Best cruise port hotels as picked and recommended by members of our groups:
France - Nice
Classic luxury-hotel pleasures
A welcome of class is what the Luxury Hotel Boscolo Nice, situated on the central Boulevard of Nice, reserves for its guests who arrive in the pearl of the French Riviera.
To precisely duplicate the original Exedra, on the Piazza Della Reppublica in Rome, would be a strange proposition for Nice — how would its monumental colonnaded grandeur translate to this sunny seaside town? It’s a question that’ll never be answered, as the actual Exedra Nice turns out to be a very different animal. For while the exterior is certainly grand — though Belle Époque grand rather than Italian Republic grand — the interiors, thoroughly renovated, present a face that’s quite a bit more contemporary.
The rooms still show the occasional rococo flourish, as in the ornate headboards, but the overriding atmosphere is one of spare and sunny Mediterranean minimalism. In the public spaces, things get even a bit more modern, with organic rounded forms, and the restaurant contrasts crisp clean lines with rustic weathered floorboards. The spa is almost futuristic, especially the wet room, which looks like a film set from an unmade Drowned World adaptation.
Classic luxury-hotel pleasures are of course not overlooked; there are a pool and fitness center, and events space as well. The main restaurant specializes in fresh Mediterranean seafood, and the hotel’s location, on Nice’s main boulevard, means you’re centrally placed — the Exedra’s bar is a Nice nightlife mainstay, and the old town is a short walk away.
France - Nice
Intimate, Cosy, and affordable
An iconic location demands an iconic stay. Yelo Jean Médecin has the style, comfort, and convenience for an unforgettable time in Nice.
Inside, organic design and bohemian energy mirror the beauty of this coastal city. The lounge is filled with rattan seating, lush greenery, and available meeting spaces. Breakfast is also offered downstairs in the morning for an additional fee.
Each tech-enabled room includes a connected tablet to help you control everything from lighting to Chromecast streaming. Outside, Avenue Jean Médecin is a walker’s paradise, lined with shopping malls and charming boutiques. Stroll through the markets and taste the local socca, a crispy chickpea pancake with a soft filling. The Promenade des Anglais is a short walk away, where the boardwalk offers unbeatable sea views. Looking to venture further? Access the electric tram, which stops minutes from the front door.
To experience Nice with ease, Yelo Jean Médecin is your top choice.
France - Nice
A short walk from the old town of Nice and the harbor
At the Hotel La Pérouse, you are in an extremely uncommon place; it’s the address you will keep to yourself so that it doesn’t become too popular and too busy. The view on the Angel Bay is spectacular: it will take your breath away.
Located in a unique setting, nestled on the Castle Hill, just at the end of the promenade des Anglais, a short walk from the market of the Cours Saleya in the old Nice, just behind the port.
At the foot of the hotel, the “Castel” private beach will welcome you for a dip in the sea or to sunbathe.
After all these years, there are still a few surprises left on the Côte d’Azur — the famous grand hotels carry on as they always have, but there’s the thrill of occasionally discovering a place like La Pérouse. Cut into a cliffside overlooking the Baie des Anges, this one-time prison is now one of Nice’s most remarkable hotels, offering easy access to the beach and the old town, as well as stunning views of the sea from most of its sixty-three rooms and suites.
Mediterranean style is the rule in the guest rooms, outfitted with antique furnishings and soft country colors, each with a balcony or terrace to take maximum advantage of the views. The location and the atmosphere are charming enough, but the view is the thing — even the hotel’s own brochure issues a strongly worded recommendation in favor of choosing a sea view room.
At the bottom of the cliff sits the hotel pool, surrounded by a shaded garden surrounded by lemon trees, and in the fair-weather months, the hotel’s restaurant serves dinner on the terrace by candlelight. You’re seconds from the beach if that’s the sort of diversion that appeals, and from this prime location on the Promenade des Anglais it’s a short walk into Nice’s historic district if you’re up for a bit of a wander. Proof positive there’s more to the Côte d’Azur than just the old favorites.
France - Nice
incredibly french riviera
What other palace best symbolizes the legend of the French Riviera? More than 100 years after its creation, as the perfect image of the legendary Riviera, the Negresco reveals our desire for enjoyment, relaxation, and comfort.
Let no one say that Hôtel Le Negresco, a grand, pink-domed palace on the French Riviera’s Bay of Angels, lacks character. In a town with more than its share of storied old hotels, Le Negresco’s history might take the prize. It was founded by the son of a gypsy violinist, immediately attracted a long roster of dukes and counts and queens, posted a fortune-making profit of 800,000 gold francs in its first year of operation, was shortly thereafter converted into a WWI hospital at the founder’s expense, sent the founder into financial ruin within five years of its opening, fell into near-oblivion, and now stands, again, as one of the finest hotels in Nice.
If opulence isn’t your thing, then this is not the hotel for you. But can a palace-hotel on the French Riviera really be faulted for its excesses? The Salon Royal, where you can have a cup of tea before heading across the road to the beach, revolves around a chandelier that contains 16,800 pieces of Baccarat glass; that chandelier hangs from a lofty domed ceiling surrounded by stained-glass cherubs and gold vines climbing up the pillars toward elaborate crown molding. In the Michelin-starred restaurant, Chantecler, the tables have pink linen table cloths, fresh bouquet-centerpieces, and what seem like enough wine glasses to contain the contents of the 15,000 bottles in the cellar. The restaurant’s elaborately carved wooden walls have about 250 years of varnish worked into them, and the chairs are upholstered in fuchsia velvet. You’ll find a second restaurant in the style of a Pompadour carousel, enough gold-framed portraits of people with big wigs and powdered faces to fill a court, museum-worthy sculptures everywhere you look, and — well, you get the idea.
The rooms, furnished with antiques and art in your choice of Art Deco, Baroque or Classical styles, are no less richly appointed than the public spaces. Expect elaborately patterned wallpaper, headboards that would suit a dozing Sun King, more crown molding, and additional chandeliers. Aside from the three styles, the views are what really distinguish the rooms. The sea-view rooms, many with floor-to-ceiling windows behind billowing curtains, are the ones to get, though those with garden views on the other side of the palace are nothing to sniff at, either.
Everywhere you look, there’s a lot of very French, very old-fashioned detail to take in. When you start to feel like you’re trapped Midnight in Paris–style in the Gilded Age, just call the concierge. He can summon a helicopter to take you back to the 21st century, or wherever you might wish to go.
France - Nice
Iconic 5 Star Luxury Hotel in Nice
The Palais de la Méditerranée is back, to add at least another chapter to its already storied history. The “Méd” opened in 1929, just months before the great stock market crash — and what months those were, for its American owner Franck Jay Gould, as well as for guests like Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker, and even Maurice Chevalier. Good and bad years alternately befell this glitzy Art Deco edifice, until it finally closed its doors in 1978, and spent the rest of the century vacant, before returning with a slightly more elaborate name: Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée.
The Art Deco facade still stands, though everything behind it is brand-new, rebuilt in a sort of modern/Deco hybrid style. Rooms are perhaps not the largest on the Riviera but are more than comfortable enough, and in this most competitive of markets, space comes at a premium. Generous bathrooms with separate showers and tubs will more than compensate, as well, if you’re lucky, astonishing sea views.
Most of the action, suitably, takes place outside the rooms — the casino is back in business, the restaurant, Le 3e, is a hot spot. Healthier diversions are available as well — the courtyard pool, with its colonnaded sea view, is a social scene all its own, and there’s another indoor pool in the fitness center, in addition to a well-equipped gym, sauna, and steam room.
As any investment banker will tell you, past performance is no indication of future results — it’s possible that the Méd is straightened out for good, and that nothing but the best of times await, or this may just be another crest on the Palais’s long roller-coaster ride. One thing is for certain — at the present moment, the hotel is on a roll, and there’s no harm in making like Josephine Baker, and partying like it’s 1929.