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Trip to Nice with extended family

Last year we did a multi generation trip to Paris, and it was wonderful. In October 2018, we're going again. After some consideration of Barcelona, Amsterdam, etc, we've picked Nice.

I need some suggestions for an area to stay, and any hotel recommendations you all may have. There will be 8-12 of us, from 20's up to 60's. We want a hotel, not apartments or villa, and we want to be pretty central. We don't need to stay on the Promenade des Anglais, but I'm not opposed to it. Hotel should be in an area that has restaurants, small parks, and public transportation. It needs to be a good area for walking. I'd like it to be about 20 minutes or less from the waterfront. We won't rent a car.

Hotel budget would be in the range of €130-150 a night, give or take. We'd need an elevator. We don't need luxury. Clean and serviceable.

Paris was great because those who wanted to be on the move constantly, could, and those who wanted to stroll about could take it easy. I think Nice will suit us.

Any suggestions? Areas you've liked? Hotels?

Posted by
698 posts

For Nice, the first areas you should look should be in the Old Town (Vieille Ville), the Carre d'Or, and area around Place Massena and lower Jean Medecin. This is the Old Town plus roughly an area bounded by the Promenade des Anglais, Boulevard Gambetta, Avenue Victor Hugo, and roughly Rue Alberti. By October, high season rates are no longer in effect and you'll be able to get a prime location at a lower price. If you get too far west along the Promenade (past Negresco), you'll find too long of a journey to the train station, the main dining/cafe areas of the Old Town and the Pedestrian Zone of the Carre d'Or. The areas above are all walkable to a train station and are mostly close to the bus/tram (the new 2nd tram line won't likely be open to Medecin quite yet, I'm betting). The choices are fewer in the Old Town and may be out of your price range (except for the Mercure and maybe the Beau Rivage. La Perouse is perhaps the best there). Among the major chains, if you are in affinity program, you might find great rates for the Hyatt Palais de La Mediteranee and the Meridian Promenade, or the Aston. There are a number of less known hotels, but still plenty OK, in these areas.

If you just stay below the train station and not too far west you should be fine. The largest area of green space is the Promenade du Paillon, aka Coulee Verte. This is the large public green space between the Old Town and the Carre d'Or/Medecin/Place Massena.

I hope that gives you a start.

Posted by
7649 posts

I probably am not as knowledgable about Nice as the previous poster, but here are my thoughts. I typically go to Nice every Thanksgiving and have made 5 trips so far and am returning at T-giving this year. Public transportation is so available in Nice that being near it is a given. I like the location of the Hotel Suisse and they often have specials during the off-season. They are at the end or curve of the Promenade but a short walk to the Old Town for sightseeing. I am not a fan of staying in the Old Town because of the noise (which in October is probably not a problem). My favorite part of town is the Old Port area that is close to Place Garibaldi which is accessible by tram and lots of buses. The Old Port doesn't have a lot of hotels but lots of great local restaurants and you are still close to the Promenade. I am sorry I don't have any specific hotels to list in the Port area. I usually stay in apartments. I think you have made a great choice in Nice and I would also recommend Lyon as an alternative to Paris for a future trip.

Posted by
27426 posts

I no longer have the "Nice" chapter from Rick's book; I discarded it when I left Nice in mid-May. I'm pretty sure he recommends looking outside the Old Town. I can't remember whether he mentioned noise as a problem; it may have just been a matter of feeling the old buildings in the port area might have less reliable plumbing, etc.

Unless there's some major special event going on, I think you'll be able to find quite a nice place for a reasonable price. Rates were quite low in May.

Posted by
2349 posts

Thank you all for your suggestions. We have a week and I think we'll stay the entire week in Nice. With 3 or 4 full days there and 2 or 3 days of nearby day trips it should work out.

Last week I was about to order a RS Riviera guide, when I noticed that the new book was coming out in October.

Posted by
698 posts

The Old Port does have some very good restaurants and is on the rise -- but it's not been an area full of hotels. And, it does take a bit of a walk (or bus ride) to get to the other main areas, including the main train station (there is a secondary Gare that is closer).

There will be some noisy areas in the Old Town, especially near the market, the main squares, and near certain pubs. This is true mainly of high season and for apartments. The major hotel properties are located within a block of the water or like La Perouse and Suisse, are a bit out of the way from the noisy areas. The adjacent neighborhoods of the Carre d'Or and the area around Place Massena are quieter (except for the main pedestrian zone) but are amidst the main transport links, shops, restaurants and cafes, and near the water and Old Town. BTW, if you do end up considering a serviced apartment, make sure there is an elevator (not always the case).

Posted by
12172 posts

I was just in Nice. I stayed in Juan les Pins and liked Antibes best of the area. For your trip, I'd suggest staying between the train station (Nice Ville) and the beach. Place Messena is closer to the beach but it seems like a good area and just down the street from the train station. The people who want to go can hop on a train and visit Monaco, Cannes, etc. while the people who want to take it easy can stroll on the Promenade or shop. I can't offer specifics on hotels, I didn't stay there or price them, but the area should work for you.