Family-Friendly Spots to Stay in Nice & the French Riviera

Nice and the surrounding French Riviera towns are a great place to take a family vacation. Not only are there miles of coastline and ancient history to explore, but the region is also very child-friendly when it comes to lodging. Whether you're on a tight budget and looking for an affordable guesthouse or splurging on a luxury resort, you'll find these properties not only welcome families, they embrace them. At the five-star Four Seasons Grand Hotel Cap-Feret and the Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc, both outside Antibes, for instance, you'll find summer kids clubs that offers age appropriate and fun activities that give parents some quality alone time. And even if a hotel doesn't have a child-specific camp experience, like the family-friendly boutique guesthouse, Hotel Suisse, many properties can arrange in room babysitting with a reputable agency. 

Here we offer some of our favorite family-friendly properties both in Nice, which is the only major city in the region, but also along the Cote d'Azur with options in Antibes and Monaco as well – this entire region is easily accessible by train with towns spread just 10 or 15 minutes apart from each other. This easy access to a number of locations is another reason travel in the South of France with families is so popular – it's easy to keep the little ones entertained, especially if they love train travel. 


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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: One of the most affordable hotels in Nice, it's a good choice for families on a budget.

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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 Relais & 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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: A posh country choice just outside nice, it is also very family-friendly.

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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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: In the heart of Old Town, it's a good choice for families looking for a historic sleep.

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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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: A great choice for families (especially those using points to book) that has a popular kid's club as well.

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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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: It's a family-friendly property with sound-proof rooms if the kids start screaming. Plus there is access to a private beach.

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Airport - Ceq

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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: Children under 2 stay free, and this affordable hotel is a great choice for families as it also has larger suites.

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Hotel Du Cap-eden-roc
Photo courtesy of Hotel du Cap Eden Roc

Located on the peninsula south of Antibes, at the tip of the Cap d'Antibes, this is another magnificent romantic property in a landmark building dating back to 1870. The location feels very private, set between expansive gardens and the ocean, and everything from the rooms to the public spaces are old world elegant. Service is equally exemplary, and this is consistently rated one of the world's top hotels. The spa is particularly noteworthy, set among the rocks at the water's edge, it offer's delightfully self-indulgent treatments. The restaurant turns out amazing traditional French fare that's hard to get sick off, while the onsite grill does lighter tapas and sushi. Their is excellent snorkeling and scuba in clear water just off a rocky beach down the street the hotel. Ask the staff for directions to the isolated cove, where you'll also find a dive shop.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: They have a great summer kids club that offers age appropriate fun activities, and gives parents a chance to enjoy the hotel's adult amenities.

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Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo
Photo courtesy of Hotel Metropole

More than one James Bond movie has been filmed at Monaco's most famous hotel, the opulent Metropole. In a central Monte Carlo location just a three minute walk from the equally ritzy Casino Monte Carlo, the property is just a fast 30 minute train ride from Nice. Inside a Belle Epoque building dating back to 1866, the Metropole is a timeless classic. Beyond the luxe rooms featuring all the five-star amenities one would expect, the hotel also boasts a 21,000-sq-ft spa, two Michelin-starred restaurants and interiors by Jacques Garcia (of Hôtel Costes fame). Dress to impress here, especially in the casino – this is Europe at its most aristocratic, not Vegas.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Yes it's the most famous hotel in Monaco, but it's also family-friendly, accommodating of even the youngest children.

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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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: A boutique hotel that bills itself as family-friendly, it's a good choice for an intimate sized property right in Old Nice.

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Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel
Photo courtesy of Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat

The Four Seasons brand has taken over management of the iconic Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, which is one of the grandest hotels in all of the French Riviera. Located halfway between Nice and Monaco, it is perfect for a romantic getaway. Sitting at the tip of the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, which juts out into the Mediterranean, it first opened in 1908, and remains the epitome of Jazz Era French Riviera glamour. A destination hotel, it has hosted everyone from Winston Churchill to Charlie Chaplin to Pablo Picasso. It encompasses three buildings on multiple acres lushly landscaped grounds including gardens, pools and tennis courts all tumbling down to the Mediterranean.. Try for a room in the hotel's original core, which have super high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door windows looking onto the sea. The suites are also enormous, but ask for a higher floor for the best sea views.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: The Four Seasons is one of the top family-friendly luxury brands, and offers special activities for kids as well as babysitting options.

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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