The stylish French city on the Riviera is often overlooked in favor of her glitzier and glam sisters like Monaco, Cannes, and St Tropez. But Nice is a place full of surprises with her iconic Promenade des Anglais stretching along the seafront for seven kilometers, her jazz age history, and the ghost of Fitzgerald lingering in the shadows of her famous hotels. There are roman touches, fine architecture, art galleries featuring works by Matisse and Chagall, and cobbled roads down by the old port – yes Nice leaves an impression and it is one that lingers. Take a glimpse at our suggestions of where to play, dine and stay when visiting the pretty promenade of Nice.
Where to Stay
One of the first seaside hotels to perch on the pretty Riviera, the Beau Rivage is famed for having hosted F Scott Fitzgerald, Nietzsche, Matisse and Chekhov. Behind the 19th century façade, great thoughts have been transformed into important works of art and this feeling flows throughout with plenty of wide open spaces and clean lines. The elegant history and the Beach Club are two of the main reasons patrons choose to stay – offering guests the chance to gaze out at the sea with a glass of fine Rose and Salad Nicoise from the bliss of a pricey sun lounger.
For something superior when it comes to glamour, you can’t ask for more than the Hotel Le Negresco. Despite not having a pool or gym, celebs flock to this well-heeled pink and white haunt which has hosted everyone from Michael Jackson to Richard Burton. Glass ceilings, chandeliers that belong in the Kremlin and authentic antiques make you feel as though you are gatecrashing Louis XIII’S vacation. Throw into the mix a Michelin starred restaurant (a favorite with Monaco royalty) and you have the finest place in Nice to rest your head.
Beautiful Boscolo Exedra comes with more than a dash of italianite charm. Splashed all in colors of snow white and drowned in the natural light that floods in through the domed glass ceiling, a sense of artistic Zen and contemporary cool tempts you in. Creative Italian food, blazing flower arrangements, a dim lit pool and steam room add to the charm.
Where to Dine
Le Chantecler at the Hotel Le Negresco offers first class fayre for those seeking traditional French cuisine worthy of not one, but two Michelin stars. Chef Jean-Denis Rieubland brings theatrical style to dining, offering grilled foie gras, fine steaks, and a vintage wine cellar that stocks around 15000 sommelier secret bottles. Dining beneath dazzling chandeliers, period furniture and 18th century paintings never gets old.
The stylish new spot of Jan only came onto the scene a couple of years ago but already earned itself the magic of a Michelin star. The once upon a time motorcycle repair shop has undergone quite the transformation, now boasting royal blue walls, antiques and healthy haute comfort food from a young South African chef. Fall in love with the flavors of coffee simmered lamb and salted caramel malva pudding.
Those looking for a bright and beautiful lunch spot should head up to La Terrasse high above the Promenade des Anglais. From a birds eye vantage you can drink up uninterrupted views of the Med as you fork flaked Asian style sea bass, and bathe in the splendor of warm wood and natural sunlight.
Where to Play
Art, shopping and the opera – these are the hallmarks of a vivacious French holiday when you tire of lounging on the beach. Speaking of the beach, you can relax in style at the Castel Plage and the Plage Beau Rivage.
Further back from the sands and the former workshop of Henri Matisse is a must for any art lover. At L’Atelier Soardi you can see the once upon a time workshop showcasing great works from local experimental artists. The Musee Matisse and the Musee National Marc Chagall will also feed your need for fine art by the masters. If you are still in an art mood then head to the Librairie Galerie Jacques Matarasso to buy beautiful rare first edition art books and lithographs.
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