Still Love Hotel Welcome
I first stayed at the Welcome Hotel in the summer of l959, as a result of seeing the movie, An Affair to Remember, set in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Each time I go there I find the hotel improved, remodeled and inviting. This is not a luxury hotel, but it is comfortable, warm and friendly. The setting is picturesque with a fabulous location right in the port of the deepest natural harbor in the Mediterranean. The Welcome is well-managed, clean, and in the prettiest location between Nice and Monte Carlo. Villefranche was the home port of the U. S. Navy's 6th Fleet, so many American families know it well. The restaurants along the waterfront are charming and of top quality. The access to underground "Vielle Ville" has been cleaned, lit and made into a welcome look at the old town. We just stayed three days in a lovely junior suite and enjoyed it very much - breakfast on the terrace or balcony is excellent.
Definition of Charming
We just returned from our holiday in France that included 2 nights at the Hotel Welcome. I wish I was back there, sitting on the balcony watching Villefranche wake up. The hotel was everything we expected from the reviews on this site and other resources. The room was very nice and the view was postcard-perfect. The hotel staff is very efficient and helpful. The hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of the waterfront, we watched fishermen repairing their nets, a man catching octopus from the dock, and the people passing by. The hotel has a very good breakfast, and there are great restaurants a few doors down (don't miss dinner at Le Mere Germaine). We met Steve Smith (co-author of Rick Steve's France tour guide) as we were checking in, so we can confirm that he personally researches the hotels in his quide (and has been returning to the Hotel Welcome for years). Like Steve, I too hope to return to the Hotel Welcome in the future for another relaxing stay. Highly recommend Villefranche as a base to explore the Cote D'Azur, and the Hotel Welcome. Air conditioned and large bathroom.
My wife and I stayed at the Hotel Welcome for two nights in May as part of a two-week trip through Provence and the Riviera. We were given a corner room on the fifth floor with two balconies. Wow! Waking up each morning to the beautiful views of the harbor was the highlight of our trip. This has to be one of the best values on the Riviera. The hotel is perfectly situated and the town of Villefranche is a great base to explore the Riviera. I could spend a whole vacation sitting on my balcony watching the boats in the harbor. This is definitely the romantic's choice.
Adequate, but not charming.
I stayed at the Hotel Welcome in June 2005, and I don't really understand what all the fuss is about.
If you have a car, the hotel's location is probably among the best in Villefranche. There are pay lots at either end of Villefranche's long waterfront, and one can also park for free at the big castle at one end (though this means a longer walk). The Welcome is at the end near the castle. That's a plus. Just beware of trying to park anywhere on Saturday night. The whole town became a madhouse. It was virtually impossible to park at all. I spent about an hour looking all over town for a space.
Anyway, the front desk staff were reasonably polite and pleasant, in a businesslike way, although there's nobody at the Hotel Welcome to help you with your luggage. There is, at least, a single parking space outside, where you can leave your car while you lug your own suitcases into the hotel. There's a computer in a small room next to the front desk where guests can access the internet, at some exorbitant price like ten Euros a minute following the first ten minutes (which are free). On one occasion, the desk clerk declined to let us into the internet room, I think because he didn't want to interrupt his internet solitare game for the thirty seconds that it would have taken to let us in.
We had a "superior" room with a seaview. The room was quite small, I'd say barely acceptable for two people. We had to plan very carefully to fit our suitcases in the room and still have room to walk. I'm sure a "confort" room would be too small for two guests. The room had sort of a worn-out, seen-better-days decor, with cheap curtains that featured a mock-Chagall pattern. There was also a poster with an autographed picture of Chagall on the wall. Chagall liked this hotel, and the management is proud of that. There was abundant closet space. The air conditioner worked well. The plumbing in the bathroom was fine. The room's patio was quite large and pleasant, with three chairs, a table, and a view of the harbor. The walls seemed adequately soundproof, and noise wasn't a noticeable problem. The bed (two single beds pushed together) had an uncomfortable foamy feel, and the blanket was cheap and thin.
The breakfast buffet is poor in quality, and not free. I think it cost us 6 Euros per person per meal. That's not a lot, but I wonder if they really needed to charge us at all.
All in all, the Hotel Welcome was perfectly adequate, but not charming. There was nothing special about the place whatsover. I really can't understand all the rave reviews on tripadvisor.com.
Balcony at Hotel Welcome
Eating in the shadow of Hotel Welcome
Does Hotel Welcome have a lift?
RE: Hotel Welcome
Yes. In France it is called an ascenseur. They also have two handicapped rooms so if you need one, you should call in advance.
Have a good trip.
RE: Hotel Welcome
hi, you may know already that the welcome has a lift but not to the very top floor. its a great place though.