Palais de la Méditerranée, Nice
Tel: 800 888 4747 (toll-free)
Tel: 33 4 92 14 77 00
Concierge.com's insider take:
Hotel operators love to bandy around idiotic phrases, of which "A Legend Reborn" is one of the most annoying, but this ocean liner of a hotel in the dead-center of Nice really was a legend. Opened in January 2004 after an almost $150 million renovation as a Concorde hotel, the grandiose, fanciful 1920s mansion is shooting for its former status as the "Tender is the Night" era Riviera place-to-be. All the entertainers stayed or played here (the ballroom seated 1000): Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier, Mistinguett, Edith Piaf, Yves Montand…in fact, half the movie stars and Euro-royals of the interwar period. Now the South Beach-kitsch neoclassical-meets-art deco exterior with its distinctive double tier of pillars is home to grand public spaces: a pool with a colonnaded portico and a lobby with black and gold pillars, polished marble floors, and gigantic arched windows. After that, the 188 rooms with their wenge and sycamore furniture, and their cranberry-and-gold or ocher-and-black or butter-and-sky-blue color schemes appear sadly bland. Facilities too are somewhat thin: a sauna-hammam, a theatrical, disconcertingly all-red restaurant and bar, a bunch of meeting rooms, and a casino. So maybe the legend isn't exactly reborn, but the place couldn't be more central.