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Hi Hotel, Nice
The deal: €210 ($265) for a standard double
The hood: Along the coast, about a 15-minute stroll into Old Nice.
What you'll get: The most unabashedly contemporary hotel on the Riviera. Designed by Matali Crasset, a protégé of Philippe Starck, it has all the wacky concepts you can handle: raspberry-colored bedrooms with open closets; an all-wood room with a bed set into the floor; yellow-glass shower stalls, clear glass sinks, and black slate tubs; a wall lined with monkey bars…you get the picture. It's a must-stop for traveling designophiles.
Near and not so dear: The Riviera coast—which is the reason you're here, right?—is three blocks away. You can choose among the public beach or several private ones nearby, where umbrellas are provided, but expect to pay some €15 for admission. Either way, no need for that bikini top. Otherwise, take a 30-minute bus ride to the burnt-orange building that houses the Matisse Museum (Henri Matisse lived in Nice for 36 years). The collection includes a number of sculptures and the famous 1952 découpage Nu Bleu IV. Admission is less than a fancy venti coffee at Starbucks.
3 Avenue des Fleurs
Tel: 33 4 97 07 26 26
Fax: 33 4 97 07 26 27
The Matisse Museum
164 Ave. des Arènes de Cimiez
Tel: 33 4 93 81 08 08