After careful consideration I chose this hotel as a base for a 5 day stay to explore the Côte d'Azur.
I wanted to stay in Menton due to it being off the main tourist trail, it's quieter atmosphere, and it's excellent location. I was not disappointed! I didn't hear an American accent once during my stay (no disrespect to Americans intended, it's the barometer I use for how touristy somewhere is) - It certainly seems to be the place that the French and a few people 'in the know' go.
The hotel is really charming. It clearly caters for an older clientele, but this is not a negative. Just don't go expecting a buzzing bar and Jaegermeister - it's more a sleepy scrabble and a gin & tonic kind of thing. The building is lovely and over looks the Mediterranean and the beach. It also has a rear entrance onto the shopping street. The room was well sized, with lovely high ceilings. The bathroom and separate toilet were clean, well sized and modern. Plenty of plug sockets too. The only issue with the room is that our TV was broken, but after reporting it it was fixed. There is also no fridge so remember that if you stay in the summer.
There is no WiFi in the rooms, however there is free access in the public bar and lounge on the ground floor. Annoyingly you have to log in every half an hour and give all your details each time but at least it's free.
We stayed half board and really glad we did. Breakfast is a very good selection on juices, fruits, cereals, pastries, breads, cheese, ham, yoghurt etc.
Dinner is different each night but they publish the coming days menu outside of the dining room so you can decide in advance if you want to eat out or stay in. Good quality food, would really recommend this as eating out can be pricey (especially if the £ is weak against the € when you go). There is always three courses. Starter is a choice of cooked dish (soup etc) or a salad buffet. Mains are things like fish, rabbit or lamb. The sweet is a self select buffet with lots of choice (fruit, cakes, cheeses etc)
The hotel had assorted board games available and always has some form of entertainment available during the evenings (a film show, singalongs or card games etc). This really gives the hotel a lovely French charm you won't get in the larger, plusher hotels.
The staff are really friendly and helpful. Most are multi-lingual.
As I mentioned this is a good base for exploring this section of the Côte d'Azur. I walked to the Hanbury Gardens in Italy following the higher coast road. It took about an hour and a half each way. A beautiful walk and well worth it for the views. I also took the coastal walk the opposite direction to Monaco which took a leisurely 2 1/2 hours. Again, beautiful views and a great angle to see Monte Carlo.
The train station is about a 15 minute walk or a €7-€9 taxi ride. If you want to use the train then
the train to Monte Carlo takes about 8 minutes, the train to Ventimiglia in Italy takes about 10 minutes. Fares are cheap (a couple of Euros) but make sure you remember to validate your ticket before getting on the train.
There is lots to see and do in Menton - a charming little town and really friendly people. Would highly recommend this town and this particular hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Summer holidays on the Mediterranean coast, only a stone's throw from the Italian border! The Le Vendôme Belambra Club in Menton welcomes you for a holiday combining visits, sporting activities, walks and relaxation. Book your sea view accommodation at the heart of the city now and enjoy a very pleasant holiday. ... more less
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