Posted by STEPHANIE CAURET AGEORGES
Since the Roaring Twenties, the Palais de la Méditerranée has been a major star of the French Riviera, first as a casino and today as a 5-star hotel. Its reputation is well-deserved, but far from being flashy like you would imagine it to be, the Palais de la Méditerranée is elegantly luxurious, warm and classy. It is a grand hotel.
Located at 13-15 Promenade des Anglais, the Palais de la Méditerranée naturally benefits from a privileged location at the heart of Nice. Facing the sea, next to the casino and close to the Coulée Verte (green corridor) and the Old Town, the Palais de la Méditerranée is one of the stars of the city.
Everything is close by, whether it be the shops, luxury boutiques, bars or restaurants.
The hotel is located around 4 miles from the Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport.
Nice Ville train station, which can be reached in around 10 minutes by taxi, is located just over half a mile away on 'Avenue Thiers'.
Buses connect the airport and the SNCF station with the city centre. The number 23 runs from the airport to the city centre to the train station, and the number 98 is a direct link between the airport and the city centre.
The Palais de la Méditerranée has guest rooms adapted for people with reduced mobility.
Room service is available 24/7 and offers different daytime and evening menus.
The hotel also has a Clé d'Or concierge service.
A legendary hotel, the Palais de la Méditerranée is immediately impressive with its white Art Deco façade that dates back to the 1930s. In these post-war years, the rich clientele returned to the Riviera and the Roaring Twenties, which were synonymous with pleasure, money and luxury. It was at this time that the project offering Nice its third 'Palais des Fêtes' (after the Jetée-Promenade and the city casino) was born in the form of the most beautiful casino in the world.
On 10th January 1929, the first public unveiling of this casino, which when lit up at night by the spotlights resembled 'a palace from Arabian Nights', took place.
In 1990, the casino was completely torn down. Only the main façade overlooking the Promenade des Anglais and the façade facing the Rue du Congrès were spared, as they had been classified as historical monuments on 18th August 1989. Rebuilt in 2001, the Palais de la Méditerranée finally reopened its doors in 2004 and is now well-known around the world as a hotel.
With its history and prestige, aesthetic expectations are high when you enter this monument on the Riviera. Behind the impressive Art Deco façade you will find a contemporary decor, a plush atmosphere, and classic chic surroundings.
Those looking for eccentricity and modern design behind the external white walls will be disappointed. The aesthetics are more simple and refined than ostentatious, and the charm of the place is immediately evident. With varying shades of brown and cream, wood panelling, white ceilings, pillars and marble floors, nothing is over the top. The style of the lobby is pure and elegant. Whether it be the lounge areas with leather sofas and coffee tables, or the lobby with the reception and access to the lift, each area has a comfortable, warm and relaxed atmosphere.
There are further communal areas on the third floor of the hotel. 'Le 3e' is a large space that holds the restaurant, the lounge bar and the terrace.
The restaurant offers an almost contemporary ethno-chic atmosphere with its brown wooden flooring, dark wood wall panelling brightening the red hues found on the second half of the walls, and velvet chairs, sofas and drapes. The subdued lighting enhances this intimate aspect, which seems more suited to dinner than lunch.
For customers who prefer natural light, fresh air, and a sunny environment, the restaurant has a magnificent terrace with an unrestricted view of the sea. When it is nice enough to eat outside, it is always full.
Opposite the restaurant is the lounge bar, which is also predominately decorated in red. However, while the restaurant has a slight African feel, here you will find yourself on a different continent, at the heart of India. The furniture, large sofas with bright cushions, decorative objects and tables transport diners to the land that was dear to Rudyard Kipling. Needless to say, everything is done with taste and class!
Also on the third floor, near the restaurant, there is a beautiful heated indoor pool. This extends to an outdoor pool, which shares the terrace with the bar and the restaurant. The indoor pool offers a more relaxed setting with its blue and white mosaic tiles and deckchairs around the edge, while the outdoor part offers a beautiful view of the sea.
'Le 3e' is also where you will find the fitness centre. This large gym, which is very light and decorated in wood, is equipped with Technogym machines for strength training, cardio, stretching and relaxation, toning, and weight loss. You'll be spoilt for choice!
Those who are less sporty can still take care of themselves by enjoying the hammam and sauna located in the relaxation area on the fourth floor, where massages are also available on request.
When it comes to seminars, conferences and prestigious events, the Palais de la Méditerranée has a wide choice of rooms. Fox Trot (77m²), Charleston (95m²), Paso Doble (77m²) and Bossa Nova (41m²) are four meeting rooms. The Bossa Nova room, located on the first floor, benefits from natural light and a private balcony. For events that require slightly more space, the hotel has 3 seminar rooms, Cotton Club (249m²), Madison (230m²) and Salon Azur (400m²), and an auditorium, the largest room in the hotel at 820m², which is located on the first floor of the casino. This exceptional setting can accommodate up to 1,040 people and is suitable for fashion shows, weddings, shows and conventions.
The 6-storey Palais de la Méditerranée has 187 guest rooms and 14 suites. The categories are divided into Classic, Superior, Deluxe and Executive rooms.
The Classic rooms are very compact.
35 of the hotel's 128 Superior rooms have a terrace with a partial view of the sea. The decoration in these rooms is a mix of shades of blue, ochre and brown, and offers a classic style with contemporary furniture. The overall atmosphere is pleasant, warm and elegant. With sizes ranging from 27m² to 35m², these rooms offer a nice amount of space equipped with a desk, a luggage rack and a magnificent dark wood bed head. They are available as a twin or a double, and smoking or non-smoking.
The 33 Deluxe rooms measure between 32m² and 35m², making them big enough for a sitting area with a coffee table and an armchair. The view of the sea (from the front or the side depending on which floor the room is located on), private terrace and use of fine materials (leather, quality fabrics) make these rooms a great place to relax. The varying soft shades of beige, taupe and champagne create a kind of extension between the interior and the exterior and give these rooms a real sense of warmth and comfort. The hints of dark pink, orange, green and amber on the bed runners, the cushions, and the upholstery of the chairs adds just the right amount of colour and touch of femininity to the rooms.
The Executive rooms are 45m² and overlook the city or the sea. Whatever the case, they all have a private terrace. They are decorated in the same style as the Deluxe rooms, only the touches of colour are brighter and more apparent. Incorporating the same shades of beige, taupe and champagne combined with black furniture, tints of dark pink turn to purple and cover the velvet of the chairs and the bench seat at the foot of the bed. The general atmosphere is less classic and the style is almost modern baroque, with beige padded leather headboards, violet hues and elegant black furniture. Having said that, the bright external light shining through the large window is what adds the baroque touch to this somber room.
The Palais de la Méditerranée has 5 different categories of suites. The Junior Suites have a joint bedroom and large sitting area with a furnished terrace overlooking the sea; the Premium Suites (between 60m² and 90 m²) consist of a bedroom with a king-size bed, a sitting area, and a terrace overlooking the pool; the Sea View Suites measure 90m² and have a dressing room, a sitting area, a bedroom, and a terrace: and the 80m² Panoramic Suite has a large terrace overlooking Nice's Baie des Anges and offering a 360° view. Finally, the 117m² Penthouse Suite is located on the 9th and top floor of the hotel. It consists of a bedroom, a separate sitting area, a relaxation area that can be used as an extra bedroom, and a large bathroom.
All of the rooms have at least an LCD satellite TV, a safe, a minibar, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. The Executive rooms also have an iPod/iPhone/radio docking station and a Nespresso machine. The Suites have the same amenities as the Executive rooms, as well as a DVD player (the Panoramic Suite and the Penthouse Suite are equipped with two televisions and a Sonos sound system).
The bathrooms are a good size and almost always have a shower and a bath. The toilet is usually separate, apart from a few exceptions. Decorated in cream marble with touches of wood, they are light and bright. Equipped with heated towel racks and hair-dryers, the complimentary toiletries are signed Annick Goutal.
The guest rooms were being renovated at the time of our visit. All of the rooms with a view of the sea (regardless of their category) and the rooms on the 9th floor had already been refurbished.
The restaurant 'Le 3e' proposes chic bistro-style cuisine with Mediterranean influences. The chef, Sébastien Vesse, is known for his creations and dishes combining seasonal produce and the flavours of the south. You can enjoy a 'gingerbread-crusted fillet of cod with a white butter sauce, a medley of mini vegetables and a ginger confit', or a 'clam risotto with garlic and parsley, and a seasonal tomato mix with purple basil".
The lounge bar has a snack menu, with dishes served from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. It is open daily from 10:00am to midnight.