Clearly, one of Nice's brightest new hotels ...
It’s all white now, and perhaps Nice’s coolest spot. The city’s most recently-renovated luxury hotel has fallen under the influence of Italian designers. They like white. They really like white. They like white so much that almost everything in the hotel is Arctic-coloured, from the classical frontage to the huge lobby to the bedrooms. Even the TVs are white.
The whole is arrestingly chic. Being here is like featuring in an Italian art-house movie. It incites you to be cooler than you ever thought possible.
Some six blocks back from the sea on one of Nice’s classier boulevards, the Exedra is essentially a Belle Epoque urban mansion. The façade remains gleamingly grand. Inside, the period atmosphere has been lightened beyond belief by that all-covering whiteness but also by playful touches and modern art.
The reception desk is a glass case containing carnival figures. The lobby beyond is enlivened by life-sized horse sculptures apparently made out of scrap metal, and apparently not happy about it.
Rooms are big and retain rococo touches. Some have done away with barriers between bedroom and bathroom. Closer inspection reveals walls to be ivory or cream, and wooden flooring to be blond, rather than white.
But light is the leitmotif, and nothing’s been done haphazardly. The upholstery has lovely red roses on the white. It’s all rather rewarding, as if the hotel people feel we’re worth a lot of effort.
Downstairs, the bar has a 1970s feel, with blobs of light all over the place. For those of us who remember the 70s, it’s agreeably like being inside a lava lamp. And the restaurant finally dispenses with white for more woody tones. Parts of it resemble a Mediterranean farm-house kitchen, others a stately home. Food majors on Med fish, with a sharp Japanese influence. And, naturally, there is a spa.