ILLUMINATED BY “HOTEL RIVIERA COLLECTION” IN NICE
Opposite the electronic sliding glass door, which forms the main entrance of ‘Hotel Riviera Collection’ in Nice, is the most beautiful art-deco style wrought-iron elevator, around which spirals a staircase illuminated by striking ‘Klein Blue’ walls and abstract black & white carpets, both a constant palette, theme and narrative to be found across the hotel.
This understated yet achingly elegant boutique hotel, sits quietly in the ‘Musician’s Quarter’ of Nice; whilst this may seem like a paradox, the area derives its name from the fact that many of the streets and plazas are named after very famous musicians, such as Rue Verdi, Place Mozart and of course Rue Rossini in which stands Hotel Riviera Collection.
Whilst stepping into the elevator, is a momentary step back in time, as is the hotel’s façade, flourished by art-deco masonry, wrought-iron railed balconies and a white-wash finish which makes it sparkle against an ever-present blue sky, the interior is an ode to modernist hotel design that wraps itself in the warmth, natural beauty and artistic pedigree of not just this city, but the greater coastal region and hinterland.
Under the stewardship of interior designer Miriam Gassman, the composition has been successful in bringing the ‘joie de vivre’, the vibrancy and above all the ‘luminosity’ of Nice to life, by running it like a ribbon throughout the hotel. The open plan reception, lounge/bar and breakfast area flow easily from one to the other, all interacting with the large windows looking out to the street, providing the guest with an outlook onto the ebb and flow of the Niçoise citizen’s daily routines.
If one wants to let life in the street melt away, then artistic tomes and sculptures sit in the arched alcoves which simply and effectively divide the lobby cum lounge area. Hints of bronze and blue on cushions and ephemera, adds energy to the space’s white walls. All these complimentary hues reflect across the mirrors and windows, gradually softening as the bright morning light makes way to the afternoon and evening.
The lounge diner cum bar is often used by locals too, who stop by for coffee and meals. This is especially heartening, as the hotel only opened in 2021 and means it has embedded itself within the matrix of residential streets and amongst the residents. It is always said that if a restaurant is popular with the local community, it usually means the cuisine is very good. Similarly, guests arriving at the hotel will be encouraged to enjoy the facilities of the hotel amongst locals.
Upstairs, corridors and stairwells carry the deep ‘Klein Blue’ paint across its walls, representing the nearby Mediterranean Sea, alongside the tiered art deco pendant lampshades and abstract black & white mosaic-like carpets. All of which adds a sensuous and sultry contrast before one opens the bedroom door to a bright, elegant and modernist room, with modern art and books resting on a shelf above the bed. A rain shower, Nespresso machine, mini-bar and safe complete this compact and bijou room. Some might say these category of rooms are a little too compact and bijou, however, those with balconies get to experience another slice of Gallic life with a place to watch the city below whilst enjoying a coffee.
If one can tear yourself away from this most attractive of residential neighbourhoods, then you will find the hotel to be ideally located. Just 500m north is the main ‘Ville Nice’ train station, with quick access to Menton & Monaco to the east and Cannes & Grasse to the west. Walking directly south from the hotel is ‘Promenade des Anglais’ passing the landmark symbol of Nice – Le Negresco Hotel – a museum like property criss-crossing architectural styles and home to masterpieces of art, furniture, sculptures and more besides.
Everything on the Côte d’Azur feeds into the spectrum and luminosity of the light. It is no wonder Picasso, Bonnard, Matisse, Chagall and Renoir found the Côte d’Azur to be their inspiration and spiritual home.
The museums of Matisse and Chagall are under 2km walk from the hotel, whilst Renoir’s former home and Olive Grove is a short train ride away in Cagnes-Sur-Mer. Further along the train line in Antibes is the Picasso museum. To tick-off another sensory experience, then head to Eze-Sur-Mer to make your own personalised fragrance at Galimard perfumery founded in 1747, followed by a curated tour about the history of scent manufacture.
From there take the short walk to the medieval hilltop village of Eze to explore the ancient cobbled alleyways and ateliers. If one feels energetic enough, then a real highlight is to ascend or descend from the hilltop village on foot, collecting epic vistas along the way. These and many more activities are covered by the ‘French Riviera Pass Card’ which is your mini-passport to exploring the whole region.