Hotel Reviews - Europe

A nice base in Nice!

Today, Caroline blogs about a fantastic accommodation option in Nice for those looking to avoid hotels in the region.

Last year, when looking for somewhere to stay in Nice, we were lucky enough to find an apartment owned by Hilary Adamson, where we spent an idyllic week in March. Fast forward twelve months and we are back in Nice in another of Hilary’s flats, this time on the sixth floor of the same block in an apartment with a large terrace which runs the width of the flat. It is at the back of the building and faces a quiet street, guaranteeing a good night’s sleep which can be hard to come by in a city.

The apartment is centrally situated and made a great base for exploring not only Nice but also other places such as St Jean Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu sur Mer, Monaco, Menton, Eze, Vence, St Paul de Vence and Antibes. Public transport is easy to use, reliable and above all cheap (especially if you buy a week’s pass for €15).

Eze

Eze

Beaulieu sur Mer

Beaulieu sur Mer

The apartment has an open plan kitchen and living area with sliding doors out to the terrace, a stylish shower room and bedroom with a large built-in wardrobe with tons of room if you are the sort of person who doesn’t believe in travelling light. The kitchen is well-equipped with a dishwasher, fridge-freezer, oven and hob, washing machine and microwave.

Lovely kitchen

Lovely kitchen

The living area

The living area

Hilary also provides lots of extras from things like beach towels and umbrellas to quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The apartment is also well stocked with the basics such as kitchen roll, foil, washing-up liquid and so on: they’re only little things but not all self-catering properties supply them. Similarly it’s rather nice to find a place that has towels and toilet rolls galore!

She also leaves a comprehensive welcome pack of wine, fruit juice, water, coffee, tea, nuts, crisps, biscuits, bread and butter.

Hilary is happy to meet you off the airport bus and walk you to the apartment which is a great help if you are unfamiliar with Nice and not much good at map-reading. She is a font of knowledge about local restaurants, shops, buses, trams and trains and can always be contacted by email if you think of something you need to know during your holiday.

Why, you might ask, didn’t we opt for a hotel instead of an apartment? Well, apart from the fact that the £570 charged per week by Hilary at this time of year would not get you much in the way of a hotel, the apartment has lots of advantages.

1) There are no annoying charges here for thoroughly reliable broadband.

2) You don’t have to worry about running up an exorbitant mini bar bill – just fill your fridge up with whatever takes your fancy; Hilary has even left plenty of ice to get you started.

3) Whilst it’s nice to explore the many restaurants in Nice for dinner, grabbing a light bite to eat at lunchtime can be costly so it is great to be able to come back to the apartment, suitably equipped with a baguette and some lovely fresh prawns bought from the fishmonger round the corner or some ham and cheese from the local deli.

4) If you’re lucky enough to have lots of sunshine you might decide to take a morning off from sight-seeing and just chill on the sun loungers on your own terrace, perhaps enjoying a glass of wine and a raspberry tart for elevenses! Hotels in central Nice are short on outdoor space.

Tartes framboises from the patisserie

Tartes framboises from the patisserie

5) If on the other hand the weather turns wet the apartment is a very comfortable place to sit and watch a DVD (plenty provided), listen to a CD, catch up on the news at home or read your book. Hotel rooms just aren’t always conducive to doing this.

6) Breakfast can be an expensive add-on to a hotel bill. With a great baker and patisserie a one minute walk from the apartment you could be enjoying lovely pastries and freshly baked bread on the terrace.

Pastries from the patisserie for breakfast

Pastries from the patisserie for breakfast

7) If you find yourself salivating in front of some of the wonderful delicatessens in France then an apartment is definitely for you. Self-catering needn’t mean hard work in Nice. There is the most wonderful deli round the corner on Boulevarde Gambetta selling such things as scrumptious rotisserie free-range chickens and tasty roast potatoes cooked in the chicken juices, delicious roast pork and dauphinois potatoes, stuffed aubergines and Basque chicken (not a traditional French dish, I know, but excellent all the same) – all the above were sampled this holiday and none disappointed!

Lunch on the terrace - rotisserie chicken from the deli

Lunch on the terrace – rotisserie chicken from the deli

Not surprisingly Hilary gets lots of repeat bookings and is considering discontinuing advertising, so popular are her apartments. For the time being, however, her apartments can be found on the Holiday Lettings website.

Categories: Hotel Reviews - Europe

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