspiration from Southern French flora such as cacti and palm trees, which offset the spotless white walls, while a black-and-cream palate dresses the miniature lobby.
The look in all the rooms is Riviera chic. All come with colorful friezes and bed throws which add a dash of flair to the white walls and bed linens. There are 26 to choose from, housing up to 8 people in each. Each accommodation is self-catering and thus equipped with a galley-style kitchen with a microwave, a washer-dryer, and a Nespresso machine. You can choose a room overlooking either the pretty Place du Palais, the peaceful internal courtyard, or the vibrant alley Rue du Marché.
There’s no restaurant on-site, but with your own kitchen, and an abundance of options nearby, this isn’t a problem. Popular choices nearby include Bistrot d’Antoine and CaSa Leya.
A great feature of the hotel is that breakfast is brought right to your suite. You can choose the Express option of pastries and a baguette, the Marinette opion with homemade granola and pancakes, or the Continental option with pastries, baguettes, a fruit salad, cereals, and yoghurt.
Palais Saleya truly is a top choice for budget-conscious travelers looking to combine convenience with luxury.
Stunning and population location
Housed in an 18th-century building
Riviera chic room decor
Close to bars and restaurants
Breakfast is not included
Can get booked up
No pool area
Nice Excelsior Center Ville
The 19th-century architecture blends beautifully with a 21st-century interior aesthetic at Nice Excelsior. It is located on a tranquil street in the Musicians district, a two-minute meander from the main train station and the airport transfer bus stop. The beach and the abundance of restaurants of rue Massena lie a five-minute walk away, while the Roman ruins of the suburb of Cimiez can be reached in ten minutes.
Many stunning sculpted details set the scene on the 19th-century façade, and inside, the vibrant luggage trunks and travel-inspired wall murals share a nod to the hotel’s roots as a coaching inn. You could spend a while reading the travel-diary quotes on the walls and marveling at the temporary art exhibitions all over the ground floor.
The street views from the classic rooms add a vibrant backdrop to your stay. The superior rooms peer out over the internal courtyard, and their mosaic-tiled bathrooms add a flamboyant flair. The travel theme continues into each unit, with a suitcase turned into a desk and a leather trunk into a nightstand.
You can take advantage of a hearty breakfast each morning, and tuck into a dish of perfectly cooked sausages and cured ham with mini pancakes, waffles, and croissants. This can all be enjoyed on the outdoor terrace in summer. The outdoor courtyard houses the Excel bar, which is open from 5 pm serving drinks and delicious snacks such as charcuterie boards. Otherwise, you can head out the front door and explore a variety of dining options within an arm’s reach.
It’s no wonder Nice Excelsior ranks amongst the most upscale hotels in the French Riviera!
Themes of travel and the Côte d'Azur
Beautiful garden lounge
Youthful bar in the courtyard
Wi-Fi is a little slow at times
Not for the budget-friendly crowd
This eclectic hotel commands the best sea views in Nice. It sits across the road from the pebble beaches and palm trees of the Promenade des Anglais, around the corner from the old port, and a five-minute walk to the flower market and the Old Town. Above the hotel stands a tall cliff, where you’ll find the gardens and waterfall of Castle Hill.
Everything about this Italianesque hotel is bijou-sized. As you enter through the cherry and cream façade, and head up a small flight of stairs, you’ll be welcomed pleasantly at the quaint glass-fronted lobby, which because the hotel is south-facing, is flooded with natural light. Pale wooden floors and Louis XVI-style chairs in mauve and rose comprise the ground-floor public areas.
The 38 bedrooms and suites command spectacular beachfront views and are dressed in smart fabrics. There isn’t a huge price difference between the Superior and Privilege rooms, but whichever you choose, ask for one on the fourth or fifth floor. This way you can maximize the panoramic views!
There’s a cozy bar area stocked with teas, coffees, champagne, and spirits, and a fan favorite is the house cocktail Le Suisse, instilled with a dash of apricot. This space is backdropped by vistas over the Baie des Anges and is also where you’ll kickstart your day with a hearty cooked breakfast.
This charming abode is extremely popular with couples and single travellers, who want to have the Old Town and the port on their doorstep.
Magnificent beach view
Effortlessly beautiful rooms
Comfy pull-out sofas in the lounge
No wheelchair-accessible rooms
Air Con is little temperamental
Hotel Le Grimaldi by Happyculture
This quintessential Belle Époque hotel is an elegant boutique straddling two quiet streets in central Nice. It affords views onto a grand church and is set just a five-minute walk from the beach and the railway station.
Following a head-to-toe revamp, smooth wooden floors, richly colored wallpapers, and fresh fabrics adorn the interiors. Vibrant reds and dark wood dress the two lounges, however, evoking the feel of a sumptuous Provençal salon.
There’s a beautiful mix of French-style elements and comfortable modern furnishings in the guestrooms. Whether you choose a classic room or a superior room with a sofa, it would be worth opting for one at the back of the property to take advantage of the church views.
You can help yourself to complimentary Nespresso coffee during the day in the lobby, and there’s also a Willy Wonka-style trolley offering ice creams. A hearty breakfast of fresh pastries and fruit is served each morning, and for other meals, there’s a room service available. Otherwise, you can venture into one of the many restaurants and cafés nearby. A popular choice is the next door Le Séjour Café.
The staff here are incredibly smart, friendly, and helpful, topping off the experience for discerning guests.
Breathtaking church view
Complimentary coffee all-day
Breakfast is extra
Small dining room
Little soundproofing in rooms
All Hotels in Nice Ranked
In the table below we have compared the top 20 cool and unusual hotels in Nice.
|Hotel Name||Location||Price Range (per night)||Fitness Facilities||Distance to Attractions (km)||Nearby Restaurants|
|Villa Bougainville by Happyculture||29 Avenue Thiers||$148-$232||No||1.0||3|
|Le Windsor, Jungle Art Hotel||11, Rue Dalpozzo||$205-$232||Yes||0.7||2|
|The Deck Hotel by Happyculture||2 Rue Maccarani||$232-$297||No||0.7||3|
|AC Hotel Nice by Marriott||59 Promenade des Anglais||$867-$963||Yes||1.2||3|
|The Jay Hotel by HappyCulture||21 Rue Meyerbeer||$243-$405||No||0.8||3|
|Hôtel Le G (ex Le Genève)||1 rue Cassini (Place Garibaldi)||$192||No||0.65||2|
|Boscolo Nice Hotel & Spa||12 Boulevard Victor Hugo||$511-$2412||Yes||0.65||1|
|Hotel So'Co by Happyculture||27 Avenue Thiers||$167-$182||No||1.0||3|
|Hotel Le Negresco||37 Promenade Des Anglais||$934-$4662||No||1.0||2|
|Villa Otero by Happyculture||58 Rue Hérold||$181-$236||No||1.0||3|
|Hôtel West End Promenade||31, Promenade Des Anglais||$349-$749||No||0.9||2|
|Hotel Beau Rivage||24 Rue Saint François De Paule||$226-$646||No||0.65||3|
|La Malmaison Nice Boutique Hôtel||48, Boulevard Victor Hugo||$282-$389||No||0.7||3|
|Hotel Aston La Scala||12 Felix Faure||$345-$671||No||0.6||3|
|Hôtel Univers||2, Rue De La Liberté||$232-$332||No||0.55||3|
|Hotel Villa Victoria||33, boulevard Victor Hugo||$302-$345||No||0.7||3|
|Palais Saleya Boutique Hotel||21 rue du marché||$683-$705||No||0.55||2|
|Nice Excelsior Center Ville||19 avenue Durante||$211-$383||No||0.95||3|
|Hotel Suisse||15 Quai Rauba-Capeu||$444-$940||No||0.75||3|
|Hotel Le Grimaldi by Happyculture||15 rue Grimaldi||$243-$405||No||0.65||3|
Was this helpful?
Good job! Please give your positive feedback ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us.✍
Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six-month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh-faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi-nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in the warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds, and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex-Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
Hotel Reviewing Experience – published hotel review in the 52 Sleeps Book organised by Laterooms.com and Lonely Planet. Asked by over 12 tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Germany Tourist Board, Canada Tourist Board, Eviivo, France.fr, Visitoostende.be, Live Riga and Queensland Tourist Board. Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos.
I’ve also been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic, The Times, LA Weekly, Yahoo Travel, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Thrillist, British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur, Daily Express, Wanderlust, Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and Metro. Winner of Travel Blog of the Year. Find me on Linkedin or Facebook.