Happy in Nice
Le Grimaldi Hotel, part of the Happy Culture brand, puts a big smile on my face. You might want to know why.
For me, one of the best parts of a trip is planning it. The excitement of a new destination, restaurants, cafés, attractions and, very importantly, the hotel. It is, however, a fine line between joy and exhaustion when trying to find the perfect accommodation in a sea of options.
When I booked my trip to Nice to write a feature about the friendship between Picasso and Matisse, I wanted to find a hotel that was charming, but fuss free, in a faultless location and with good breakfast, as not every day I would have time to wonder around cafés trying to guess how fresh their croissants were.
I did an extensive search and came about Le Grimaldi Hotel, located in the middle of it all. To understand how spot on the location of the Le Grimaldi is, imagine a triangle. Now each point of it represents the Promenade des Anglais, the old Nice and the train station for those very important day trips to Antibes. Le Grimaldi is right in the middle of this triangle. Steps away from all the shops, a vast selection of quirky and charming cafés and some very inviting little restaurants with the aroma of garlic filling the streets, which is always a good sign in my opinion. Everywhere you want to visit, you are always around a ten minute walk from the hotel, unless you are as useless as I am and gets lost more often than it is considered fun.
Happy Culture is a brand that has been taking over lovely buildings and transforming them in delightful boutique hotels with abundance of French charm. As I arrived, I was greeted my the lovely Émile who proudly showed me around the lobby and welcomed me to hang out in the cosy and warm sitting area. Then, something amazing caught my eye: a bookworm that I am, shelves of titles by Zola, Dostoevsky and Victor Hugo. Alas, all in French and sadly not for me. (My fault entirely!) In my room, one of the Superior Rooms on the 4th floor, I found a lovely personal welcome note from Carolina who dealt with my booking. The décor was stylish with bold wallpaper with tones of green and grey, some lovely art on the wall which is a relief. Every so often, the art in hotel rooms is not taken seriously. Let me tell you, hoteliers out there: it makes a massive difference in our mood, so please, consider it carefully. I also had a sitting area with some vintage touches, such as a green eighties style telephone that I never got to use as my stay was faultless and no complain was made.
A delicious and generous French breakfast is served in the Parisian style café of the hotel. Fresh croissants, pain au chocolate, crunchy baguette, when will I ever leave the table to see the museums?
When I did venture myself to visit the Picasso museum in Antibes, a short walk to the station and voilá! The Matisse Museum is a beautiful drive to the suburbs of Arénas by bus, easily reached a few minutes from the hotel. (more about it here.)
It was hard to leave, though. Brilliant staff, comfortable, spacious and stylish rooms, Le Hôtel Grimaldi is a perfect choice for a delightful stay in the Côte D'Azur.