Newest Review: ... especially those in the form of a swipe card. I usually find I can't get them to work and after much trying, have to trundle down to re... more
Lovely hotel .. Shame about the area!
Best Western Riviera Hotel (Nice, France)
Member Name: ms_123
Best Western Riviera Hotel (Nice, France)
Date: 24/10/10, updated on 13/11/10 (88 review reads)
Advantages: Great service, nice extras
Disadvantages: location felt a bit dodgy, noise from traffic
**Getting to the hotel**
Getting to the airport from the hotel was surprisingly straightforward. On arrival at a new place this is the bit I always dread. I don't have the greatest map-reading skills and always have visions of me wandering lost in an unfamiliar city. Combined with the fact that I was arriving early evening I was understandably concerned. I needn't have worried though - the hotel is on one of the two main airport shuttle routes (No. 99, direction Nice Gare SNCF) and the driver of the bus kindly pointed out where to get off.
The hotel is located in a gothic designed building. To get in I had to pass through a set of double doors. I struggled to get my suitcase and myself through the first set of doors, as these were the type that you had to pull to get through. Which clever person thought of that then?! Not the greatest of first impressions! The second set of doors was more thoughtfully designed and was automatic.
Once I'd got in I headed over to the check-in desk where I was greeted by a very friendly gentleman who spoke great English and got my room key ready straight away. He told me where my room was, gave me the key, gave me times for breakfast and walked me to the lift, which looked like it was in a cupboard as you had to pull a door to get in! The lift itself was tiny and could at best accommodate 3 people. It also took an eternity to arrive so on most days I found myself taking the stairs.
My room was on the second floor. When I got out of the lift I was greeted with complete darkness! I had to hold the lift door open to get some light in and get my bearings. I spotted a light switch and pressed it to get some light into the corridor. Once lit, the room was well signposted and easy to find.
Another cause for concern for me is that I don't have much luck with hotel keys, especially those in the form of a swipe card. I usually find I can't get them to work and after much trying, have to trundle down to reception to get it replaced. Surprisingly my key worked the first time and I had no problems throughout my visit - a rarity for me!
I was in a double-room with an ensuite bath and shower. The room looked well maintained and tidy, though I can't say I agreed with the taste in decoration! It was all dark brown and yellow - which coupled with the dark wood from the rest of the furniture made the room look quite dark and dated. It was not my cup of tea at all! The room was furnished with a generously sized double bed, desk and a large wardrobe. However this meant that there wasn't much room left to move about! There was also a decent-sized flat screen tv on the wall with a remote nearby. One of the first things I always do when staying abroad in a hotel is to flick through the channels to see if I can spot anything in English. There was a choice of about 20 different channels, mainly in French, as would be expected, but a few in German and Italian too. There were two English channels; BBC world news and CNN.
There was a kettle in the room with a selection of teas and sugar, along with a couple of cups. Beneath the desk was a mini fridge, but which surprisingly had no mini-bar. I thought this was great as I could buy bottles of water from the shop and store in there for later use, without the hassle of making sure I avoided the mini-bar items. Notably, there was no safe in the room, which was a slight annoyance, as I like to store any cash and passports in there. There was also a 'welcome book' on the desk detailing information such as what time breakfast was served, accessing the internet and what to do if there were any problems. All the rooms in the hotel have complimentary wireless Internet, which was excellent as many places still charge for this. If you don't have a laptop there is a dedicated PC in a small room near reception (called the business centre), which can be used for an hour per day free of charge.
The bathroom was spacious, clean and modern looking with ample towels available, along with complimentary soap. I'd bought my own so left this unused. There was a heated towel rack in the bathroom, but I never managed to figure out how this worked despite fiddling around with the dial for several minutes. The shower was easy to use -believe me they aren't always so! It wasn't a power shower but had decent enough strength. There was complementary shower gel/shampoo in a dispenser on the wall but again I preferred to use my own products. The bathroom, along with the room were cleaned daily and loo roll was stocked up when it was close to running out.
The bed was very comfortable and there were extra blankets in the cupboard which was handy as it did get a little cold at night, but not enough to warrant turning the heating on. Unfortunately my room overlooked the main road and at night it did get pretty noisy with cars and motorcycles in particular racing down loudly. I could also hear the rumbling of the trains passing through as the main SNCF station is nearby. The windows were singly glazed and did nothing for dulling the noise and on the first night I found it quite difficult to sleep. This did worry me somewhat as I had an important presentation to give at the meeting later that week and didn't want to give a bad impression by yawning throughout! Fortunately on subsequent nights things quietened down and I slept well but if you're planning on staying here, packing a pair of earplugs might be a good idea.
Breakfast was served from 7.00am onwards in a small room near reception. This was self-service, quite basic but more than adequate for me. There was a small selection of croissants, white bread, which could be toasted, eggs (which you had to boil yourself), cheese and ham, cornflakes, yogurt and a selection of juices. Tea and coffee were also available from a machine. Annoyingly the cheese and ham were placed next to each other and people were mixing the two - as I am vegetarian this put me off eating the cheese so I had to stick to the croissants.
** The location **
As I headed out after breakfast I asked the person on reception for directions to the tram station. They were very helpful and explained that if I planned to stay for a week a travel pass (at 15 euros) would work out cheaper than buying single 1 euro tickets. Walking out I noticed that the area surrounding the hotel didn't look great. It seemed fairly quiet and run down. The hotel was about a 5 minute walk from the main SNCF station but I passed a couple of dodgy 'adult' shops along the way and at night in particular it was very quiet and there were men loitering around, which as a young woman travelling alone made me feel quite uncomfortable. Fortunately some colleagues were staying at another hotel 2 minutes away and we were able to walk back together in the evenings which made me feel safer.
The hotel is quite conveniently located. The tramline is around a 7-minute walk away from the hotel from which you can reach the main town centre in around 5 minutes, whilst the beach is about 10 minutes walk away. The main SNCF station has regional trains running to places like Grasse and Cannes but also national trains to Paris and Lille for example.
Close to the reception area is a shelf containing lots of tourist information and things to do. The staff were always on hand to advise on transport and arranging tours which was really useful as we'd decided to stay on a few days after our meeting had finished. They also have a luggage storage facility, so if you're flight is in the evening you don't have to lug your suitcase around with you all day. As it happens we'd decided to take the bus to Grasse on the day we were flying back and as the airport was en-route we left our luggage in the storage facility there, but it's handy to know.
The hotel also advertises that they offer a complimentary welcome drink
and lunch. I didn't receive a drink when I arrived but then I did arrive quite late. The lunch is a really nice idea and according to the website consists of a sandwich, drink, crisps and fruit. It would certainly save a lot of money on lunch everyday. As I was working, lunch was provided so I didn't feel the need to take one but I think it's a really nice and unusual touch. I did however ask for the complementary drink, which was a bottle of water, on a couple of occasions, which was really handy, when you're out and about.
Overall I was quite pleased with my stay at the hotel. The staff were very friendly and the rooms comfortable. I (ok work) paid 76 euros a night, which I initially thought was a little on the expensive side, but in hindsight was worth it. Unfortunately for me the real let down was the area. It was just somewhere I was a little uneasy walking about at night and it did tend to get a little noisy with traffic passing through. I'd stay there again but only if I was travelling with a group.
Summary: See review
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