Opened in 1979, the 331-room Radisson Blu Hotel in Nice has undergone extensive renovation costing more than $19 million in the past few years. Corridors, façades, kitchens, meeting rooms, restaurants and the rooftop terrace have all been redesigned by French architects Didier & Fabrice Knoll to give the property a fresh and modern look. The hotel sits in a convenient location with shuttles leaving regularly to and from the airport. In two or three years it will be even more convenient, since a tram is planned to operate directly from the airport.
Bedrooms come in three styles: Chili, with lovely warm colors of orange, pepper and red; Ocean, where blues and whites are reminiscent of the sea; and Urban which features striped wood and soft beige and gray tones. The highlight of our fourth floor room was its ample balcony with wonderful views along the Mediterranean coastline.
Around the property guests can relax on the 2,296-square-foot, eighth floor rooftop La Terrasse with a cocktail; enjoy lunch featuring salad, pasta or grilled dishes; and take in the panoramic views over the Baie des Anges (for early birds, the sunrises are well worth seeing). This is also where you’ll find the over 490-foot pool. Nearby is Régence, the property’s private beach which is great for sunbathing. To fully relax, head to the wellness center where you can indulge in a sauna, steam, massage or a bout of exercise on the cardio training machines. Business clients can also benefit from the 14 meeting rooms and 20 breakout rooms offering 16,145 square feet of space.
Le 223, the property’s ground-floor restaurant is helmed by Chef Christophe Vandewinckel, and is bathed in soft, warm tones and minimalist décor. The menu runs the gamut of dishes from roasted filet of bass, prosciutto flavored monkfish and salmon piccata to roasted lamb noisette and grilled chicken breast with basil cream and ratatouille. During my visit, the hotel served a more health-conscious breakfast option as part of an anti-cancer campaign in collaboration with Europa Donna, an organization of women highlighting greater awareness of breast cancer. For a touch of romance, dinners can also be arranged on your room’s terrace by candlelight.
While Vieux Nice (Old Town) is a 40-minute walk away, it’s a nice way to get out and about while enjoying a leisurely stroll along the broad Promenade des Anglais. Public transport ends around 9 p.m. however, though taxis are easy to find. Removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown yet within a short taxi ride of most restaurants, bars and cafés, Radisson Blu is the right mix of entertainment and serenity.