Review: the Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditerranée hotel, Nice
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This is our review of the Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditerranée hotel in Nice.
This hotel was once of the first places I visited with my (now) wife when we first met, and is a hotel I had seen being constructed on earlier trips. Originally operated by Concorde Hotels, I think, it joined Hyatt in 2013.
The Palais de la Méditerranée website is here.
Hyatt also operates the Hotel Martinez in Cannes as part of its Unbound Collection. I had hoped to visit that on the same trip but it is currently finishing off a major building project and I felt it best to wait for another day.
I’ve always had a soft spot for this hotel. It is constructed behind the facade of a theatre, I think, giving a unique exterior look. Above is a PR picture and below is one of mine:
It’s one of those hotels where I feel the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. You shouldn’t let any minor niggles I detail below put you off from staying because it’s a lovely overall experience in a great location.
Getting to Palais de la Méditerranée
This was my first trip to Nice since the new tram system opened from the airport. Gone are the days of paying some of Europe’s highest taxi fares. €1.50 now gets you from the terminal door to the city centre. It was a sub-10 minutes walk from the nearest tram stop to the hotel.
Even if you have luggage and don’t want to take the tram, Uber fares are far lower than the old taxi fares used to be.
The hotel is relatively easy to spot on the Promenade des Anglais. It is nearer the old town area than most sea front hotels – far nearer than the Radisson, a bit nearer than the Negresco, not quite as near as the Le Meridien or (not quite sea front) the new, lavish, Anantara.
The hotel only occupies a small part of the ground floor, with the bulk taken up with a casino and a restaurant. These are both separate from the hotel. Whilst there is a ground floor lobby – with many original features from its theatre days – most of the action is on the third floor where you find the pool and restaurant area pictured above. There are 187 rooms.
My room at Palais de la Méditerranée
OK, this is where the review gets a bit irrelevant for most readers.
I booked the cheapest possible cash room for around €330 per night, offset by £100 of American Express cashback via a recent promotion.
I was upgraded to a €1,500 per night sea front suite via my Hyatt Globalist status. Because I was on a short holiday and spending my own money, I wasn’t prepared to lose a couple of hours tracking down the hotel manager and getting a tour of the other room categories. Sorry!
The picture above is a PR shot of a standard sea view room, although I am more taken by the Deluxe rooms:
Back to my suite. The highlight was this living room:
…. with a frankly amazing view over the sea:
You can see the bed below with a large dining table in the living room:
I want a walk-in wardrobe like this at home please, Father Christmas:
If you scroll back up to the top pool photograph, my bedroom was one of the rooms you can see on the right. It doesn’t overlook the sea but overlooks the pool and outdoor dining area:
If you peer over the edge:
…. and if you look the other way you get a side view out to the water:
The bathroom was ludicrously big. There is a full walk in shower behind me in the photo below. Toiletries were by Pharmacopia, with Fragonard shower gel – the first time in a while that I have had miniature bottles in a hotel. A full selection of amenities were provided (toothbrushes, shaving sets etc).
The usual coffee machine (but no milk of any sort – I had to request some, which took 30 minutes to arrive), mini bar etc is provided. I was sent a bottle of wine which I never got around to opening:
Food and drink at Palais de la Méditerranée
For some reason food and beverage is not a big deal here, although the restaurant – called Le 3e after its location – has good value set menus, including brunch.
The highlight for me, without a doubt, is the ability to sit on the third floor terrace overlooking the Med whilst having your breakfast:
Unfortunately the hotel staff were generally slow at clearing the tables here, meaning that people were being sent inside to eat even though 4-5 outdoor tables were empty (but messy). The view I had on the first day, sat inside the rather bland buffet room, was less exciting.
It is a decent enough buffet:
…. with an egg station outside by the pool.
You can also have afternoon tea on the pool terrace, and this is worth considering even if you are staying elsewhere in Nice.
We ate out both nights so I can’t comment on what you’d get if you ate at the hotel. Eating on the terrace overlooking the Med on a balmy summer evening won’t be unpleasant.
Le 3e also has a small smart bar, albeit with no sea views because it is at the rear of the pool terrace.
Gym and pool at Palais de la Méditerranée
The pool images you saw above are not the whole thing. It is half inside and half outside – here is a shot showing the interior (which is quite dark and not hugely inviting) leading to the external part:
The gym isn’t up to much:
…. but we did make use of a table tennis table! There is a sauna and hamman on the top floor which I didn’t see.
There are no shortage of hotels in Nice (or Cannes, Antibes, Monaco etc) but I have a soft spot for Palais de la Méditerranée.
Even if you don’t get a sea view (and you should) you’ll get a modern and well furnished room and access to a lovely pool and eating area. The location is also handy for the old town and city centre. If you walk directly north down the side of the hotel you get to the railway station in 15 minutes for those day trips out to Monaco, Cannes, Antibes, Villefranche, Grasse etc.
This hotel also regularly appears on Hyatt’s American Express cashback offers. The recent deal, which I used across two cards, was for £100 cashback on a £250 spend which made this an exceptionally good value stay.
If you’re on a budget, it is worth noting that a Hilton Garden Inn is under construction directly next to the railway station, probably with a 2024 opening date. This could work well for someone looking for a new hotel whilst planning to travel out of Nice each day to sightsee.
If you are booking Palais de la Méditerranée, I’d strongly recommend using Hyatt Prive which comes with great extra benefits at no extra cost, with all rooms being ‘pay on departure’. Our luxury hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas is a Hyatt Prive agent – full details of Hyatt Prive and our booking scheme are here.
The Palais de la Méditerranée website is here.
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