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Before choosing a hotel you have to decide where to stay on the French Riviera. Should you make Nice your base? Or Cannes? Or, Monaco? Menton? Antibes? Yes it's true you can make a day trip to pretty much everywhere in the region no matter where you're based, but it's worth thinking about your tastes, budget, and holiday habits before deciding on where you'll be laying your head at the end of the day.

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Staying in Nice

Nice is by far the most popular base for a Riviera holiday and for good reason. There's a wide range of accommodation from hostels and apartments to five-star luxury palaces; there's a wealth of things to see; its central location on the coast makes Nice an easy base for day trips; there's 7km of beach not to mention the Promenade des Anglais; the effervescent Old Town is packed with bars, restaurants and clubs; and the great public transport system makes it easy to get around.

Keep in mind that Nice is a big city with all the noise, bustle and traffic of any metropolis though. The summer scene is more than lively, particularly in July and August when beaches, bars and streets are packed.

Nice is perfect for young people on a budget who can eat and drink cheaply in the Old Town; first-timers who want to see the most in a short time by making easy day trips; music fans looking to enjoy the Nice Jazz Festival in July.

Best Places to Stay in Nice

Promenade des Anglais

Throwing open your shutters to feast on a wide, unimpeded view of the baie des Anges is a quintessential Nice experience. Staying on the Promenade des Anglais puts you within walking distance of all Nice's major attractions, including the beach. The Prom is a busy road though; you'll be grateful for the double-glazed windows that are standard in Nice's Prom-facing hotels.
Hotel Negresco*****
Reception hall of the Hotel Negresco.
Classic and classy, the Negresco is presides over the Promenade des Anglais like a queen. This historic hotel has hosted everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to the Rolling Stones. No cookie-cutter rooms here; each room displays a unique style from Louis XIII to contemporary. The public areas are splendid; the glass-domed reception hall is adorned with major works of art amassed by its late owner, Jeanne Augier. The attached Chantecler restaurant is one of the best in Nice. The hotel spa is scheduled to open in 2023.

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Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditerranée*****
Palais Mediterranee

It's right on the Promenade des Anglais and sports Nice's most famous facade, an Art Deco masterpiece. The grandiose interior contains a covered swimming pool with a view of the sea, plus a full assortment of fitness facilities. There's also an outdoor pool and an excellent restaurant.

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Anantara Plaza*****

Anantara Plaza

The newest entry in Nice's hotel scene is also one of the oldest. The 19th-century Plaza hotel once welcomed European aristocracy and, after a massive overhaul, is now enchanting a new generation of urban-luxe lovers. It's set a little back from the Promenade which lends it extra peace and tranquility. The spa offers an array of organic treatments and the rooftop bar is famous throughout Nice for its creative cocktails. The restaurant serves up tantalizing dishes that combine local and Asian influences.

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Hotel Suisse****

At the very eastern end of the Promenade and tucked under Castle Hill is this gem. The views are the best in Nice, especially for enjoying sunsets. The hotel is an easy walk from the Old Town and the Port. Guests of the hotel enjoy a special rate to relax on Castel beach.

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Find more places to stay on the Promenade des Anglais

Old Town

There's nothing like staying right in the center of the action which is where you'll be if you choose to stay in Nice's Old Town. The first thing to know is that the hotel selection is extremely limited. The Old Town is, well, OLD. Very few of the 18th century buildings in this neighborhood can be converted to hotels.

But apartments are plentiful. In choosing an apartment, be aware that elevators are not a standard feature. It might or might not be there. The old town is also the noisiest neighborhood in Nice (all those bars and nightclubs). While nearly all accommodation have double-glazed windows, if absolute quiet is important to you, move on. Much of the old town is pedestrianized which means that a taxi from Nice Airport may not be able to deposit you in front of your building.

Palais Saleya Boutique Hotel ****

Palais Saleya

This sleek hotel has rooms and suites equippped with kitchenettes which is marvelous for cooking up produce from the Cours Saleya. The location is impeccable and the amenities are first rate. Yes, there's an elevator plus air conditioning, satellite TV, double-glazed windows and more. The hotel is on the edge of the pedestrian square, Place du Palais du Justice, which means traffic noise is minimal.

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Hotel Rossetti

Hotel Rossetti, Nice
Behind an unobtrusive facade lies this gem only steps from Place Rossetti and Nice's Cathedral. The beach is only a 5-minute walk away. Rooms are simple but attractive and you can enjoy breakfast on the interior terrace.

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Hotel Cresp ***

Hotel Cresp

Beautifully located on rue St Francois de Paule near the Opera and Cours Saleya, the Hotel Cresp has a variety of rooms of different sizes and amenities. Some rooms have a balcony, others have access to a terrace with a sea view. Some have kitchenettes. There's an elevator and the beach is right nearby.

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Find more places to stay in Vieux Nice

Train Station

Staying near Nice's train station (Gare Thiers) is perfect for taking day trips throughout the region. It's a lively neighborhood filled with shops and inexpensive restaurants. Plus, Tram line 1 whisks you down to the Old Town and the beach in minutes.


Hotel du Centre**
Hotel du Centre

This bright, modern hotel is just steps from the train station, the tramway and bustling ave Jean Medecin. For a two-star hotel, it offers a surprising level of comfort and service.

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Central Nice

Nice's town center is compact and walkable. Staying here puts you within reach of the beach, the train station and the Old Town. It's a little quieter than the Old Town and a little less expensive than staying on the Promenade.

Hotel La Villa Nice Promenade ****
Hotel La Villa Nice Promenade
This oasis of calm is an easy walk from the train station and the Old Town. The building is turn-of-the-century traditional but the rooms are modern and stylish. Some have balconies. BOOK NOW.

See more mid-range accommodation in Nice.

 

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Nice Apartments
Nice B&Bs
Nice Guesthouses
Nice Villas

Staying in Cannes

Cannes is chock-full of top-end hotels with a few budget options. Avoid the Cannes Film Festival when accommodation rates are sky-high if available at all. Here are the pluses:

sandy beaches, shallow, calm bay perfect for kids
La Croisette, the seaside promenade perfect for a quiet stroll
wide range of shopping: high-fashion, small boutiques, European brands
easy day trips to the Ile St Lerins, hill villages, even St-Tropez
toney nightlife free of riffraff
fine dining

And the minuses

expensive, particularly the hotels and beach-restaurants
very bling-bling, not so cultural
dressy; don't even think about walking into a restaurant in a tee-shirt and shorts

Cannes is perfect for

fashionistas looking to show-off their resort-wear to those who can appreciate it
families planning to spend a lot of time on the beach

Best Places to Stay in Cannes

Top End
Hotel Martinez

Hotel Martinez, Cannes

During the Cannes Film Festival, the Martinez is crawling with film moguls striking deals in the hotel's spectacular lounge. But everything about the Martinez is spectacular, from the Michelin-starred Palm d'Or restaurant to the Art Deco styled rooms. Book now.

Hotel Majestic Barriere, Cannes
Majestic Barrière

The lobby is another legendary watering hole during the Cannes Film Festival but the hotel is a bastion of style and class all year. Naturally, it's right on La Croisette. Book now.

See more five-star accommodation in Cannes.

Mid-Range
La Bastide de l'Oliveraie
La Bastide de l'Oliveraie, Cannes
An easy walk from the town center and the beach, this sparkling establishment has a peaceful Mediterranean garden and rooms decorated on a Mediterranean theme. The rooftop hot tub and lap pool as well as an infinity pool in the garden. Book now.

See more mid-range accommodation in Cannes.

Budget
Villa Claudia
Villa Claudia, Cannes
This 19th-century villa has been transformed into a stylish and comfortable hotel only steps from La Croisette. Guests love the private garden, good-quality breakfasts and rooms decorated with photos of film stars. Book now.

Also consider:

Staying in Monaco

For glamor and the illusion that you're living a James Bond life, there's nowhere like Monaco. Here are the pluses:

belle-epoque architecture and the gardens of Monte Carlo
fairy-tale streets and the Prince's Palace in the Old Town
the Casino of Monte Carlo
world-class nightlife with nightclubs, discos, jazz bars and elegant cafes

And the minuses

expensive, particularly the hotels which are weighted toward the high-end
small, after a day or so there are few surprises
over-developed with nature banished to gardens and the beach

Monaco is perfect for:

gamblers, duh
night owls
shoppers for designer merchandise

Best Places to Stay in Monaco

Top End

Hotel Metropole, Monaco
Hotel Metropole

Part of the Leading Hotels of the World group, this hotel has a first rate restaurant and is beautifully located in central Monaco. You're only a few minutes walk from the Casino of Monte Carlo. Book now.

See all five-star accommodation in Monaco

Mid-range
Port Palace
Port Palace, Monaco room
This boutique hotel is only a short walk from the beach and is ideally located between the Prince's Palace and Monte Carlo. With only 50 rooms, you're sure to get personal attention here. Pamper yourself with a beauty and fitness center that includes a sauna and hammam, Jacuzzi, fitness centre, spa and wellness centre and optional massages. Book now.

See all mid-range accommodation in Monaco.

Budget
Hotel de France
Hotel de France, Monaco
This simple but extremely well-located hotel is a bargain by Monaco standards. Book now.

See all budget accommodation in Monaco.

Staying in Menton

The westernmost point of the Riviera, Menton is a favorite retirement spot for French people. The town comes to life in February for the Lemon Festival. Here are the pluses:

a long strip of sandy beach and a seaside promenade
attractive Old Town to explore
within easy reach of Roquebrune's Buse beach and Cap d'Ail's Mala beach
enjoy the attractions of Monaco without paying Monaco hotel prices

And the minuses:

indifferent dining
not much to do at night
nothing at all to do off-season

Menton is perfect for:

families on a budget looking forward to long days on sandy beaches
repeat visitors to the Riviera who want to make easy day trips to Ventimiglia and the Italian riviera

Best Places to Stay in Menton

Mid-range
Hotel Napoleon
Hotel Napoleon
This is a great hotel for beach-goers as the sea is only steps away. Book now.

See all accommodation in Menton

Staying in Antibes-Juan les Pins

Staying in Antibes-Juan les Pins is perfect for

a beach vacation as Antibes, Cap d'Antibes and Juan-les-Pins have gorgeous beaches
nightlife in Juan-les-Pins which is sizzling in summer

Best Places to Stay in Antibes-Juan-les-Pins

Top End

Hotel Belles Rives
Hôtel Belles Rives

The Fitzgerald cocktail bar recalls the days when F.Scott drowned his sorrows in Antibes. The Art Deco style and waterfront location in Juan-les-Pins makes this an ideal place to luxuriate in Riviera style. Book now.

Mid-range

Hotel Juana, Antibes

Hotel Juana
Listed as a national historic monument, this pleasure palace is also part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group. Swimming pool, exercise room and other little extras make a stay here memorable. Book now.

Best Hotels on the Riviera

Maybourne Riviera *****

Perched high on a hill overlooking Roquebrune-Cap Martin, the new Maybourne Riviera has redefined luxury. Each room has a terrace with a jaw-dropping view over the Riviera coast and Monaco. There's a holistic spa, outdoor infinity pool, indoor pool and excellent restaurant. Watch the seagulls, the boats passing below and the sun traversing the sky. It's another world up there.

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Etoile de Saint Paul *****

Only a few minutes walk from St Paul de Vence, the intimate Etoile de Saint Paul brings personalized attention and comfort to a leafy Provencal setting. Enjoy a delicious breakfast around the pool, work out in the fitness center or relax in the spa. Each room comes with a kitchenette to whip up your own meals and snacks.

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Muse Saint Tropez *****

Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, the splendid Muse Saint Tropez offers 16 spacious suites, some with a private pool. The staff will cater to your every need from suggesting wines to accompany your meal to arranging a shuttle into Saint Tropez. The romance, privacy and calm are perfect for a honeymoon.

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Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa*****

When old-school meets modern pampering, the Chateau Saint Martin is the result. Arising from the remains of a 12th-century castle near Vence, the hotel evolved into a luxury establishment with an emphasis on art (Matisse prints in the restaurant), nature (surrounded by a sprawling park) and fine cuisine. The Michelin-starred restaurant presents Mediterranean flavors as the sea glitters in the distance.

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Grand Hotel de Cap Ferrat*****

Grand Hotel de Cap Ferrat

Grand is the perfect word for this hotel in the billionaire paradise of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The sea water pool is 33 meters long, the Mediterranean gardens span 7 hectares and the spa will make you feel like one of the movie stars that frequent the establishment. There's an array of dining choices including the Michelin-starred Le Cap restaurant.

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Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo*****
Hotel de Paris lobby
It doesn't get any better for flash, blink and luxe than the Hotel de Paris. The building dates from 1864 but the large rooms are thoroughly 21st century. The hotel restaurant, Louis XV Alain Ducasse, has three Michelin stars and the (admittedly hefty) price tag includes free admission to the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo spa.

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La Reserve de Beaulieu*****

This stately Belle Epoque establishment fits in well with quietly stylish Beaulieu-sur-Mer. At one time European royalty vacationed in and around La Reserve in an era that the hotel evokes beautifully in its classical decor. The La Reserve restaurant is one of the finest on the Cote d'Azur and the spa is well-equipped for five-star pampering. Plus, the hotel is within easy walking distance of the local beaches and the town center.

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Les Rosees****

Les Rosees hotel, Mougins

It doesn't get more romantic than this Provencal hideaway in Mougins. The traditional stone house is stunningly decorated in cool colors and luxurious fabrics while maintaining a rustic charm. Enjoy a buffet breakfast around the pool or whisper over a candle lit dinner in the hotel's excellent restaurant. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from central Mougins but a car is helpful for longer excursions.

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