When I last walked thru the Negresco to have an interesting dinner at Chanticler, I thought I was walking thru the set for “Sunset Boulevard”; an aging mansion going to seed as it’s matriarch owner lived on her dreams of the past.
At the suggestion of a friend who said it is coming back; they have new 5 star management and are spending $50 million Euros renovating the property I decided to try it, as I had to be a night in Nice.
Walking by the white clad door staff into the grand 1912’s edifice (a French Historical Building) one could immediately sense that the Negresco was into ascendancy. Madame Augier has brought in a new management with 5 Star experience and is putting the money behind them. Living there (I spotted her in the coffee shop having lunch) also shows serious of purpose. The commitment and capital shows.
It was great fun walking thru spacious lobby looking at the eclectic collection of art, a Dali portrait of Madame, and the famous Baccarat chandelier and a men’s room like no other in the world. The washbasin is an old general’s field mess kit.
The British bar is bustling and a throwback to another time.
La Rotonde, the coffee shop could double for FAO Schwartz in the old days with carrousel horses that actually go up and down periodically. On nice days one can take their refreshment overlooking the pebbly beach of the Med.
And the Chanticler, with a new young chef, is still Nice’s best restaurant.
The rooms are a work in process. Don’t stay here if you want the Four Seasons bland perfection; but I found the "in your face" ecclecticness refreshing.
We had a still to be fully renovated room with bright silk wall covering and in-your-face gold fixtures in the bath. The huge gold bath/shower lacked a shower curtain but maybe that is because it was a fashion statement, not a practical device.
The old 2 button electrical switches were an example of the kookiness of the place.
But the French balcony overlooking the Med. Reminded me why I was in Nice.
The stay was a fun experience. Different; more than just a lodging. More than just another night in a beautiful old building. It is a romp in a wealthy owner’s fantasy.
Definitely I will stay here again, if I have to be in Nice, if only to see what other new great things are brought to this fun old place.
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- Also Known As:
- Negresco Hotel Nice
- Hotel Negresco Nice