Eating and drinking
Who stays there
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Business travellers
- First-time travellers
- Seasoned travellers
Small, perfectly-formed and well-placed.
Here’s a disarming little oddity, a find for budget travellers wishing to punch above their weight. The pedestrian Rue Paradis is Nice’s equivalent of Avenue Montaigne in Paris. Though as central as central can be, it is slightly withdrawn from the big city bustle, so that the poshest shops in town might enjoy that tree-lined dignity vital to their business.
And yet, amid the façades of Façonnable, Hugo Boss and Chanel, there is an old-fashioned doorway announcing the two-star Petit Trianon. This is a surprise. You’d expect four stars, minimum, round here.
Also a surprise is that you now have some 60 steps over four flights to climb. No-one has thought to put a lift in this venerable building. You ascend past doors to apartments and to professional offices and finally arrive, a touch breathless perhaps, at the second floor landing.
Here, to the left, is the door to the hotel and, once you’re through it, things get a whole lot better. Let us be frank: the place is snug. Reception is no bigger than that in a lawyer’s office – though the young lady owner behind it is a sight more charming than any lawyer’s receptionist I’ve ever met. (Then again, so was Vlad the Impaler.)
And the 14 rooms are mainly off a corridor leading from the entry. There’s no bar, lounge or public space of any kind. You’ve got reception, corridor, rooms and that’s your lot. But the key thing is that the rooms are lovely. They’re not huge – let me remind you that this is a two-star – but they’ve been recently renovated with subtle taste, and panache beyond the ken of most budget options.
You’ve got greys, beiges and washed browns, fine bedding, that furniture which looks simultaneously antique and contemporary, 18th-century ladies in frescos and murals, and flat-screen TVs. A handful of the rooms have balconies. Bathrooms are tight but bright, modern and with no plastic I could discern.
And then – a splendid touch, this – each room has its own little lap-top computer. I didn’t use the one on my bedside table. I never use anyone else’s computer. I always cause them to crash or connect with the North Korean military. But, if I had, its use would have been entirely free. I’ve rarely come across that level of service in a two-, or even three-star, spot before.
This is, in short, a place which has thought things through – and come to excellent conclusions. A perfectly adequate breakfast is served in one’s room. The beach and old town are barely five minutes away. And, if the stairs sound bothersome, just let the hotel know. They’ll help you up with the bags. It is, at any event, a small price to pay to have your own little pied-à-terre in one of the smartest streets of central Nice. A pretty satisfactory pied-à-terre, at that.