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Review: Hotel La Perouse, Nice

My cousin and I were planning on spending one night in Nice, France at the end of our 8-day cruise from Istanbul so wanted to make sure we got a really great hotel that was central to the old town and with a view of that famous, yet surprisingly stony, shoreline.

French Riviera

Step outside La Perouse and this is what you see!

Tada! I found the perfect spot. Hotel La Perouse is perched on the cliffs at the end of Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels) with dramatic sweeping views down the French Riviera and a 5-minute walk to town.

La Perouse

La Perouse is at the end of the beach

We had docked by 8am just around the corner at the port, but by the time our disembarkation colour was called it was nearer 10am as we were not one of the many transferring to the airport. We shared a taxi with 2 of our fellow passengers who just happened to staying at the hotel next door. Literally, take the door on the left and you’d enter the wrong property.

Being a cliff-face hotel, reception is the only thing on this floor, as I discovered when following the delightful receptionist through a labyrinth of hallways, staircases and hidden elevators down to the breakfast room where we had coffee, flipped open our laptops to clear emails and studied the map of the area to plan our day.

Galeries layfette

Shop at department store Galeries lafayette

Our room wasn’t ready, which was fine by me, as we were keen to explore so we wandered off along that azure blue ocean front. The Cote d’azur in fact. People wearing all sorts of bathing fashion lay on towels on the uncomfortably rocky beach while the brave ones jumped about in the water. (Tip: wear river shoes on these stones.) Couples walked dogs, fit things jogged and roller bladed past in a blur and tourists wandered in their own little world toward the market. I was in the latter group, camera attached to my face, strolling past bistros and bars edging the fresh produce and flower market where massive piles of olives and cheeses were more than a little tempting.

Nice market

A scoop of olives please

Galeries Lafayette is the main department store and the streets around it house fashion boutiques and eateries. But we also loved pottering through alleyways and finding boutiques selling art or fabric or second hand books.

Back at the hotel, I met Magdalena for a site inspection of the property and to be shown our room. Up and around and across and up we went, looking in several rooms which were available, past the pool and working our way to the top of this cliffside hotel. Most rooms have balconies and sea views (unless you stay in a garden room). On the top floor is a teeny gym with 3 pieces of fitness equipment but opening onto an amazing rooftop verandah and breathtaking ocean views which would make a great rendezvous area for meeting friends before you head out for dinner.

This 56-room boutique hotel is part of Small Luxury Hotels and when I got to our room and saw our patio I realised we must hurriedly arrange for our cruising friends next door to pop in for a drink before we all poodled into town to one of the many outdoor pizzerias for dinner. Sitting on our garden furniture with the bottle of French wine we’d bought from our walk around the old town, we watched our ship depart with the next passengers bound for Barcelona. This is the life!

Hotel La Perouse

How about this for a view?

If you’re planning a visit to Nice, you really can’t go wrong with Hotel La Perouse for its proximity to town, the beach and the best views on the coast.

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!