Art, parrots and excellence - we have lift off.
Don’t be fooled by the dressed-stone façade of this 19th-century bourgeois town-house. Behind lies a family welcome, exotic gardens (including parrots) and the warmest possible enthusiasm for contemporary art.
It’s also the only place I know with a fun lift. The inside of the elevator is adorned with a vertical take-off jet plane, and makes appropriate noises on lift-off.
Around half the rooms have been given over to artists to do as they will with. The result is that you sleep in what are, essentially, installation works. Room 59 is, for instance, entirely white except for a streaking yellow line racing through it, like a captured ray of Mediterranean sun.
Elsewhere, there are outbursts of gold or Matisse-blue or pop-art, with car-licence plates all over the place. Invigorating is the word. Other rooms are more traditional, but still equipped with murals of dream destinations.
And, if none of the rooms are huge, comfort isn’t sacrificed for art’s sake.
Downstairs, there’s a hammam and sauna, done out like an oriental temple. The bar and panelled, red-toned restaurant are slightly more orthodox. Best eating, though, is in the garden underneath the rubber tree. There’s a slightly poky little pool out there, too. Then again, the sea is only three blocks away.
Recently, I booked a couple of British friends in here, professionals the pair of them. “Excellent place,” they said. “Wouldn’t stay anywhere else in Nice.”