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Nice - Hotels or Airbnb Recommendations for mid-April


My friend and I have 5 nights and plan to stay in Nice as our base. We would like to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer, Eze, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Monaco and if time allows Menton. Should we stay in Nice the 5 nights or break it up and stay in Villefranche-sur Mer? I see a lot of hotels recommended (list below and please advise if you stayed at any and your impressions). However, we prefer an Airbnb. Would anyone have a recommendations? Lastly, is it true to stay closer to Place Masséna or the Old Town as opposed to near the Nice train station? We are in our early 40's and will be taking the train/bus

Hotels recommended in this forum recently (anyone experience one or more of these?):
- Hotel Alber 1er
- Ibis Nice Center Gare
- Hotel Grimaldi or Hotel Wilson near Place Massena
- Hotel Splended
- Ibis Nice Centre Notre Dame
- Hotel Gounod

Thank you,


Posted by
27347 posts

I stayed in a much cheaper place near the train station, which wouldn't be the choice of many posters here. Some blocks in that area are attractive; others are somewhat scruffy. I had reasons for really wanting to stay near the Nice Ville station, including that I was planning a lot of side trips, but the tram runs down Av. Jean-Medecin from a point near the intersection of Av. Thiers, the street on which the station is located, so the tram gets you within about a 3-block walk on that end. There's also a stop just a bit north of Place Massena. As I recall, it's a slightly uphill walk to the station from either Old Nice or Place Masena, so the tram will save some energy.

I'll pass along a comment from Rick--probably from the guide to France. As I recall, he wrote something about the risk of infrastructure issues at lodgings in the Old Town, as opposed to the more modern area around Place Massena. I don't know that he was more specific than that, but I mentally filed away that kernel of advice as potentially applying to one or more of heat, air conditioning, hot water and Wi-Fi. I would advise checking the reviews on to be sure there's no indication of old-building issues that could be annoying in the places you are considering.

A couple of train tips:

  • Fares are low, so that regional train line is popular with pickpockets. If someone gets into your personal space unnecessarily, assume they are going to try to lift your wallet.

  • I was in Nice in May 2017. While April may be different, there were some mornings when I faced lines at the ticket-vending machines at the station. I found it best to buy my ticket the night before, as I returned to Nice from the day's side trip.

Posted by
1165 posts

we stayed at
Ibis Nice Center Gare and loved it. Made day tripping easy to get to station (short walk) and even with luggage it was easy. The hotel had the most comfortable beds we had slept in. Wonderful breakfast, staff, very clean, great outdoor space, and rooms were modern and clean. Would definitely return next time in Nice. Also, very walkable to the shore and great restaurants.

Posted by
695 posts

I generally tell people to avoid the area immediately around the station. The choice of services (restaurants, boulangeries, shops) are below average (and fewer) and some may find areas more gritty (especially just north of the station). You will find better hotels and apartments closer to water, in the Carre d'Or (roughly bound by Blvd Victor Hugo, Jean Medecin, Promenade des Anglais and Blvd Gambetta) plus the few blocks N/NE of Place Massena. The Old Town is popular but the infrastructure issues include a typical lack of elevators (even in the Mercure) and AC, and sometimes noise around popular squares and bars/clubs..

If you have a target budget, I can provide some additional recommendations. For example, the Windsor is popular and at the top end, La Perouse, Palais de la Mediterranea and the new Anantara Plaza.

Posted by
1677 posts

We stayed at La Villa Leonie and loved it.

It's a little bit outside of the main tourist area, if that matters to you.

It's in an old mansion that has been converted to an inn, and some of the suites have kitchenettes. There's even a small elevator in the building, and a shaded area to sit outside.

The bus to Ville-Franche-sur-Mer (and Monaco) stops right nearby. It's just up the hill from the Vielle Port.

Posted by
726 posts

Like you, I prefer an apartment for stays longer than 4 nights. We only had 3 nights in Nice in 2017 and stayed in the Hotel Gounod. The room was small, but clean and fine since we were only in it to sleep. It was owned by the same owners as the nicer Hotel Splendid, so we had access to their rooftop, which was pleasant. I think either would be fine, depending on your budget.

Posted by
464 posts

We stayed in Nice for 2 nights and in Villefranche for 3 nights. We really enjoyed the Welcome Hotel in Villefranche sur Mer and had a room with a balcony overlooking the sea. It is a charming town with a lovely shale beach and a beautiful waterfront area. It also has train and bus connections. We enjoyed going to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and St Jean Cap Ferrat area also.