This is a guest post by Susan Guillory of The Unexplorer.
Search for a hotel in Nice, France, and you’re bound to find options galore prominently positioned along the Promenade des Anglais that lines the French Riviera. But if you, like me, prefer to stay somewhere a little quieter, a little further from the touristy epicenter of a town, Hotel Villa Victoria delivers. The charming hotel is just an amble away from the stone beaches of Nice, as well as the main shopping drag, but its location embedded in a quiet, leafy neighborhood is incredibly enticing.
Straight Out of a Victorian Novel
Despite the modern touches, my room at Villa Victoria felt very, well, Victorian. In a good way. I fancied myself a Jane Austen-like character as I flung open the windows and beheld a gorgeous private garden flanked by ancient buildings on four sides. More on the garden in a bit.
The room was pretty generously sized for the city, as was the bathroom, which had just a small shower (no tub), toilet, and sink. My only complaint on my visit was regarding the poor French engineering of said shower. They’re the same throughout France: barely a lip at the base to hold the water in, which resulted in my flooding the bathroom floor and even some of the carpet. It seems it’s happened in room 209 before, based on the water stains outside the bathroom door. The hotel would do well to create a reservoir that would keep water from gushing out of the shower platform.
Back to that Secret Garden
It’s not so much a secret as just under-used. I’d peeked at it before I left in search of dinner, and decided to get a drink in the hotel bar and enjoy one of the swinging chairs on my return.
I’d seen Żubrówka, my new favorite Polish vodka, on the bar’s menu, which rather stunned me. So after I ambled about Nice in the early twilight, I returned to the bar. In my best French, I told the bartender how to make my tatanka drink, a simple cocktail of apple juice and the vodka. She then smiled at me and said, “Yes, I know. I am from Poland.”
Here I was, trying to instruct a Pole on how to make one of the best-known cocktails in her country!
I sheepishly took my tatanka out to the totally empty garden and swung in the comfy hanging chair, enjoying the quiet after a busy day exploring Nice.
A Little Fortification Before Your Flight?
One of the best things about traveling in France (or Italy, for that matter) is the delightful continental breakfast. For one, the croissants are actually authentic, butter-laden, and flaky, unlike their counterparts at American hotels. There’s also delicious yogurt in glass jars, meats, cheeses, and cappuccino. Hotel Villa Victoria had a bountiful spread that kept me full until I boarded my flight.
My one night at Villa Victoria was restful and delightful. I appreciated the location, far — but not too far — from where all the tourists were, but still close to the action.
Need to know: The staff speaks English and many other languages. Pets are welcome, free of charge.
Insider tip: Skip buying your afternoon coffee in town. There’s a Nespresso machine at the ready in the hotel’s lobby for guests.
If You Go:
33 Boulevard Victor-Hugo 06000 Nice, France
Phone: +33 (0)493883960
Susan Guillory received a comped hotel stay in exchange for this review, however all opinions are her own.