Monday, March 20, 2017

Nice

Hotel Negresco, Nice

We went to Nice for an overnight to see if we liked the area.  We've been considering what to do next winter.  A month in Nice was one choice.  It is south enough to be mild, and close enough to Italy for some excursions.  We chose a hotel at random simply based on its proximity to Old Town.  What we got was Hotel Negresco, a grand experience.  The rates were average but the service and facility were 5 star luxury.  Now filled with a wonderful art collection (and rooms with mink bedspreads, which was NOT our room) there was a period of decline during WWI, when the owner lost the hotel, and it became a hospital.  Sadly, it became a hospital of sorts in the wake of the 2016 attack when the main hall was used to triage the wounded.  

We walked the famous Promenade Anglais, constructed along the French Riviera for the rich English who came here at the turn of the century, explored the old town, and ate at Boccaccio, reportedly the best seafood restaurant.  Indeed, we had a paella to die for.  It was also enough for four people.  

But what we also discovered is Nice is not nice for us.  It is too hectic, hard to drive in, more of a resort area than we enjoy.  The area along the sea is filled with grand hotels and small restaurants which is perfect for the vacationer who loves the beach.  The Old Town is all pedestrian and perfect for evening strolls, shopping and dining.  But beyond that the city did not charm us.  Also, to our surprise and disappointment both the Chagall and Matisse museums we intended to visit tomorrow are closed on a Tuesday.  
Video of the hotel rotunda at YouTube.  
Pictures at flickr