With a simple yet innovative concept, the Hotel Windsor in Nice is one of those rarities that continually surprises. Although it may seem to be more art installation than hotel, it retains plenty of its original features, from pretty iron balconies to period marble staircases, and boasts an exceptionally helpful, attentive and friendly team of staff.
Many of the rooms, bathrooms and corridors have been decorated by artists to create a series of utterly unique contemporary spaces. Standout choices include Glen Baxter’s adventure themed room, Claude Parmiggiani’s minimalist gold walled cube, and Gottfried-Honegger’s whitewash and stone walled room – the only room in the hotel with two balconies. Far from being an essay in empty style over substance, the rooms feature plenty of the necessary little luxuries – from flat-screen TVs to Fragonard toiletries.
On top of the quirkily styled rooms, there’s a hammam for whiling away an indulgent afternoon in. But no stay would be complete without checking out the lift, where artist (former Warhol muse), Ultra Violet, has created a spacecraft installation complete with a NASA-style count down to lift off. And if you’re hoping to enjoy the coastal sunshine, there’s also the small matter of a semi-tropical walled garden with parrots, sun loungers and a pool. Sheer bliss.
- The ever-changing design and artwork is reason enough to stay here
- The luscious tropical garden offers such a tranquil setting – hard to believe you’re in the centre of a bustling town
- Its unbeatable central location means you’re close to the beach, airport and shops
- Fragonard toiletries add a traditional French touch and smell divine
- The friendly, welcoming and helpful staff are a true asset to the hotel and ensure it retains its independent identity
- The restaurant and bar are less design-conscious and offer a limited choice
Need to Know: Hotel Windsor
Number of rooms: 57
Check-in/check-out times: 2.30pm and 11.30am
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: Yes. There’s an outdoor swimming pool open during summer months
Dogs welcome: Yes. Although charges may be applicable
Eating and drinking: The hotel’s restaurant serves up a limited selection of simple, relatively affordable takes on fresh southern French cuisine with a slight North African twist. In the morning there’s a delicious breakfast buffet to kick-start the day.
Near to? With its exciting contemporary design and unrivalled location just minutes from the promenade and beach, Hotel Windsor is precisely the stuff of which mini-breaks are made. Nice’s beautiful port is within walking distance, as is the famous landmark, Hotel Negresco. Boutiques, restaurants and the city's museums are all nearby, while the hotel itself is set on a quiet street alongside a few smaller hotels and residential properties.
Getting there: Nice airport is the closest, just 20 miles away and is served by many major and budget airlines. The hotel is just three streets away from the airport transfer bus; otherwise a 15-minute taxi to the airport will cost approximately 30 Euros.