STAY in Nice:
The road to success is often bumpy, thought designer Michel Wilmotte and made the stone his main topic at the Beau Rivage. The result is anything but rough, with its round forms and the perfect combination between modern comfort and selected natural materials. Gentle earthen colours in the rooms, a lot of wood: All in all the hotel makes a cosy, close to nature impression, which is only topped by the airy sun beds at the private beach.No wonder that the guest list reads like the who-is-who of the arts: Matisse, Fitzgerald and Nietzsche took a drink at the bar and a stroll on the world famous Promenade des Anglais, which is only a stroke of the brush away. The guests then got even more inspired by the nearby flower market, and today the Acropolis Convention Centre gives businessmen good ideas. Doubles starting at 250,- euros a night.
The big sister, the Boscolo Hotel Exedra leads the way, yet, the B4 Nice Plaza is in no way inferior to it. Just a little bit smarter and less pompous, with four instead of feudally five stars and view over the historic city and the Côte d'Azur. The B4 Plaza in Nice sits enthroned on the Baie des Angles - just like a little palace. Surrounded by high palm trees, set against the historic city, and in front of it the sea. Inside - as indicated before - not as much luxury and the colour white as in the Exedra. Instead, there's art and 172 particularly spacious rooms in Italian style and with mosaic tiles in the semi-open bathrooms. The nine suites are designed in a neo-classicist style. The rooftop restaurant La Terrasse shimmers in golden shades! That however resembles the sister hotel at the Victor Hugo boulevard and gets close to it in terms of interior design. By the way, the B4 Plaza also has another sibling in the city, the four-star Boscolo hotel in the park.
Art Deco is never out. And if it is, it will come back. The Hotel Le Maurice keeps to the law that one always meets twice in life, thereby saving on the costs for remodeling: The hotel is 30s through and through, and it's always been like that. It's this true and authentic charm that makes the Maurice unique next to all the trendy designer hotels: The creaking parquet floor in the lobby, the open lift, the red carpet in the rooms, and the stucco on the walls - the only things missing for a perfect time warp would be a topper and mustache.Yet you don't need to live without modern amenities: Instead of a telephone cabin in wood there is W-Lan, and instead of servants with fans there's air-conditioning and satellite TV instead of theater. And if you pull away the heavy curtains you see cars instead of horse-drawn carriages. It's still easy to take the Art Deco feeling out with you: The old town is only a walking stick away, as well as the elegant parks in which you can saunter wonderfully. Doubles starting at 115,- euros a night.
SIGHTS in Nice:
Directly by the beach promenade in Nice, the Promenade des Anglais, you find the hip High Club with club boutique. It's the party hub for those who demand for exclusiveness! The motto: to see and to be seen. Directly in the High Club there's also the shrouded Club 47. Here the jet set of Nice throw their parties. From the turntables you hear electronic music by the hottest DJs like the French Martin Solveig who is currently celebrated by the scene. Other known DJs who have been standing behind the turntables include Benny Benassi, Bob Sinclar or Dennis Ferrer.
At the Ironman in Nice the athletes sweat and rave: The location is so beautiful that that it's almost a shame they have to hurry through it. At 6.30 a.m. it starts with the 3.8 km swimming contest in the turquoise coloured waters of the Côte d'Azur. 50 minutes later: Get on bikes and peddle 180 kilometres (in words: one hundred and eighty) up and down the Maritime Alps. If they are still able to move their legs they have to get onto the streets and run 42 kilometres. The first one to reach the Promenade des Anglais after these trials has made it, winning one of the most difficult contests of all, in one of the most beautiful settings. The best athletes reach the magical finishing line around 3 p.m., while the last iron men and women arrive around 10.30 p.m. You can't begrudge them some time to party! At the Place Masséna the Ironman Village awaits spectators and athletes with a gigantic firework display and many events for all the senses.
Saint Paul de Vence is two attractions in one and thus clearly worth a day trip: The medieval mountain village is located only 25 km away from Nice. Today it counts about 3000 inhabitants, of whom many continue to earn their living with arts and handicrafts.Attraction no.1: The location, architecture, ambiance and food. Romantic mountains, fantastic view, medieval alleys and buildings, wonderful small restaurants (Tip: La Colombes d´Or, hotel, gourmet temple and Picasso museum in one), everything in the category absolutely worth seeing and experiencing.Attraction no. 2: The Fondation Maeght, one of the most unusual museums of contemporary art in the world. The treasures on exhibit exist thanks to Marguerite and Aimé Maeght, gallery owners from Paris. Their idea: Optically amalgamate the works of the artists with the building and the garden. The result is an architecturally intoxicating building, which, aside from the exhibition spaces, includes a cinema and concert hall, studios, a documentation centre and a library. All of it is surrounded by a sculpture garden. The collection with more over 12,000 pieces of art attracts more than 200,000 visitors from all over the world each year.
SHOPPING in Nice:
Jean-Christophe Serra is 25 years old. When working as a designer and DJ he feels the urge to start a new store in Nice. To his mind, Nice needs a place with an international offer of women's and men's clothing as well as design. He has little experience in the business. However, he founds the Antic Boutik in the historic part of the French coastal city - that was 16 years ago. The store still exists. Both men and women from Nice love to come to Jean-Christophe's boutique. In former times especially because of limited editions of Nike sneakers, today mostly for the selected designer pieces that Jean-Christophe constantly collects during his trips to Paris, New York and Tokyo. But he also finds new goods through friends from the fashion business with whom he talks a lot about aspiring new brands. Quite generally, friends are an important component of Jean-Christoph Serra's life philosophy and the design of his store comes from his buddy Davide Mosconi from Turin.
Sephora products are regulars in international fashion magazines and prominent among the beauty weapons of make-up artists and stars. In German-speaking countries they are not available, in Nice they are. If you want to buy Sephora products in Austria or Germany you have to arm world travelling girl friends with shopping lists or deal with the international shipping conditions of online shops.Blessed be thus the Sephora shop in Nice: Here you can get all the smart beauty helpers and make-up products that make sure that the stars on the covers of fashion magazines always look so incredibly perfect and au naturel. Of course the shop also carries all the miracle crèmes and scents that everybody raves about who has experienced them personally.
Attention sweet tooth: Here is where you can find handmade chocolates, jelly beans and candied fruits. Free tours of the production area included! The many delicacies are made following recipes from the 19th century.The ingredients include fruits and flowers from Provence, and most of them organically produced. By the way, the shop provides the perfect explanation for why many small presents never reach their intended destination - they are just too seductive not to be eaten immediately!
EAT in Nice:
In the middle of the busy city, in the middle of boutiques, pedestrian zone and 200 meters away from the beach, in the middle of the old town. What can you expect? We take a look behind the heavy iron gates of the townhouse from the 19th century and marvel: Absolute peace! A wild garden with plants that are climbing up the facade. Flowers that can compete with any English garden. An orange tree that branches out to the breakfast table and makes you want to grab your fruit plate.And nine rooms with a view onto the green oasis. Some even have elegant swing doors leading outside. Never come in the winter here, or you would certainly miss something! For example a few idle hours on the wooden benches with a good book in the hand. If you don't care about green stuff, you can stare at the high ceilings, admire the stucco at the walls or just fall asleep with the gentle colours around you. Doubles starting at 65 euros a night.
It's small, it's tight, and sometimes you have to push the tables around to even get a spot. There is no telephone, so you will have to come twice - once for reserving a seat and once for eating. There are only stools without backrests.The million-dollar-question is: What are you doing here? The fact of the matter is: It's worth it. Dominique le Stanc already saw two Michelin stars at Le Chantecler, now he defected to try an entirely new concept: You don't need golden spoons in order to eat well. It works, because the chef is such a wonderful cook that it is impossible to get into his restaurant without a reservation during the season. The food: Authentic, Mediterranean fare, with ingredients fresh from the market and a short, permanently changing menu. The lamb is so tender that it falls from the bone, the onion pizza is divine, and the filled sardines and green pasta with pesto to drop to your knees. The tripe and the stockfish aren't to everyone's taste, but if you've always wanted to try it you should do it here. In line with the moderate ambiance you can leave your platinum credit card at home, since the place is cash-only.
A smart restaurant may make you think: Big plate, nothing on it, and a hefty bill. Not in the 11e Art, because here everything is smart, even the presentation: Modern interior, with bar stools made of steel outside and sofas inside, this restaurant is a refreshing newcomer to the trendy, young scene of Nice. And then the food: For a menu with six courses you pay 36 euros, and they are well worth it. The duck breast with polenta may look small, but it fills the stomach and is absolutely divine. Just as the fois gras, the sorbet and just about anything that you order here.Despite the stylish ambiance, the 11e Art has maintained its relaxed ways and convinces with its magnificent food and incredible service: If you are a vegetarian, the waiters fiddle with their menu until it's suitable for you. And if you don't know what things mean, they take your hand and explain everything. Finally, if you like Japanese food, you can get that, too, because one of the chefs happens to come from Japan. The tourist trap Promenade des Anglais is close by, but the restaurant is situated in a calm side street. Instead of the common French fries, it only serves French best.