Haute Luxury to Affordable Boutique: The Nicest Places to Sleep in Nice

The only major city on the French Riviera, Nice is perfectly situated for exploring France's most romantic coastline. Located on a main train line, it's just a quick 10 minutes by train to Cannes, and 30 minutes in either direction will get you to Antibes and Monaco, making it a perfect base for day trips. And because of its relative size, Nice also has more sleeping options than the other towns along the Cote d'Azur, catering to all budgets and style of traveler, from honeymooners to backpackers to families. If you're looking for high end luxury check out Hotel Negresco. If you want a boutique sleep, it's hard to beat the Hotel Suisse. While those on a budget can still get a clean and tidy room at Hotel Lausanne.

Another benefit to staying in Nice over Cannes or St Tropez is the vibe. The city has a certain grittiness – a lived cosmopolitan vibe – absent from the other resort towns. And there is plenty to do, from wandering the narrow cobbled streets of Vieux Nice and stopping for lunch at one of the city's world class restaurants to a sunset stroll down the legendary Promenade des Anglais or just chilling under an umbrella on the city's unique black pebble beach, the entire place feels very chic and very French.

So go ahead a book a room. In this list we've rounded up the best hotels for all budgets and styles of traveler.


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Hôtel Ellington

The atmosphere here is inspired by Duke Ellington and the Jazz Era, when the French Riviera was in its iconic heyday, and this is a good spot to stay if other places are full. In the heart of Nice, it has 110 recently renovated rooms in four different categories. All feature artistic modern decor with some elements of the 1920s past incorporated into it. The American style buffet breakfast in the morning is a perk of staying here beyond the rooms, as is happy hour in the Duke Bar & Lounge. On the downside, the hotel is about a 10 minute walk from both Old Town and the beach.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: If other places are full, it offers affordable value in a decent location.

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Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa

Located in Vence, just outside of Nice on the way to Cannes, Chateau St Martin is a fantastic high end property set on multiple landscaped acres with fantastic panoramic Mediterranean views. Beyond the serene setting, it also has a rich historical legacy, once serving as the home to the Knights Templar. A Relaix & Chateaux property, it also features beautifully appointed rooms and suites, an excellent restaurant and a gorgeously designed infinity pool. The onsite Spa St-Martin by La Prairie is the perfect place to just relax for a day. Best of all this property is family-friendly, although it also works equally well for honeymooners or anyone looking for romance in a serene setting. This is also a great choice if you want to be outside the city itself, but still accessible to its attractions. Note the hotel closes annually from late October to late April.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Outside town it features a serene setting, opulent rooms and a fantastic spa.

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Le Palais de la Mediterranee

One of the top hotels in Nice, this Hyatt Regency managed property has a wonderful 1929 art deco facade and sits right on the Promenade des Anglais fronting the Baie des Anges. The rooms are elegant and feature either sea or city views - the sea views are better - and many have private balconies. The amenities here are one of the reasons to stay. There is a private beach for guests and a mosaic indoor to outdoor swimming pool as well as a hammam and a sauna. While the onsite restaurant features good regional fare and there is a lounge bar for sunset drinks.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: One of Nice's top luxury hotels. There is a private beach and mosaic indoor to outdoor swimming pool plus elegant rooms with sea views.

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Hotel Le Lausanne

One of the best affordable options in town, Hotel le Lausanne is located right by the train station and has small but clean and tidy rooms that are perfectly adequate if you just care about a place to lay your head and would rather spend your cash on food and drinks. Plus the rooms make the best of their star level with comfortable beds and quaint decor that doesn't feel shabby. And once you've dumped your luggage, you'll find the location isn't bad either - it's easy to walk to the beach and promenade or the Old Town, with nothing more than 10 minutes or so by foot.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A cheap sleep in a convenient location by the train station. It is one of the best budget options in town.

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Villa Rivoli

Located in a manor house dating back to 1890, Hotel Villa Rivoli fills quickly with repeat guests who return for its affordable prices, family-friendliness and location in the heart of Old Town. The rooms here come in a variety of shapes and sizes (as well as price brackets) and can sleep between one and three people depending on which one is chosen. Each is uniquely decorated, but all have period character with accents like walls covered in fabric and upholstered wooden chairs, marble mantlepieces and lots of gilt edging from bed frames to mirrors. Although rooms can feel overstuffed at times and are on the small side, the service is beyond friendly and capable and the entire place is very clean.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: It's affordable for Nice but still charming with character filled rooms in a 19th century villa in the heart of Old Town.

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Mercure Nice Promenade Des Anglais

The Mercure occupies a great location right on the Promenade and just a few minutes walk from Old Town and many of the rooms have awesome sea views and terraces. They are also done up with contemporary decor and come with flat screen TVs with satellite channels and best of all for the location, sound-proofing, assuring a good night's sleep. The staff are very good and quick to address any problems that arise. There is also free WiFi and breakfast and there are often good specials on rooms when booked through a consolidator. On the downside, there is no swimming pool here, although guests do have access to a private beach.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The location is great and the hotel is family-friendly. Rooms are contemporary. Book one with a sea view and balcony.

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Beyond boasting great views of the water from various balconies and terraces in rooms and suites, Hotel La Perouse gets consistently good reviews for its location between the end of the Promendade and Old Town, far enough removed from the massive beach crowds to stay quiet and excellent service where attention to detail is paramount. The beds here are comfy and the place is well-maintained and very clean – guests return here over and over, so book well in advance if you'e staying during the high season. There is a pool and also a Jacuzzi onsite. There is a small restaurant on site here and the included breakfast is very good.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: An excellent boutique hotel that gets lots of repeat guests for its well-maintained facilities and location.

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice

The Radisson has done a good job with its luxury Blu brand in recent years, and this property in Nice is no exception. Yes it's a big branded hotel, but it also is very comfortable with well-appointed and elegant rooms, many with balconies and sea views, and a great location right on the Promenade. There is a private beach for guests as well as a rooftop swimming pool and the buffet breakfast gets rave reviews for its fresh produce and tasty hot choices. Service is good and the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle service to the Old Town, since it is a bit of a hike otherwise.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Private beach, rooftop pool, awesome breakfast and well-appointed rooms with balconies make this one of the top luxury hotels in town.

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Hôtel Suisse
Photo courtesy of Hotel Suisse Nice

With just 38 rooms, this is a boutique gem right off the legendary Promenade des Anglais that offers the most sweeping views of the Baie des Anges of any hotel in the city. On the outside, Hotel Suisse is all last century's romantic French Riviera charm: there's the traditional white and terracotta facade, the iron balconies and wooden shutters and even the big block lettering stating the hotel's name. But walk inside and you'll find a modern design with very contemporary rooms featuring minimal white furnishings and muted colors that do little to distract from the awesome views. Beyond the rooms, there is a bar serving old fashioned cocktails and access to a private beach the Hotel Suisse shares with just one other property (but not the general public). Note when booking that three rooms do not have sea views, which is the reason to stay. Avoid if possible.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The most sweeping views of the sea and the promenade plus it has access to a private beach and is boutique mod inside.

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Hotel Le Negresco

The grand Belle Epoque hotel was built in 1912 for a discriminating international clientele and more than a century later it continues to dazzle travelers from around the world with its unique blend of French historical style. Family owned for more than 50 years now, the Negresco's most shining asset, however, is its museum-worthy art collection. Owner Jeanne Augier is an art connoisseur who has amassed a collection displayed at the hotel that includes works by Moretti, Dali and sculptress Niki de Saint-Phalle. The art is mixed into the palatial pink and white building, which itself is a National Historic Monument. Rooms are done up in period decor and have an Old World elegance to them, but don't feel dated. The best suites have balconies fronting the sea, and there is private beach access for all guests as well as a restaurant with two Michelin stars.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: It has a museum worthy art collection and has been the place to stay in Nice for more than a century now.

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Meet Becca Blond

Becca Blond is an award-winning Denver based freelance travel writer. She has authored more than 30 Lonely Planet guides on five continents. She also writes about Colorado and the world for...  More About Becca