Good base, particulraly if you've just come off the train. It's a family run hotel and they are quite friendly. The rooms are clean and basic. There are lots of restaurants and cafes nearby. In December 2004, a triple room - ensuite - cost 61 euros.
Unique Quality: Close to station - friendly service
Dates: May 17 to May 20, 2004
Hotel Normandie is a couple of minutes from the train station, a 10-15 minute walk from downtown and the Mediterranean, and close to the shopping street Avenue Jean Medecin. It is surrounded by narrow, busy streets with smaller restaurants. The lobby is small and joins a breakfast area with TV, and there are restrooms and a vending machine for drinks and snacks on the street level. The reception has safe deposit boxes for an extra fee. There is a lift, but we never used it as our room was on the first floor. Service was friendly and helpful, and almost everyone spoke satisfactory English.
The room (59 euros a night) was small but clean and cosy -- double bed (with the french long, thin pillow, but with an extra pillow as well), TV with maybe 15 channels, phone, shelves and a clothes rack with hangers, and a private bathroom with shower, toilet, sink, towels, and soaps. No minibar or fridge. The window opened towards a bustling street, but when the window was closed the noise didn't disturb us in the least. However, the interior soundproofing wasn't totally satisfactory -- loud voices and laughter got through the walls, and we heard everything going on in the corridor. The other guests were calm enough, though, so we slept fine.
Breakfast was 6 euros extra per person, and consisted of a bun, a croissant, some butter and jam, and tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. There was also a buffet table with toast, more butter and jam, milk, and cereal. No fruits or vegetables though, but there were several small grocery stores along Rue Paganini.
Unique Quality: PROS: Close enough to downtown. Clean, comfortable and friendly, though small. Hot water and air-conditioning worked fine. No fee for leaving our bags behind the reception desk on check-out day before leaving town.
CONS: Extra fee for safe boxes. Couldn't adjust the height of the mirror in the bathroom -- looked at my tummy a lot. Not my choice of breakfast. Soundproofing not very good. Finally, although we never had any trouble, I did not feel completely safe in the small streets around the hotel at night -- best walk up Avenue J. Medecin and Rue Alsace-Lorraine, and avoid the smaller streets, just to be on the safe side.
Directions: From downtown: Less than a kilometre up Avenue Jean Medecin, then about a hundred metres west on Rue Alsace-Lorraine.
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Address: 18 rue Paganini, 11 rue Alsace Lorraine, Nice, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, 06000, France